It’s the perfect cake for Australia Day – or for raising funds to aid bushfire relief charities.
Melbourne mum Gosha Rekiej made the cake for her son’s birthday, requesting that family and friends donate to wildlife charities in lieu of presents.
“One day, not so long ago, I sat down with my son Elijah and began reading "Possum Magic" by Mem Fox. I could barely finish the story with tears streaming down my face, thinking about all of our beautiful wildlife that was being affected by the bushfires raging through Australia,” she explained.
With her son’s first birthday on the horizon, Gosha was inspired to put use his celebration “to make a positive impact on the world around us.”
Our desire is for him to grow up with a generous heart and being someone who can make a difference for the better in this world,” she added.
Gosha trawled Pinterest for koala cake ideas, before setting to work creating her masterpiece.
1. "I whipped up some buttercream by combining the butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence (and a pinch of salt). I added some pink food colouring. I cut the iced tops off all the cakes and used the pink buttercream to stack the layers," she explains.
2. "Having excess of the buttercream, I used some of this colour to do the crumb cost around the cake then let it set in the fridge for 20 minutes."
3. "In the meantime I made a fresh batch of buttercream, this time adding some black food colouring to the buttercream (one drop at a time)."
4. "I found the buttercream had a bit of a green hue so I added in a few drops of purple food colouring to counter balance the yellow tinge in the butter, until I had my desired shade of grey."
5. "I then used the grey buttercream to coat the entirety of the cake and set aside in the fridge for a further 20 min."
6. "I filled a piping bag with the remaining grey buttercream and proceeded to pipe around the entire cake, leaving one side free."
7. "This would form the face of the koala. I added some black food colouring to a ball of white fondant and shaped a koala nose. I added pink to some white fondant to create the rosy cheeks for the koala."
8. "I used a roller between two sheets of baking paper to flatten the pink ball of fondant then cut out circles for the cheeks using kitchen scissors."
9. "I added green food colouring to the white fondant and created some gum-leaf shapes by hand and set aside to let harden."
10. "Using left over grey buttercream, I stuck on the cheeks and nose on the koala then used the Chikoate writing pen to draw on the eyes and mouth."
11. "I placed two round white chocolate biscuits on the sides of the cake to form the ears and created a flower crown by sticking some fake flowers into the top of the cake and finished it off with a number one candle."
12. "I placed the hand-made gum leaves decoratively around the base of the cake and around the top for a bit of colour contrast and va-va-voom!"
According to Gosha, the cake was simple to make.
“A little bit of patience with the piping and making the gum leaves [is required], but otherwise it’s not too bad.”
Another Melbourne mum Kimberley Cusworth also made a gorgeous koala cake for her daughter Harper’s birthday.
"She loves koalas and in particular Blinky Bill,” she explains.
Kimberley used two packs of Woolworths chocolate sponge cakes and froze them so that they were easier to ice.
She used black food colouring gel to dye the white icing grey, using a fork to create the fur-like texture.
Kimberley completed the look with Maltesers for the eyes and half a Kinder Surprise egg for the nose.
“I used craft paper to create the ears and used toothpicks to stick them in,” she explains.
Kimberley estimates that it took two hours in total to make.
“It was very easy to make, it was my first cake hack ever,” she adds.
The trend has also emerged on Instagram, with a raft of mums eager to share their creative cakes with their followers.
The cakes has caused a stir on social media, with fans heaping praise on the clever creations.
“That is so cuuutte!!!!” enthused one mum.
“A great job with the cake and kind gesture with the donations to wildlife,” added another.
A third chimed in: “This is the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen.”
For more cake hack inspiration, go to the Woolies/Coles Mudcakes Hacks Facebook page.