My sweet sweet sweet first born turned 13 this past month. What??? When did that happen? I'm not sure, but I am sure that he is in love/addicted to Minecraft. What? Your kids are too? Shocker!!!
What is not a shocker is that I'm sure many of you are also getting the Minecraft Birthday Cake Request. Yep. And surfing Pinterest I saw a lot of ahhhhhmazing cakes. Probably made by people who are super talented in the cake making business. I am not that talented. Really not that talented. And marzipan or gum paste or those other things scare me. So this is the "Easy Peasy" version I came up with. I made it even easier by using box cake mixes and jar frosting. GASP! I typically do not do this, but I knew that this one, while easy, might take some time. And the thought of 13 year old boys coming over to my house already had me freaked out, so I went the super easy route. You are free to use your own recipe. I'm sure it would taste even better!
This is the overall view of the cake. Don't let this intimidate you!!! We are gonna break it down in 3 parts. The first is baking the cakes. This is not hard. What you need at this point is to bakey-bakey-shakey-shakey! So you will need 3 box cake mixes. You can bake all the cakes at once (I broke mine into 2 different baking sessions and just refrigerated the already done cakes that had cooled while waiting on the others). The first cake mix will fill an entire 13x9 baking pan. See! Bottom layer done!!! The second cake mix--This one you will divide between a 9x9 square pan and a 9x3ish loaf pan. I made the loaf pan have a little more height just cause I'm not scientific on measurements, but it all worked out. See--layers one through 3 are baked!!! So that 3rd mix? It should be chocolate, or devils food cake, or triple chocolate--whatever mix you have that is brown (other cakes have a hey day with--we used chocolate and vanilla for the inner layers). The 3rd mix will make the blocks that you see on and around the cake. They will also work as optional creeper cake pops or to continually snack on while icing/arranging the cake. So let me just say this--that third cake mix--bake in whatever you have (a 13x9, 2 round 8" pans, etc). Shape doesn't matter.
Let's work on the Minecraft blocks now. They totally look like brownies-but they won't crumble on you. So after that 3rd cake has cooled, crumble it up in a big mixing pan. I think some cake pop people use a blender of food processor, but ain't nobody got time for that! Just make sure to make it as crumbly as possible. The edges are the hardest, but don't get to concerned. Try to get small pieces, but don't sweat it. Then simply add a jar of your favorite icing. If its white or another color you are going to want to use food coloring in it to keep the brown coloring. Or you can just take the easy (and yummy!) way out and use chocolate. That was what this lazy person did. After you've mixed it in very thoroughly, you are going to shape the blocks. I used a special weapon. It's this pan.
Pretty nifty huh? It's made by Wilton. The picture links it to my Amazon link, but I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon. I sprayed the pan very liberally with Pam non-stick spray. I squished the cake mixture from the 3rd cake into the slots and tried to smooth them as flat as I could, and then froze them for a few hours. There was mixture left over, so I refrigerated it, and after popping these out, did the freezing method again and made cake pops with the extra's. When you are ready to use the blocks they just pop out! Awesomesauce!
Now on to the next step: Assembly!!! This is the quickest! I used a foam core board to hold my cake but you can use any stand you have (rectangles are hard though, huh?). I placed the 13x9 down first. I used an entire can of icing on it (chocolate--again, color your own if you don't use a dark flavor). Then I placed the 9x9 square on top of that lining up with the far back corner. Iced it with 1/2 of another can of icing (again brown). My loaf cake was a bit wonky so I did trim the top off so it was very flat. I then placed the loaf pan on top of the 9x9 by lining up that far corner again. I used the next 1/2 of the jar of frosting to finish it off. Now you have stacked the cake!!! Hooray! You might stick some bbq skewers or dowels in if yours is sliding, but mine held really well and I didn't use any.
Another easy and fun part was to make my son's name and "Minecraft" in perler beads. These are found at craft stores, Walmart, etc. Here is a pic of what to look for (also has a link to perler beads on Amazon). My kiddos helped make the two for our cake.
They are so fun! You simply lay the beads on points on a perler board and then iron them together! I love how they look like squares and fit the Minecraft theme. After mine were done, I just stuck them in the icing and they stayed. I was inspired to do this by a picture I saw on Pinterest. I was able to track it down and can attribute it to the proper artist/creator! She is amazing!! Please check out her blog!
Isn't this cake beyond awesome????? I'm just speechless!
Run Steve Run! Now the fun part! Decorating! At this point I put the cake pop squares on the cake. I placed 4 on top of the loaf pan cake, and another 4 on top of those (I used icing to attach them--you can see the green). I didn't plan ahead or I would have saved some chocolate icing for that step! I also placed them along the edge, and randomly here and there. Be creative!
I used a Wilton tip to make the grass. #18 to be specific. I guess they have a grass tip, but I didn't have it so I used what I had. There is no rhyme or reason to the grass. Some short, some long, all different directions. Just fill it up. you can't really miss up. For the icing---again, I used store bought. It was white icing that I colored green with food coloring gels. Jar icing is a lifesaver but for details like this--- out of the jar it will not pipe out and hold shapes. So I added 3 cups of powdered sugar to make it nice and stiff. You might have to vary that depending on your brand. I covered the flat top of the cake and also around the meet up points of several of the cakes. You can probably see from the pictures the spots I chose, but you can do the grass anywhere you'd like! I put the mini figures from the actual Lego set on top in the grass. Poor Steve needs to run faster!
Anyhow, that's it. Whew!!! I baked the cakes the day before, made the cake squares that evening and then assembled and decorated the morning of the party. Don't forget--you'll need 3 cake mixes (at least one should be chocolate/dark flavor). You'll need 3 chocolate/dark jars of icing and 1 of white to color green, along with powdered sugar to stiffen it up. I always buy 1 jar of both dark and white frosting just in the event I run out, or that I start munching on it.
Hope you enjoyed this post! Here is a pic of the cake with my sad little cake pops. Cake pops are not easy. I had bought a generic tube of black icing. I should have thought ahead and had something better to decorate the faces with. Ahhh, either way, they were all gone, so no complaints from the kiddos!
So what do you think? Do you make your kiddos cakes or order them? What's the favorite birthday cake your family has enjoyed?
Have a great week!