Bake Your Own Minecraft Cake
When I was putting ideas together for Luca's Minecraft birthday party, I showed him my Pinterest board to ask what his opinion on an appropriate cake would be. There were sheet cakes decorated to look like a Creeper face. There were massive cake cubes tiled with various pixels of brown and green to look like dirt blocks. But after looking through my offerings, he declared that the only suitable cake was a Minecraft cake. Like the one in the game.
Square chocolate cake. White crenelated frosting. Large and small square red sprinkles. Got it. Shouldn't be too hard.
The FondantI decided that the icing could be most easily achieved with fondant. My past experiences with fondant are scarce, but I don't remember it ever tasting very good. I look around Pinterest for an alternative, and came up with this recipe for Marshmallow Fondant. This is hands down the messiest thing I've ever made in my entire life. I was covered with sticky marshmallows up to my elbows (not exaggerating!)
Please learn from my misadventures--sift WAY more powdered sugar than you think you'll need. Otherwise, you'll be up to your elbows in goo and asking your 5 year old to come unlock your phone and read you the directions. Once I added enough powdered sugar, the fondant came together and I was able to divide it into one large and one small ball, rub it with some Crisco and wrap it securely in plastic wrap to cure.
After sitting overnight, I removed the small ball and began working red Wilton's gel coloring into it (also messy). I wasn't achieving quite the color I wanted, so I added a bit of black. Then I had this purpley-mauvy mess. I was pretty sure I had ruined it and put it back in the plastic wrap, resigning myself to the fact that we'd have purple sprinkles on the cake. But the color develops the longer it sits, and by the morning of the party, the fondant had achieved a color that was pretty close to red.
When I was ready to decorate the cake (I waited til an hour before the party, fearing the fondant might droop in the humidity), I rolled the larger ball of white fondant out to a very thin layer. We measured the dimensions of the cake and cut the piece to size before laying it over the cake. It ended up being a bit too big all around (better than too small tho!) so my husband cleaned up the edges with a butter knife while I rolled out the small ball of red fondant for the sprinkles. I used a small and a medium sized square cutter to make the red sprinkles and we placed them on the top of the cake.
The CakeI have been working to perfect a glorious Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Recipe (modified from this recipe), which yields a decadent, dense cake that is moist and creamy. I thought it might be just right for the Minecraft Cake. I made two batches, one at a time, and baked them in my 8x8 metal cake pan the day before the party. When the first one was done, I turned it out onto a cooling rack and prepared and baked the second layer. I mixed up a single batch of the Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting to use between the two layers. (As the frosting has sour cream in it, I kept the cake in the refrigerator).
The dense cake stayed together quite well and was extremely tasty, with the application of the marshmallow fondant. A big win!
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
3 oz butter, room temperature
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt 1 cup powdered sugar
1/8+ cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee granules
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 8x8 inch silicone (or greased metal) baking pan.
2) In a small bowl, combine together cocoa powder, flour, baking powder salt and coffee granules. Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Add vanilla extract.
4) Mix in the half the flour mixture and half the sour cream, alternately until well combined.
5) Bake for 25- 30 minutes. Cool completely.
6) To make the frosting, beat all the ingredients until soft and fluffy. The longer you beat, the fluffier frosting you'll have. Whip it good!