Mario Brothers Cake & The Cupcake Gang

I still remember playing the computer game Mario Brothers as a child. Racing through the Mushroom Kingdom collecting the gold coins, hitting bricks with question marks, avoiding the monster flowers etc. all whilst trying to survive the main antagonist Bowser in order to save the Princess Toadstool . To this day the game is still a huge success amongst kids and men and it takes me back to carefree moments of my childhood whilst watching them play the game now.

It was lovely to receive an unexpected call from a friend of a friend whose son was turning 5 and she asked if I could help out with the birthday cake. How could I say no to such a challenge?!

She told me her son was a huge Mario Brothers fan so what better way to celebrate by having a Mario Brothers themed birthday party.

So for Philip’s birthday party his mother requested a chocolate cake and 12 cupcakes and 24 chocolate cupcakes for Kindergarten – children love chocolate.

This is how I went with it all.

Using cookie cutters I created the characters all out of fondant. I only made stars, clouds mushrooms and Mario. To make the oval shape of the red mushroom I used a round cookie cutter then rolled out the fondant to give it the oval shape.

As I didn’t have a small star cookie cutter I used the large cutter and then used a knife to trace around it to make a smaller star.

This is the cutter I used for the evil mushroom. I have no idea if there is a name for this cutter as it came in a box full of other cutters.

Black food colouring was used for drawing the eyes and mouths.

I thought Mario was going to be difficult but using simple shapes and cookie cutters worked like a charm. I didn’t have peach colour food colouring so I dusted a little choco powder into white fondant to give it that skin tone colour. His round face was made using a small round cookie cutter, round ears were cut using a small round piping tip as well as the eyes and then rolled to give it that oval shape. His moustache was made using the flower cutter (white cloud) then cutting the excess away. The excess was then cut to shape for his side burns and eye brows.

Mario’s hat was made by using the same size round cookie cutter used for his face, then using the same round cookie cutter cut the circle in half. Taking 1 half, fold it in half and mold it around the flat half to form the hat. Using a bit of water as glue to hold it into place.

The fondant characters were made approximately 2 days in advance so that they had time to dry and harden. They were time consuming to make but at the same time fun. The end result was very rewarding and cute.

Moving onto the cake, I baked a simple chocolate cake using 2 x 18cm cake pans which I cut in half to get 4 layers.

Each layer was covered with a chocolate ganache. Piping a buttercream border first will prevent the ganache from flowing over the sides.

Chocolate cake is ‘crumb coasted’ with a thin layer of buttercream and refrigerated to let buttercream set before icing the final layer of buttercream. This way you don’t get cake crumbs in your icing.

Finished cake with Mario and gang.

I am not a big fan of covering cake boards with foil so I always cover my boards with a matching gift wrapping tissue paper then a layer of clear cellophane over the top. Another option would be to cover it with the coloured cellophane if the colour matches.

Nutella cupcakes iced with a so called pink choco buttercream. Well long story short, birthday boy wanted cake to be red but my red food colouring supply from overseas was not enough to colour such a large amount of buttercream in order for it to be a vibrant red. I used two whole bottles of red food colouring from our local supermarket here and the icing was just pink!! What was I to do?!!?!

I couldn’t present the birthday boy with a pink Mario Brothers birthday cake!! So yellow it was for the cake and the pink buttercream became pink choco buttercream by adding in coco powder.

Seeing as the fondant characters were going on top of the cupcakes the colour of the buttercream didn’t really matter.

Birthday boy Philip with Mario and gang.

For kindergarten Philip wanted to celebrate his special day by sharing cupcakes with his friends and because he loves cars (which little boy doesn’t) his mum suggested he have a little red car (his favourite colour) on his little cupcake. Thank goodness for ready coloured fondant πŸ˜‰

So there you have it, Philip’s Mario Brothers birthday cake and cupcake gang.

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