It took three days and my pants were pulled down twice by Xander while making it but I think the lion cake turned out beautifully.
And it's wasn't just pretty to look at but delicious as well.
I turned to the Daring Bakers for help with a recipe and there were some great ideas but I went with Lesley's, from Gourmet or Gourmand, suggestion of Dark Chocolate Cupcakes from America's Test Kitchen.
It was a recipe for cupcakes and I made an 8-inch and 10-inch cake. One recipe filled the 8-inch perfectly and I had to make the recipe two times to fill the 10-inch. I also had to adjust the baking times and I think I added 10 minutes to the 8-inch and I can't remember for the 10-inch.
But it did come out and I think because it being America's Test Kitchen and they are so incredibly anal (but most of the time their recipes are incredible and worth the effort) that it worked okay for a cake but it turned out a tad dry. I just put a small layer of frosting in the middle and it tasted great.
I had to make the icing like 8 times and I just added cocoa to make the dark brown. It was a project. Next time I think making this recipe in the true cupcake form would be best and the vanilla buttercream is out of this world!
One pleased 1 year old.