Last month my family and I celebrated Gabe’s third birthday (they grow up so fast!) with the one and only Mickey Mouse. I thought that this cake would be easier than the fire truck one I made last year, which was only half right. I made a white cake using a recipe from the Food Network (very similar to the one I made last year). Since most of my nephew’s party guests were under the age of five and picky eaters, I wanted to stick with the classics. I only made two tweaks to this recipe. I doubled up the recipe to add some height to my 9×9 round cakes and I beat the sugar and butter for 45 minutes until it was really fluffy.
To make the basic Mickey Mouse shape I traced a small bowl onto some cardboard. Using this as a stencil I cut out 4 circles for the ears. I filled the layers with whipped cream and strawberry slices. I then shaved off a thin layer of the cake’s “crust” until the entire cake was smooth and even. I covered each circle with a thin layer of butter cream frosting. I then refrigerated the cake for 30 minutes to allow the buttercream frosting to set.
Every year for my nephew’s birthday I go all out and make him a cake of his choosing, each year I try and top the year before sort of like a little challenge for myself and boy was last year challenging. My nephew, Gabe, turned 2 last year. Although he could barely form coherent sentence he was certain he wanted a firetruck cake, I think his exact words were “Titi firetruck cake” (Tia is the word for aunt in Portuguese, but he hasn’t mastered the pronunciation yet so we have gone with titi). The cake took the two of us, my PIC and I, about 8 hours to complete. During its construction a major storm ( also known as el derecho) hit my parent’s home and knocked out the electricity, but that didn’t slow us down. We cooked the entire birthday party meal (for about 45 people) on our grill outside, thankfully the rain only last about 30 minutes, but its after effects didn’t subside until the next day.
I made a sponge cake (its a secret family recipe) with buttercream and strawberry jam filling. I made 2 13×9 sheet cakes, then I cut one 2 rectangular shapes; one small one and longer slightly larger one for the truck bed. I took a little of the top of the truck bed to make it resemble an actual fire truck. From there i covered the entire base of the cake in buttercream frosting (or the cement) and refrigerated it for about 30- 45 mins (thankfully I did the before the electricity went out) to allow the buttercream to solidify. After the cooling process I mixed some red food coloring into some store bought fondant. I watched a couple videos on how to kneed the fondant to get a consistent color. Then I used a rolling pin to flatten and then draped the large red sheet of fondant over the cake. I used a frosting knife to smooth the fondant onto the cake, but if you see a lot of wrinkles there are a couple of tricks to smooth them out (botox for cakes if you will) you can use crisco or if you have a steamer you can use that ( I think steaming food is way to bizarre so I went the crisco route). Once I got the red fondant in place I trimmed the excess off with an exacto knife (this is a god send) .
Once I had the base fondant done I went to town decorating, I used everyday household items such as spice shakers to cut the wheels and windows. I adhered all of the windows, hubcaps, wheels, bumper, ladder and lights using clear vanilla. I bought silver sparkly dust which I used to color in the hubcaps and windows. I took a small amount of the silver dust and mixed with water to create a paste like consistency. Using paint brushes I accented by Firetruck’s decor.Once I had gotten the entire cake to my liking I pipped on his name and age using some left over buttercream. Remember the cake doesn’t have to be perfect you aren’t a professional pastry chef after all, people were just impressed by the cheer fact I attempted just an intense cake!
As my nephew’s birthday quickly approaches (T-minus 5 days) I am starting to plan my cake for his 3rd birthday, this year’s theme is mickey mouse. Im hoping there aren’t any major hiccups during operation Mickey Mouse, but I think I might be tempting fate with that wish!