Minecraft Birthday Cake!

15 Sep

Hey guys!

How’s everyone doing? I’ve been quite busy this week with some birthday cakes I’ve been making for friends.  One of the cakes I did this week was a Minecraft cake!  I was asked to make a Minecraft themed cake, so I went with the actual Minecraft cake as my theme.  If you’re interested on how to make your own Minecraft cake, follow the cut for my tutorial!

To begin, you’ll need to make a cake of any flavor you’d like.  For this cake, since it was for kids, I went with something fun and made a vanilla cake and threw some chocolate chips. I made a total of 4 square cakes in square 9 inch pans.  Once the cakes were cool, I plastic wrapped them and let them sit in the fridge overnight so that they’d be nice and chilled for me to cut them the next day.  You definitely don’t need to wait a whole night to cut your cake, but I do recommend that the cakes are chilled enough so that they don’t crumble as you cut them!

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Those missing parts on the top aren’t from the cake cracking… I just enjoy eating that part of the cake when it comes out of the oven, and since it’s going to get cut off anyways, I might as well enjoy it : x!

While you’re cakes are baking/cooling, let’s talk about filling and frosting.  Because this was for kids, I wanted to reduce the amount of fondant I was using since most kids I’ve notice really don’t like fondant, and in general I didn’t really think this cake needed to be completely fondant.  I decided to use fondant just for the “white icing” portion of the cake, and use chocolate buttercream for the rest.

Now, in the past I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate buttercream, I usually prefer to use a chocolate ganache.  But I decided to look up some recipes and found this one by Savory Sweet Life.  Guys, I cannot praise this recipe enough.  This is by far the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever had/made.  The only thing I changed was that I used dark chocolate cocoa powder, and I used 3 cups of powdered sugar instead of 3.5… only because I had misread the recipe lol!  It worked really well anyways : )… by the way, I tripled this recipe for my cake since I filled it and frosted it.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (slightly modified from  Savory Sweet Life)

2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup of dark chocolate cocoa powder
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream (I used whole milk)

Begin by creaming your butter for a few minutes, making sure it’s nice and fluffy.  I then added the cocoa powder and once that was incorporated in, I began adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Lastly I added the salt, vanilla, and milk.

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With my cakes cooled and frosting ready, I began to tier the cake.  Because each of my 4 cakes were relatively low in height, I made each cake one tier, and just evened out the top.

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Before placing my first cake layer on my cake board, I wanted to note two things.  First, to help me out with creating an nice clean edge, I like to use a cake board that’s slightly bigger than the cake, this lets me frost the cake with a thick layer of buttercream and the edge of the cake board acts as a guide. Once you’ve found a cake board that works for you, make sure you place some frosting on the cake board in order to stabilize your cake.

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Notice how the cake is slightly smaller than the cake board?

Next, begin to fill and build your cake.  I always make sure to end the last tier with the bottom of the cake up right.  I do this because the bottom of a baked cake has less crumbs than the inside layers, which will make it easier to crumb coat later.

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Now, give your cake a good crumb coat.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, but just enough to really fill in the gaps and give a general shape to your corners.

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Let your cake chill for a bit, till your buttercream has crusted and is firm.  You can then go in and begin giving it a real coat of frosting.

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Now, the above picture probably doesn’t look all that great, and truthfully I have a hard time making perfect corners on square cakes, but I’ve found a few tricks that have helped me!  So once you have at least a decent coat of buttercream on your cake, let it go chill again in your refrigerator.

Now that the buttercream is again crusted and firm, you can use two tools to help you achieve a much nicer and professional look.  First, you can use a sharp knife and use it to cut away at extra pieces that may be sticking out or are uneven.

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And lastly was a trick that I had heard of for ages but never tried it, and honestly, it worked really well!  Take a paper towel, and make sure it’s wet, but not dripping. Use the paper towel very lightly to smooth out seams and ridges and to help you shape your corners.

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I was really surprised how well this trick works!

You’ll want to set this in your fridge while you figure out your white fondant pattern.  To do this, I simply drafted an easy sketch of what the fondant should look like if I cut it out in one piece.  It wasn’t too difficult, you’ll just need to take careful measurements of your cake and decide how long you’ll want the side edges to be.  I unfortunately didn’t have any cardboard handy for me to make a really sturdy pattern, but I just taped two manila folders and used that.

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Next, roll out your fondant, and trace this pattern with a sharp blade (I used an X-ACTO knife).  You’ll need to lift it VERY carefully to avoid stretching the design too much, and try to position it as best you can.

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The last few details you’ll need are some red squares for the “strawberries” or “sprinkles” that the cake has.  I cut these out from some red fondant.  I also added an easy piped border around the edge of the cake to finish off the look  : )

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And that’s it!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial!  Till next time, happy baking everyone!

– Nikki

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