My son, Titus, loves Minecraft. He talks about it. A LOT. Creeper-this. Endermen-that. Steve and mines and iron and diamond and pic-axes and…
My head nearly explodes every time he starts in on the newest thing he learned, or built, or mined, or… whatever! But I love him. More than life itself. So, in all of my spare time (read: I have no spare time these days), I wanted to make him a Minecraft cake for his 9th Birthday without spending a great deal of time on it.
It just so happens that he had no Minecraft toys prior to this weekend. Minecraft toys (when properly washed) make great cake toppers. So I did what any good mom short on time would do. I gave him his gifts from us early, washed ‘em up and stuck them in the cake!
Lest you think one can just plop toys on a cake, and call it a day, however… you must first consult the Minecraft master. Because soon you will find out that you can only mine iron (or is it diamond?) on certain levels. And that block of iron needs to be set into the cake. And Steve must come at it from above. And the creeper needs to fall just so with whatever that black thing is, landing right in front of him. And the little brown guy needs to be right next to Steve for some unknown reason. And it’s okay to have more than one Steve on the same cake because everybody’s Steve. And the witch and the mushroom and the gold…
Oh, the gold! The kids got so excited when they saw a few gold coins sticking out of the cake. Little did they know, I had washed up one for each of them to stick in the middle of their slice of cake. Forget sugary party-favors and cheap toys. Gold dollar coins are where it’s at!
This isn’t step-by-step and it doesn’t include pictures of the cake making in process, but if you’re trying to figure out how to make one of these for your own little munchkin, let me give you a few tips.
1. Bake 3 layers of chocolate cake (I used two boxes) in square pans. Let them cool, then use a serrated knife to cut off any cake doming that may have formed while baking. Do as I say, not as I do. I got lazy on this cake and didn’t think it would be a big deal to leave the small domes on the cake. I was so very wrong. When stacking so many layers on one another it really is best for each layer to be perfectly flat. I’ve made enough cakes I should have known better. I did my best to fill in gaps with extra icing, but simply making the squares flat to begin with would have saved me a world of trouble and the cake would have been more ‘square’.
(Make sure you line the pan with greased tin foil so you can easily lift the whole square out of the pan and onto a flat surface to finish cooling. Also, make sure the flat-side is down to prevent cracking.)
2. Make 1.5 batches of the basic Wilton buttercream recipe and add cocoa powder to about half of the icing to turn it into chocolate.
The other half I tinted green, until my son approved of the “perfect” color.
3. Next, put one layer of cake on the bottom and cover it with chocolate butter cream.
4. Then cut a small square out of the edge of the next layer before placing it on top of the first layer. Save the little square for later as it will soon become the top layer.
5. Next, cut the third layer into a smaller square, so the corner just perfectly meets up with the corner of the missing piece (where Steve is pictured on the bottom level). If you get it cut wrong you can just keep adding pieces with more frosting acting as glue. Perfection is not the name of the game with this perfectly imperfect cake! Frost that layer where the top little square will go.
6. Add the final small square on the top corner to make the 4th and final cake layer.
7. Crumble some of the cake pieces you’ve cut away and smash the small pieces up against the wet frosting that is between the layers on the sides. I just left the crumble pieces on the tray for authenticity though my son has informed me that the blocks stay in tact so it is, in fact, unrealistic for their to be “dirt” pieces around the base. But, I didn’t want to clean it up and I thought it looked cool. Titus said it would be okay if I left it that way even though it isn’t realistic. So I did!
8. Use a wilton “grass” tip to pipe the grass on top of the layers.
9. Finally, let your smarter-than-you-Minecraft-obsessed child show you exactly where to place all of the special toys to make the “perfect” Minecraft cake. Or better yet, have him wash up and do it himself. With your gentle guidance of course… everything has to be properly spaced and all!
10. Let your super-excited kid give you hug after hug after hug for his “awesome” cake. And make him pose for pictures with your combined creation.
I love that he helped make this cake. I think he will remember this one for a very long time!
I might make cute cakes, but I make even cuter kids. Look at this handsome guy! It’s hard to believe he’s already 9 years-old. Yes, friends, that is half-way to adulthood.
I have more years of mothering behind me than I do before me.
I only have a few more years until talks of Minecraft, Lego and Starwars turn into talks about music, girls and who-knows-what-else.
Lord, let me treasure these days, for I know how fleeting they are. Thank you for giving me the gift of motherhood.
Thanks for giving me this amazing son. I am so grateful for this precious gift! He is everything I probably never would have thought to ask for in a son.
But clearly, you know best. I look forward to seeing him fulfill what you created him to do but more importantly, to become who you created him to be!