Bake A Wish got a request for a Lego cake for a boy living in a shelter who was turning 11. I snapped up that request faster than you can say, “Lego is awesome but clearly designed to keep adults from safely walking barefoot through children’s rooms!”
I have a Lego minifig mold, which is obvious if you’ve seen my gummy work. I considered making gummy minifigs, but then decided to try more experiments with the chocolate gummy. However, the experiments using white chocolate weren’t working out so well and the deadline loomed, so I put that stuff away for another day and went back to focusing on this cake.
I also have a mold for Lego-like bricks, but quickly realized that it’s off scale. The bricks are too big, and while the bumps are about the right size, they’re too small relative to the bricks. Since the minifig mold is to scale, that rendered the brick mold unusable for this cake:
To make this cake Lego-worthy, I realized I’d have to make all of the bumps by hand. Yes, that is insane. But this kid asked for a Lego cake and by jove, he was going to get a Lego cake!
I wanted the base cake to look as if it had classic green baseplates around it, so I rolled out some green fondant (in this case, Satin Ice because I had it leftover from the cake show), measured out 8×4 inch panels at 1/4″ thick, then pressed a real (and completely clean) Lego baseplate on them to indent them with the right placement for bumps later. I set those aside to dry for a couple of days.
Then, when they were definitely firm, I started cutting out little dots. I tested different round piping tips against the real Lego and figure a #8 would probably be about right, but I didn’t have one, so I used one of my mini circle cutters instead. A tip would be better: the circle cutter required each bump to be pushed out with the end of a brush, and then tapped back into shape. A tip would hopefully let it fall out the wider end without so much fuss. A tip will also be easier to find, so if you’re going to do this, that’d be the way to go.
I rolled out more of the green fondant to 1/8″ thick (using Mike McCarey’s genius methodology of inexpensive dowels) and got to cutting:
Then I put a bit of piping gel on the indentations from the actual Lego, and pushed the bumps on to stick them down.
It took an awful lot of cutting. This is one of many hole-filled fondant sheets, which kind of looks cool in and of itself so there may be a lace-making technique in here somewhere:
You can just make little balls and push them down instead of cutting, but they’ll be rounded instead of having a good, crisp edge like real Lego:
I made a buttermilk vanilla cake, covered and filled it with buttercream, and mounted it onto a red-fondant covered board (with black ribbon around the edge). I rolled out some more green, stamped it with the real baseplate again to impress the pattern on it, and put that on top. Then I applied the dried fondant baseplates all around:
That completed the bottom tier. Meanwhile, while things were drying, I made the chocolate minifigs. By “chocolate” I mean Wilton Candy Melts, so not really chocolate at all, but chocolate-like and it’s easier to just say chocolate so go with it.
I filled the cavities of the minifig ice tray with all blue and popped those out, and then with all red and did likewise. Then I heated a sharp knife in my gas torch to slice off the heads and hands. I put the bodies back in the mold, then added yellow to the hand and head cavities. Then I microwaved the whole thing slowly until it all melted together, fusing the heads and hands onto the bodies. When I did the first ones this way, I didn’t tap/jiggle the mold enough on the re-melt of the bodies, so some bubbles appeared. If you’re going to do this, you really need to thoroughly re-melt the bodies, and then tap and jiggle the mold until you actually see bubbles come up through the backs. It’s a bit of a pain but it’s worth it in the end.
You could just put the colours all in the right places on the first go, but that will inevitably lead to swirling, which will mean you’ll have body colour up in the head and hands, and yellow into the body. The cutting method above ensures better edges. If I’d had more time, I have have mixed up some of the pants and torsos for better colour variation.
Then I added their faces. I tried to use black edible ink markers, which worked at first, but the fat in the chocolate kept defeating the markers. Eventually I gave up and painted on faces with Americolor Super Black gel, but I was worried that wouldn’t dry and would end up smeared. I was wrong, though: it dried fairly quickly and made for a good result (note that it was a dry day, so if you’re somewhere humid, you may have a different result).
For the top tier, I carved a house shape in more of the same cake and covered it with buttercream. I then covered that with yellow fondant and mounted it on the lower tier, hiding the edge of the upper tier’s base board with a thin rope of yellow fondant. I rolled out some black to fit and applied it as the roof, then cut strips of black to go against the side and look like the edges of roof tiles. I put two dowels down through the whole thing, then covered those with the triangular roof cap line.
I used a knife to mark out Lego-brick-sized lines all around the house to give the impression of being built out of Lego, and did likewise to the roof, using an actual shingle piece as a guide. I made a little red door and stuck it on, then mounted the minifigs with melted chocolate all around the cake. Anywhere on the green surface around the house that wasn’t taken by a minifig, I applied more green bumps to make it look like they were snapped on to actual Lego.
And here’s the result:
There you have it! Or rather, there the recipient had it. I hope he liked it. As I’ve mentioned before, with these donated cakes, we drop them off to staff at the various facilities and never get to see the recipients. But hopefully he got the Lego cake he was hoping for.