I wanted to share with you how I made this Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake for the son of one of my husband's co-workers yesterday. Well it's been a few days now, I was having trouble uploading my pictures. But anyway we're here now, so here goes.......
I started with a white cake mix, but I alter it just a bit. The instructions on the back of the box say to add 1 1/4 cups water. I instead add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup milk to give it a slightly richer texture and whiter appearance. I also add approx. 1/2 tsp. good vanilla flavoring--I use McCormicks Clear Imitation Vanilla for everything because it doesn't add any hint of brown to cakes, frostings, etc. It has a good mild vanilla flavor, not bitter like some.
This was to be a marble cake, so I also used a devils food cake mix and swirled it in. I just prefer white and chocolate cake together rather than yellow and chocolate.
Cakes tend to bake quickly around the edges leaving the center to rise and bake more slowly, resulting in a high center and low edges. When this happens, it is necessary to cut off the center of the cake to level it and make the whole thing uniform. So to lessen this I insulate the baking pan by wrapping a wet flour sack kitchen towel around it and setting the whole thing on a cookie sheet while baking.
This is going to be a Big party and I have 2 somewhat smaller side by side ovens. I baked 2 cakes approx 9X13 each and frosted them as one just like when I worked as a cake decorator in our local Wal-Mart Bakery.
The frosting recipe is one my mom has used for years. I think she got it from a cooking program she used to listen to on the radio. (before there was HGTV)
1 cup Crisco solid shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 (approx 2 lb size) pkg confectioners sugar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon (about 1 capful) McCormicks Clear Imitation Vanilla
although not included in the original recipe, we've come to like the flavor of adding just a hint of Almond flavoring too, maybe about 1/4 tsp.
Just mix it all together on high speed with the stand mixer until it's nice and fluffy. This is a great consistency for putting through the decorator tube but you will need to add just a bit more milk for spreading.
Then piping on the shell border.
A blank canvas reading for decorating.
I printed off an online pic of Mickey they wanted on the cake.
The printout was a perfect size to fit on the cake so to save time I cheated and made a waxed paper template and traced around it with a toothpick rather than free hand it this time.
Next I mixed up the famous mouse colors- red, black and a deep yellow for his shoes.
For this project, the star tips get a good workout.
I started with the ears.
He's starting to take shape now.
Looking very recognizeable.
My little Doxy, Millie, was apparently feeling left out and wanting my attention. She kept laying on my feet during this process so I ended up having my daughter lay some of Millie's dog blankies on the floor in the doorway for her cozy up in.....see them in the corner of these photos?