The Complete Story of How I Made a Mickey Mouse Cake (Including the Disaster Photos)

This is supposed to be the post where I write about the total success I had over the weekend while making my son’s third birthday cake. I was ready to tell you how I conquered the art of making and using fondant.

Instead, I will tell you how evil fondant is and how it nearly ruined my night.

It all started with a dream. An inspiration cake that I thought, no problem, I can do that. (see it here).

Here’s my story. I’ve include photos so you can truly appreciate my effort.


I started with the basics for a wonderful cake. Piping icing on a chocolate layer cake.


Next was the fondant, or fon-DON’T as I like to now say. I made the recipe. Colored it red. My husband helped by rolling it out. Then, he tried to pull it up to place on the cake I just made. As you can see, the fondant didn’t want to come off the table. But he tried again.


We were able to get some on the cake, but as you can see it was a total disaster. It was after midnight when the fondant disaster happened. I was depressed and exhausted. Ready to give in. I decided to call Publix in the morning and see what they could do for me. Then, inspiration struck me. I realized that my son is only three years old. His friends are all only three years old. They don’t care what the cake looks like. I could salvage the cake. Onward I went.

Mickey Mouse cake

Here is the final cake. Not what I had envisioned, but not the disaster I was headed for either. After my midnight emotional meltdown, I put on a second layer of buttercream icing, tinted some of it blue and piped stars around the top and bottom of the cake and called it a night. Luckily, I had already purchased the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters to adorn the top of the cake. The next day, just before the party, I purchased the pre-made letters to spell out Happy Birthday. (I didn’t have it in me to hand pipe letters so early in the morning.) The kids loved the cake. They couldn’t see the imperfections. My son just remembers his “Mickey Mouse cake” with toys on top. Success, after all.

Mickey Mouse cake

My favorite part of the cake is where I felt the most creative. On the side, I piped little blue dots in the shape of Mickey Mouse heads. It adds a personalized and creative touch that makes me feel this cake it special.

Overall, I am glad that I tried to make the cake. The other night I swore I would never do this again, but I am sure I will. Next time I’ll do more planning and not try to use a technique that I haven’t practiced. But, I will try to conquer fondant again. You’ll be the first to know if I’m successful.


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Alicia Lewis Murray BioABOUT ALICIA: Alicia is the founder of Balancing Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and still baking amazing birthday cakes — all while raising a young family at home.


  1. Sharon says

    Ahhh- it turned out wonderful. I was getting worried from the first two photos but …nice job. I’m leaning towards Costco cake…but one year I need to try to be creative.

  2. April says

    Nice work, Alicia!
    By the way, I’ve figured out that the “We will rock you” song is something the kids are learning in Chapel. Not real sure what that has to do with Jesus…..but at least they are paying attention!
    Has Liam shared the best part of the song with you? After Rachel sings the verse, she says “bum bum chshhh, bum bum chshhhh”. It’s hilarious.

  3. SLopez says

    That is so cool — where did you get the little tram? The Mickey head dots thing are pure genius! I can’t believe you were able to come out with such a beautiful cake after what happened with the fondant — a true testament to a mother’s love and persaverance!!

  4. Nicole says

    this cake is adorable! where in the world did u get the little toppers/figurines?? I would LOVE to do something like this for my daughters 2nd bday party next month while we’re planning our 1st family vacation to Disney set for April.

  5. Nicole says

    Ok I found some cute topper/figurines- my next question is…Where did you find those cute candles?? The match so well with your toppers!

  6. says

    Been there, done that with the baking disasters! At least you pulled it off and it looked great! I’m making a Mickey Mouse cake tomorrow for my son, I’ll have to let you know how it turns out!

  7. Jamie says

    i am getting ready to try fondant for the first time this weekend but i hear u are supposed to refrigerate it overnight before you use it so we’ll see what happens when i try doing mine for mothers day so no biggie if it doesnt work out..i will let u know 😉 by the way ur finished cake looks awesome u did a really great job

  8. says

    That’s a great post. I’m decorating a Mickey Mouse Club House birthday cake tonight and was looking for ideas….I definitely won’t be trying fondant! The birthday party is tomorrow so I’m definitely cutting it close. Hopefully I won’t have a similiar disaster! :)

  9. Melissa says

    Hello there! Your cake turned out beautiful none-the-less!!

    I just recently used fondant for the first time about a month ago, my cake turned out nice, but I did heavy research on it before doing anything… Let me share what I learned.

    -It is best to buy fondant from the store for your first time. If you decided to make it, kneed it until it elastic in texture (about 8 minutes) then let it refrigate for 1-2 days. (It will keep for about 2 weeks).
    -Never use regular food coloring on fondant because it will make it runny. Instead, use gel food coloring and kneed it into the fondant until color is even.
    -Always put corn starch on your working area to avoid sticking.
    -If your fondant gets dry and hard to work with add in a little bit of crisco.

    If you want to make it, here is a good and easy recipe:

    16 ounces of white mini marshmallows (high quality brand)
    2 to 5 tablespoons of water
    2lbs of powdered sugar (s&h brand is best)
    1/2 cup crisco shortening ( put it in a bowl for easy access)

    -Melt the marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave for 30 seconds, open and stir, back in for 30 seconds more, open and stir again – do this until melted – about 2.5 minutes.
    -Place 3/4 cup powdered sugar on top of mix.
    -Generously grease your hands (front back in between fingers) then heavily grease your working area. Dump the marshmallow mix in the middle.
    -Start kneeding -this part is VERY sticky- add in the rest of the powdered sugar and continue kneeding. Regrease your hands as needed.
    -If your fondant is tearing easily you can add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time
    -It takes about 8 minutes of kneeding to get a firm elastic ball
    -Best to let it sit, double wrapped, overnight.

