An EASY way to decorate an impressive birthday cake!
My son's most FAVORITE toys are the Lego Ninjas. As I was working on this post, he is looking over my shoulder and says, "Mom, it is a Lego NINJA cake not a Lego Ninjago cake!" I honestly can't tell you what is right here... but I can tell you that for this little boy, there was no question about what kind of cake he would want to celebrate his 8th birthday.
This is the Ninja cake I made for him. I have to say, I was very pleased with how it turned out (in spite of some hiccups along the way... I'll get into those in a bit). Better yet, my son and his friends were quite impressed. I took that as a nice 'pat on the back'. So here is how I made it, with some tips so you don't make the same mistakes I did.
How to Make a Ninja Cake
We decided to make two layers. My little boy helped me with this part. Nothing fancy... we just used box mixes. Here he is mixing up the chocolate layer.
While the chocolate cake was baking, we mixed up a vanilla cake mix. We divided this batter up into 4 equal parts and added food coloring to each of them. Our vanilla cake batter was now red, blue, green and yellow.
We added the colored batter to our prepared pan. At first we were pretty careful about how we placed the colors, making sure to get a good amount in each spot, and not to mix them.
... But in the end, we didn't care so much, and when all the batter had been added, our cake looked like this. Ready for the oven!
I layered the two cakes with the chocolate on the bottom, and our ninja colored vanilla cake on top, with chocolate icing in between. I then covered the cake with chocolate icing. I love how the cake looked when it was cut!
Now for the FUN part!
Let me begin by saying, it is ALWAYS good to first read the directions before attempting something. Remember your teachers telling you that in school? Good advice!
This AWESOME idea was shared at Sun Scholars a while back by Michelle at Sunshine and a Summer Breeze
Awesome, right? Well, Michelle shares a great tutorial on how to take a photo copy image, some wax paper, and icing, and transform that into an incredible frosted cake! I figured I could do the same to create a Lego Ninja cake.
I found some Ninjago color pages HERE.
I chose one that would easy for me to recreate (not too detailed) and printed it out.
Instead of using a sheet of glass like suggested in the tutorial, I used a clip board. It was large enough to hold my paper and yet small enough to still fit into the freezer when I was finished. I followed the instructions in Michelle's tutorial, using an icing bag with my dark icing to outline the image (tracing over the lines in my photo copied picture), then filling in with the colors. Here is my ninja, complete.
Now, I'm sure you're asking yourself, "What did she do wrong?" It looks pretty darn good, right? Well I made one, MAYBE two mistakes here.
The first mistake... I used shortening in my buttercream recipe in place of butter. Meaning, I used NO butter in a BUTTERcream recipe. I know, I know... Well, the problem there is that shortening does not harden when cooled like butter does. So when I tossed my frosted ninja into the freezer, the icing did not harden the way I needed it to in order to peal it off of the paper!
Second problem... I used parchment paper instead of waxed paper. If I had used butter, and my icing had hardened, this might not have been a problem. However, my icing stuck to the parchment paper, making it difficult, if not impossible, to peel away. ACK!!!
I would have taken a picture of my failure, but I must admit... at that moment, I was so upset, I was in damage control mode! I transfered as much of my icing to the top of my cake as I could, and had to free-hand and fill in the rest. In the end, it didn't turn out too bad.
However, I guarantee that I will be using this technique again! I have learned from my mistakes, and the results, when done correctly, are amazing! So easy, and so impressive! The parts that did transfer nicely for me looked amazing. I love this technique for cake decorating, and I can't wait to try it again! Thank you Michelle for an awesome tutorial!!!
The cake was pretty tasty too, I might add.
Happy Lego Ninja Birthday, to my sweet boy!
and for more Lego Ninja fun...