10 brilliant cinematic birthday cake ideas you can make at home
No kids’ birthday party is complete without a birthday cake and, thanks to the glut of child-friendly films cramming cinema schedules from January to December, there should be no shortage of film-themed cake ideas for you (and guests!) to get your teeth into.
Minions, the long-awaited Despicable Me spinoff, was one of the undisputed smashes of 2015, becoming one of the handful of films to break $1 billion worldwide. It was perfect for kids, mainly involving simple, brightly-coloured characters performing cute physical comedy rather than difficult-to-understand dialogue.
The Minions are easy to transpose into sponge cake form – you can either make a fully-formed version (complicated but worth it) or go for a simple round shape covered in yellow fondant icing so all you have to add are the features. It’s up to you!
“Millionaire genius playboy philanthropist” is how Tony Stark describes himself in Avengers Assemble – what child wouldn’t be interested in becoming at least the first two of those? While different kids might have different favourites, such as the Incredible Hulk, Thor or Black Widow, Iron Man will always go down well with the majority. The key here is to achieve clean, defined lines throughout the design to reflect the precision of Iron Man’s metal mask.
Frozen fever shows no sign of abating, a full two years after the film’s release. Girls and boys alike have fallen for the adventures of Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff in a big way, so every parent has probably experienced a Frozen-themed birthday party. The characters don’t lend themselves particularly easily to cakes – it can be difficult to fully recreate a detailed and colourful Anna or Elsa, though Olaf’s simple shapes and predominant white colour make him the easiest design to bake.
Children may only now be becoming aware of the Muppets, thanks to the 2011 and 2014 films, though their parents will be well-versed in the ways of Jim Henson’s creations. If a Muppets cake is on the agenda for your party, classic favourites like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Animal and cult Muppets like Beaker, Rolf, Pepe the Prawn and Statler and Waldorf provide a lot of inspiration for cake designers.
One of the easiest ways to get all of the Muppets into a cake is to do something similar to this design, where a sliver of each Muppet’s face is incorporated into an overall design. Alternatively, you can focus on one Muppet rather than trying to fit lots of them in.
One film due to join the ranks of highest-earning films this Christmas is Star Wars: Episode VII, which has already broken presale records around the world and is set to capture the imagination of a new generation, just as its predecessors did in the 1970s. Unlike the maligned prequels of the early 2000s, Episode VII sees the return of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca, and anticipation is high.
The favourite character as far as kids are concerned this time around will probably be the new ball-shaped android, BB-8. To create BB-8 out of cake will probably require three layers that can be rounded off (with some extra for the head) and covered with white fondant, and then orange and grey icing for the design details. It sounds more complicated than it is!
On the other side of the superhero divide is DC’s Batman, brought to life with great success most recently by Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale but soon to be reimagined by Zack Snyder in 2016’s Batman vs. Superman with Ben Affleck taking on the caped crusader’s cowl.
Because Batman and his various nemeses are relatively difficult to recreate in cake form, many round cakes tend to incorporate the Gotham skyline around the edges of a lot of Batman cake designs with the Bat Signal depicted on top. A large amount of black, yellow and grey fondant will need to be used, so stock up!
Like the Muppets, Paddington Bear had almost fallen out of the list of cultural touchstones for children until he was revived for a new animated/live-action film starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman and Ben Whishaw as Paddington’s voice. A critical and commercial hit, it enabled a new generation to discover the visitor from deepest, darkest Peru with the hard stare and a taste for marmalade sandwiches.
An entire Paddington figure could be made out of cake, but this would be extremely time-consuming and relatively expensive, so if time or money is short then take inspiration from the many designs that tend to base themselves around a suitcase, which is easy to make, and then add a Paddington topper sitting in the corner.
Another new franchise entry in 2015 was Jurassic World, the fourth in the Jurassic Park series, starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in charge of an up-and-running Jurassic theme park and resort where, inevitably, the dinosaurs cause havoc. Although the film isn’t considered to have surpassed the original Jurassic Park, it signalled a commercial and critical triumph compared to the series’ third instalment.
The dinosaurs will undoubtedly be the hardest aspect to incorporate into a Jurassic World cake – for this reason, you may wish to stick to a flat design on the top of the cake and get creative around the edges with foliage and the classic Jurassic Park gates in a similar way to the Batman cake above.
Despite its popularity on television since its 1981 debut, it took until 2014 for Postman Pat to be adapted for the cinema. Featuring the voices of Stephen Mangan, David Tennant and Jim Broadbent, the film wasn’t a huge critical or commercial success, but for those fans it did convert, cakes are in high demand.
Try using square cakes to put Pat’s van together and then use a cake topper or non-edible toys to create a tableau.
Every Pixar film since Toy Story has been a merchandiser’s dream, and 2015’s Inside Out is no different – the Joy, Fear, Disgust, Sadness and Anger characters all have distinct differences and looks and therefore lend themselves fantastically well to being turned into cakes. Whether you try and incorporate all of them or focus on one or two, the easiest way to make an Inside Out cake is to shape the cake into a face, rather than trying to make a body. If you’re so inclined, though, you can go the extra mile for more brownie points.
Which one would your child like best?
Don’t forget to pin for later, or share on Facebook!