As mentioned in my last Adventure Time cake post, Jakob’s obsession with the show covered both his 6th and 7th birthdays. For this year he had both Gunter cupcakes for school AND Gunter & BMO cakes for his birthday party.
Both cakes started with doctored box mix and store-bought icing that I adjusted even further by mixing in crushed Oreo cookies to either the cake batter or the icing.
The Gunter cake was Oreo cake with plain vanilla icing, and the BMO cake was plain white cake with Oreo icing.
To make Gunter I carved the cake to give it a rounded top and then covered it with black fondant (the only color I sometimes buy pre-tinted). All the other colors used started as white fondant which was then tinted with gel colors.
I then layered on a white piece for the face/body, a faux-parchment birthday message, black wings and black and white eyes, with a yellow beak.
It was a similar process to make BMO. I started with a thicker, rectangular cake and covered it with a pale teal layer of fondant.
Small bits of blue, green, yellow, black and an even paler teal were used for the details, and then I rolled snakes of the body color to create BMO’s arms and legs.
I decorated the base cover of each cake separately then transferred them to the serving tray before applying the finishing details.
Jakob was obsessed with Adventure Time when his 6th birthday rolled around* so of course I HAD to make him an Adventure Time-themed birthday cake. (The obsession lasted so long that he had 2 Adventure Time cakes AND Gunter-themed cupcakes for his birthday the following year as well!)
Step 1 was to make a fondant BMO. Luckily I’d already made myself a plastic canvas BMO that I could use for easy reference.
BMO was made out of white fondant tinted with gel colors, and had long toothpick inserted underneath while the fondant cube was still soft. After letting the pieces harden for a few days I drew on them with edible markers for the finer details.
I made the fondant toppers by tinting small amounts of fondant into the appropriate colors then cutting out scaled paper templates of each character. I used a fondant knife to trace and cut the appropriate sections of each color then adhered them with water and a clean food-only paintbrush. The last step was to draw on any fine details with the food markers. I then repeated the same process for the logo/sword, substituting Jakob’s name for the word “TIME” in the title.
I baked, stacked and decorated a cake to look like a lovely day in the land of Ooo then applied all the toppers (except BMO) to the sides of the cake, using the moisture of the fresh icing to adhere them. The pieces were juuuust soft enough to form slightly to the cake’s curves so they wouldn’t pop off.
Because of the weight factor, I waited until just before serving to add BMO on top and insert the number candle.
Today, December 15, is one of the many days recognized as “National Cupcake Day”. We’re also halfway to the holidays! In case you’re planning on bringing a little home-baking to your celebrations, here’s a quick and easy little tip to help you out.
Picture it. You’ve baked a dozen (or more) mini cupcakes. They’re all iced and decorated and smelling delicious. But you don’t have a cupcake carrier and your largest Tupperware is already in use! What do you do?
I know what you’re thinking. “If this is about cupcakes, why are you showing me egg cartons?”
Ahhh because those aren’t eggs inside!
Ok ok, so I know what you’re thinking now. “Sure, it’s an easy way to get them to wherever I’m going, but how am I going to get them out afterwards? Won’t I squish the cupcakes? If I tug on the fondant toppers won’t they just pop off the icing? And what if I only have icing on top? I can’t very well grab THAT, now can I?”
Ahh don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! It’s as easy as…
Of course it does take a quick moment of prep, so let’s rewind.
First, make your toppers. These were for Jakob’s 7th birthday, when he was super into Adventure Time. His birthday cakes 2 years in a row were AT-themed, and these cupcakes were a little extra treat to surprise his class at school (back when we were able to do that).
As always when making most toppers (Pitfall cake, Charlie and Lola cake, Minecraft cake, etc) I recommend making them a few days in advance. Not only will this allow the fondant to harden, making placement easier, but it will also help prevent the fondant from absorbing moisture from the icing (or water/fondant glue) and disintegrate on you.
The Gunter toppers are pretty simple to make. Roll out some white fondant and use a circle cutter in your desired size for his face. I went with a cutter the size of the top of my mini cupcakes. I like to use a fondant roller with levelers but you can eyeball it. Roll your white fondant scraps a bit thinner and use your smallest cutter for the eye shine. For my size cupcakes I used a large smoothie straw for the eyes so a regular straw was perfect for the white shiny dots. Set the white circles aside and roll out some black fondant. Use the same cutter as for the head to cut one black circle for each face, and then shift it down a bit and cut away most of it to create a crescent moon-type shape. Use water or fondant glue to attach the black crescent to the white face, and then use the remaining black to cut out his eyes. Attach the eyes to the face and then the eye shine to the eyes. Finally get some yellow fondant (or tint the scraps of your white) and use your fingers to pinch off tiny pieces and roll them into mini cones for his beak. The cutters do the bulk of the work for you and assembly is pretty fast, making this a really simple design.
For reference, here’s Gunter in the show:
Next, bake your cupcakes. I didn’t take progress pics of this part but it was a basic vanilla cake recipe and a swirl of store-bought icing.
Bonus tip: empty your icing tub into a bowl and whip it up a bit with a hand or stand mixer. Not only will it be a lovely consistency for piping lush swirls but the air added to the icing will increase the volume, getting you more mileage out of what you’ve got.
While your cupcakes are cooling you can prepare their carriers. Each egg carton will hold 1 dozen cupcakes (obv) and you’ll need something sharp for cutting out the bottoms. I found a knife/blade worked much better than scissors for this.
The easiest method was to cut around the carton’s own indent. Imagine the circle was a square and insert the knife straight down into 3 of the 4 “sides” of the circle. Then you can tear off the little flap this creates.
Give a little wiggle to push the cut edges to the inside. This will make it more comfortable for you later, and the raised little bits will also give the cupcake a bit of a shelf so it doesn’t fall too tightly into the hole and get stuck.
And that’s all it takes! Super easy, using something you’ve probably already got on-hand.
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