Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to create a Ninjago cake...the easy way!

Each year, I make a special cake for my children's birthdays, based on their favourite thing at the time. Ninjago is the number one toy in this house, so when it came to selecting what cake to make my son this year, it was an absolute no brainer...it had to be a ninja!

In this post, I will share with you how easy it can be to create your own Ninjago inspired cake. There's no need to know fancy fondant techniques, own specialty cake decorating tools, or even know how to bake! Sound good? Read on...

You will need:

  • rectangular cake/slice tin )
  • circular cake board or large plate
  • 2 x your favourite packet cake mix
  • 2 x tins of ready made white frosting
  • food colouring
  • licorice strips
  • Wilton black sparkle gel
  • Cake inspiration photo

Step one - bake the cake
Bake two separate cakes according to the directions on the packet, in a rectangular cake/slice tin. You may need to adjust the baking time, so keep an eye on it. I have used a Chef's Toolbox slice pan which measures 28x22x4cm.  Allow the cakes to cool in the refrigerator overnight. If you're pressed for time, bake just one cake for a thinner finished product or purchase a ready made slab cake from your local bakery.

Step two - gather your decorating supplies
Over the years I have accumulated a number of food colourings, and they're all kept together in a tub in the pantry with patty cake cases, sprinkles etc. You can make any colour though by having the basics - red, blue, yellow and green.

Step three - shape your cake
Layer your two cakes together, spreading a little of the frosting or jam between the two to fix them together.  Then, using a bread knife, start cutting your cake into shape. A Ninjago's head is a little pointed at the top, and more pointed at the bottom. No need to use a template...just trim a little away at a time until it looks similar to your inspiration image.  Transfer the cut cake to your cake plate or board, adding a little icing underneath to stick your cake in place.

Step four - ice your light colour first
Place a small amount of white frosting in a bowl and add some yellow food colouring. Mix together, adding a little more yellow if needed. Next, mark out the yellow face part of your ninja with a knife, then fill the area with yellow frosting. You can see in this image, I have a jug of water handy. Keeping your butter knife/spatula in boiling water will allow you to spread the icing out easier. Scrap away any icing outside of the face area.

Step five - ice the rest of your cake
Mix up a large quantity of icing in your chosen ninja's colour.
  • Red = Kai
  • Blue = Jay
  • White = Zane
  • Black = Cole
  • Green = Lloyd
Seth chose Jay, so blue it is!

Spread the blue frosting over the rest of top of your cake, and down the sides. Smooth out the sides, the add a little more frosting on top, then sweep your knife across to create a "wrapped" look to your ninja's mask. Be careful not to get any blue icing on the yellow.

Step six - time to add character
Using your inspiration photo as a guide, cut out the eyes and eyebrows for your ninja from the licorice. Add the pieces to your cake, gently pressing them into the icing.  Add a little dot of white frosting to the eyes to finish them off.  To soften up the lines of the face, push a little of the blue icing down onto the yellow.  Lastly, clean up around your cake using a damp cloth.

Step seven - personalise your cake
Using the Wilton's black sparkle gel, pipe out your birthday message to your birthday child! If you're feeling crafty, try replicating the Ninjago font.  No need to worry if you get the spacing wrong, or make a spelling mistake...the gel will easily wipe away for you to have another go.  Once finished, pop your cake into the fridge until you're ready to celebrate.

Step eight - sit back and enjoy!
You can see from the look on my son's face that he's thrilled with his cake this year! This cake took under an hour to decorate, and the effect was well worth the effort.  My son loved it, and he's already making plans for next year's cake!

It's really not that hard to create a character cake...just take it slow, and remember your child will appreciate whatever you create! If your child asks for something that is a little on the difficult side, use this little white lie...the image is copyrighted and you can't recreate it! lol.

If you have a go at making your own Ninjago cake, link it up in this post...I'd love to see it! Enjoy!

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