It’s been just over a month since I last made a cake as we’ve been away on holiday/vacation in Canada, but June is a busy month for birthdays in our family so I’m now trying to catch up with some cakes for those family members!
It was my little brother’s birthday just over a week ago. When I say little… he’s actually now 6’2″ and 29 years old… but he’s still a big kid at heart! He loves the Despicable Me movies and was also a little bit addicted to the Minion Rush game for a while, so I saw this as the perfect excuse to have a go at making a Minion cake!!
I’ve seen loads of pictures of minion cakes other people have made, so I wanted to try and do something a little bit different. My brother’s ‘character’ on the Minion Rush game is one of the disguised minions from the part in Despicable Me 2 where a few of the yellow minions paint themselves purple to disguise themselves so they look like the crazy purple minions (if you haven’t seen the film… Watch it!! It’s brilliant!!) I’ve seen lots of yellow minion cakes and lots of purple minion cakes (purple minions have massive crazy hair), but hadn’t seen any of a yellow minion disguised as a purple minion so that’s what I decided on!
A few months back I bought a Minion Cake Tutorial by Lesley Wright at The Royal Bakery. I’m a big fan of her cakes, and rather than charging for the tutorial it was free with a $5 donation to Helping Sweet Kate aka The Greedy Baker, so an extra good excuse to get it! Even though I wasn’t planning on making a Minion Cake at that stage, I was just really interested to see how she goes about making her cakes and what materials she uses. Her cakes always look flawless and I’ve not seen one cake of hers that I don’t like, so she’s a great person to learn from!
I used this picture of a yellow minion as a template so I could size everything correctly. Rather than print it out, I scaled it to the size I wanted on my iPad and then took a screen shot so that it would be saved as a photo and remain at that exact size. The cake I made was 4 inches in diameter and 6.5 inches tall. I actually baked two 8 inch diameter round cakes, and then cut three circles out of each with a cookie cutter that was just smaller than the 4 inch cake board. For the top of the head I used an individual hemisphere pan so that it would have a domed shape. I used the Sour Cream and Vanilla Bean Cake from Summer Stone’s Cake Paper Party blog again as it’s a great cake for stacking and was delicious last time! I also make the French buttercream that’s with that recipe for in between the layers of cake, and then covered it in dark chocolate ganache to create a firm coating that wouldn’t bulge.
I mostly followed the minion tutorial in decorating the cake, but did a few things differently. The goggles on the minions are quite deep, so I decided to do those differently from the tutorial and made them in two parts. The part that is in contact with the face I shaped by pressing down on the fondant with a cake tin the same size as the cake, and once I’d cut out the circle shapes I left that part to firm up on the same cake tin so that it would dry with the same curve shape as the part of the cake it was going to attach to. I then made the front part of the goggles, cutting out holes for the eyes and making the eyes separately.
The other thing I did differently, most obviously, was the colour of the minion. As I wanted him to be a yellow minion painted purple, I coloured my marshmallow fondant purple when I made it, and then added bits of yellow fondant as I was rolling it out to cover the cake. In the movie, once they’ve painted themselves purple the paint rubs off in a few places, so I wanted some yellow to show through as if it had rubbed off in certain areas. The first attempt at covering the cake had to be aborted! I added the yellow in a bit too late (I was worried about it getting too blended in with the purple) and when I put the fondant over the cake it started tearing between the yellow and purple parts as it wasn’t bonded together well enough. So for attempt 2, I added the yellow fondant a bit sooner when I was rolling it out, and that seemed to work much better. Although it’s very difficult to try and place the yellow exactly where you want it when you’re going to roll it out and stretch it!
If you want to see Lesley’s tutorial, I’ve put the link to her Facebook page Tutorial Shop here. She’s got lots of other tutorials in her shop too, which are only a few dollars each (and so even less in GB pounds!)
I told our 21 month old daughter that I was making a cake for Uncle Tim, and that he was a minion called Dave, so every time she saw the cake she shouted “Dave, Dave, Dave!!” at it! So in our house, this will be remembered as the ‘Dave Cake’!