How to craft a “Minecraft” Birthday cake

Minecraft birthday cake

For those of you unfamiliar with “Minecraft” and by that read well past their teenage years, Minecraft is a computer game in which you design your own houses and land whilst being attacked by “creepers”. Yes, I know, it sounds riveting doesn’t it? As I said I think you have to be under the legal drinking age to appreciate it.

Maybe it is all to do with how the immature brain perceives things. Let me explain what I mean. I am of the generation that saw the rise of computer age from the cassette driven Atari games through Sonic and the early PlayStation resulting in todays amazing graphics on the X-box and Playstation 3 and the instant accessibility of the internet. So forgive me for being unable to fathom the appeal of a game with graphics that look like boxes.

Imagine my joy then when I discovered that I wasn’t the only mother who failed to understand her son’s Minecraft obsession. That joy turned to despair, however, when Rachel asked me to make her son a Minecraft Birthday cake. I might add at this point that Rachel is my vet and since she had a thermometer inserted into my poorly whippet’s bottom when she asked I thought it would be a tad unfair to Hector to say “No”.

My son, bless him, got all excited and designed a scene for me to copy (shown in the photograph above).  I have used elements of his design in the cake I made. It was his suggestion that I photographed it and included a “how to” guide in my blog. So here goes:

Equipment:

8 inch cake with jam and buttercream

12 inch cake drum

3lb sugarpaste

edible food colouring gels and dusting powders

cake smoother

rolling-pin

ruler

paint brushes

dipping solution or vodka

gum tragacanth or CMC

Edible glue

Pizza cutter

 

Method:

  1. Roll out approximately 10oz white sugarpaste and use this to cover the cake drum. Trim the edges with a sharp knife. Then smooth the board.
  2. Use the edge of a ruler to mark a grid into the soft sugarpaste. Allow the board to dry out,  ideally overnight.
  3. Cover the cake with a layer of buttercream ensuring you cover the sides completely. Put the cake  in the fridge to 5-10 minutes to allow the buttercream to firm up a bit.
  4. Knead 2lb of sugarpaste until soft, smooth and pliable. Roll the paste out and use to cover the cake. Trim any excess sugarpaste using a pizza cutter as this gives a clean straight edge, tight to the cake and will not tear the icing.
  5. Place the cake onto the prepared board then using the grid on the board as a guide, continue to mark the cake using the edge of a ruler.
  6. Dissolve a little citrus green dusting powder in dipping solution or vodka. (Never be tempted to use water as this will make the sugarpaste become very sticky and difficult to work with) Sponge a base coat of the citrus green all over the cake.
  7. Repeat this process with darker shades of green. I used apple green then a light to coat of forest green. If some of the grid lines are lost, simply use the edge of the ruler to redefine them. Set aside and allow to dry.
  8. Whilst the cake is drying you can make the figures and decorations. Firstly knead into some sugarpaste a little CMC or gum tragacanth to create a modelling paste.
  9. I coloured some of the paste pink and used this to create a pig. This is simply four cubes for the feet, a larger block for the body and a medium-sized block for the head. It was held together using dried spaghetti and edible glue. You may need to prop something under the head until the glue sets. I added character to the pig by painting on toe nails, a tail and a very simplistic face.
  10. The creeper was made from two blocks of paste for the feet, a long flattened block for the body and a large block for the head. I found it necessary to insert a dowel into the body of the creeper to prevent it from leaning or collapsing. To colour the creeper I coloured the sugarpaste pale grey before modelling it then sponged the whole model with a spring green colour and then a light beige. Painting the face and feet completed it.
  11. Red sugarpaste was used to make the TNT block. I marked 9 sticks using a ruler, added small grey square to represent the top of each stick then wrapped a strip of white paste around the block. Painting TNT in black completed it.
  12. The railcar carrying the birthday cake was simply a small block of grey paste with black circles added for wheels. The cake was a block a brown paste with a thin layer of white paste on top with a shaped edge. I then finished it off with hand painted pink squares on the top.
  13. I added a simple track to the edge of the board and the Happy Birthday, Josh to the top of the cake. Adding a red ribbon to the edge of the cake drum completed the cake.

