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Baking Minecraft Style: Valentine’s Day for Geeks

My boyfriend and I are both complete nerds. He however, had several nerdy loves yet undiscovered by me when we first started dating. You see, he had a love for Minecraft – an online game made of blocky looking characters where you can mine for minerals, harvest food and build an entire world. Basically, it’s adult Legos made awesome.

This year was our first Valentine’s Day together and I wanted to show him how much he’s loved… without being too sappy or “Mushy, mush. I love you. Ooey Gooey.” in some silly card from Walmart. Instead, I decided to let my creativity, sweat and ridiculous love of feeding him do the talking.

Making a Minecraft cake was no easy task. I’m not exactly a pro. Scratch that… I’m barely able to even call myself a novice. I always seem to have great ideas, but fail to implement them as beautifully as I see them in my head. But I had a goal and I was determined! And so, I set myself to this task and went shopping.

I cheated a bit. I usually love making things from scratch but with my work schedule lately, I was simply pressed for time. We were already celebrating a week late because I had to work on the real Valentine’s Day. I picked up a box of cake mix, a tub of cream cheese frosting, sweetened coconut shavings, Blue Raspberry Jello, pre-made Rice Krispie Treats and some Gel food coloring (when did that get so crazy expensive, by the way?), and a Snickers Bar.

It all started off easy enough. I boiled some water and prepared the blue Jello which would spend the evening at the bottom of a baking sheet in my fridge. It would become the “water” for my huge landscape of cake. The next day, I got an early start to my day and followed the directions for baking the cake so it would have plenty of time to cool. While the cake my baking, I spent time squeezing large amounts of green food coloring gel into the frosting so I could get it just the right shade of green. Next, I tossed the coconut into a Ziploc bag with some food coloring in order to dye it – it would become my grass.

While the cake set out to cool, I started lining the jello filled pan with Rice Krispie treats. These would become my sand. I was clever enough to pick up a box that included different flavors so some of the sand actually looks like some of the different minerals you can mine for in the game. I then set to the task of making a tree using the Snickers bar, some Rice Krispy Treats, green frosting and coconut shavings.

What a mess! Unfortunately, I have an roommate with rather severe OCD. She eventually had to leave the house while I worked on the cake thanks to the coconut shavings going everywhere. In fact, I swear… I’m still finding it in places. It’s like that silly Easter Grass when you find it stuck to the bottom of your foot months later! But I digress, working with this shaved coconut was quite the messy challenge. After using the frosting as a sort of glue and using the freezer to set it, gluing the Rice Krispy Treats to the candy bar, I then covered the outside of the treats and patted it with the coconut shavings to make it look like a tree. Messy… but awesome!

Once the cake had cooled, I set to the tricky task. I had it in my mind that it would be easier if I cut the cake into the individual pieces before frosting them. In retrospect, it was probably still the right idea: I just needed a much more dense cake. It was very moist and crumbly – not what I had in mind. The whole purpose was to have individual pieces so it would look like blocks of dirt from the game, covered in grass. I would cut them out, frost and coconut them and then arrange the cake blocks into a heart.

Aww… I know! Isn’t that adorable!?

Unfortunately, this too made quite a mess. It’s not the most beautiful work, but it served its purpose. There was a lot of cake left over that didn’t go into my “masterpiece”, but it’s getting eaten… slowly, but surely.

The boyfriend LOVED the cake very much. I thought he was actually going to cry at one point. It’s the most sentimental I’ve ever seen him. I’m really happy that I took the time to do this project – despite the mess.

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