As regular visitors to this blog may be aware, I have a slight addiction to cakes. I love making them, baking them, decorating them and most of all, eating them.
My neighbour asked me if I would make a Minnie Mouse style birthday cake for her daughter's 3rd birthday. I was quite flattered to be asked as I know how important a cake is on a birthday.
We decided on a vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. This would then be covered in pink fondant and decorated to look like Minnie Mouse's dress. The cake would have a big bow, just like Minnie wears and to finish it off, the famous Mouse ears sticking out the side of the cake.
175g of unsalted butter, softened
175g of caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of baking powder
175g self raising flour
3 medium eggs
Let's bake it!
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4/5. Line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes in a food processor, free standing mixer or with a whisk. Whisk in one egg at a time until combined and then stir in the vanilla essence. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until everything is combined.
Pour half the mixture into one tin and the other half into the second tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
150g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons of hot water
Let's make it!
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and combine with an electric whisk or in a free standing mixer. This should take about 2 minutes and the buttercream should be a pale colour and be quite thick in appearance.
Once the cake had cooled, I spread one half with buttercream and the other half with strawberry jam and sandwiched them together. I didn't fill the cake with a lot of buttercream as I covered the full cake in buttercream so the fondant icing would stick to the cake.
I bought Tesco's own fondant icing and I needed about 1.5kg of the stuff. To colour the icing, I used the Silverspoon colour creator in pink that I used to make the baby shower cake I made a few weeks ago. I've found the colour creator is a lot thicker than normal food colouring, so it is easier to use and colour properly and it doesn't make the icing taste weird either.
I covered the cake in the pink icing and then used some white icing to cover the cake in polka dots, just like Minnie Mouse's dress. Around the edge of the cake I used white decorators icing and just piped all the way around, hiding any rough bits of icing and giving the cake a very pretty finish.
For the bow, I used the rest of the pink icing and made two looped sausages and then a flat sausage to finish it off. I used some more of the white icing to make mini polka dots and stuck them on to the bow. I just used a little brush with water on it to stick everything on as I've found it gives a neater finish instead of using buttercream to attach decorations.
For the Mouse ears I got some chocolate and melted it. I have a circular cookie cutter set that Husband bought me for Mother's Day (he knows what I like!) so I used the biggest cutter as a mould. I wrapped cling film around it, placed it on a chopping board and then poured the chocolate into it. The clingfilm stopped the chocolate going everywhere and by laying it on the chopping board, it ensured it was on a flat surface to set in the fridge. I only needed 5 squares of chocolate for each ear.
Once the chocolate ears had set, I stuck them inside the cake behind the bow. I had some pink icing left over so I made 2 love hearts to stick on the front.
I was quite pleased with how the cake turned out and my neighbour said it went down well and tasted great. So long as they enjoyed it, then I'm happy!