This year when I asked Jack what he wanted for his 6 year birthday cake, he gave a pretty reasonable answer: “X-Wing Fighter Cake”. I was fully prepared for this, as he’s been smitten with Star Wars Legos for the past 18 months.
It was the second part, under his breath as he walked away, that threw me for a loop “….with Minions.”
Beg pardon? Minions? Seriously child, those things don’t even go together! So I tried to explain that his request was just too difficult for me. His response (with his hand on my shoulder): “Just do your best, ma”. Sigh. What are you supposed to say to that?
So here it is, the X-Wing Fighter Cake…with Minions. If you don’t know what Minions are, please stop right now, find the closest child and watch Despicable Me. Stat. Just looking at Minions makes me giggle. My mom and I made the Minions at night after everyone was in bed and we just kept giggling more and more as we built them. By the time we were putting the finishing touches on the Minion comb-over, my belly was aching.
Happy birthday sweet boy, may the force be with you….or maybe just Baboi Baboi Para Tu!!
Marshmallow fondant is the coolest stuff on earth: melted marshmallows, with shortening and powdered sugar kneaded in until you have sugar play dough. It’s easy to make it advance, you can create anything with it, and you look like a rockstar. I can’t improve upon Peg Weaver’s Marshmallow Fondant recipe. She’s been with me though 6 birthdays now. I followed this Fondant Minion Tutorial from the Jedi Master.
Chocolate Layer Cake
The cake is our standard chocolate cake and makes about 2 8-in rounds. My general routine when creating a “shaped cake”, is just to make a ton of cake in pans that are close to the shape the final cake is going to be (cake is cheap, don’t stress). Then I start building the Cake Blob: stacking the cakes, with layers of frosting to glue it together, into a close-enough shape. Then I get my bread knife out at the end and start shaving the big cake blob into the final cake shape. It’s messy. There are tons of extras. I just put all the extra chunks into a ziplock bag and freeze for future use in our safe version of Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Shake. (Guess I better post that recipe too).
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cups cocoa powder ( I use Nestle)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dairy-free milk (I used Silk Coconut)
- 1 T. cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups oil
- 1 T. vanilla (optional, if you’re using vanilla-flavored ‘milk’)
- Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans. Trace & cut out two rounds of parchment paper to line the bottoms of the pans. Spray well with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder and salt. My cocoa and baking soda are always lumpy, so I sift mine into the bowl through a mesh strainer to get out the lumps.
- Whisk dairy-free milk of your choice and vinegar together in a medium bowl and let thicken. Then add the sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
- Carefully dump and mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Just blend until most of the lumps are out. Don’t beat the heck out of it.
- Pour batter into your prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and you can poke a knife into the center and it comes out clean. Let the cake rest for a few minutes before turning over and cooling on a rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- 1 stick margarine, softened ( I use Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt, or a couple pinches.
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I use Nestle)
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup soymilk ( more if needed)
- Cream the margarine and shortening until fluffy.
- Add the salt and cocoa powder.
- Add the powdered sugar slowly. You can add a little of the soymilk as you are trying to mix in all the powdered sugar if things get too thick.
- Once all the powdered sugar is mixed in, you can start adding soymilk until you get the frosting thickness you want. Sometimes I like it dense, sometimes I like it fluffy and mousse-like.