    Hope that helps for your next fondant adventure!

  10. Carly says

    Your cake turned out great! I don’t know if I would have been able to keep going so late and after having it not work out, so great work Mama! :)
    I make my own marshmallow fondant and I color it with gel coloring BEFORE I add my powdered sugar and then my hands don’t get stained! I am also able to use it on the cake right away and it doesn’t need refrigeration. It takes awhile to make and decorate, but I’ve gone through A LOT of good and bad times with the fondant, and in doing so have taught myself some pretty simple ways of doing it. I would love to share with anyone that is interested!!!

  11. Jess says

    The cake came out very nice. I also wanted to mention pre-made, store bought fondant. I went to culinary school for baking and pastries, and even most of the professional bakeries and cake shops use pre-made fondant.

  12. Gisele says

    Thanks! Trying to figure out a (reasonable) way to make a Minnie or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake for my four year old. I LOVE the MIckey Mouse heads on the side of the cake. I have the toys for the top and think my daughter’s cake may end up a lot like yours, except a lot more pink. :)

  13. april says

    Next time use powdered sugar when rolling ur fondant especially when you add food coloring. The more food coloring the more sugar. Or you can roll it out and put it white on top of your cake any michaels will carry color mist its spray food coloring in a can. Dont give up on fondant its really rewarding once you get the hang of it!

  14. says

    Brilliant and you’ve gone to great detail on this one piping the blue dots to form mickey ears. Love the figures too. You don’t see a lot of Mickey and Minnie and co about.

  15. evie says

    Im the type of person that almost never does what im doing right now and that is actually writing to a stranger, but you inspired me. See, im also “balancingmotherhood” i have to small munchkins under the age of two, my son who this reply is dedicated to, will be turning 2 next month and i too am the mom who thought “yeah, i can do that” but as you said it yourself it can be deciving. i have been running all over trying to find the figurines to go on top of the cake, and after reading your story im not even going to mention the ideas i had for the fondant, because i think that mine would look the same way as your picture lol. its almost 10pm as i look at the computer and i think not only have i been at this cake thing all day but also “thank you” for posting what you did and/or what you tried to do. i think as moms we really do try to go above and beyond and sometimes its just plain exhausting. i think in the end im going to do what i can and not stress out to much “they are only two years old” and in the end it probably doesnt matter as much as i feel right now it might. :-) thank you for shining a light…

  16. says

    Thanks Evie for your kind words. I did this cake 2 years ago and I still have vivid memories of it. Like I said in the post, my son only remembers that I made him a Mickey Mouse cake. He thinks it was wonderful. I’m glad I kept trying because I’ve gotten so much better at it. It’s something I really enjoy doing and would have felt the failure if I had quit. But, it’s all about the moderation and only doing it if you really love it and want to, not because you feel you have to.

  17. lorraine says

    your cake came out great!!!!!!! and i just made a cake using fondant for the first time and it turned out great!!!!! i surprised myself!!!! so please try the fondant again. im sure you will have better luck. i used marshmallow fondant. i have been wanting to make a cake with fondant but always chickened out. i finally got the guts to do it and it came out great.

    • says

      I enjoyed cake ttseas at OMSI afterhours last night, and have just looked over your website. love the Angry Birds, we’ll be calling you. now I wonder, where did you move FROM? I see it was just over a year ago that you announced that news.glad you are in town. Barbara

  18. Fabiana says

    Hi! there is a recipe, is like fondant but is a dough, in spanish is better for me, i hope you found anyone who translate this
    6 cucharadas de agua
    1 cucharada de gelatina sin sabor ni color
    1/2 taza de glucosa
    2 cucharadas de glicerina
    1/2 cucharadita de esencia transparente
    1 kilo de azucar pulverizada

    en un bowl resistente al calor colocar el agua y dejar caer en forma de lluvia la gelatina, dejar hidratar por 5 minutos, luego colocar el bowl sobre una olla con agua caliente y mover hasta disolver bien la gelatina, añadir la glucosa y la glicerina, revolver bien hasta que se disuelva todo, retirar el bowl de la olla y agregar la esencia, dejar enfriar un poco, en un bowl aparte debes pasar por colador el azucar pulverizada, apartar en otro bowl alrededor de 2 tazas, cuando ya la mezcla de la gelatina este basante tibia casi a temperatura ambiente colocala en el medio del bowl que tenga mas azucar, empieza a integrar con una espatula hasta conseguir un punto en el que puedas manejarlo con la mano e ir integrando el azucar que tienes en el bowl y poco a poco ir agrgando las otras dos tazas que apartaste hasta conseguir una masa segun el clima puede necesitar mas azucar o menos, al pellizcar la masa entre los dedos no debe sentirse pegajosa ese es el punto perfecto, envolverla en plastico o dentro de la misma bolsa del azucar sin dejar entrar aire, la cierras bien y puedes usarla al dia siguiente, no se guarda en nevera, se mantiene afuera lejos del calor y humedad, bien cerrada, para estirar debes amasar nuevamente, preparar la mesa con cornstarch o azucar pulverizada, colocar en el centro y empezar a estirar con rodillo desde el medio hacia los lados segun sea el tamaño y forma de la torta, manten siempre con azucar pulverizada la superficia de la masa y el rodillo para que no se pegue

  19. Missy Spark says

    Very courageous of you to put up the disaster story and very creative of you to put up an adorable cake after a meltdown.. Those meltdowns could really make u feel dejected. Thumbs up!

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