Making of a Minion
This was my first attempt at a "sculpted" cake and I have to say, I was a bit intimidated. Would my minion have a flattened head, a lopsided head, would he end up looking squatty or cattywampus or would I even be able to get the shape covered with fondant. The process was not near as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was somewhat easy and a great start for a caker who is beginning to do sculpted cakes. Although, I didn't capture everything, I thought I would share some parts of my journey with making this little fella :). Once you've done it, you won't want to let him go.
This minion, let's call him Bob, was originally four 8" layers of cake (double barrel cake). The top 2 layers are on a separate cake board (can't see it) to make it easier to serve. I neglected to get a picture of the stack when I was starting or carving but am posting a picture to show an example of the double barrel. For Bob, The cake was torted, filled with buttercream and stacked. Before crumb coating the outside of the cake, the top was carved cutting off the baked edges on the top of the stacked cake until you get a nice dome shape. It is best to carve your cake when it is close to frozen as you will get a better cut without tearing up your cake. Start small and don't get over zealous with cutting. If you cut to much, hard to fix, if you cut to little, you can carve some more. Once your cake has an acceptable shape, crumb coat the outside. Little chill for an hour and then add your final coat of Buttercream. make sure your sides and top are all even and smooth (as you would with any cake that will be covered with fondant). I use the Viva paper towel method and a fondant smoother to do this. On Bob's head, I have to use my hands over the paper towel to get it all nice and smooth.
Next step was to place Bob on his decorated parking spot (cake board) and say my prayers that the fondant would go on easily without tearing. I use marshmallow fondant. Yep, I make my own. I love it. It tastes worlds better than traditional fondant and is fairly easy to work with. Now I am not a mathematical whiz or a person who can decipher the size my rolled out fondant should be to insure I have a big enough piece to cover my cake. I use the old eyeball method. So far, it hasn't failed me. I always roll it out a little bigger than I think will be required. Easier to cut excess off rather than run short and have to start all over. Make sure you have kneaded you'r fondant well and that it is nice and pliable. I rolled mine out a little thicker than normal so that when fitting the fondant smoothly around Bob's sides, it would stretch a little without tearing. Happy to say that God answers prayers and my fondant made it without incident :)
Next step for me was to add Bob's overalls (he was getting cold). The easiest way for me to do the overalls the right shape was to make a pattern out of wax paper. I estimated the size, held the pattern up to the minion and cut off areas that were too long or not proportionately the way I wanted them (regardless of what Bob said). I used my final pattern by placing it on my rolled out blue fondant and cut the shape out with my exacto knife. I made the overall stripes and the pocket for the front of the overalls. Before dressing Bob, I used a nifty little tool, not sure what it's called, I'll call it the stitching tool. It is sold by Wilton and I love it. I use it a lot. I outlined my pieces with this tool so it would look like it was stitched.
Once the pieces were stitched I applied a little sugar glue (water mixed with Tylose powder) to the backsides of the pieces and applied to Bob's body. Make sure when putting the straps on, that you leave enough room to place his arms. Then I added his eye (Bob needed to see). I used a circle cutter to cut out a white piece of fondant for the eye and then cut a portion of a yellow piece of fondant for the bottom piece of the eye - then added the rest of his eye. I also rolled out a "rope" of blue fondant and cut into two equal pieces for his legs. Shape them with your fingers to get a realistic shaped leg and not just a round stick. I used a toothpick to imprint little wrinkles in his legs.
Next step, I added his mouth, tongue and the black goggle outline around his eye.
Then I added some black shoes that I shaped by hand, the little sprigs of hair on his head and the stripes to his goggle. I rolled out yellow ropes to a size I thought were fitting for his arms and attached little black hands. I made the small cake to place in front of him. Frosted it with buttercream and a cherry on top. I found a template on line (template below). Cut out my fondant, added the polka dots and let it dry overnight to that it would retain it's shape (before putting on Bob's head). I apologize for not having other progression pictures - I got to involved with Bob. I hope that this is in some way helpful to someone who is contemplating making their own minion.