January 26, 2011

EASY LEGO CAKE -- A Piece of LEGO That's a Piece of Cake!


WHO DOESN'T LOVE LEGO?
Here's a Lego cake you can make yourself.
You can adapt it to be any size, color, Lego shape, and flavor!

My Lego lovin' little girl turned six the other day.  Her birthday fell on a week day this year, but I wanted to have a nice little cake to share with the family that night.  I needed a project that was quick and easy, but still had a touch of whimsy and fun.  The Lego cake was the perfect solution to my dilemma.  You don't need to be an "Ace of Cakes" to make your own Lego cake.  

My daughter had been dropping hints for an ice cream cake, so my creation consisted of alternating layers of chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  To keep the ice-cream from melting, I had to work quickly and give the components some freezer time at various steps along the way.  It couldn't have been simpler, but was more time consuming than if I had gone with a regular (non ice cream) cake.  

The simplest way to make this cake would be to do it as a regular cake consisting of simple frosted cake layers.   Below you will find a step-by-step tutorial for making the Lego Ice Cream Cake.  At the bottom of this post are instructions for how to make this cake without ice cream.

Lego Ice Cream Cake
click HERE for a downloadable version

Components

1 9x13 sheet cake  (a dense cake is preferable)
1 rectangular box of premium ice cream
6 oreo cookies
1 1/2 cups buttercream frosting
6 Oreo Cookies
1 1/2 - 2 pounds rolled fondant 
a sheet of corrugated cardboard or cake board
Assorted Lego

Before you start:  make some room in your freezer to accommodate the cake.

Step 1:  Bake and cool cake.   Wrap and refrigerate overnight.  This will tighten up the crumb.


Step 2:  Level the cake using a cake leveling tool, or a large kitchen knife.


Step 3:  Measure your box of ice cream.  Most boxed ice creams are around 5x7.  Cut a template out of light weight cardboard or cardstock that matches the dimensions of your boxed ice cream.  In my case, the box measured 5x7.  I cut my template to be 4.75 x 6.75, since the ice cream inside the box is smaller than the box itself.


Step 4:  Lay your template on one side of the top of the leveled cake.  Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut cake around the template.  Repeat with the other side of the cake.  Remove scraps.  What remains should be two rectangular cakes.


Step 5:  Slide one of the cakes on to a cake board or piece of corrugated cardboard cut to the same dimensions as your template.  This is cake A.  


Step 6:  Slide the other cake on to the template (to make it easier to transport, and less likely to fall apart). This is cake B.

Step 7:  Stack cake B (still on the template piece) on top of cake A.  Freeze for 1 hour.

Step 8:  Prepare your work area with a small cutting board and sharp chef's knife.  Remove ice cream from freezer and remove from packaging.  Working quickly, slice two 1" thick layers from the block, lengthwise.  Set to the side of your small cutting board.  Put the left-over ice cream in the freezer and remove the frozen cake layers.  


Step 9:  On your small cutting board, set cake A (the piece with the cake board).  Put a an ice cream slice on top.  Slide cake B off of the template and on to the ice cream layer.  Finish with the final ice cream slice.  Put the cake, still on the cutting board in the freezer immediately.  Freeze for 1 hour.

Step 10:  Prepare buttercream frosting.   Remove cake from freezer and quickly give the cake a light 'crumb coat' of frosting on the top and all 4 sides.  This will help fill any gaps and give the rectangle a nice even shape.  Do not over-frost.  The main purpose of the buttercream is to smooth out the shape and give the rolled fondant something to adhere to.  


Tip:  Use an offset spatula to frost your cake.  They can be purchased at many grocery stores and craft stores.  They are inexpensive and a worthwhile kitchen tool.  



Step 11:  Place the six Oreo cookies on the top of the cake to simulate the look of a Lego piece.  Make sure you can fit a finger in-between the cookies.  This will make it easy to form the fondant over the little knobs later.  Work quickly, and return cake to the freezer when you have finished.  Freeze for 1 hour.

Forgive my photo editing!
I forgot to take a shot after putting the Oreos in place.

Step 12:  Prepare your work surface to roll the fondant.  Rolling fondant is like rolling pie dough.  Lightly dust your work area with cornstarch to prevent sticking.  Gently knead your fondant to bring it up to room temperature.  Once it has softened up, use a rolling pin to roll the fondant in to a 14" circle (about 1/4" thick).



Tip:  Rolled Fondant can be purchased at most major craft stores in the cake decorating department.  It can be purchased already tinted or plain white.  You can tint it yourself by kneading in small amounts of gel food coloring until you achieve the desired color.  You can also make your own rolled fondant, which is simple and cost effective.  I like the recipe from cake maven Colette Peter's.  You can find her recipe HERE.  For this project I purchased the rolled fondant made by Duff Goldman, the "Ace of Cakes".  It was easy to work with and tasted fantastic.  It was tinted a perfect shade of red, which typically takes an exorbitant amount of red gel color to achieve (messy, messy work -- wear gloves). I definitely {heart} Duff's Buttercream Fondant and highly recommend it!


Step 13:  Remove cake from freezer.  Slide on to a clean work surface near the fondant.  Gently lift fondant circle and place evenly on top of cake.  Lightly press fondant to adhere to the shape of the cake.  Use the side of a finger to mold the fondant around the little Oreo knobs on top.  


Smooth out wrinkles, and trim excess fondant with a sharp knife.


Freeze until ready to serve.

