What Mickey themed cake did I have for Alane's birthday this year? It wasn't suppose to become a theme, but she loves Mickey and it's fun challenging myself every year. Here are the Mickey cakes I've made for her over the past few birthdays.
2008 Mickey ball
2009 Mickey ears
2010 Peace Love Mickey
2011 I freaked out when I couldn't find a cake for this year, but then I remembered I was in China. Whoops!
2012 Mickey Adrian
What to do this year? It was her 25th birthday and I thought I should do something a little different.
I had a general idea. It's something I've done before for Cat's birthday one year, but I have never seen this design done before.
I vaguely planned it out in my notebook. It made more sense in my head. I wanted to embed a hidden Mickey head within the cake. It's really not as crazy as it sounds. I got the idea from iambaker. I really love her blog, and she makes these kinds of cakes all the time.
To be honest, this was the most unsure I've felt starting a cake. I usually can imagine everything from start to finish, but since this is the first time attempting this design, I just couldn't see every step clearly.
It took some time, but I finally settled on a 9x12 pan so I can cut it into smaller pieces. I started with a yellow cake mix for the cake.
I should try to do more process shots.
I started cutting before I remembered I hadn't taken a photo of the cake out of the oven.
Next I used a third of a chocolate cake mix for the hidden chocolate Mickey center.
Once everything had cooled, I cut the yellow cake into quarters, trimmed the edges,
and leveled each one. I had a lot of scraps left over. Back when I was at Davis, I had roommates and other friends to help eat them. Now I have my family, and they are less enthused about the leftovers.
I was still unsure of how to go about the assembly, so I moved onto making the frosting. The frosting I like to make is with mascarpone cheese and heavy whipping cream. I like it because it is light and not overly sweet.
I forgot to take a photo of the frosting, but here I am mixing a spoonful of it into some crumbled chocolate cake. This helps to keep the cake together when I mold it.
After a lot of thought, I started the cake assembly. In the very bottom layer, I scooped a small spherical hole out. This is the bottom of the Mickey head.
Then I pressed the frosting and chocolate cake mixture into the hole.
It's hard to tell, but I've added another layer of cake with another hole cut out.
I continued this method until I was pretty sure I had gotten the right shape. The problem with doing this design is that you can never check until it is finally cut into. There was a lot of guessing involved.
Once I had finished all the layers, I moved onto frosting the cake.
Since the cake is fairly crumbly, I frosted a crumb coat, and placed the cake in the fridge to set a bit before continuing.
After an hour or so, I took the cake out of the fridge to give it a final frosting.
I procrastinated a bit during the day so I ended up rushing the final bit of decorating, therefore, no other process shots. I knew I was going to hand-pipe a birthday message and 24 Mickeys, but even at this point I still wasn't sure of what color I was going to use for the decorating. Ideally, I wanted black, but it is difficult to get black from white icing, and I was under a time constraint. I made attempts at making an olive green, because that's Alane's favorite color, but it kept turning out kinda ugly. Luckily I had some store-bought chocolate frosting and decided to use that instead.
Once everything was nicely decorated, I brought the cake over to Alane's where Ronnie was already there with some birthday naan. That has apparently become a tradition.
I had Alane count the Mickeys before slicing into it.
She counted 24 Mickeys on the outside of the cake and found the 25th in the middle.
Overall, it worked out better than I had anticipated. It wasn't perfect, but I can't complain too much since I had no real game plan for this cake. I know what to do next time!
Happy 25th birthday, Alane <3