Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Minecraft Cake

This is one of those cakes that could have been so. much. better. If only I had given it more time...

Still, the birthday boy loved it and really, that's what matters most. He requested a Minecraft birthday cake this year. I found one online that I really liked and thought I would try to mimic it. So, I present to you, The Minecraft Cake:


This cake looks like it would be quick and easy. It fooled me. There are so many little bits and parts to this...

So lets start from the beginning. You will need one large recipe of Marshmallow Fondant. Remember, whenever you are connecting fondant to fondant, you will need a dab of water or vodka (the alcohol evaporates but you still need to use it sparingly).

The TNT boxes:

You need 2 cubes of gray fondant. Color white fondant gray, the shape into a cube (just make them as big or as small as you want them. The size of these boxes will be approximately the finished size of your TNT boxes).


Red fondant. Not sure how much of this you will need - enough to cover the tops and bottoms of each TNT cube.


Color some fondant black (a ball about the size of a large marble). From this, roll out letters to spell "TNT" on each box. Place the letters carefully on the boxes.

You will need to have some black fondant left over so you can make the creepers faces.

Creepers:

No Minecraft cake would be complete without at least one Creeper. For this cake, I made two. The more, the merrier, right?

Obviously, you need green fondant. I left the coloring a little marbled so give the impression of the color variants in a creeper.

For one creeper, roll out a cylinder/thick rope of the green. Cut into 3 sections, small, medium and large. The medium sized portion will be the head. The large portion will be the body. Cut the small piece in half to create two smaller pieces. These will be the feet.


Flatten and shape each piece into squares.


 Connect the squares together with toothpicks to keep everything sturdy (these will need to be able to sit upright on the cake). The feet of one creeper should be placed ON the body section as shown below. This will be the seated creeper.


The feet of the other creeper should be placed BELOW the body section as shown below. This will be the standing creeper.


Pinch off SMALL pieces  from your black fondant to form the eyes and mouth sections of each creeper. I rolled out a tiny bit and cut it into squares to further mimic pixels. Dab a smidgen of water or vodka on your creeper head and place the face pieces carefully on it.



"Steve?":

I heard somewhere that during an interview, the Minecraft creator was asked what the character's name was. Thinking on the spot, he said "Steve?". So there you go.

Now let's make "Steve?"

For this cake, I made him in his diamond armor. Why? Well, for starters, it seemed easier than messing with "hair". The second reason I had for doing this was that just last Halloween, Tristan chose to be Steve. We painted up a couple boxes and squeezed him inside them. It was interesting for him to walk around on Halloween in that box costume.

For "Steve?" you will need several colors:
  • beige fondant for the arms and head
  • blue fondant for the "shirt" and helmet
  • gray/black fondant for the shoes
  • white and pale blue fondant for the eyes (a VERY tiny amount, as you can see in the photo below)
  • and a smidgen of light brown fondant (darker than the beige) for the nose and mouth.
As with the Creeper, you can leave the color a bit marbled to give the illusion of pixels.


Square off all the pieces and connect together with toothpicks.


Carefully place the facial features on Steve's head.

The Name Plaque (optional):

I'm sort of skipping ahead in the images here because this part needs to be made before the next step. This is the grey name plaque for the top of the cake (where the birthday greeting is written in icing):


Of course, if you don't plan to have a greeting here, or if you have an alternate plan, you can skip this step.

Color a 2-3 inch ball of fondant grey. The size ball you use will determine the size of the plaque you wind up with. Roll it out into a rectangle and cut the edges straight.

Set this aside and save any grey scraps for the next step.

The Land:

For this, you need a baked cake. I baked a 13 x 9 cake, cut it in half crossways, and then split each half so it had two layers each.

Then all the layers were iced and stacked giving me a cake that was 4 layers high and approximately 9 x 6 1/2 inches. The only picture I have to illustrate this is one where we were cutting into it:


I chose to ice the cake with chocolate because it was "land" and the chocolate could be the "dirt" However, I'm thinking now I should have iced the upper half green and the lower half brown so it would have more closely matched the placement of the fondant tiles.

Speaking of the fondant tiles...you need a lot of them. I all shades of brown and green with a few grey tiles thrown in. With the creepers and "Steve?" and the TNT boxes and grey rectangle already made, You can dedicate the remainder of your fondant to land tiles. 

  • Brown: Take about 1/3 of your remaining fondant and separate it into several balls. Color each ball a different shade of brown.
  • Grey: Pinch off about a 2 inch ball from the remaining fondant and color it grey (or, if you have some left over from the previous step, use that).
  • Green: With all the fondant left, separate it into about  3 or 4 sections and color them each a different shade of green. I used everything from lime green to a grass and army green.

Roll out each color and cut them into half inch squares. Try to be more accurate than I was. I was being impatient here and it shows in the finished cake.


Once all your tiles are cut our, you can start to arrange them on your cake. You can start anywhere you want. I started with a corner.


Try to mix up the colors as best you can and don't forget to put a grey block in there every once in a while (in both they brown and the green areas).


This will take awhile, but keep going until the cake is covered. I made the green layers come down 2-3 layers. You can see below where it alternates with the brown there so the transition between the brown layer and the green layer is more muddled.


Minecraft Sign:

The Minecraft sign was, thankfully, very easy.

  • Find a Minecraft logo image online and print it on a color printer.
  • Then laminate it or cover it with clear packing tape.
  • Carefully wipe it down to clean it. And that's it!


Assembly:

Place your name plaque on the top of the cake. You want it to be centered (left to right) on the front half. The back half is where all your fondant figures will go.


This would be the best time to ice the greeting onto the name plaque - before everything else is in place.

Ice the back of your Minecraft sign (this will act as "glue").


Place it on the front side of your cake.


I used additional icing here to pipe a border around the sign to hide the edges.


Push toothpicks into the bases of your fondant figures (Creepers and "Steve?"). Then place the figures on top of your cake. I actually had a couple toothpicks BEHIND the "Steve?" figure as added support (you can see them in the last image below).


The TNT boxes shouldn't need toothpicks. You can just place those where you want them.


And that completes your Minecraft Cake!







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