How to make a Minion cake…like a girl!

Hello fellow cakers! Today I am going to show you how to make a minion, with a twist. It seems like you can’t go anywhere anymore without these guys popping up here and there, and cakes are no expectation. These guys are one of my biggest client requests, but this is my first attempt at a girly minion! I’ve attached the reference photo I used that has the two eyed version as well:)

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I have baked (4) 5X3 inch round cakes to accommodate the amount of servings I will need for my client, around 15 people. You will need to level off three of the cakes, keeping the fourth as is for the top of the cake to shape the minions head. I have gone with a strawberry filling and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream to be paired with my vanilla cakes.

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Start off by smearing some buttercream onto the cake board to help adhere your first layer of cake and keep it from sliding around. Spread a small amount of buttercream onto the surface of the cake, not too thick. Fill a piping bag with some of your buttercream and pipe a circle around the perimeter, creating a dam so that the filling doesn’t spill out the sides of your cake once you add more layers. If you aren’t using a filling, be sure to spread on a nice even layer of buttercream or ganache. Continue this process with the next three layers, making sure you are only using the layers you leveled off for the bottom three tiers and then the untouched one for the top. I found that I needed to cut my fourth layer in half so that my cake wasn’t as tall, discarding the bottom half and keeping the top. If you make your cake too high you risk the chance of it being too wobbly and possibly falling over (go home cake, you’re drunk). Once my cake was stacked I popped it into the fridge to chill, this allows the cake to firm up a bit and makes it easier to handle.

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Once the cake had been in the fridge for around 15 minutes I took it out and began to shape the top of the minions head. My top layer already had slightly rounded edges so I only had to carve away a small bit at a time to achieve the shape. The key here is to go slow and take away small bits at a time. You can always take more away, but its way harder to correct if you rush and take more off then you had wanted. Then you’d have a crater headed minion with a side of tears;(

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(I forgot to take a photo of the carving process so the picture above just give you a rough idea of what it looked like when I was done)

Once the cake had the look I wanted I popped it back in the fridge for another 15-20 minutes. If you skip this step, you’ll find your cake will slip around when you apply your crumb coat, and that’s a pain in the butt to deal with.

I like to have another bowl handy when I begin my crumb coat so that I can wipe any excess buttercream that I scrape off during the process into a designated “crumby” bowl instead of back into my batch of unsullied icing. This process ensure that all the bits of loose cake get caught in your first layer of icing so that when you apply your final coat you’ll have a nice smooth, clean surface. Your crumb coat doesn’t need to be perfect, you just want to make sure that all surfaces of the cake are evenly covered and then you’ll want to place that back into the fridge to firm up.

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I’m using my small offset spatula and bench scraper to apply and smooth out my icing. Once the cake is chilled, begin with the final layer of icing. Apply this layer a little thick since you will be taking quite a bit off when you start to smooth it out. Again, you’ll want a nice even layer and then you’ll want to take a bench scraper (or you can just use your spatula, it might take a bit longer but it will get the job done), and slowly start taking icing off. Keep going until your cake is completely smooth, and then run a spatula under some hot water and run it over your cake once or twice to smooth it out even further. You’ll want to dry the spatula after you run it under the water as you don’t want any of it getting on the cake.

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Place your cake into the fridge and start on the fondant. Oh fondant, you tricky tricky mistress. If you buy pre-made fondant, then you can get it already colored and you’re good to go. I am starting out with white fondant though, so I will be doing everything by hand. My number one tip for fondant is to ensure that EVERYTHING in you work space is wiped down with paper towel. Fondant shows everything, and you’ll be surprised by all of the little black fibers that come off of a regular hand towel or your clothes. Hands look clean? Lies. The second you dry your hands off with a regular hand towel then go to touch your fondant, don’t be surprised if you spend the next ten minutes picking out little pepper looking bits of stuff. Its not the look you’re going for. Before I even touch my fondant, I wipe down my counter and then dry off my hands with paper towel.

To save time, there are elements to this cake that you can make ahead of time. I made my pieces the day before but ideally you could have these done 4-5 days prior so that they have lots of time to dry. For the goggles, roll out a piece of white fondant and use a circle cutter that is large enough for the outside of the minion’s goggles. Hold the cutter up against your cake to make sure it is the right size before you cut. Use a size smaller circle cutter and carefully line it up to cut the middle out of your first circle. Discard the center and place the rim of your goggle onto a piece of parchment to dry. I like to keep the smaller cutter in the middle of my goggle so that it holds it shape while I move on to the next part. Roll out small pea sized balls of fondant and place them around the goggles, excluding either side where the strap will meet the goggle. Roll out two bean sized pieces of fondant and score them in the center, these will go on either side of your goggle.

I bought some silver luster dust from Michael’s and mixed a small amount with Vodka. The alcohol evaporates and allows the luster dust to dry faster, so there is no risk of anyone consuming any actual alcohol. You want it to be runnier than a paste but not too runny. Apply a coat with a small paint brush to the goggle as well as the bean shaped pieces then let it dry, then keep doing this process until you get the metal shade that you want.

Take some black and roll out thin pieces of black “hair”, making more than you think you will need so that if any break you have extras. Set these aside with your goggles to dry.

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For the yellow of the minion, I’m using Wilton’s lemon yellow and golden yellow food gel coloring. You’ll want to use a 1:2 ratio, using more of the lemon yellow coloring. Start out with just a few drops of each until you get the desired shade. Spread some shortening onto your work service to keep the fondant from sticking to your counter tops and hands while you knead. Once you have the achieved look, wrap it up in saran wrap and let it sit for a while. I always find that when I color fondant myself the shade will deepen overtime as it settles, so make sure you let it sit instead of using it right away so you can be sure the color is what you want. Repeat this step with pink and then color a small portion of fondant brown. I always buy my black fondant as the color is hard to achieve from scratch, in this cake I am using Wilton’s black fondant.

