How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

My now 11 year old is mad on Minecraft and has been for a couple of years now. He loves everything Minecraft and asked for a Minecraft block birthday cake for his 11th birthday. I lack the skills (and time and enthusiasm) to bake and decorate something really complex, but I can bake a good sponge cake. I figured if I did some kind of grass block, then if it looked a bit rough and ready, it would be all the better for it.

Although this is fairly simple, it is a bit time consuming. Baking the cake layers took me a couple of hours and I made sure I had an hour or so free the next day to put it together and decorate it. I did cheat and use ready-made tubs of frosting, but you can make your own if you want to.

We baked four layers of sponge using a 20cm square cake tin. My son loves the look of rainbow sponge cakes, so I coloured each one a different shade using some Wilton cake colourings I had. I always find they work really well; just remember that once you bake the cake, the colour gets darker, so go easy.

How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

We used my regular sponge cake recipe, but instead of splitting it into two tins, I just threw it all in one tin and had an extra thick cake. I needed to adjust my baking time upwards, to around 35 minutes. But just bake until you get a clean skewer when you poke it in the middle.

I baked four of these thick sponge cakes, but you may need more or less. I wanted my cake to be as tall as it was wide, in other words, it needed to look like a cube, or a Minecraft block. We bought sugar paste Minecraft figures off the internet, because I lack the skill and time to tackle making those for myself.

I try and make a cake every year for my son’s birthday and he really, really loved this cake. It was worth the fairly small amount of effort I put into it. I’m not an exert cake decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but this was pretty impressive.

How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

You will need:

4 layers of sponge cake, rainbow coloured if you like
2 tubs of vanilla buttercream
Green food colouring
Green sprinkles
3 tubs of chocolate buttercream frosting, I used chocolate orange flavour
A packet of chocolate biscuits, I used bourbon creams
A cake board
Sugar Minecraft figures, optional
Birthday cake candles, mandatory

How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

Once you’ve baked your layers, it’s time to build your cake. You may need to trim the tops off your sponge layers to level them out a bit. The important thing about this cake is that it’s level and a cube shape.

To build the cake, using a palette knife put a dab of the buttercream in the centre of the cake board. If you’re using rainbow cake; decide which order your rainbow layers will go and place the bottom layer on top of the blob of buttercream. This will help to anchor your cake in place and stop it sliding about.

Spread a layer of buttercream on top of your first layer and top it with your next sponge layer. Cover that with buttercream and continue until all the layers are stacked. With the top layer, even if you’ve trimmed the top off the cake to make it level, if you flip it upside down. It will guarantee that the top of the cake will be perfectly level, which is what you want.

Once it is approximately a cube shape, it’s time to decorate it. I began by covering the sides of the cube with the chocolate frosting. While I was doing this, I gave my son the job of smashing up a packet of chocolate biscuits into crumbs. This was so I could press the crumbs into the buttercream to make it look like soil. I wasn’t too bothered about the crumbs being uniform in size; in fact some bigger crumbs just made it look muddier. Once you’ve covered the sides of the cube with chocolate frosting, carefully press the crumbs into the sides until they sides are covered.

How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

For the grass layer, I mixed two tubs of vanilla frosting with some green food colouring. Just add a few drops until you get to the shade of green you’re happy with. Carefully spoon the frosting onto the top of the cake; making sure it stays on the top and doesn’t run down the sides. Once I’d done this, I used green sprinkles on top to add some grassy texture and then I put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

When you’re ready to present and serve your cake, arrange your Minecraft figures however you’d like, light the candles and sing Happy Birthday in your best voice.

How to make a Minecraft Block Birthday Cake

7 Things to do in Manchester – Summer 2017

Over the last few weeks I’ve been studiously jotting down some fun things to do in Manchester over the summer 2017 holidays. My list seems to go on forever, so it’s time I wrote it down properly and shared it with you, dear reader. As ever, if you have any more suggestions for summer fun, please comment below!

A Summer of Victorian Entertainment for Children and Families at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is throwing open its doors this summer to the world of the Victorian children at play. Every Wednesday in the summer holidays, a range of activities will take visitors back in time to when the Gaskell’s daughters would have played in the House. Highlights include circus skills, Victorian theatre and costumed actors with a Victorian craft to take home for each child.

There’s so much going on at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House this summer, visit their website for more information and to pre-book for special events

intu Trafford Centre turns fairy tale dreams into reality with Princess-Sing-Alongs

A whole host of beautiful princesses from fairy tales are set to descend on intu Trafford Centre this summer. Every Tuesday join one of their Princess-Sing-Alongs. Wannabe Princesses (and Princes) are invited to join a host of beautiful princesses for a sing-along in the Main Dome of the centre every Tuesday at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White will be performing at the centre, welcoming fans with the chance to sing along to their hearts’ content.

7 Things to do in Manchester - Summer 2017

Manchester BookBench Trail

Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust have joined forces with Wild in Art to bring their iconic BookBench sculptures to Manchester. The BookBenches will be displayed in cultural hubs, leisure and shopping centres across Manchester. Families will be able to discover the BookBenches by following a trail and complete quizzes and activities as they so do. Many of the venues will host reading-themed events throughout summer 2017.

The Lowry, Salford Quays

This August The Lowry hosts an incredible selection of family shows. In the Quays theatre they have a month long run of Room on the Broom (Tue 1 – Sun 27 Aug), the well-loved classic The Jungle Book (Tue 29 Aug – Sat 2 Sept), and in the Lyric theatre you’ll find the kooky clan from The Addams Family (Tue 29 Aug – Sat 9 Sept).

The Lowry will also open its doors on Sat 5 August from 10am until 4pm for a summer 2017 Open Day, with free activities that enable visitors of all ages to explore the venue in a completely new way.

7 Things to do in Manchester - Summer 2017

Digital Skills for all the family in Cheshire!

Drop in and get making at these free and family friendly hands on workshops at different Cheshire East libraries across the borough. Choose from – Animations in Minecraft, Build an Infrared Detector Circuit, Interactive LED art and PatternBeats.

Not forgetting “Crewecraft” – a festival of all things Minecraft in Crewe – join one of five public interactive sessions where you can build a part of Crewe’s heritage.

Full information on venues, dates and times and how to book your free place for all these workshops –

Kids’ Cookery Camps with Food Sorcery 

Kids aged 7-14 years can book a place on on one the Food Sorcery Kids’ Cookery Camps this summer. The workshops help kids gain the confidence, skills and independence they need to get cooking.

Chef Jason gets the kids prepping, cooking and eating tasty, nutritious food in a fun and friendly environment. He teaches timing and safety in the kitchen and encourages creativity with flavours. The menus will vary, but there is always be a vegetarian option available and special diets can be catered for if discussed in advance.

For more information, visit the Food Sorcery website.

Summer at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is always a hive of activity over the summer. This year is no exception – there’s plenty to keep your family occupied! From cheering your team on at the Science Showdown, to getting your game face on at Power Up! What about tinkerering and creating at MakeFest too? With their special events and exhibitions; as well as the usual halls of fun and a steam engine ride – they’ve got everything you need for a fun-filled, family day out.

Visit the MSI website for full listings.

7 Things to do in Manchester - Summer 2017
Picture:  © Jason Lock

These are just a few of the many, many things to do in Manchester over the summer. You can catch up on our plans for the summer holiday on our summer bucket list. But if you have any other suggestions for things to do, please comment in the box below!

Have a great summer 2017!