*A Guest Post from my good friend Meg on how to make a Lego Cake*
When I decided to throw a Lego themed party for my daughter’s second birthday, I knew I wanted a cake that was bright, bold and fun. After past food colouring disasters, I knew I’d need something other than home-made buttercream to achieve the colour I wanted. Melting wafers seemed like the perfect way to get a smooth, shiny coating in a range of colours. I figured if you can make round cake pops, you can probably make them in different shapes – why not make Lego Cake Pops.
When I saw the price of lollipop sticks, I rethought the “pop” idea and decided to create blocks that I could stack on top of each other, which seemed a little more realistic, anyway. That way the cake could be any shape you like – for example stack them to make the number “2” or build a pyramid topped with Candles.
I’ve never made cake pops before, and I have never taken a cake decorating class, so believe me when I say that you don’t need any special skills to complete this project. It did take a little time and was a a bit messy, but if you are patient it is well worth the effort!
So here is what you need to get started:
- Boxed cake mix and any required ingredients to make the cake
- 1 tub prepared icing, any flavour (probably best if it’s the same flavour as the cake)
- Melting wafers in a variety of colours (6 colours, ~ 1/2 cup of each )
- Rockets candies (called Smarties in the U.S.). Enough to fit 6 candies on each Lego block
- Vegetable oil
- Wax paper
- Optional tools: toothpicks, paint brush, candy dipping tools
Step 1: Bake the cake according to package directions and allow it to cool completely. Once cool, finely crumble the cake into a large bowl and mix with 2/3 – ¾ of the tub of icing. When you can mold the mixture into balls, it’s ready.
Step 2: Press the mixture firmly into a square cake pan (I used 9×9) use a larger pan for thinner blocks. Then pop it into the fridge or the freezer to firm up.
Step 3: Decide on the shape of blocks you’d like to cut. I decided to make mine the same size as a long LEGO DUPLO block. Cut the cake into blocks, and lift pieces out. It helps to mold the edges a little bit with your fingers to keep the crumbs down.
Step 4: Use some of your remaining icing to stick the rockets to the top of your blocks, to create the knobs on top. Place on a tray lined with wax paper and pop them back into the freezer for a few minutes to harden.
Step 5: Melt wafers in the microwave safe bowl – 30 seconds at a time stirring in between. If you find that melted wafers are a little thick, you want to be able to pour them, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and mix.
Step 6: Remove blocks from the freezer. Using a dipping tool or fork lower the block into the melted chocolate. Spoon the chocolate coating over the whole block to cover, and quickly run a toothpick or paint brush around the “knobs” to remove excess coating. Don’t rest the block directly on the bottom of the bowl or it may cause the chocolate beneath to harden and fuse to the bow. If the candy coating begins to harden or gets tough to work with, reheat it.
Step 7: Carefully place the coated blocks onto wax paper until coating hardens. Repeat steps 5 through 7 until you have covered all the blocks in a variety of colours.
Finishing touches: Use a very sharp knife to trim off the pooled candy coating from around the edges of the Lego Cake blocks. If you have some bare patches or accidental smudges, melt a little more coating and use a fine paintbrush for touch ups. I also used my hair dryer for a few moments to smooth out bumpy areas that hardened too quickly.
You can store the finished blocks in the fridge to keep the coating hard until you’re ready to create your fabulous cake structure. Have fun with your Lego cake blocks!