 

My son assures me that any fan of Minecraft will “get it”. This game has so  many items in it that I was spoilt for choice as to what to include on the cake. This is my first attempt at a Minecraft cake and I’m sure if I do another one that I might alter how I do it and what I include but for a first attempt it is not too bad.

Let me know how you get on if you have a go at making it.

Ali xx 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter Bunnies!

 With Easter just around the corner, you have just enough time to have a go at making my Easter Bunny! It makes a lovely cake topper, as you can see.

 

Equipment

Sugar paste fortified with CMC or gum tragacanth

Cocktail stick

Spaghetti

Edible glue

Size Guide*

  1. Colour your sugarpaste as you wish.
  2. Take an A sized ball and shape into a long cone
  3. Insert a long piece of spaghetti through the ball.
  4. Take a B sized ball and slightly flatten it. Secure it to the body using the spaghetti spike and a little edible glue.
  5. Take a B sized ball and roll into a long sausage. Fold it in half and cut along the fold. Flatten the bulk of the paste to make the large thigh muscle. Fold the leg over the foot.
  6.  Secure both legs to the body with glue.
  7. Repeat this with a C sized ball for the arms. You may need to use spaghetti to anchor the arms to the body. 
  8. A flattened elongated E sized ball of white paste is used to make the snout. Add a small pink nose. 
  9. Add eyes, long ears and a fluffy white tail to complete your bunny.

 Let me know how you get on and give me a shout if you get stuck!

Have fun!

* The Size guide: You can buy plastic size guides but there really is no need. All you need to do is draw yourself a series of circles, labelled A-K, that decrease in size from A which has a 4cm diameter to K which has a 0.25cm diameter. If you are not sure what I mean just send me a message and I will email you my guide. (I haven’t worked out how to insert objects into WordPress yet otherwise I would have included a guide in this blog!)

Sugarcraft Daffodils

Since I am obviously in a bit of a yellow mood, what with the lemon cakes and lemon curd, I thought I would share with you my method for making wired sugarcraft daffodils. The students in my sugarcraft class really enjoyed making them and I hope you do too.

Equipment you will need:

Yellow, straw and green flowerpaste (this is a sugar paste specifically designed for flower making and can be bought from any sugarcraft supplier)

Edible glue

Daffodil or freesia cutter or plastic template

Cocktail stick

24g wires

Stamen

Yellow pollen (this is simply semolina or polenta coloured with a little yellow dusting powder)

Method

  1. Tape 6 stamen to a 24g wire. Dip in glue and dust with yellow pollen powder.
  2. Make a small cylinder with either yellow or orange flower paste. Insert a celstick or cocktail stick into top of the cylinder and work outwards to form a frill. 
  3. Pull the wire through the centre of the trumpet and secure with a little glue. 
  4. Roll out yellow paste, cut out the outer petals, soften the edges and add texture each petal with a veining tool or a cocktail stick. If you do not have a daffodil cutter, simply draw a propeller shape onto a thin piece of plastic, such as a margarine tub lid, cut it out and use as a template for the outer petals.
  5. Overlap the outer petals and thread onto the wire behind the trumpet.Roll a small cone of green paste and secure behind the petals. Carefully bend the wire. 
  6. Roll a small piece of cream paste very thinly. Emboss with a corn husk or mark with a cocktail stick. Tear into an oval shape and then secure to the stem.

As I told my lovely ladies, every daffodil is unique and individual and with so many different varieties, the daffodils they have made can never look “wrong”! 

This is a really simple method and it has never let me down yet. I hope you find it simple and straight forward too. If you have any problems or queries please feel free to get in touch.

Enjoy!

Ali xx