Cake decorating

I took a cake decorating class a few years ago from a local cake decorating genius, Carrie Williams. (Check out some of her incredible work on her not-updated-nearly-enough blog.)

I learned the basics, like how to make little stars and flowers and how to frost a cake without getting crumbs all over the top. I still can’t make a perfect Wilton-approved rose, but I don’t really care. Mostly, the class gave me to confidence to get into the kitchen and get a little more creative. So if you’ve ever thought about taking a cake decorating class, I definitely recommend it. It’s a lot of fun, and you get to eat your homework! Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Ace Hardware all offer classes at various times throughout the year in Sioux Falls.

Anyhow, I usually don’t do anything too fancy to the cakes I make. I focus on the flavor (butter only – no gross Crisco in my frosting, despite what the Wilton people say), and make sure I have a good cake-to-frosting ratio. Sometimes I’ll even pour a little chocolate ganache on top to drip down the sides. Yum. Simple, sophisticated and pretty (always better, in my opinion, than to end up with a Cake Wreck)

But every now and then I like to do something to stretch my cake-decorating capabilities. So for my nephew’s Lego-themed birthday, I made him a Lego cake – a Minifigure head and a few Lego bricks.

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For the Lego head, I used two 8-inch round cakes with one 6-inch round on top. According to my son, I didn’t have the frosting colored quite right at first (“Mom, I hate to tell you this, but you’ve failed.” Funny kid.) And both he and my husband thought I should have carved out a little bit on the top of Lego guy’s head so it would look EXACTLY like a real Lego – you know, so the little Minifigure Lego helmets have something to snap onto. Um, no. It’s cake. Cake that we were going to be cutting up and eating less than two hours later. And then I kicked them both out of my kitchen.

I made the Lego bricks with mini bread pans (trimming a bit off of each side and off the top after they were baked to make them more rectangular and less like tiny loaves of bread). I cut small circles of cake to add to the top to make them look like Lego bricks.

To be honest, frosting those bricks was a giant pain, and I definitely didn’t get the frosting completely smooth. They’d probably look better covered in fondant, and someday I might experiment with that. But they were fun to make and they tasted great.

I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out. Plus, birthday boy Roman loved it. Happy birthday, bud!