Image © stavros16, under a Creative Commons license.
If you are hosting a birthday party for teens or kids who love video games, we suggest you take a look at the recipe below.
It yields an impressive cake that looks just like an Xbox controller! You can adjust and customise it to make it look like different models: the recipe below shows you how to make an Xbox 360 or an Xbox One controller cake.
What You Will Need:
For the cakes: 710g all-purpose flour, 450g unsalted butter (at room temperature), 600g caster sugar, 8 large eggs (at room temperature), 480ml milk, 2tbsp baking powder, 2tbsp vanilla extract, a pinch of salt.
For the frosting: 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature), 360g icing sugar, 680g cream cheese, 2tsp vanilla extract.
For the icing and decoration: ready-to-roll black or white fondant icing (depending on whether you are making an Xbox One or an Xbox 360 cake), some colourful smarties or M&Ms, green food colouring, a few squares of white chocolate.
Equipment: Two 33cm x 23cm (9"x13") sheet cake tins, an electric whisk or mixer.
Who Can Help?
You can enlist your children to help with this project: younger kids (4+) can sift and combine the dry ingredients, while older children (8+) can assist you with the mixing. The decoration aspect is quite fiddly, but kids will love helping to shape and place the buttons on the controller cake.
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place an oven rack in the centre of the oven. Grease your cake tins with some softened butter or margarine. You could also line them with baking paper for extra safety.
2) Start on your cake batter: in a bowl, mix and whisk your flour, baking powder and salt.
3) In a different bowl, beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract with an electric whisk (medium-high speed) until it becomes light and fluffy. This should take 3-5 minutes.
4) Add the eggs to your butter and sugar mixture one at a time, keep beating well.
5) Turn the whisk or mixer to low speed and add a third of the dry ingredients, then half of the milk. Keep alternating and mix until you have added all of your ingredients.
6) Divide the cake batter between the two cake tins. Smooth the top of the mixture with a spatula or spoon.
7) Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes. To check whether they are ready, insert a knife or a toothpick into the centre of the cakes: it must come out clean before you can take it out of the oven. Once they are out of the oven, place the cakes on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes.
8) While you wait for the cakes to cool, prepare the frosting: with your electric whisk or mixer, beat the butter until it is light. Add the icing sugar and keep whisking until the mixture becomes fluffy.
9) Add the vanilla extract, then the cream cheese, gradually. Beat until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
10) It's assembly time! Once your cakes are cooled, remove them from the tins and flatten the top with a bread knife. Add a layer of frosting to the top of a cake, and place the other one on top of it.
11) Shape your cake into an Xbox controller by looking at images online: round out the corners of your rectangle, and carve a semi-circle shape in one side of your cakes.
12) Layer the top of your cake with the frosting mixture. This doesn't have to be neat as it will be covered with ready-to-roll icing.
13) Roll out the fondant icing thinly (this will be black if you are making an Xbox One controller, and white if you are making an Xbox 360 controller). Once it is rolled out, wrap it around your rolling pin and place it gently onto the cake so the whole surface is covered. Smooth it down with your clean hands, and trim the excess with a sharp knife.
14) Finally, decorate your Xbox cake! Use the smarties or M&Ms to create the buttons on the right hand side of the controller. You can make the joystick and other buttons with fondant, combining white and black to create grey. For the logo, melt the squares of white chocolate and combine with green food colouring. Draw on the Xbox logo with a toothpick.
To make your decoration even more realistic, replace the smarties or M&Ms with buttons made of fondant icing: either purchase different colours (yellow, blue, green and red) or dye white fondant with food colouring.
To make the smarties or M&Ms stick to your Xbox cake, create a little indentation into the fondant icing so that they remain in place. You can also add a spot of melted chocolate under the smarties so they stick!
You can flavour your Xbox cake with anything other than vanilla, like other extracts. You can also make a chocolate cake by adding 3 tbsp of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients in the recipe above. Alternatively, you could make this cake with your favourite sponge cake recipe.
If you have guests with allergies, switch all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative like spelt to make your Xbox cake suitable for all.
This Xbox cake can be made in advance: although it is nicer fresh, it will keep up to five days in the fridge, as long as it is kept in an air-tight container.
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