Mini Raven Nest Cake How-To
These individual Raven's Nest Cakes are not only crazy impressive but a little on the creepy side too. The nests are baked in a half ball pan so there's no need to sculpt them by hand and our easy to use egg mold makes the speckled eggs appear in an instant. Dowload our Raven Bird Template to use as a guide for creating your creepy creatures and you're good to go.
If you are partial to baking your cakes from scratch (we are, of course), check out our Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe and our Classic Chocolate Frosting Recipe to make these desserts as tantalizing as possible. And, if you're looking for more inspiration?...check out our Raven Silhouette Cookies as well!
Recipe Notes: Most of the elements of this project can be made ahead! Make the speckled eggs a week in advance and keep them in a snap lid container in a cool spot. Make the ravens 4-5 days ahead so that they have plenty of time to dry. You can even bake your cakes and make your frosting a week in advance as well, just individually wrap each half ball in plastic wrap and freeze (pull and thaw a bit before adding icing). Keep your frosting in the fridge. Pull and thaw a few hours before you'll need it and then stir vigoursly with a rubber spatula to improve the texture.
Step 1: Make Eggs and Ravens Several Days in Advance
In a microwaveable bowl, melt the white candy coating on half power in 30 second intervals, stirring often until melted (Do not overheat). Spoon a small scoop of black sanding sugar into each egg mold then fill the molds with the melted coating. Using a toothpick, stir the sugar and coating to get a speckled effect. Tap the mold to remove air bubbles and freeze until firm (15 minutes or so). Remove from the freezer and pop the eggs out of the mold. Let the eggs come back to room temperature and attach the two sides together with some additional melted coating.
Download the Raven PDF Template and cut out with scissors. Roll out the black fondant to 1/8" thickness (do not roll the fondant too thick or it will be too heavy for the nests) and using a craft knife, cut out the ravens from the template using the template as a guide. Set aside to dry.
Step 2: Bake Cakes and Make Icing
Once your cakes are cooled, be sure to wrap each ball in plastic wrap and freeze. Place the icing in the fridge.
Step 3: Finish and Assemble
1) Brush the dried ravens with a light coating of water and sprinkle with black sanding sugar. Shake off excess and set them aside to dry, while you ice your cakes.
2) Unwrap your half ball cakes. Slice a flat spot on the bottom of the ball and use some icing to adhere them to a plate. Then, using a small knife, cut a divot in the ball to create a nest shape and hold the egg. Test it with an egg to make sure it's big enough.
3) Frost the mini cakes with chocolate buttercream, leaving lots of marks to look like branches.
4) Place an egg in the divot of each cake and then prop a raven next to the egg using some buttercream to adhere. Place these in the fridge to firm up if possible.