|The Minion Cake!!|
My son just turned three. We had a party for him, and some family and friends came over to help us celebrate. They were all pretty blown away by the cake I made for him, but the truth is, even if it had just been me, my husband, and the kids, I would have made the same cake. I got one comment from someone who said my kids are the luckiest kids in the world (to get awesome cakes on their birthdays, etc). It's such a sweet thought, but my first reaction was, "why? I did this cake for me." I guess I should just not tell the kids that, and they can live their lives in ignorant bliss, believing their mom would "sacrifice" an entire week of her time to bake them ridiculous birthday cakes (yes, I foresee this becoming a tradition in our house - hopefully I'll be able to live up to each cake wish!).
Several people asked me how I made the cake, so I thought the easiest way to share was a photo blog entry (also, I know this doesn't count as a "real" entry, so please forgive me - I SWEAR I'll work harder at updating regularly - I'm just waiting for my life to settle down for a second - please forgive me, loyal fans (i.e. Joe)).
Without further ado, here is how the Minion Cake came to be:
First, I tinted and sculpted the little features out of Wilton (store-bought) fondant. I also use Wilton coloring for all my cake decorating. It's easy to work with and cleans up well (even if it looks like it will stain your counters forever - so far, it's always wiped up clean for me). I use the store-bought fondant for the external features because it hardens quicker and sturdier than my homemade marshmallow fondant. But tinting it is a mess. Anything with black food coloring is a mess.
I made the goggles out of the Wilton fondant, cut into strips (with a ruler and pizza cutter), and let them harden around soda cans. Then I molded the eyes to fit inside them, added pupils and eyelids. After the eyes set for a few hours, I turned them over and shoved toothpicks in them (so I could put them on the cake later). I let all this stuff harden for about 5 days. It gets hard overnight, but I had too much to do, and it was nice to get it done so early and not have to worry about it again. After they'd hardened for a couple days, I sprayed the goggles with edible silver spray. It didn't seem to have any affect on their texture or hardness, which was a concern I had after reading other people's reviews of it.
The "3" candle, gripped in a little minion hand, waiting for the cake to exist.
I baked the cakes that would become the minions about 5 days in advance, too, and froze them. I used 6" round pans and the Wilton sports ball pan.
Four days before the party, I made all my homemade fondant. Three batches. Fondant is very messy. I plan on making a photo blog with my fondant recipe and tips. I'll try to do that in the near future. :)
Scraping yellow pre-fondant out of the bowl. It's hard work!
All my little features, sitting out to dry. The hair and arms were made with (store-bought) gum paste. It's the first time I've ever used gum paste. The only difference I really saw was that it was harder to get the lines out of it than it is to get a smooth surface with fondant. It worked nicely for the hair, and it weighs less, but otherwise, it seemed almost more difficult to work with. Maybe if I knew how to make all those fancy flowers, I'd have more of a purpose for gum paste.
The base cake, crumb-coated and chilling in the fridge overnight before it gets fondant. It was cream soda cake with root beer frosting (and eventually, root beer fondant).
The smaller minion - I crumb coated him with strawberry frosting (he was lemon cake), then carved his mouth out of the frosting. Also, he was two 6" round cakes and a half of the Wilton sports ball pan.
Stacking the taller minion. I used bubble tea straws as supports to keep the cakes from sliding off each other. He was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
All three cakes, crumb-coated and chilling overnight before they get fondant!
Fondant on the little minion! His mouth is just another piece of fondant that I cut to fit, then I molded little fondant teeth.
The fondant-covered base cake. The rivets are just fondant balls (a lot of fondant on this thing). But the root beer flavoring worked GREAT in the fondant. I actually liked it more than normal vanilla. The only issue was that root beer concentrate is very dark - it would only work for a fondant that was being colored a darker color, or something that could easily incorporate the brown of the flavoring.
Taller minion with fondant and hair. His lip is just a small, rolled piece of fondant, stuck in with a tooth pick. Then I covered the whole thing with the yellow fondant and used the back of a paring knife to draw the mouth lines.
Blind, naked minions in my fridge.
Overalls! Again, just rolled out fondant, cut with a pizza cutter and ruler.
He looks like an idiot farm boy or something.
The "stitching" on the overalls was one of my favorite features of them - it was done with a tracing wheel (like the thing used in sewing).
My kitchen was a giant mess of confectioner's sugar. But the Boy is getting excited about his cake!
The "G" symbol was cut out of a rolled out piece of gum paste.
Big minion's "G" symbol.
And one on the cake, for good measure.
Sightless minions in my fridge!
The completed cake.
A lot of screw-ups with the fondant on the back (and a minor incident with the taller minion's goggles, because I didn't take into account how rounded his head would be - oops!). But I definitely learned from this time, and my fondant work will be better on the next cake. :D
Husband made fun of me for my attention to detail, but I think little things like the hinges on the sides of the goggles are what make the cake work.
It's kind of sad to think that my little boy probably won't even remember this cake. Hopefully I'll just keep learning and making cooler and cooler cakes that he can remember more easily as he gets older.
My sweet little minions. I got very emotionally attached to this cake.
Sitting in my fridge, smiling at me!
A fair likeness, if I do say so myself!
He WAS happy about the cake...
Tasting the fondant!
The inside of the chocolate minion - you can see the layers and the bubble tea straws used for supports. I also had both minions on their own round cake boards, sitting on top of the base cake, with supports going through the base cake (the minions each weighed quite a bit and I was concerned they would crush the base cake).
The inner workings of a minion cake.
Losing a goggle...
Happy Birthday to my favorite Big Boy!!
Also, check out my cake's page on Coolest-Birthday-Cake's website!