So my daughter recently turned 7 and for this years birthday cake she wanted to mix two of her (current) favourite things, Minions and Pirates. So I made her a 3D Pirate Minion cake. Due to the size and knowing id need to do some carving, I made a lemon madeira cake as its lovely and dense so easy to stack and carve, but equally it’s such a lovely tasting moist cake.
The recipe below will make a loaf tin cake or a 7 inch round cake. For the Pirate Minion cake, I made 3x 7 inch round cakes and also a 1 litre round pyrex bowl cake which uses just over one lot of cake mixture. What I did for the first batch of cakes was make 3x the cake mixture, added what I needed to into the sandwich tins, and then poured the rest into the Pyrex bowl.
This recipe is based on a Nigella recipe, however I have tweaked it slightly and added in more lemon, just because I love lemon, that is all.
Madeira Cake Recipe
240g Baking Margarine
200g Caster Sugar
210g Self Raising Flour
90g Plain Flour
Zest and Juice of 1.5 Lemons
Combine the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy, then mix in your grated lemon zest.
Mix in the eggs, adding in a spoonful of flour so you don’t split the mixture then add in the remaining flours. Pour in the lemon juice and combine. Don’t worry if you feel you have quite a wet mixture, this is perfectly normal.
Bake the 7 inch round cakes at 150°C/300°F/ Gas Mark 2 for an hour. The pyrex bowl cake will take around 2 hours to cook through. Once cooked, leave all cakes to cool completely – plus remember to bake a third 7 inch round cake.
Whilst you are waiting for the cakes to cool, you can begin to make your buttercream icing and also colour the fondant you need for your Minion.
500g Icing Sugar
Splash of milk
For your buttercream, beat the butter until soft and gradually add in the icing sugar. Combine fully and add a splash of milk to achieve your desired consistency.
To colour your fondant, you will need 2KG white fondant icing, which you can get from most supermarkets. You will need to colour a small amount in Brown, Blue, keep a little White behind and then the rest in Yellow. I actually brought packets of ready coloured Black and Silver fondant, as its just simply easier (and cheaper) then colouring them yourself. I used the ProGel colours which are fab, I have only been using these for about a year and much prefer them to the liquid or paste colourings you can buy.
Once your cakes are cooled and you have all your fondant prepped you can begin layering up your cake. Pop a little buttercream on the cake board and pop on your first cake and spread some buttercream on the top ready for your next layer.
Then repeat with the other two round cakes and then add on the bowl cake on the top. Using a knife, begin to carve down the cake for the Minion shape.
You will most likely have a small gap between the bowl cake and the stack of round cakes. This is easily solved! Grab a little of the yellow fondant you have, and use it as a filler all the way round until you have a more even cake.
Now your cake is prepped you can begin the crumb coat using the buttercream icing. Using a spatula, coat the entire cake with the buttercream. Once this is done begin smoothing the buttercream crumb coat with the spatula, this will remove quite a bit of the butter icing you have put on, but thats fine.
Due to its size, its wise to dowel your cake. This will make your cake more stable and less likely to sink or move. You can either buy 4 dowels from a cake or craft shop, or simply use straws, they do the trick just as well. Pop into the top of your cake and push through until you can no longer see them, cover the hole with a little buttercream and smooth over.
Your cake is now ready for your fondant icing. Roll out your yellow icing and cover the cake. Begin to smooth out using your hands starting from the top and work your way down, until the whole cake is covered and the icing is flat against the cake. Trim off the access icing at the bottom, don’t worry if it doesn’t look neat, you can always fix this later on.
Then use a cake smother if you have one to go all over the cake to smooth over the icing.
Now you need to begin adding the detail onto your Minion. For sticking fondant on fondant, I have a water brush like this, however using a pot of water and a clean unused brush will also do the trick.
Roll out a little of your Blue fondant icing into two rectangle shapes one on the front and one on the back, and ‘glue’ this on with water for the start of your Minions dungarees.
Cut out a semi-circle shape and add this onto the front rectangle so it becomes the dungarees pocket.
Once this is done, roll out some strips and place all around the base of the cake. Then roll out some thiner strips and place this so they look like the dungarees straps. Place two small circles of Black fondant in the corners so they look like buttons, repeat this on the back too.
Then using the right hand side of a tool like this, add in the detail of the dungarees.
Altogether, it should look something like this:
Next do the eyes. Use small circle cutters if you have them as this makes it so much easier. For the left eye I used a cutter and cut out a silver disc, then used an even smaller circle cutter and used some white fondant icing and cut out another disc, glue the white disc on top of the silver one. Use some of the brown and pop a small amount on the white disc and then finally add a bit of black for the eyes pupil.
Then you need to make the Pirate’s eye patch. Using the same circle cutter as you did to cut out the Silver disk, cut another one out using the black fondant. Create a skull and crossbones and add this on top of the black disc.
Once the eyes are done, glue onto the cake, and then add two small strips of silver either side of the eyes and cut out a thin strip of Black fondant and glue on all around the cake so it looks like the eye patch band. Roll a little of the Black fondant and create the Minions smile, glue on.
Now, you are very almost done. You just need to make the legs, arms and the Banana. Roll out the fondant in your hands and create the shapes needed. Put elements together and glue onto the cake.
The last finishing touch is the hair.
Then you now have your pirate minion cake. This was a big hit at my daughters birthday and was much easier to make than I thought it would be. Have a go yourself and enjoy!