The most important part of any party is undeniably the cake. From weddings to birthdays to funerals, the cake is always present. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cake recipes in existence and endless ways to decorate them. The best aspect of these endless possibilities is that, if desired, there will never be two cake experiences exactly the same. Perhaps with one cake, the recipe is followed down to the tee and decorated a very specific way, but in the second cake experience, another egg white is added for a fluffier cake. The possibilities are truly endless.
One type of cake that will be explored in depth, is the Minnie Mouse birthday cake. While there are many ways to execute such a cake, there has to be some consideration into the process of creating this cake. First, a recipe for the cake must be decided upon. Secondly, the shape of the cake will have to be picked. And lastly, the decorations and technique in decorating the cake will be chosen.
As mentioned previously, there are thousands upon thousands of cake recipes to choose from. The type of cake can also determine the shape of the final product, which is important to keep in the back of the mind. For instance, a rum cake or a Jewish apple cake will be baked in a bundt pan and maintain that circular shape in the final product unless some major cake sculpting and icing occurs. Since the average person is not a professional cake sculptor and decorator, the recipe in this example will be a red velvet cake provided by Food Network’s Alton Brown, as the amount of red food coloring can be toned down and result in a pink color, representing Minnie Mouse instead of the signature red in the original recipe.
The shape of the cake is something to consider when constructing the Minnie Mouse cake. While there is nothing preventing the baker from attempting to sculpt his or her cake, it is discouraged for first time bakers. However, if attempting to sculpt an actual Minnie Mouse head or full body out of cake sounds appealing, then be sure to have the proper tools and extra ingredients in the event something goes wrong. In this example, the cake will have two layers of cake with a layer of the cream cheese frosting in between. For this to work, there would be two 9 inch round cake pans. The batter will be split between the two pans and baked at the same time. If the cakes aren’t able to fit on the same oven rack, be sure to rotate the pans to the opposing rack halfway through the bake time.
This is the part that the more artistic and creative people love: the decorating. Decorating a cake may seem daunting but there are some workarounds for the artistically challenged. Frosting a cake with all the different tips can be exhausting to figure out and stressful to not botch. Instead, consider purchasing some fondant. Fondant feels a bit like clay and can be rolled out like “playdough,” but it is, in fact, edible icing. There are endless ways to decorate with fondant, but for this instance, the cake will be decorated with pink fondant for Minnie Mouse’s new signature pink dress with circular white pieces of fondant for the white polka dots on the dress. At the top of the cake will be a Minnie Mouse decoration of some sort and a “Happy Birthday” message and/or the number symbolizing the age of the birthday person made with black fondant.
First, take the assembled cake and make sure it is secure against the platform so the cake doesn’t slide around while decorating. Then be sure to roll the colored fondant into thin layers so there aren’t large chunks of sugar-flavoured icing randomly dispersed atop the cake. Cut out the patterns and shapes and letters for the decorations and have them ready to be placed on the cake. The nice part of using fondant is that if a mistake is made, it hasn’t reached the cake yet and can be redone. Next, carefully place the pieces of fondant on top of the cake. Sticking fondant to the side of the cake is a bit trickier but there are several options. If all of the decorations are flat, a baker can cover the cake in a thin layer of shortening for easy placement and movement of the fondant pieces. Another option, and the one with the best results, is a handcrafted sugar glue, which is simply marshmallow fondant with a little bit of water.
The Final Product
After all is said and done, the final product will be a beautiful Minnie Mouse birthday cake. It’s a beautiful cake on its own but is easy to place as many candles as desired on top. Be careful when transporting the cake, as all the hard work put in deserves to be seen and eaten!