Aidan is very big on Minecraft at the moment and it seemed like a fun theme so I was quite pleased when he requested this one. He specifically requested an ocelot and an Enderman on it and after a bit of research I was fairly happy. Then he requested a ghast. Brimming with confidence I agreed at which point he told me that they float and die if they touch the ground. Excellent.
I put this to one side to concentrate on the actual cake. Internet research showed me a number of different ideas for decorating the actual cake. The Minecraft world is based entirely on cubic blocks so I knew I wanted a square cake and I was drawn to this image:
This is an earthblock (apparently) and I’d seen a few slightly simplified versions online. I had a small square cutter. How hard could it be?
Initial measurements suggested I needed a total of 405 small squares in assorted shades of green, brown and grey. Having found 3 each of brown and green pre made I mixed some grey and set to work figuring it would be easiest to have a stock of squares made in advance. More on this later.
Next the figures. This started well. As mentioned before everything is based on cubes so it’s just a case of mixing the right colours and getting the scale right. Steve and the ocelot were relatively easy, especially with the addition of a little gum tragacanth to harden the fondant and a few props to hold everything in place while the edible glue dried. The Enderman was trickier as they are tall and thin and therefore unstable. He was left headless to allow the body and limbs to dry out as much as possible. The ghast was the last creature to tackle. The actual creature was quite simple, a grey cube with black eyes and mouth and painted on tears (I still don’t know why they cry all the time, I don’t think I want to) plus nine dangling tentacles held on by sugar flower wires with some edible glue for reinforcement.
Now to the actual cake. Naturally this also had to be a cube and I used a 7″ square. I knew I would need either two or three layers depending on how much the cake rose. As it turned out 3 layers of three egg mix sponge cake made a cube of near perfect proportions and also a really quite huge cake especially when there were only going to be fifteen children at the party. To make it a bit more interesting the layers were different colours, one chocolate and two different shades of green. If I’d had more time I could have cut and rearranged the layers to form squares inside. The cakes were filled and coated with chocolate buttercream. This was relatively firm to prevent it from squeezing out between the squares as they were stuck on.
I’ll be honest, sticking on the squares was a real headache. While making 3D figures in advance to allow them to dry is a good idea it’s not such a good idea with squares as they got very brittle and hard to manage plus some had stuck together. Next time (ha!) I’ll make them as needed and let them dry on the.cake. As it turned out the cake was a fraction smaller than anticipated so I did have a few spare squares. Aidan’s verdict: “Oh. It doesn’t look like an earth cube. You’ve used too many light colours.” So I accidentally trod on his foot.
The cake had to be transported to the party venue so the figures were hastily arranged on top when we got there together with Aidan’s name in Minecraft font cut from grey fondant. I had hoped to be able to dangle the ghast over the cake but it was just too heavy so I stuck it on a skewer instead. The Enderman was very unstable. I had attempted to anchor it with wires through the feet but it wasn’t enough. He sat on the side until it was time to sing Happy Birthday and lasted just long enough before nosediving into the candles as we got to the last line of the song. Aidan seemed pleased that it had helped him blow the candles out.