It’s Caitlin’s 2nd birthday and she still thinks Minnie Mouse is the best thing in the world. Only this year she’s into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and repeats everything she sees. Of course the fact that we bought her a huge Minnie Mouse stuffed animal at Disney for hear 1st birthday that she takes everywhere with her could have something to do with the attachment.
I originally was going to make sugar cookies with my Mickey cutter and decorate them as Toodles from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but as time grew closer I had this image of a 3-dimensional Minnie cake. Ken and I started talking about it and I was just always designing it in the back of my mind. We got what we needed to make this cake and knew we had all week to work out the details and make it.
Oh, but life gets in the way. My daughter was pregnant and due a week after Caitlin’s birthday but she went into labor on Tuesday instead. This meant we had to pack up the car and drive the 3 hours to her house to take care of the two at home. It was a quick trip, baby Nate was born on Tuesday and we drove back home on Wednesday. We were exhausted! And now that cake had to be done by Friday night. To top it off I had a migraine on Thursday that left me feeling like crap on Friday.
So, without as much time and planning as we’d like to have had for detail work this is what we did. We learned a lot of lessons making this cake, especially about working with Rice Krispy treats. Using Strawberry Freeze-Dried Fruit Powder, we made a strawberry cake and strawberry cream cheese frosting. My daughter said the strawberry flavor was so fresh in the icing she felt like she was eating strawberry shortcake.
One of the best things about the cake is that the pink color comes from the freeze-dried fruit powder, no food coloring. For the recipes go to my Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting post.
I made one 9-inch round and one cake in my medium metal mixing bowl so I could stack the two. This would make up Minnie’s skirt.
We placed the first layer on the turntable and frosted it.
Then we placed the second layer on top and completed the frosting. This went into the refrigerator to chill so that frosting was set.
The biggest problem with doing a finished cake with frosting instead of fondant is that we haven’t learned the trip to get the frosting smooth. Since this was Minnie’s skirt we tried to make the frosting look a little more like soft fabric.
While the cake was in the refrigerator we went to work on the rest of Minnie which would be made out of Rice Krispy treats.
We just used the standard Rice Krispy recipe. Ken buttered his hands well and began to shape a head out of the warm mixture.
I had gotten images from the Disney web site of Minnie figurines for the shaping. Some of them had front and back views so it was very helpful.
It amazes me how he’s able to look at a picture and shape something so close to the image out of it.
We had to shape ears and a bow to attach after the treats hardened.
That’s the torso for between the head and skirt shaped around a plastic cone. This was removed when we attached it to the cake.
Then we had to set all these pieces in the refrigerator to cool and harden up. This is the time consuming part since you have to wait for things to become solid enough to work with.
Ken then attached the torso to the skirt and frosted it. This was placed back in the refrigerator.
Once set Minnie’s head is placed on top of her body.
This is when we started to have problems. Not having worked with Rice Krispy treats for such a large object before we never realized what we were up against.
As soon as we started to frost the face the treats became soft and it’s like the frosting was weighing it down. She started to droop. We don’t think we let her sit in the refrigerator long enough to set completely.
We stuck skewers everywhere and in every direction to keep the whole thing from collapsing.
It was nearing midnight and we had to leave early the next morning to celebrate Caitlin’s birthday. Our Minnie was looking like she had gotten punched in the jaw or had a big toothache. I couldn’t make anything that looked like a decent cake out of the pieces we had so we had to make the best of it. I felt like crying.I was so discouraged I quit taking pictures.
Ken shaped the arms and hands out of the Krispy’s and place the white icing on and we went to bed.
I decided we would put the black frosting on once we got to Houston with the cake. I had no idea what 3 hours in the car would do to it. We made it to Houston with one very droopy ear but no other damage.
Ken finished adding the black and white frosting and put the bow on. We still had a lot of difficulty getting the ears and bow to stay put.
She didn’t come out as nice as the picture in my head but Caitlin immediately knew who she was and was very happy.
Next time we’ll use more pressure and pack the treats more tightly together. We were trying to keep them lightweight. We wanted to add feet but she didn’t come out in a way we thought they would look good.
I already know how I would do this cake the next time. Just in case Caitlin wants Minnie again next year. Or any other 3-dimensional cake I might be asked to come up with.