Minecraft Creeper Checkerboard Cake
Wow seems like forever since I last posted but it’s only been a week. Today’s post is a Minecraft Creeper Checkerboard Cake for my son’s birthday party. Anyone with kids attached to technology will have heard of Minecraft I’m sure. If you haven’t heard of it WOW! Basically it’s a computer game (apps as they are called these days) that is available on pretty much any device. It is a game where you are free to design and build your own world, survival and imagination are the main objectives. In a pixelated 3d world you collect resources to build (Craft) tools, weapons and structures, tame wild animals for pets and hunt for food and thing to use like wool. It is only limited by your imagination. There are several different game play modes from the creative to the hardcore survival mode where everything from skeletons to zombies (and CREEPERS!!) are trying to kill you.
At the end of the day kids, teenagers and adults love this game. As a parent, I feel that its ability to open a child’s imagination of how to resourcefully create their own world using the tools available to them is a very constructive thing in today’s highly structured society. The same way a box of Lego did for me growing up; sure there is a section of the game that involves killing things. This is by no means one of those military funded blood thirsty war games whose sole purpose is to desensitise and familiarise the next generation of soldiers to the horror of war. Don’t get me wrong I am very proud and grateful of the sacrifice and commitment shown by our defence men and women to keep this country safe; I just don’t think that kids need to participate in that level of violence as a leisure activity. But Hey that just me! RANT OVER.
Back to the cake
So the cake is a Creeper Checkerboard cake inspired by the Minecraft cake on “My Cupcake Addictions” a youtube channel I subscribe to. It is a 4 layer square cake, I used my “goto” butter cake and split the batter into 4 ( not evenly though, I didn’t feel like measuring them out and the results speak for themselves – see “Thing I’ve learned” below).
Like a rainbow cake the idea is to make thin cakes of different colours into 1 big cake. In keeping with Minecraft I’ve kept it brown and green.
Once you’ve baked the cakes you need to cut the checkers; to make things look even and square, trim the cakes stacked together in one go .
As you can see my 1950’s house is not level any more and as a result the cakes didn’t cook level, this is normally not so obvious but with these thinner cakes it looks really bad. I did trim them up after I reassembled the layers.
Create a template that you can use to cut the inside squares from the cake. Depending on how big you tin is and how many checks in each row you want cut each cake separately using your template/s; remembering that if the checks are too small they will fall apart when it comes time to cut the cake. In this case less is more.
Once all the cakes are cut arrange them so that no layer has the same colour twice in it. I have seen some people stick the squares back together using some “cake glue” (see my post “My Death By Chocolate Disaster”) but I didn’t. I then trimmed them up so they were reasonably level and the cake was ready to assemble.
Adding a layer of buttercream between each layer I carefully stacked the cake making sure the different layers we’re alternating through the cake. See my diagram below. It helps to have a plan before you start.
Once the cake is assembled it’s time to decorate. Having no experience with fondant I decided not to learn on my son’s birthday cake. So it’s the ever faithful buttercream! Creepers are green with black eyes, nose and mouth. Green buttercream is easy but you can get as close as grey if you want black. The trick to making black icing is make a royal icing with coco powder then add your black food colouring and you should have your black icing. Because Minecraft is pixelated and everything is squares; I divided the face into 25 squares and with a bit of google images help created a template for the face.
I blanket iced the cake with the green buttercream then laid the face template on top and marked it out with a toothpick.
(I geeked out on the template and made it to scale so by leaving some tabs to the outer boarder I could centre the template into the right position.) Then with the black icing in a ziplock bag I outlined and filled the face detail and WHA-LA! One creepy creeper checkerboard cake.
My wife found these cool candles for the top of the cake, they are by Wilton and they burn a flame the same colour as the wax! Very Cool!!
Things I learned for next time.
If you have a dishwasher use more bowls – weigh out the batter to get 4 even sized cakes until you get an eye for splitting your batter. While I split the batter in half pretty well it was a fail going to quarters. I’m guessing that if you have a “go to” recipe and weigh it, the next time you make it, it should be pretty similar. So write it on your recipe somewhere so you can work out your portion sizes before you start, then it won’t matter if you want half, quarters or even tenths. I also write what size pans I’ve used it for too and about how long it took( eg, 2 x 9” rounds – 45mins, 1 x 1/2 sheet – 40min)
One thing that is out of my control for now is having a level oven. It’s an old house and the floor isn’t level. With a normal cake it’s not as noticeable and can be trimmed up but these thin cakes are pretty bad. There is no quick fix for the except not to cook thin cakes
I’m pretty happy with the result, What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for Readin’