I'm not sure how, but somehow, my little guy is turning six. When I asked him several weeks ago what kind of cake he wanted for his (first ever!) friend birthday party, he responded with, "A weapon's case with weapons on it like a sword and shield and ax." ??! No idea where this stuff comes from. When I explained that that probably wasn't likely, he decided, "How about a blue six-studded Lego block?" Hm...well, that I could probably do.
I did some research, but couldn't find much, until I stumbled on this article from the Kitchn: How to make an anatomically correct Lego cake. I was really impressed with the math and research that went into it...but I wasn't that concerned with the precise measurements of my cake. The one piece of advice I did take was the idea of using mini-muffins for the studs of the Legos.
Following my friend Di's lead, instead of making a sheet cake and trying to slice it in half horizontally, I decided to bake the cake in two jelly roll pans. I was nervous that a 9x13 wouldn't be big enough (we were expecting up to 20 people, depending on how many parents stayed at the party), and then I found two 15.5"x10.5" pans. Perfect!
I settled on Dorie's devil's food cake (you can find the recipe here), remembering that it was sturdy, moist, and yummy the last time I made it. I made a full recipe, divided into the two jelly roll pans, plus 18 mini muffins.
I asked the little guy what kind of frosting he wanted in between the layers, and he decided on chocolate. Knowing how rich the cake was, I wanted a light chocolate frosting and found this recipe, which was just the thing. Unfortunately, I only had one stick of butter at room temperature, so I made a half recipe; I wish I would've had a bit more, but it was enough to make a thin layer in between the cake layers.
Looking for a stable, easy-to-color frosting, with a light taste and texture that wouldn't compete with the chocolates, I decided to try seven-minute frosting. I used ATK's recipe, adding blue food coloring with the vanilla at the end. I was impressed with how easy the frosting was to make, and as promised, it tasted very marshmallowy, and was a huge hit. As I tried to frost each individual stud without getting too many crumbs in the frosting, I said to my little guy, "This is proof of a mother's love." :)
The cake was a huge hit; even I couldn't think of any "it's good but"s. My mom, brother, and sister couldn't stop raving, and the little guy begged and begged for a second piece (I didn't cave). When I asked the birthday boy if the cake lived up to his expectations, he said, "It was perfectly excellent."