Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

Every once in a while I get a 'vague' cake brief...

...and I LOVE it! I'll sometimes get a request for a cake with nothing more than a size and a theme - and that means I get creative reign! 😉 

Anyway, that's what happened with this cake. I'd seen a Mickey Mouse birthday cake somewhere in the archives on Pinterest (please ping me for credit if you think the pin was yours!) and went about creating my own. Honestly, it came together more quickly and easily than I thought it would!   

"How hard is this cake to make?"

Short answer - not very! There are just always a few extra steps in making a tiered cake. If you've not made a tiered cake before - if you can build a block tower you can stack a cake. I promise it's easier than you probably think! 🙂 

None of the decorations are any harder than anything you've already done in first grade arts and crafts, either. 😉 

I'd recommend giving the video a quick watch if you're new to tiered cakes. (You can use the 'Jump to Video' button above, and the video's less than a minute long!) I also really appreciated 'How to Make a Tiered Cake' by ChelSweets when I made my first successful tiered cake. 

Trying to make sure I outlined the process well, I wrote pretty detailed instructions below. I know at first glance it looks like an insanely long recipe. Don't let the instructions intimidate you! Really - the bulk of what I wrote can be  summed up in the video. 

Recipes, instructions, and links to everything I could find to link to are below! Feel free to email me with any questions, and enjoy!

(Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, and my posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!)

Cake Flavor Modifications:

Oreo + Confetti - Follow the recipe as written below. After beating the vanilla extract into the batter, stir in 1/2 cup of rainbow jimmies sprinkles (not nonpareils as the color may dissolve) and 12-15 crushed Oreos.
(I once received a request for a Mickey Mouse cake with an Oreo base tier and a confetti top tier. Convenience enthusiast that I am – I found a way to make both batters at the same time, dirtying as few dishes as possible! I measured the vanilla batter directly into the smaller pans and mixed in the rainbow jimmies sprinkles. Then I added crushed Oreos to the remaining batter before dividing it for the base tier layers.) 

Add 1/2 cup of crushed Oreos and 1/4 cup of rainbow jimmies to 1 1/2 cups of frosting for cake filling if desired! 

Cake decoration modifications:

Please see below the recipe card (click the 'Jump to Video' button and scroll down) to see decoration modifications for the cake pictured below! 

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake
Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

Don't forget to pin for later! 

Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake pinterest pin

Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

One of my most-requested birthday cake designs - here's how I made a fun Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake! Makes enough to serve a large crowd!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time37 minutes
Decorating time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 7 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake, Mickey Mouse Cake
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 755kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Vanilla Cake Layers (see above for Oreo Confetti modification)

  • 4 ⅞ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter (or 3 sticks, room temperature)
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 ¼ cups buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons clear vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese (1 ½ packages; softened)
  • 1 ½ cups butter (3 sticks; softened)
  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons clear vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 4-5 large drops Red gel food color (save and add later)

Decorations & Mickey Mouse topper

  • 4 ounces Black fondant (for circles and cake base)
  • 4 ounces Yellow fondant ( for circles / Mickey feet)
  • 2 ounces White fondant (for buttons – you only need a little bit of this, so you could cut slices from a marshmallow for the buttons if you wanted to leave off the number and lettering!)
  • Black edible color spray (to color foam half-sphere)

Instructions

Vanilla Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8 inch round pans and two 6 inch pans with baker's floured spray (or grease and line with parchment rounds).
  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I used a kitchen scale for this part - I had about 675g in my large pans and 450 in my smaller ones.) The kitchen scale guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  • Bake for 34-37 minutes, (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
  • Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart. (This is a great time to make your frosting!)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with whipping cream until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.
  • Remove 2 cups and add red gel color – you can always color a bit more if you need it later!

Assembly

  • Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed). Place a smear of frosting on your large cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your large first cake layer in the center of the circle.
  • Spread the layer with (white) frosting, and add the next layer on top. Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.
  • Next, repeat the same process with your smaller cardboard circle and cake layers. Of note – if your circles aren’t pre-center-punched, be sure to grab a dowel or straw and make your own hole in the exact center of the circle! This will allow you to center the tier on the base tier later on.
  • Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake tiers to keep crumbs out of your final layers.
  • Once your crumb coats have set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layers of frosting and smooth (red for the base tier, white for the top). I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. For my larger tier, I was able to smooth the frosting fairly well free-handed, but I struggled getting the sides smooth on my smaller one. Trimming my smaller cake layers slightly smaller than my cake circle and using the cardboard as a guide worked well!
  • Place both tiers into the fridge to set the frosting – I think this makes stacking easier.

