Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Lego Cake

If you have a Lego fan at your house, here are directions for how I made this cake for Thatcher's 8th birthday. It was tons of fun and not difficult at all...time-consuming but not difficult! :) When I decided to do this, I began by doing a Google image search of Lego cakes. I found an amazing photo (scroll down a little) but the blog included no directions. Still this photo served as my inspiration so I wanted to be sure to give credit to the guy who first figured this out. Thanks so much, Kevin!!!

Directions for Lego Cake

You will need:
  • these two silicone molds from the Lego store. You can purchase the large mold at lego.com but unfortunately they say the yellow one is no longer available on their site. They have a blue one at their online shop but it says it is not sold in the US. Still I am linking that page just in case they decide to start offering it in the States. If you think you want to make this cake sometime, run by the nearest Lego store and pick one up in case they are being discontinued. If there is no Lego store near you call a friend in a different town who can pick one up and mail it to you or eBay it! The cake would still be cute even without the tiny bricks if you can't get your hands on one of these - or just use a few real Legos!
  • Wilton Candy Melts in your preferred colors. I had friends save Michaels coupons from the Sunday paper and I bought all mine 40% off. It depends on how thick you make your bricks but I found that each bag of Candy Melts would make about three large Legos plus four to six small bricks as well. Again, this can really vary.
  • a cake board covered with foil. Wilton sells a Fanci-Foil (great instructions and demo video here) but I just just regular foil. Also, I never buy cake boards. When I go to Michaels to buy the Candy Melts I stop by the framing department. The mats they use for framing come inbetween sheets of thick cardboard and these are perfect for cake boards. They come in all sizes, too. Just cut it to the exact size you want and cover it.
  • your favorite cake prepared according to package directions. The amount of cake you will need will vary depending on how many bricks you make. I had 23 bricks and only needed one 13x9 cake. I'd buy two cakes to be safe if you are planning on making about the same number of bricks. My legos were pretty thick so just a small piece of cake fit inside. If your bricks are thinner, you may need more cake. My favorite mix is Duncan Hines Classic White Cake. I follow the package directions except I add a few teaspoons of almond extract. Yum! I also add almond extract in my icing as well.
  • a double batch of Wilton's buttercream frosting. I make the variation that says "For pure white icing" so I can make it ahead of time (up to a week) and my cake won't require refrigeration due to all the butter. In addition to the butter extract and the vanilla extract I again add a few tsp of almond extract to compliment the flavor in the cake. Remember that you may need more or less depending on how many legos you make.
  • peanut butter filling, if desired, for the small bricks. I did not use a recipe. I just mixed a cup of peanut butter with powdered sugar until it was as sweet as I liked. You can add a tiny bit of vegetable oil if needed to make a little thinner.
  • one package of white fondant. The 24 oz package was perfect for my lego man. Tint part of the icing yellow for his head using Wilton's icing colors. I used Lemon Yellow. Be sure to use gloves when you mix the fondant and the yellow dye or your hands will be extremely stained!

Directions:
  1. Melt the first color of Candy Melts in microwave (be careful not to scorch!) or in double boiler on the stovetop. "Paint" the bottom of the mold with one layer of candy. Firmly tap all the air bubbles out so the tops of your legos aren't full of tiny holes. Then paint the sides of the mold, too. Allow to set. Living in Houston with our high humidity, the candy would have taken days to harden. Lol! I used the freezer to speed this process along knowing that when the legos were removed from the mold they would condensate a little bit. I made sure not to touch them until the moisture had completely evaporated so my bricks wouldn't have fingerprints all over them. You will need to repeat this process adding layers of candy until the bricks are thick enough to remove them from the mold without breaking them. I did two thick coats and that was sufficient. The insides of my bricks were not smooth and pretty, but noone was going to see that part anyway. ;) Repeat this process until you have as many bricks as you need.
  2. For the small bricks with pb filling, just put a thin layer of candy melts in the bottom of the small bricks and tap out air bubbles. Put in freezer. Add a small amount of pb filling and then fill remaining brick with candy melts. Tap again so the bottom of the brick with be nice and smooth. If you want to make things easier, skip the filling all together and just make solid bricks. I did half with filling and half without because we had one guest with a peanut allergy. The pb ones went fast but for the time this step takes, I may skip it in the future. Repeat with each color of candy melts until you have all the small legos you need.
  3. Put frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large tip (#12 or even 1A or 2A) to make this process super-quick (you can certainly skip this and do it all by hand, too). Cut cake into pieces small enough to fit inside each brick (remember to leave room for a layer of frosting) and cover each piece with frosting. Set a brick mold on top of it and wa-la! Repeat until all molds are filled with cake.
  4. Make the Lego man. I loved that the one Kevin made in his photo was an ode to the classic Legos from my childhood - plus since this was my first time working with fondant I really needed that picture to work from! ;) To make his head I made a ball and then stretched it out a little and flattened it. Add the Lego nub to the top. You can buy food safe markers but I just used a black scrapbooking pen to draw on his face and didn't allow the kids to eat that part. For his body I used a large circle cutter from my set similar to this. I filled the center of the cutter with fondant and smoothed it out. Then I removed the circle mold and cut the bottom part of the circle off so it would sit flat on his legs which are simply two basic rectangles. They hardly show so don't worry much about them. The arms are two rectangles with rounded the edges. The hands are flattened ovals that I curled into that Lego "hook". I attached the arms with water as the "glue" and toothpicks (cut in half) for extra support. Until the fondant completely dried I stacked little Lego bricks under his arms to hold them up and you can see in the photo I arranged the Legos on the final cake so that those arms would still have that support. I attached the hands in the same way. You will need to work a tiny bit to cover the holes the toothpicks leave but this was pretty simple.
  5. Place Lego man on board first and then arrange large bricks all around board. When I got the bricks placed just like I wanted, I secured each to the cake board using more frosting as glue. I had to transport my cake to the mall so I wasn't taking any chances that one of those bricks would fall off! Finish by placing the small legos all over board (I didn't glue these down).
Notes: You can do much of the prep ahead of time for this cake. You can make the frosting a week ahead of time as well as the prepare the cake board. The legos can be made a day or two early and honestly should be to allow the condenstion to evaporate if you are using the freezer like I did. The actual assembly of the individual lego cakes and arrangment on the board went really fast. I did that the morning of the party.

