Thursday, 28 April 2016

Easy Homemade Minecraft Cakes and Treats

My Minecraft Cakes and Treats were a real hit at a recent fundraising event for Code Club at my kids' school. If you want to impress your Minecraft obsessed kids and their friends, we would highly recommend making these for a birthday party or fundraising event at school.

We've included an easy recipe for the Minecraft cake and Rice Krispie Treats.

Minecraft Cake

I chose two designs, simple ground blocks and a pink pig. Both were made using a simple traybake recipe I've been given by a friend years ago.

Tray Bake Sponge Cake Recipe:

225g soft marggarine / butter
225g caster sugar
275g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk

Pre-heat oven 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and beat for 2 min. Pour into a 30 x 23 cm tin. Bake for 35 - 40 min or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin.

I've made numerous birthday cakes using this recipe. The cake is fluffy but also workable to make into different shapes.

Icing the Cake

Square Cookie Cutter.
Firstly I iced the cake with a ready made vanilla icing to create a smooth surface for my "Minecraft" pixel squares. As Minecraft characters are made up of pixels, all you need to ice a Minecraft cake is ready roll fondant icing and a square cookie cutter.

I struggled to find the right size square (it has to be fairly small to get the right effect). The smallest square in the Ateco 4845 Geometric Shape Cutter (USA) or Dexam Tinplate Cookie Cutter (UK) assorted sets, seemed to be the best dimensions.

Of course you don't need a square cookie cutter, but it does make the task a whole lot easier.

Mix Icing Colours.
I bought some basic colours in ready roll fondant icing - green, pink, brown and white. I mixed up a palette of colours by kneading the fondant icing together, some I added icing colour paste to make some bit darker. Roll out the fondant and cut out lots and lots of squares.

Choose the character you want to make, print off a copy and start building your design on the cake. I just placed one square after the other to create an 8 x 8 pig character and then cut the tray bake cake to size. Because my Minecraft cake was for a school cake sale, and it would be cut up to sell, I didn't bother to ice the sides of the cake. However is does look much more impressive if you pixelate the side of the cake too.

I used the same principle for the Minecraft Grass Block, but only mdke them 3 x 3 squares. Technically not correct but it would've make the individual cakes too big. It still looked very effective and the kids thought they were fab.

Minecraft Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispie treats always come up as a good kiddie treat to make with kids. However I really don't think it is. It's very hot, very sticky and you have to work fairly quickly if you want a good result. However kids love to eat them!
**Warning** You'll need a strong arm (or a teenager, like in my case) to mix these treats into shape!

I used a recipe from Nigella Lawson.

Rice Krispie Treat Recipe

45g butter
300g mini marshmallows
180g rice krispies
green icing colour paste
black ready rolled fondant icing

Use a large, heavy-based saucepan to melt the butter. Add the mini marshmallows and keep stirring until it's all melted and mixed together. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the green icing colour. Quickly mix in the cereal, until it's well coated. Press the mixture into a greased 32cm x 23cm tin. Beware it is very sticky. Leave to cool and then cut into squares.

Top Tip: rub some butter on your fingers before you press the mixture into tin to prevent a sticky mess. Let the kids scrape our the saucepan (make sure it's not hot anymore) and then run it under a hot tap for easier cleaning.

Green Minecraft Creepers

I much prefer using icing colour paste to liquid food colouring to add colour to my baking. You get a much better colour and it doesn't taste bad. It's a bit of trial and error to get the right colour green, but be brave. I used about a quarter teaspoon, as I wanted a really vibrant green.

I used the same cookie cutter mentioned above and black ready roll fondant icing to make the creeper's face. Again I made the face first and then cut out the square, to make sure I ended up with the right size. Admittedly they ended up quite big, but the kids absolutely loved them.

These creepers sold like hot cakes in our school cake sale!

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