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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adventures in Caking: The Making of the Minion Cake

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!


  1. I wonder what Boy will think when he looks at all these pictures of your talents when he gets older. It's too bad we didn't have social media to archive our childhoods to the extent that they do now.

  2. AMAZING job! Thank you for the inspiration AND the directions! There are tons of photos out there of cute Minion cakes (though only a couple on caliber with this one!), and NO instructions for us wanna-be-cool moms!
    Thanks! ~KT

  3. awesome. My daughter who's turning 18 wants a minion cake(s) for her birthday party. Love that you gave instructions on how to make them.Will definitely use your instructions. I love making decorative cakes and am still learning each time i make one.

  4. My Mom is just showing me your AMAZING cake and we love it Well Done.
    Aaron (age 9)and my Mum Siobhan

  5. Wow!!!! Congratulations! That's what loving mothers do for their Little ones. I perfectly understand and I am SURE you enjoyed it so much (maybe even more than the bday boy) lol!

  6. I've heard before that fondant doesn't have the best taste, I would love to make a cake like this but with the amount of fondant did you have to sacrifice on flavor?

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  8. thanks so much!!! this is a great tutorial!! i just made my own minion cake, and this was a lot of help, and i have to say the cake inside looks so yumy!! Just for a little advice I used (only for the minion yellow skin) Marshmallow fondant it is super stretchy and it perfectly covered the whole thing without a problem!!!

  9. if you were to sell this cake how much would you charge? Idea

  10. This was an inspiration for me! My Grandson is (my 1st) 9 months old and I've been decorating cakes for about 25 years. I have never covered a cake with fondant. I heard it taste terrible and nobody actually eats it. I have become an expert and making a perfectly smooth buttercream frosted cake. I have made fondant flowers and gumpaste decorations. I'm deffinately getting this all copied down and will be giving it a try for my little buddies birthday! Thank You for all your hard work. I have some same feelings when a cake you work on is a labor of love and when it's done I don't want to cut it. But alast it must be cut.

  11. Awesome cake and great instructions finally not just a picture but help to go with it. Im going to try this for my sons 5th birthday this weekend thanks

  12. lol cute cake and you tell your cake adventure so hilariously! love the pics! keep on caking!

  13. I was SO HAPPY to find your blog and step by step ideas for the Minion cake. I decided to make a Minion for my son's birthday, but had no idea where to start. Your ideas were excellent and REALLY helped. I successfully completed a Minion cake today (almost exactly like your smaller Minion). Except I added a few details (a gum sugar present and party hat). Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, however I genuinely thought you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention. friv yepi
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    1. Mario you sound jealous,maybe you should go bake all these cakes,put in the hard work it takes,then take the time to share and you'd be to tired to come here and just complain ! Thx for the tutorial ,nice job

    2. I actually find this page very interesting, funny and helpful. Why don't you just say something nice instead of complaining? Boom!

  15. Love the tutorial and the end result - thank you so much. Just wondering how you get all the confectioner's sugar off the cakes as I always find this a nightmare?

    1. you can use steam. i just use my regular iron led vertically on the steam setting. it will make the fondant shiny and take off the sugar

    2. Hey, I have a standing up clothing steamer, that has a long hose and different attachments. I find it works really well, as I dont get any water droplets, and it looks nice and shiny after it is steamed.

      I bought the clothes steamer for just my cakes. :-)

  16. Instead of using gumpaste, I use fondant with a bit of Tylose Powder kneaded into it. It hardens like GP, but you have that fondant texture that doesn't crease as easily as GP seems to. I use it for flowers, figures, and anything that needs to get hard. I have painted, sprayed, and dusted the hardened pieces without any problem.

  17. Hi Laura,
    Congratulations for your work!! I loved your step by step of this cake.
    I write also to ask permission to publish this tutorial in my fanpage and blog tutorials on creative pastries.
    I will put a direct link to your blog.
    You can answer the message box https://www.facebook.com/sabordefiesta fanpage
    Thank you and much success!

  18. Well done. Aren't cakes hard work but the most rewarding thing! Your step by step will help lots of fellow cakers. I am a mum who makes cakes too and it all started with my daughters bday cakes. I have now made over 50 for friends and family! www.sweetbbakes.com.
    Happy caking : )

  19. My daughter, age 23, has shown me these instructions - I've loved making them special cakes, and this one is my next project!

  20. Saw this on Pinterest & had to come check it out. Thanks for sharing your how-to on the minion cake, it looks awesome!

  21. OMG this is an awsome job I just wanted to leave you with that !

  22. OK I must ask how did you sculpt the hands? -Marci

  23. awesome! I will use to make my daughter a cake, thank you.

  24. Great job!! I'm going to attempt this for my 2 year old in 2 weeks. Thanks!

  25. Hi Laura, this is a really great cake! I was thinking about doing something just like this, and it's so great to see that you have succeeded! Now I know for sure this is the cake I will make for my friend's leaving party!

  26. do you put the cake with fondant in the fridge ??

  27. This cake is awesome and you are wonderful for providing instructions - I used what you wrote and made the larger minion for a friends son for his 2nd birthday - let's just say it turned out amazing and everyone loved it!!!!!! Thank you!!!