Want to learn how to make a mini birthday cake? Read on for a tutorial on making this mini cake with drippy icing and swirls of “whipped cream.” Mini cakes are easy to make and can even be made using a store-bought muffin! It makes a cute individual serving for a birthday boy or girl and is a neat addition to a cake board, like a small, but perfectly formed birthday cake’s cake!
Photos via The Royal Bakery
Let’s explore how to make a mini-cake for a cake topper or board decoration!
This tutorial gives a step-by-step guide to creating a mini cake decoration that makes a cute topper, or a fun addition to a character cake. You can use store-bought or homemade muffins, or if you wanted a super-mini cake, you could even use cupcakes.
Begin by slicing the dome off a muffin or cupcake to give it a flat top.
Remove the muffin’s paper case and slice it in half width-wise. Fill with buttercream or the filling or your choice.
Find a circle cutter that is a little larger than the base of your muffin. Draw around the cutter onto some thin cardboard, then cut out the circle to form the base. If you don’t have circle cutters, you can use anything other circular object of the right size, like a cup or base of a bottle.
Frost the muffin with ganache, retaining the tapered shape of the muffin. I used white chocolate ganache, which has been left to dry and firm up overnight.
Flip the muffin upside down so that the board is facing upwards. Roll some brown fondant very thinly and cover the cake, including the board.
Covering a tapered cake upside down eliminates the pleats you would otherwise be faced with when trying to smooth fondant onto a narrower shape. This method does, of course, mean that the top of the cake is not covered in fondant, but this design calls for the top to be added later. This method also eliminates a double layer of fondant on top of the cake.
Smooth the fondant all around the muffin.
Trim the excess fondant from the bottom of the muffin. Now take a sharp knife and remove the fondant that is covering the board. Rest the knife on the board as you cut to ensure a neat and even finish.
Flip the muffin back over and use another circle cutter to gauge the size of the top. Put this to one side for now.
Roll some white fondant (or the icing color of your choice) to about 1/4″ thick.
Flip the fondant over. Use the cutter you identified as the size of the top of the cake, and press it lightly into the fondant. Then, using a sharp knife or scalpel, cut a wavy pattern into the fondant outside the circle guide.
The waves you have cut will have a sharp edge. Flip the fondant over, and smooth the edges out by rubbing them gently with your finger.
Flip the fondant over once again so the circular guide is visible. Moisten the surface of the white fondant and place the muffin on top, lining it up with the circle mark.
Press the edges of the ‘drippy icing’ gently onto the sides of the muffin. You can continue to smooth and soften the edges with your finger as you go.
Roll a long sausage of white fondant around 1/4″ thick. Press your fingers into it at intervals as you roll to give the sausage a bumpy surface. Make sure the sausage is long enough to wrap around the middle of the muffin.
Paint a line of water around the middle of the fondant-covered muffin. It is more practical to paint the water on the muffin than it is to paint it onto the fondant sausage you have just rolled.
Stick the “sausage” to the water on the muffin. Trim off the excess and join the ends together at the back. Accentuate the indentations in the sausage by rubbing with your finger to give the appearance of buttercream squishing out between layers of chocolate cake.
Take a small amount of white fondant and form it into a fat cone shape. Use a Dresden or other veining tool (a toothpick will be fine) and indent ridges into the cone to give the appearance of piped whipped cream. Start the ridge at the bottom and curve it up to the top of the cone.
Add a fondant strawberry or slice of banana if you like. The little muffin is a great way for adding coordinating candles to your finished cake design!