Now comes the fun part! Begin my marking out where the strap of the minion goggles will go. This is where the seam in your fondant will be so that it will be hidden. When working with a taller cake like this, you run the risk of tearing your fondant if you tried to cover it in just once piece, so using two pieces eliminates that issue.

Put some corn-starch on your work surface so that when you roll out your fondant it doesn’t stick. It’s important to keep moving your fondant around, rotating it gently to further prevent sticking. NOTHING is more frustrating than perfectly rolling out a nice clean sheet of fondant, then when you go to pick it up you realize it’s firmly secured to your counter top.

Start with rolling out a yellow circle of fondant. If you see any air bubbles in your fondant then carefully use a sterilized pin to pop them and then use your fingers to gently rub them away.  Place that on top of your cake and smooth it down, then cut along the line where you indented before for the goggle strap and trim away the excess using a very sharp knife or an xacto knife. Take your time with this step and cut as evenly as possible, carefully going all the way around and ensuring your line is straight. If it’s a little crooked in certain spots you can always use a ruler to push up bits here and there or smooth them down with your fingers until they are straight.

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For the second piece of fondant, use a ruler to measure the remaining width of the cake you need to cover. If you have a measuring tape or string you can measure the circumference of the cake as well. Roll out another piece of yellow fondant, taking care to ensure that it will be long enough to wrap around the circumference of your cake and using your ruler to make sure it is wide enough as well. I find that a pizza cutter works really well for cutting larger piece of fondant. Place this piece of fondant on the cake by rolling it up onto your rolling pin (lightly dust the fondant with cornstarch while doing this so it doesn’t stick) and then flip it sideways so that you are unrolling it against the cake. This makes it a lot easier and decreases the chance of your fondant stretching and losing its shape while you transfer it onto your cake.

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Use your hands to smooth out your fondant against your cake and make sure the two seams of fondant meet. Trim away any excess along the bottom and then use your fondant smoother to ensure a nice clean finish. Roll out some pink and cut out a strip to go along the bottom of your cake. I have a stitching tool to add the fabric looking design but you can always use the tip of a toothpick or a fork to get the same effect. I eye balled the shape of the overalls but you could always cut yourself out a stencil and use that. Cut out the shape. Add the stitching effect. At this point I added my goggle to the cake by using water and then sticking toothpicks underneath the top and bottom for extra support. I added this before the overalls so that I made sure I had lots of room for the mouth when placing the overalls on the cake. After I applied the overalls I cut out the shape of the little pocket for the middle and applied it using water

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Cut out two long strips for the overall straps and add the stitching effect. Make sure when you put them on the cake both sides match and you have room for the arms you are going to add later.

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Next comes the buttons, roll out four small balls of back fondant and flatten them down in the center using a ball tool (or something similar in shape). Make sure the edges stay raised to keep that button shape. Roll out a thin pink snake of fondant and use a toothpick or a sculpting tool to apply them to the button, x-crossing them and poking the ends into the button to create the stitch effect.

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Place them on the cake where the arm straps meet the overall on the front and the back.

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For the logo on the front of the pocket I just free hand the design based on a picture of a minion I was looking at.

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For the eyeball, I cut out a circle of white fondant that would fit inside the goggle and adhered it with water. I added upper and lower eyelids by cutting out a circle of yellow fondant, then taking my circle cutter and using it to take off a bit of the top and bottom of the circle so I wouldn’t lose the shape.

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For the lips roll out a thin black snake of fondant and form it into a smile. I just eye balled the lips using pink fondant, using an x-acto knife to cut out the shape.

Then I rolled out my brown fondant and cut out the iris, scoring it with an xacto knife to give more dimension to the eye. I cut a smaller circle of black for the pupil then rolled a small ball of white to add that “shine” element.

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I took my black edible marker and added in eyelashes, but if you don’t have an edible marker you can just take a small tipped paintbrush and some black gel food coloring and draw them in that way. For my minions blushing cheeks I used some red color dust and used the teeeeeeniest amount to dab on just below the goggle line. I cut out a long strip of black fondant and placed it neatly over the seam in the yellow fondant, careful to keep the strap straight and having the ends meet on the same point at either side of the goggle. Then I added in my silver “beans” I had made previously to complete the goggle.

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Next came the “hair”. I followed the picture my customer had sent me and went for a pig tailed look. I added a bit of water to either side of the head then stuck in the black hair I had made earlier. If you find you’re having a hard time getting them to keep straight, I suggest using a toothpick or some floral wire to help skewer the hair and help it stick. Keep extra hair on hand as some of the hair WILL break.

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To make the pigtails, I rolled out some pink and cut it into a straight line with my ruler. I folded each end into the center and held it up against the hair to make sure it wasn’t too big, then I used some water to keep it from rolling back and pinched the middle together. I rolled out a small ball of pink and flattened it with my finger then used my stitching tool to etch in the design.

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For the arms I rolled out a log of yellow fondant and cut it to size. I flatted one side to form the “shoulder” then secured just below the arm strap with water and a toothpick.

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I rolled out a mediumish sized ball of black fondant then formed it into a fat little teardrop shape for her hand. Taking my xacto knife, I cut three little slits into the “glove” to shape the three chubby fingers. Water was enough for me to secure it to the end of her arm but if you find that its falling off then you can just use a toothpick or piece of dried spaghetti for extra support.

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Finally, the feet. Follow the same process for the hand when forming the foot and then make the stitching pattern along the top and sides. Score a line into the bottom for carve out the heel, then adhere it to the cake with water.

Voila!! This minion cake is a lot less difficult than you might think and I hope this post was clear enough that you can make your own!!

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