By now, you have probably seen the sneak peek of our last adventure on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lahootbakery. We had a few guesses, but the answer is… drumroll… a NINJAGO!!
I grew up around legos; my brother was the lego master. So when we got this order, I was pretty stoked. This was for a joint birthday party, and the request was a Ninjago cupcake cake, and a second cupcake cake made to look like a flat green base board with Harry Potter characters on it. Then, 6 “normal” lego head cake pops and 6 “ninjago” cake pops. Comin’ right up!
TIP: Instead of buying cake boards, use cardboard from leftover pizza or Amazon boxes if you have some laying around. Then, cover it in foil and you’ve got yourself a “free” cakeboard! Also, when using buttercream, grease spots are left on cardboard, so the foil prevents that messy look as well.
We started with the Ninjago cake, by placing cupcakes in the shape we wanted. Once we got it exactly like we wanted, we placed the rest of the cupcakes in a rectangular form on the 2nd board for the Harry Potter cake. We decided instead of a literal rectangle, to offset each column of 4 cupcakes so the top and bottom edges were more of a zig zag for a more interesting look.
TIP: For cupcake cakes, make sure you have the cupcakes very tightly together. Once you have them right where you want them, pick each cupcake up and put a pea size of icing on the bottom to prevent any sliding.
Next, we mixed the red icing for the Ninjago. We packed the icing into one of the big bags with the icing tip and laid out the strips onto the cupcakes. Amy worked on flattening out the red, while I repeated this process with green icing on the second cake to make the lego base board.
Then we made black icing and put the strips onto Ninjago’s suit to make his belt and straps. The Ninjago character has a fireball on his outfit, like a badge almost, so Amy had the awesome idea (TIP) of drawing the fireball on a notecard, cutting it out, and placing it where we needed it. Then, she covered the card in yellow icing with a star tip. This works amazing for a template of rare stand-out shapes. All that was left was his face and eyes, and ta-da, Ninjago was ready for his battle.
The green base board was a little tricky because the dots and subsequent legos can’t really be arbitrary… you have to line them up to make it look right. At first, Amy took a tooth pick and put a dot board draft into the green icing to help us follow straight lines. We found out after that it was easier for one of us to just start in one corner and do the design in a clockwise pattern around the edges. I wouldn’t suggest two people trying to do this process.
Once we were done with the baseboard and added a few icing legos, we put the Harry Potter figures (provided by the client) in the center and ta-da, this cake was ready to go!
And here are the cakes, side-by-side!
Now- for the cake pops. We started by using one of those plastic cookie scoops with the rubber bottom to help push out the dough, and used it to scoop the cake pop mixture and place it on a cookie sheet. This helps give you a consistent size. Then, we rolled each into a cylinder shape and placed them upright on the cookie sheet, and put them in the fridge after wrapping in cellophane. We did this in advance so they’d be good and set before we worked with them.
On decorating day, we took out the pops, and put the sticks in. Lego heads have little nubs on top; so then, we melted a little of our yellow chocolate, put a dab on each cake pop, and placed an m&m on it. Then, we put them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to help them set prior to the big dipping. We had a pack of regular m&ms, and used all the yellow ones first on principal. In hindsight, the yellow worked better because you have to really make sure you cover the other colors when dipping the pops… they show through if not.
For the big dip, we used a thin, tall coffee mug. We melted the rest of the bag of chocolate (it seems like a lot but practically halves in size once melted). Then, followed our tip previously learned of melting crisco and adding it to the chocolate to help it be extra smooth and easier to dip into. We dipped all of the pops, set them in a pop stand, and set them in the fridge.
Once the chocolate set, we took six of them and painted the Lego faces on with a paintbrush and black Wilton coloring. TIP: coloring gel needs another element mixed with it to dry… the faces didn’t dry… like ever, at all. Some ideas are, thin down some black buttercream, put some black coloring with a little piping gel, or use black cookie decorating icing. Even though they didn’t dry, they turned out awesome.
For the Ninjago cake pops (and I failed to take pics of each step- so sorry), we followed these steps:
1. roll out fondant less than 1/8th inch.
2. Using a pizza cutter, cut a square a little over 1inch by 1inch.
3. Pick up the square and place it over the nub on top of the head (attach with a little gum glue). You have to work the fondant a little around the edges to get it to lay flat.
4. Then cut another piece of fondant about 4-5 inches wide and about 1 1/2 inch long.
5. Turn it over so the greasy side is up, and using your fingers, create little folds longways.
6. Put a dot of gum glue on both ends, and rub it around with your finger. Then, wrap it around the top portion of the head and overlap it in the back and press down to help the gum glue adhere.
7. Take a tooth pick to cut out the front so you have a rectangular opening for the eyes.
8. Next- this shape is a little tricky but cut a long triangle out of fondant, about 3 1/2 or 4 inches wide and maybe 1 1/2 inch long. Then, using a pizza cutter, cut into the sides so you wind up with about an inch on both ends of a rectangular shape, and then the middle goes down into a V. If you are trying to do this and need a drawing, email us- it’s very hard to describe. So mad I didn’t take pictures!
9. Turn over your triangle and create a couple of folds. Then, put a dot of gum glue on both ends, and rub it around with your finger. Wrap the bandana around the bottom portion of the head.
10. We set them flat, with the backside facing down, for a few minutes to help the gum glue set prior to doing anything else. Then we painted on the eyes.
VOILA! Ninjago cake pops.
This is one of our favorite projects to date. Hope you enjoyed it and learned a little too!