How To Make A Monkey Cake That Kids Will Love

Little girl smiling and holding her hands to her face in joy at seeing a monkey birthday cake.

We hope that your little birthday monkey has a wonderful birthday party and we are confident this fabulous monkey face cake will have them grinning from ear to ear.

We have included two recipes, a banana cake and a chocolate cake. Either way, we think your little monkey is bound to be made up with this fun design; reminiscent of Curious George! This cake is suitable for children over the age of two. Plus, we are confident they will love helping you with baking and decorating.  

Most of the components of this recipe are relatively flexible and you can swap things around to make life easier. For example,  if you are running out of time or do not have the necessary ingredients, a box cake mix would also work. Alternatively, you could just frost the cake and add monkey cake toppers or a monkey made from fondant. To complete this project, you will be making two large round cakes, using two 9 inch sandwich tins, and two cupcakes or muffins. To decorate you will need ganache, white chocolate buttercream and chocolate piping icing.

Time: 30 minutes prep/ 25 minutes cooking/ 45 minutes decorating.

Serves: 12


  • 2 x 9-inch cake pan
  • 2 x cupcake cases
  • Cupcake tray
  • Cake plate
  • Piping bag and flat tip nozzle
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk or hand mixer
  • Spatula
Little girl in the kitchen with flour on her face as she helps her mum make a monkey cake.


The ingredients that you will require depend on which cake you are hoping to make. If you want to stick with a monkey cakes classic, this easy recipe includes delicious fresh bananas to create a rich moist sponge that is fabulously fruity.

Banana Cake:

  • 120g butter
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp milk

Chocolate Cake:

However, not all children love bananas. If they prefer chocolate, you will need:

  • 220g unsalted butter
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 200 g self-raising four
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

If you are looking to make a gluten-free cake, you will need to switch the flour. You can use either almond flour (at a ratio of 1:2) or coconut.  For a vegan cake, replace the eggs with plain yoghurt, ground flaxseed or vinegar and baking soda.


To decorate your monkey birthday cake, you will require:

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 400g dark chocolate

White Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250s icing sugar
  • Milk if required
Green birthday cake with a monkey topper.

Baking Monkey Birthday Cakes

Before you begin, preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5 or 180 degrees. Grease and line your sandwich tins and pop two cupcake cases into your cupcake tray.

Banana Cake:

1. Cream together butter and sugar.

2. Beat in the eggs.

3. Mash the banana and add.

4. Sift the dry ingredients, add the milk and mix lightly.

5. Divide between cake tins and cupcake cases, and bake for around 20-25 minutes.

6. Leave to cool.

Chocolate Cake:

1. Cream together butter and sugar.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

3. Split your cake batter between the two pans and fill two cupcake cases.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

5. Add a layer of buttercream on the top of one cake and carefully place the other on top.

Decorating Your Monkey Cake  

This monkey cake is easy to decorate, with minimal monkeying around!

Remember: Before adding your monkey cake decorations, it is important to wait until it has fully cooled.

Chocolate Ganache:

1. Heat the cream gently in a saucepan.

2. Break down the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl.

3. Take the cream off the heat just before it reaches a boil and then pour the warm liquid over the chocolate.

4. Leave it to stand for two minutes before whisking gently until it goes glossy.

5. Then let it cool before placing it in the fridge for around 20-30 minutes.

White Chocolate Buttercream:

Tip: White chocolate can be difficult, and we advise you to use the type of chocolate for cooking (found in the baking aisle) as it is less temperamental.

1. Melt chocolate in a bain-marie and then leave to cool.

2. Beat the butter until soft and then add the icing sugar carefully until it is all combined.

3. Pour the white chocolate over the buttercream and stir.

4. If your buttercream is too thick, add a touch of milk to achieve a spreadable consistency.

This makes a white frosting, but some people may also wish to add a touch of food colouring to achieve a more traditional monkey face colour. Alternately, you could just add half a teaspoon of dark chocolate to turn it into a light brown.

Young boy in a high chair eating a piece of chocolate monkey cake.

Creating a Fondant Monkey

Instead of doing a monkey face, this could be an excellent way of making a more simplistic birthday cake! Simply, cover your cake sandwiches in buttercream or fondant, in any colour you like. Then, use brown fondant to make a  sphere for the head, a long oblong for the body, four sausages for arms and legs and a piece for the tail.  To stick your pieces of fondant together, use a small amount of edible glue.  If you like, you can also add details using a light brown fondant, such as a monkey face and a pale belly.  You can also use chocolate icing to add details such as the eyes, nose, face or mouth. Alternatively, pick up one monkey cake topper for quick and easy decoration without the fuss or get your children involved with shaping this primate.

Assembling Your Cake

To Assemble Your Monkey Birthday Cake:

1. Slide your sandwich of cakes onto the cake board.

2. Your two cupcakes are the ears, and these should be placed at the top of the cake.

3. Cover them and your cake in the chocolate ganache. We advise you to use a spatula to achieve a smooth finish.

4. Then use the white chocolate buttercream to create the monkey’s face and inner ears. The face should look like a bottom-heavy filled-in number 8, and the ears should look like a backwards letter C, with the outside rim being the dark chocolate and the inside the white.

5. Use the piping bag to add the eyes, nose and mouth! You may also wish to make some inner detail for the ears.

Storage: Cakes that use buttercream or ganache should be kept in the fridge and stored for around 3-4 days. It is best to keep it in an airtight container. If you are looking to freeze leftovers, they should be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.



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