My son turned 6 this month and asked me to make him a Toy Story cake. I had a hard time envisioning what I was going to do. However, after finding this website about 3 weeks ago I was so excited to try out making my Homemade Toy Story Birthday Cake Idea.
He wanted both a chocolate and a white cake. We had almost 30 people coming so I knew I needed a fairly good size cake and wanted it to be very tasty. So I baked a chocolate cake in a half sheet cake pan (18×26- this pan requires the batter for two cakes and I bake it at 325 degrees instead of 350 degrees so it does not over bake on the edges while the middle finishes). I learned years ago that if you add 2 tablespoons of Miracle Whip to a boxed cake mix the cake turns out moist and delicious (a very easy way to make it taste like it is made from scratch).
I frosted the bottom cake with mocha frosting (see recipe below). This frosting is always a hit with adults and kids alike and has a unique flavor. I was able to add details to the top of the cake by scoring the chocolate frosting after it had set up with a paring knife to make it look like wood flooring.
I baked a white cake in a loaf pan and crumb coated that cake with a basic butter cream frosting. The headboard and footboard was made from a hot chocolate shortbread; I added about 2 tablespoons cocoa to deepen the color of the shortbread (see recipe below). I was able to form the headboard and footboard then bake it with minimal distortion as the shortbread does not expand much when baking.
For the blocks and toy box I shaped them from rice crispy treats and let them firm up overnight before covering with a thin layer of butter cream frosting then home made marshmallow fondant (see recipe below which I got online). I used a little bit of yellow fondant to accent the cutout moon in the headboard. I also used food coloring markers (both Betty Crocker and Wilton have nice ones on the market) to add details to the toy box. There is a layer of white fondant on the “head” side of the bed as the “sheet” then a layer of blue fondant for the comforter. The pillow is made of white fondant.
The sides of the cake are then covered with blue fondant and white fondant cutouts of clouds (freehand). The letters are cut out using small letter cookie cutters. On the etch a sketch (also made by layering red and white fondant) I wrote the number 6 using black liquid food coloring and a clean paint brush.
Finally, I used Toy Story figurines that my children already had in their toy room (washed and dried them first). The best part was? my son LOVED it, he even enjoyed helping!
Mocha Almond Frosting:
6 Tablespoons Butter- softened
2 ½ Cups Confectioners (powdered) Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Almond Extract
1-2 Tablespoons Instant Coffee Crystals
2-4 Tablespoons milk (heated slightly)
Combine first five ingredients and slowly add milk until correct consistency is achieved.
Hot Chocolate Shortbread:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Instant Hot Cocoa Powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
12 Tablespoons Butter
½ Cup Sugar
Mix all together. Bake at 350 degrees in an aluminum lined and greased (spray) pan.
1 and ½ Bags of Mini Marshmallows
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Bag of Confectioners (powdered) Sugar
Melt the mini marshmallows along with the water in the microwave. Mix in ½ the bag of sugar. Then liberally grease your hands with the shortening and knead in the remaining sugar (the mixture is very hot at this point but you must keep your hands greased as it is also very sticky). Continue kneading until the mixture is no longer sticky. Coat the mixture liberally with shortening and wrap in plastic wrap then seal in a Ziploc bag. Store in the refrigerator overnight. The next day (or up to two weeks later) coat a rolling pin and the counter or a board with cornstarch and roll out the fondant to the desired thickness (I found that it works best roll it out thin when coating things). Can use almost anything to cut out desired shapes. Can color the fondant with Wilton’s coloring gels. To attach different cut out shapes of fondant to each other just slightly dampen with water then attach and allow to dry.