When Jason asked for a Minion cake for his recent birthday, I checked out the usual cake shops and online bakeries and came away determined that I would create one for less than what they were charging for a beautiful, fondant, 3-D Minion.
Unfortunately, I’m no Martha Stewart even though I love her creations. I have limited experience baking, even less experience feeding some 30 people home-made cake, and absolutely no experience with fondant.
If he were younger, I would have been able to get away with buying a regular cake and slapping on some figurines on top and calling it a done deal. Unfortunately, he’s wisened up to his Mummy’s “character cakes” over the years and specifically said he didn’t want one with figurines on top. Oops!
He is lucky I love a challenge. There are lots of tutorials online for making Minion cakes, but I thought the one that looked the simplest was this one by Betty Crocker, and it even has step-by-step instructions. But even that was slightly beyond me. I was still working at that time, and had no time to bake a cake. I was writing for Sunday Times so Saturday mornings were usually spent checking stories. Anyway, you know I’m all for quick and easy recipes like this and this. Plus, I don’t even have a sheet pan needed to bake the sponge. So I’ve simplified her version further! With the ingredients bought, all I needed to do on the day of his party was just to assemble the cake. The ingredients can be found at supermarkets or baking shops like Phoon Huat.
3 store-bought round sponge cakes/butter cakes (instead of baking your own)
1 can of ready-to-use frosting (You can whip your own cream but I wanted to save time)
Food colouring: blue and yellow
One tube of black decorating icing (instead of liquorice string)
Other decorations: chocolate buttons, silver balls, one oreo.
1) Cut the sides off the round butter cakes and line them in a row so that it forms a longish oval Minion body. This step is forgiving, so even if you cut off too much like I did, all you need to do to fill the gaps or mould the shape is by attaching more cake back on the sides using frosting. It will all be covered up later so just get the shape right first. The cut-out cake portions in the top of picture above made for the next day’s breakfast!
2) Add yellow food colouring to slightly more than half of the frosting until you get the desired yellow. Add blue colouring to remaining frosting.
3) Cover the upper two-thirds of the cake with yellow frosting and the rest with blue frosting. Use the black decorating icing to outline the overalls, draw the mouth and the goggle straps.
4) Use an oreo for the eye, top with a chocolate button. Add chocolate buttons for the blue overalls. Add silver balls around the eye. And it’s done! Ready for the party with plenty of time to spare. I realise I could have “ironed” the blue overalls but I was just happy to get the job done.
The other good thing about using store-bought sponge cake is your guests are assured of the quality and have no worries about food poisoning. Jason was pleased as punch when I showed him the completed cake.
Happy 8th birthday!
Of course, I’m lucky the boy wanted a Minion cake and nothing complicated like Transformers etc. So even though I didn’t get him the real deal, I think it’s close enough. I hope Shannon’s not fantasising about some Princess-shaped cake when her turn comes at the end of the year.
One last thing, that cake board the Minion is lying on? Not the real deal either. Just a foil-wrapped notice board.