Okay, sorry for the delay on this… Had to think back exactly what I did and what I used to make this cake as it’s been more than 2 years now! 🙂
For the body, I think I used three or four 9″ round pans, cutting the circles at varying sized semi-circles. For the head I used 1/2 of an egg shaped pan. For the legs, I used the larger crushed tomato cans, but not the largest (you will need 4). After baking the cakes, cool to room temp., wrap with plastic wrap, and then cool in the fridge for easier handling and cutting.
Using three 9″ round pans fed more than 75 or so guests with plenty of leftovers.
1. Take one 9″ round (do not cut off the top of the cake to make it flat – this will be the neck and butt of the tricertops) and cut it 2/3 length-wise. So for a 9″ round, cut it in at about the 6″ mark from the top of the cake, to make 2 semi-circles (one small and the other big). I think I just eyeballed it for the cake I made. (See black line in Fig. 1 below for rough cut location)
2. Take the second 9″ round and this time cut off the top of the cake to make it flat on both sides. Take the smaller semi-circle from #1 and place it on top of the 9″ round cake to align w/ the sides of the cake. Cut lengthwise about 3/4″ from the smaller semi-circle (it will be cut length-wise between the half-way point of the cake and the 3″ semi-circle cake). The purpose of doing this is to stagger the size of the body to a smooth transition. (See red line in Fig. 1 below for rough cut location)
3. Take the third 9″ round, cut off the top of the cake to make it flat on both sides, and then cut the cake in 1/2 (2 equal portions). (See green line in Fig. 1 below for rough cut location).
4. Optional – If you are having a really big party and want to incorporate more cake, take a fourth 9″ round, cut off the top to make it flat on both sides, and then cut the cake in 1/2 as in step #3 above. (See green line in Fig. 1 below for rough cut location).
Fig. 1 – Cutting locations for round cakes to get varying semi-circle sizes.
5. Stack the semi-circles with the cut side down in order of height, starting w/ the largest semi-circle from step #1 (cake piece #1 in Fig. 2 below), followed by the 2nd largest semi-circle from step #2 (cake piece #3 in Fig. 2 below). Glue the 2 cakes together using frosting. Remember to place the flat sides of the cake side-by-side. The larger semi-circle should have a “puffed” out side since the top of the round cake was not cut off. This should be facing out and the flat side should be facing the other semi-circle. Place 1/2 of the round (cake piece #5 in Fig. 2 below) next and frost in between each layer. Do this until you have used up all of the semi-circles. If you are doing the optional step #4, then you will place cake pieces #5, 6, 7, 8 and then #4 and #2, lastly. (Note: Please feel free to rearrange the cakes to make the shape of the body. I’m going by memory and it may not be the best, so if you want to rearrange the semi-circles to make it look more like a body, then do so! 😀 ).
Fig. 2 – Cake pieces for stacking to make the body
Place the cake pieces in order of: 1, 3, 5, 6, 4, 2 or 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 4, 2 for a bigger cake.
6. Crumb coat the body (i.e., frost with thin layer of frosting to capture all the crumbs). Put fridge in the coolest setting and place body in fridge for as long as you can. You will want the body very firm for the head, which will be skewered into the body.
7. For the head, use 1/2 of an egg shaped pan. The side touching the pan will be the face of the Triceratops. Crumb coat and cool in the fridge. Once crumb coat has set, frost the head with the desired color (matching the color of the body – I used leaf green and moss green colors to get the green color of my triceratops).
8. Measure the body length and width and cut out cake board #1 to that size or slightly bigger. Cover the cake board with cake foil. Like the Firetruck cake, I used toy blocks to elevate my Triceratops body. Find a larger cake board #2 and wrap in cake foil. Use board books or toy blocks and wrap in foil. Tape the toy blocks or board books under cake board #1. Make sure it is very secure and make sure you have spaced out the toy blocks/board books so it supports the body of the Triceratops cake very well. Tape and secure very well, cake board #1 to cake board #2.
9. Place the Triceratops cake body on top of the cake board #1. Use a large spatula on either end. You may need help here to spot the cake so it does not fall in the process of transferring.
10. Place a cake baked from the tomato sauce can next to the body. Sculpt the legs so that it blends in w/ the body. Place the remaining 3 cakes backed from the tomato sauce cans next to the other corners of the body. Secure the legs to the body using bamboo skewers. Crumb coat all four legs and put back in fridge to set. Note: When baking cakes in tomato cans, wash cans thoroughly, dry, line w/ parchment paper, spray w/ Pam oil or baking spray, and bake. This makes it easier to remove the cakes after baking.
11. While Triceratops is “chilling” in the fridge, get started on the rice krispies horns, crest, and tail. Use the rice krispies directions. The only difference I would like to add is to cook the marshmallows a little bit longer from when then melt. If you make the rice krispies treats soon after the marshmallows melt, the treats will be very soft and may not hold their shape. I found that by cooking the marshmallows a bit longer, the treats are a bit harder and can retain their shape better.
12. Coat your hands with canola oil and shape the treats into the horns. Place the shaped treats onto wax paper. For the crest, I pressed the treats down on wax paper to compress them and used a cutting board to flatten them out. I shaped the tips of the crest w/ my hands, but another option would be to cut out triangles. Why didn’t I think of that when I was doing it! It was probably 3am in the morning when I was making mine and wasn’t thinking clearly. Shape the tail as you would the horn, but longer.
13. Do the final frosting on the body and leg of the Triceratops. Take the head, holding it underneath, where there is no frosting. Place the head on the shorter or smaller side of the body. The head should be somewhat above the body so the head is slightly supported by the body. Don’t use the skewers to try to support the head on it’s own! The head will eventually fall of the cake! Use part of the body to support the head. Use the bamboo skewers to keep the head in place. I don’t remember how many skewers I used for the head, but I know I used a lot. I placed the skewers at different angles to make sure the head is very secure. If you are transporting the cake (as I did), this step is very important. If it wobbles, add more skewers to give it more support.
14. Touch up the frosting on the cake if it was mangled with the head placement and skewering process. Add white frosting for the eyes, nose, and toes. Feel free to use any frosting color you like. I think I was planning on using gray, but ran out of time, so just used white.
16. Use the Cocoa melts from Wilton for the eyes and regular chocolate chips for the nose.
17. I assembled the horns, crest, and tail at the party because I was paranoid about transportation. You can do it ahead of time if you like. If you want to wait like I did, prep the horns and tail by skewering them. Make sure you leave enough of the skewer showing so that it can attach to the head and the body securely. For the crest, I cut a big notch for the neck or back of the head of the Triceratops and just placed on. There was no way for me to raise it up as my rice krispies were too soft. If you make them hard like I mentioned above, that should be no problem for you!
Good luck and let me know how it goes! Please send me a pix as I’d love to see it!