Here are a few more photos of the cake. If you make one, come back to this post and link your pictures. It will be fun to see all the variations people come up with. :)




Photobucket

17 comments:

Jolene said...

Great Cake! HI! I gave u a blog award! Please collect at my blog!
http://ourlifehomeschoolingjg.blogspot.com/

Mandy said...

What a great cake! You really show your love for your kids by how much time you spend with and on them. Very cool!
Did you notice I commented on your post from the trails back in January? We finally made it out there and loved it! Thanks!
Amanda

mommidwest said...

I love this cake! My son's birthday is Wednesday and the party on Sunday so I probably won't be able to pull it off. Did you just bake cake and then put it inside the candy coated shapes?

Jennefer said...

Yep! For all 23 legos I only needed one 13x9 cake. There isn't too much space in there! :) Good luck if you decide to try it. It was a blast!

Jennefer said...

Mandy,

I am so glad you guys went to the trails. Hopefully it was a day where you got to actually view some great wildlife. Most of the time we see tons of birds and all sorts of other critters, but every once in a while we get nothing! :)

Jennefer

Dalia said...

Excellent post.!! Thank you so much for sharing the directions for making Lego cake.

Anonymous said...

I came upon your website as I Googled Lego cake molds. My son turns 10 tomorrow & we're going to the Lego store. I will definitely be getting the molds. I hope my cake turns out half as good as yours! Thanks for sharing!

Debbie Gaydos said...

WOW this is awesome! My son wants a lego cake for his birthday in January, and I'm trying to find the mold. I love how using the "candy coating" for your pieces really gives the bright colors and smooth look of actual legos! Great job!

Karisma said...

What a GREAT cake!! I just found both these molds on ebay, but wasn't sold- until just now!! Love, love the candy coating idea too!! Can't wait to get things moving for my sons birthday on Valentine's Day!!

Maria said...

Jennifer,
I am sooo excited to try the lego brick cakes! Your idea is awesome! Thanks for posting it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me... I'm sure this cake for 2 of my sons will fall under that promise!!
Maria

Lindsey said...

Were you able to cut the cake with the candy molds around it, or did you take the molds off to serve the cake?

Thanks, Lindsey

Jennefer said...

Lindsey,

Some of the kids just pulled the mold off and ate the cake. Others used their fork and broke through the mold and ate the cake and mold together.

It would simply depend on how thick you made the molds (the thicker the harder for kids to cut especially considering they will only have a fork ;) and if the kids liked/wanted to eat the mold.

Personally I am not crazy about the taste of candy coating so I won't eat the stuff - no matter how cute it looks!

Just to add, the mini legos filled with peanut butter were a huge hit! They went so fast!!! :)

Good luck,
Jennefer

Happiness is Handmade said...

AWESOME! I like to read your homeschooling info, because we are headed in that direction NEXT year! So I just happen to come across this and we had JUST got done discussing what we were going to do for Tanner's 5th birthday... he decided a Lego party! We were going to attempt something of a rectangular cake with 6cup cakes on top, this looks easier! :) Thanks for Sharing!

tanner said...

I have this mold and have tried to make the chocolate Legos but even after 2 hours in the freezer, I cannot get them out with out major breakage! Any suggestions? Thanks!
Chris

Jennefer said...

If you are referring to the large legos here are my suggestions:

First are you using candy melts? I have never made them with real chocolate so if you are using that I am not sure.

Second, most likely your bricks just need to be thicker. And I mean THICKER! The piece of cake that ended up fitting inside each was actually pretty small. Be careful to especially build up the sides and the very bottom edge as well. Freeze for a few minutes between layers so each layer is pretty much set before you "paint" on another.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Jennefer

Chris said...

Jennefer.... ADORABLE CAKES!! The red silicone is impossible to find now - at least for me in the LA area. Any ideas on where some one might get it now? Or an alternative? TIA..... Chris

kpeterson@kevinpeterson.net said...

Jennefer,

Congrats on the cake. I recreated my original blog entry with some basic instructions, but not as good as you did. Thanks for the shout out and the link. Your cake looks great. Hopefully the kids enjoyed it as much as mine did!

Kevin S. Peterson