Tip:  Putting rolled fondant on a cake with sharp angles can get a little tricky.  If you're new to working with fondant or haven't covered a square/rectangular cake before, watch this helpful video from Sarah Jones of the Especially Delicious Cake Company HERE.

Step 14:  Decorate:  I presented the cake on square cake plate lined with a flat sheet of Lego.  The Happy Birthday candles that I purchased at a local market fit nicely into the cake and were supported by the hands of the little Lego people.  The candles on the board were tricker.  The picks were too thin to be held firmly in the hands of the Lego people.  To help the candle picks stand upright, I rolled a tiny ball of fondant and stuck it to the bottom of each pick -- worked like a charm!  These candles were really cute but burned way too quickly!  Next time, I'd probably try the tall, skinny birthday candles sold in most craft stores (made by Wilton).  I have a hunch they'd fit into the Lego people's hands perfectly, and wouldn't burn up quite so fast.

For the Lego Cake Without Ice Cream

Components

3 1" cake layers (a dense cake, like pound cake is preferable)
6 oreo cookies
3 1/2 cups buttercream frosting
6 Oreo Cookies (or more depending on your desired Lego piece shape)
1 1/2 - 2 pounds rolled fondant 
a sheet of corrugated cardboard or cake board
Assorted Lego

Step 1:  Cut cake layers to the desired shape.
Step 2:  Set one cake layer on a cake board cut to the same size.
Step 3:  Spread a layer of frosting on this layer.  Top with a second layer of cake.
Step 4:  Spread a layer of frosting on the second layer of cake.  Top with the final layer of cake.
Step 5:  Spread a crumb-coat of frosting on top and all four sides of the cake.  Set Oreo cookies on top to simulate the look of a piece of Lego.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Step 6:  Roll fondant to 1/4" thick and wide enough to drape the cake.
Step 7:  Remove cake from refrigerator and set on a clean work surface near cake.  Place fondant on top of cake.  Work the corners first, then the sides.  Using a finger, gently work the fondant around the Oreo knobs on top.  Trim excess fondant from bottom of the cake.  

Tip:  If you refrigerate the cake after applying the fondant, the fondant will develop a wet and shiny look.  It is best to store the cake in a cool room until ready to serve.  The fondant helps to seal in the moisture and freshness.  For an excellent video tutorial on applying fondant to a cake, click HERE.  


29 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh how cute!!! This was a great tutorial. I've always wanted to try fondant but have been too scared. You make it look so easy though!! Thanks!

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  2. That is awesome! My six year old would have loved that! I may have to try this for a birthday this year. :)

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  3. What a cool cake! You gave really good, clear directions on how to make the same one. I think I would do a practice cake before attempting one for a party. I would not want everyone looking at a mess.

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  4. This is not only SOOOOO creative, it is SOOOO adorable!! I love all things cake, and this is right on! As always thanks for stopping by Organzied Chaos, and I promise I will have a recipe to share on your next Monday linky! :)

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  5. That's an impressive looking cake.

    LisaDay

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  6. PS - And happy birthday to your lego-loving little one.

    LisaDay

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  7. You are so freakin' clever and creative! Happy birthday to your little Lego lover!

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  8. Wow! I never would have guessed that it would be built this way! So creative and it came out very cute!

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  9. Great tutorial like always...I so can do this.

    Doing little plug for Duff,lol? Love the guy.

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  10. Oh my gosh this is adorable!! I bet you got raves from everyone!! I would hate to be the first to cut into it and ruin it, good thing you have the pictures as a memory! So how did she like it? Do you have pictures of the party?

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  11. Ok, I would goof this up so fast. That's amazing.

    I have to go look at your speghetti tacos now. I could do that.

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  12. Hi from SITS! Ya know, when my youngest son, who is now almost 18, was young he would have loved this cake. He was crazy over legos. Still might make it for him. =) Think he would get a kick out of it!

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  13. That is so cool. My son's 8th birthday was on Monday...bummer, I could of used that idea. He only wanted ice cream but usually I do make a fun cake for the kids.

    Great idea! :)

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  14. The lego cake is so awesome! Love it! My daughter turns six in two weeks and I'm going to try it. Thanks!

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  15. Great tute! It doesn't look *too* hard but I've never done anything "fancy" like that before.

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  16. That cake looks amazing. I love the step by step pictures. You make me think I could do that, but I doubt it would turn out so cute.

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  18. I love your giant LEGO cake! Great tutorial too. Definitely bookmarking this for later use.

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  19. Thanks for the blog visit and kind comment. I love this cake you made! It's even better that there's ice cream involved :) Thanks for sharing!

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  20. oh main this is fantastic! I'm so impressed

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  21. THIS IS AWESOME.

    I want this cake?!?!

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  22. This is totally cool. I still haven't been able to work the whole fondant thing but I am AWESOME at buttercream.

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  23. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    That Lego cake looks de-lish!!! I've always wanted to try to make an ice cream cake and appreciate the directions you left!

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  24. I have a couple of boyos here who would LOVE this cake--excellent tutorial too!

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  25. Wow! that's quite the cake!!! your tutorial was great! BTW - i've heard fondant doesn't taste good but I see it on cakes all the time. What's the deal -- does it matter where you get it or something?

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  26. I thought it was cute in it's own right and then I saw the word ice cream and it got even better :)

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  27. That cake is fabulous! So creative! Happy birthday to your little girl!

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I enjoy hearing from you! Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of the creative and positive spirit here at Rook No. 17! xoxo Jenn

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