I’m pretty sure the first time I saw this monkey cake, it was in a picture sent to me by Kate’s sister-in-law.  I remember thinking it was the cutest thing ever, which is why months later when I was searching the internet for ideas for my oldest son’s first birthday this link from Martha Stewart caught my eye.


Kiddos and adults will go bananas for these cute little guys!
And what did my birthday boy think?  You be the judge.


  1. Oh my goodness these are cute! My youngest wants a kitty themed b-day and I'll be trying this cake as a kitty! Thanks for posting this!!!!!

  2. My son is 4 months old, and I think these cupcakes will be made for his 1st birthday! What better theme than Monkeys! So excited.

  3. Okay. You had me at the adorable monkey cake. But then you brought in the cupcakes!!! I'm dying from cuteness over here! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Trista, what kinds of problems have you run into? I just find it's easiest to grease and flour the bowl and use a skewer to make sure the cake is cooked all the way to the center. Oh, and let it cool enough before trying to invert it or you'll lose the top!

  5. I love this cake! I made it for Becka when she turned one and it was a huge hit! I made her monkey pink though, it was adorable. We've always called her our little monkey and this was the perfect theme!

  6. Brilliant, Sara 🙂 All four of the kids in the family have their birthdays between now and the end of the year…hmm…I'll bet Siu Jeun would like a monkey cake 🙂

  7. THAT is adorable. I'm totally doing that for my son's birthday next week–he's turning 6 and just started T-ball. A baseball would be awesome, right??

  8. Emily, honestly with any cake you bake this way you just kind of have to eyeball it. I just keep an eye on it and start testing it with a skewer when it starts looking done. Because it will totally depend on the size of bowl you're using.

  9. I love monkeys! Is there anything wrong with a 40 year old making this cake for herself? Hope not…because I'm gonna!

  10. Really cute and creative! Do you really think the barbie cakes are hideous? 🙂 I made a Cinderella one for my daughters 3rd b-day last year and didn't think it turned out THAT bad 🙂 🙂

  11. Jennifer- I had a feeling that comment was bound to offend at least one person! lol. Okay okay, so maybe "hideous" isn't the right word. Maybe it's just because I have all boys at my house so I'm not used to the froo-froo!

  12. Making cupcakes for my second grade end of year at school … monkeys would be perfect!! So how do you get the yellow frosting oval on there without it smearing the chocolate frosting below? I've never done fancy cupcakes before so maybe this is a stupid question but I can't figure out how you get them so neat, even with the squiggly 🙂 THANKS!!

  13. I SO made that monkey cake a few years back for a friends' baby shower….but forgot to take pics (duh). Anyhoo, yours turned out SO cute, and good for you for not changing the face. I would have and it probably would have ended up ruining the WHOLE cake somehow!! (I'm REALLY clumsy 🙂 Although, I do remember having to try it a few times to get the baking timed right. Hmmm

  14. We used the same idea to make a ladybug cake. We used a small pyrex bowl for the head and the big measuring bowl for the body and mini oreos for the spots. It turned out so cute although it was challenging making true black frosting. : )

  15. Lovely! I agree with your husband it doesn't have to be perfect. This was one of the first recipes I every blogged about. I LOVE your idea with the monkey cupcakes. I want a do over LOL

  16. Okay, is Lacey someone's sister-in-law?! That's funny because she's my husband's cousin. Which means, somehow I'm distantly related to y'all, right?! 😉 I love this monkey and I'm planning on using it for my son's b-day party next week. Thanks for all the yummy ideas!

  17. I recently was directed to you blog and I love it. I did a monkey theme for my son's 1st birthday and made that same cake. My ears were lopsided though. I like how you used the fudge stripe cookies for the ears. I also made cupcakes for everyone else. Anyway, you can check it out if you want. My blog is http://www.thelundfive.blogspot.com. You may have to scroll down just a little to see the monkey birthday post.

  18. I made this cake yesterday for my son's third birthday. It was a big hit!! He loved it. He even said it was his favorite part of the party! (He probably wasn't including his presents.) 🙂 And the frosting? Oh. My. Gosh. Sooo good!!!! Thank you!

  19. How would you do this as a bear? I had my heart set on doing the monkey cake but my boyfriend ordered bear themed pinatas, favors and invites for my son's 2nd birthday so I'm at a loss as how to turn this into a bear!

  20. Sara, did you double the banana cake recipe to have enough for the capcakes? Do you know how many cupcakes the recipe yields? Also, does one recipe of your chocolate frosting make just enough to cover the cake? I’m assuming I would double it so I can frost the cupcakes too? Thanks!

    1. Megan it’s been a long time since I did this, but I *think* I doubled it. And I’m sure one recipe is enough to frost the cake. If you want to be safe you should probably double both but to be honest I’m not totally sure!

      1. Thanks Sara. I just discovered your post on old fashioned chocolate frosting. Now I have a dilemma… which frosting should I use? I noticed in the comments that you said you liked the taste better of the old-fashioned but that the other one is easier to pipe with. I want this to taste awesome! What do you suggest?

        1. I wouldn’t use the old fashioned frosting on this because it will be too soft to add any of the other decorations to. The chocolate frosting I used here in this post tastes *really* good, so trust me, it will taste awesome!

  21. Frosting=incredible, amazing and every other awesome adjective. Cake=left much to e desired, but I am not a huge fan of Martha recipes. I was too dense. The monkey was cute but the frosting tasted better on the jazzed up box recipe with sour cream, choc chips and pudding added in the cupcake format and this frosting piped in top. Yum!

  22. I’m making this for my baby’s first birthday today, wit the cupcakes! Wish me luck! It’s so stinking cute!

  23. L-O-V-E these. Perfect for my kiddo’s double birthday party this month. I’m adding pink bows to the “girl ones” too.

    Any idea if I can make the cakes early and freeze them? I plan to decorate them night before party but would love to save time if I can bake/freeze them earlier.


  24. Adorable! I really like the cupcakes especially. I used the mixing bowl trick to make a Volcano cake for my son’s sixth birthday earlier this year. Cherry pie filling made perfect ‘lava’ and it was a lot of fun!

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