Minecraft Cake + Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

I can’t believe it.  My baby boy, my youngest child, my angel… turned nine!

When you are growing up, you get embarrassed when your parents tell you you’re growing up too fast, but the fact of the matter is, it’s true.  Kids do grow up to fast.  I’m finally learning to take a step back, enjoy them now – these moments are fleeting and need to be cherished!

Ah.  Memories.  He was barely a day old when this picture was taken.  A little sportsman even then!  Seeing this picture, it’s hard to believe he got cuter!

See?  I don’t lie.

(I asked him to be enthusiastic – this is as close as I got.  Boys.)
 
As for LS‘s ninth birthday… well, he’s super into Minecraft.  Can anyone else relate?  He plays the game (on the XBOX) whenever he gets the chance and it goes as far as watching other people play on YouTube – people who play on the computer.  It’s near obsession.
So, as a surprise, I thought I’d attempt a Minecraft-themed cake for his birthday.
(The green thing is a Creeper – nailed it!)
For the most part, I’m proud of this cake.  If you’ve been following my cake escapes since the beginning, this is a far cry from those first cakes.  I like to say every cake I make has a learning curve – I’m always trying new techniques.
This year has been great for my round cakes.  They’ve been releasing from the pans in one piece and icing has been a breeze… so what do I do?  I decide to make a square cake.  To be fair, Minecraft is a game of squares, so it would look pretty ridiculous to have a round Minecraft cake.
(Ah.  Steve?  I’m assuming that’s the characters name or something – nailed that, too!)
I was lucky this time.  My parents were here for a few days prior to his birthday – it landed on a Monday!  Bummer.  The ‘rents had to leave before that, so we celebrated early – on Saturday.
Anyway, I told my mom what I was thinking and that I had never attempted this before; she was more than happy to help.  Actually, she was almost giddy when I told her we would be working with fondant – another medium I had yet to work with.  Not as daunting as I predicted, so bonus!
Also, please ignore the fact that the cake is leaning… like I said: learning curve. 
Of course, a lot of what happens in Minecraft happens underground, so the patches of grass were a must.
How did I get the different colors of green, you ask?  Well, I started each small batch with a few drops of AmeriColor® Mint Green.  I kept one batch simple, with just the green, the next batch I added a drop of AmeriColor® Super Black (it’s the darkest green), with the last batch containing a few drops of generic yellow (lightest green).
Then there was the fondant.  I actually had to go as far as measuring the height of the entire cake so our fondant squares would be proportionate.  A piece of regular paper was cut to the size we wanted so all the squares would be [roughly] the same size.
I used my frosting spreader to cut all the fondant.  I know that’s not what it’s for, but it totally worked, so… no complaints.
I used the same food coloring for the fondant, with the added generic red.  It was white fondant, so we just added color until it looked right.  That silver/gray?  Yeah… just the Super Black.  Very little… like, a drop.  
Did I forget to mention that this was my first layer cake that had more than two layers?  Now you know why it was leaning.  Amazingly enough there was supposed to be a fourth layer… but, lucky for us, it didn’t make it.  It’s the little things. *whew*
Oh!  As for the frosted middle and the “dirt” frosting – each were just normal canned frosting: cream cheese (white – so it was easy to color) and chocolate fudge (’cause dirt is brown and I didn’t have brown dye).
So, another adventure in cake decorating, with another coming up in less than a month.  LMSP is turning eleven!  They’re birthdays are literally a month apart – one born 5/12 and one born 6/11.  Total number of months separating them: 23.
All right – enough cake.  A girl can only take so much.
This next recipe I’m not going to share in this post… because I have made it before – a year ago, for the same birthday.  Apparently LS waited all year before requesting it again.  There were some changes, which I will mention, but mainly I’m just sharing updated pictures.
For the recipe and instructions: go here.  I just want to add that, in my haste before, I omitted a crucial ingredient for the ranch sauce: sour cream.  If you just go by my shopping list, you would miss that, but if you read the directions on the ranch packet, you’re all good.  Oops!
I also used only one pan this time: a 30 in. pizza pan from Wilton®.  Still used refrigerated pizza crust.

I think I used over a pound of cheese.  I know I used a pound of bacon.  Yeah.  All on one pizza.

I used most of a bunch of green onions… scallions.  Whatever.
The crust really puffed up nice, which I’m attributing to the new pizza pan.
When asked whether this year’s pizza or last year’s pizza won the taste test, there was no clear winner.  TBG said he liked last year’s crust because it was thinner.  I’m going to try and remedy that with the next pizza creation.
As for the bacon, well… this year won, hands down! 
Yummy!  It was even good the next day.  Try it, then come back and tell me your thoughts!
*Disclaimer* All pictures in this post are my property, taken by me, or are of my children.  Do not claim rights or use for commercial or monetary gain.  Any use of these images should be linked back to me.  Thank you.
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