Okaaaay. The stacking process!

  • (I watched a few tutorials before I made my first tiered cake, and ‘How to Make a Tiered Cake’ by Chelsweets was my favorite!) Basically, doweling a tiered cake is done to ensure that the top tier doesn’t crush the lower tier, as well as keeping it centered. I used four shorter cut-to-height plastic straws for my base tier dowels, and one taller one cut at an angle in the center to hold my top tier in place.
  • Grab your ruler for this next part! Push shorter straws into the base tier just over one inch from the cake edge, placing them evenly at quarter intervals around the cake. Place your last, tallest straw or dowel into the exact center of the cake, making sure to keep it straight up as you press down. Now you’re ready – center the hole in the bottom of your top tier cake circle over the tallest dowel and let the top tier gently down onto the base tier. The dowel will poke into the center of the top tier to hold it in place.
  • Pat yourself on the back; you did it! I found that my cardboard cake circle showed more than I was happy with, so I piped some extra frosting onto the base of the top tier to hide it.

Mickey Mouse topper

  • Cover the craft foam half-sphere in black spray color.
  • With frosting and a piping bag (or fondant and number / letter cutters), pipe any desired decorations onto the topper - I used the birthday girl's name!
  • With a circle cutter or jar lid, cut 4 identical craft foam circles. Place a toothpick halfway onto each of 2 circles, and with the backing adherent (or glue if using regular craft foam), press 2 circles together form each of Mickeys ears. I added the ears once the sphere was on the cake – you can add them whenever!

Now the fun part – decorating the cake!

  • Whether using fondant or marshmallows, press small ‘buttonholes’ into the circles with a butter knife, and press them onto the side of the base tier.
  • Form Mickey feet from yellow fondant. (I found it easiest to shape the fondant with an ice cream bar mold, and set the fondant in the freezer so it wouldn’t deform in the de-molding process.) With a small knife, cut a thin slice horizontally down the top 2/3 of the ‘shoes’ to make the 'heels.' Press the shoes into the sides of the cake, to either side of the buttons.
  • Roll out your black and remaining yellow fondant with a rolling pin and a bit of cornstarch if needed – cut several black and yellow circles to decorate the top tier. Roll out a long black strip – I measured 12” long ½” wide strips with a ruler – and used 2 of them to go around the base of the cake, cutting them to fit around the shoes.
  • Add your black and yellow dots and letters/numbers if desired – and you’re done!

Video

Notes

(Please note nutrition information is an estimate and may not be exactly accurate.) 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 755kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 37g

Decoration modifications 

Supplies 

Mickey Mouse Topper

Additional Decorating supplies

  • 2 ounces Black fondant (for circles for Mickey heads on the cake base)
  • 4 ounces Yellow fondant (for decorations and band around top tier)
  • 1 ounce White fondant (for buttons) – you only need a little bit of this, so you could cut slices from a marshmallow for the buttons if you wanted to.
  • 1/4 cup Large redblack, and yellow sugar pearl sprinkles 
Instructions 
  1. Follow cake + frosting instructions above in the recipe card - but only color about 1 cup of frosting red to decorate the top cake tier.
  2. Follow instructions above to stack cake tiers.
  3. With a circle cutter or jar lid, cut 4 identical craft foam circles. Place a toothpick halfway onto each of 2 circles, and with the backing adherent (or glue if using paper or regular craft foam), press 2 circles together form each of Mickeys ears. I added the ears once the sphere was on the cake – you can add them whenever!
  4. Roll out fondant (all colors) to about 1/8" with a rolling pin and a bit of cornstarch if needed.
  5. Cut a large yellow fondant strip (I used a ruler as a guide), and variety of smaller and larger red, yellow, and black fondant circles. Cut the centers out of some of the red and yellow circles. I used two sizes of black to make Mickey ears, and some filled and some hollow red and yellow circles. Press them into the frosting around your base tier!
  6. Whether using fondant or marshmallows, press small ‘buttonholes’ into the circles with a butter knife, and press them onto the side of the top tier.
  7. Add black, red, and yellow sugar pearls around the base of the cake – you can also add a few to the side of the cake if you’d like!
  8. Place your cake topper on top of the cake, and add any numbers / names / stars to decorate that you’d like!

Annnd you’re done! Congratulations!

 

Did you make this Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake?

Send me an email and let me know how it went – or make my day and find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

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