Games-inspired Holiday Baking

Posted by Lisa Galarneau on December 30, 2013 in Gaming Lifestyle -- Share:

Baked goods are a creative staple of gaming fan cultures, and excellent inspiration if you are hoping to improve your baking skills.  You can bake from scratch, or use pre-packaged mixes and frostings.  You can even buy complete cake kits with decorations, like this Moshi Monsters kit available on eBay.

Baking Basics

Equipment

You may have a lot of the basics already.  You won’t need all of these items, but you might find them useful.  If you want to keep it basic, a bowl, spoon, measuring cups and a cookie sheet or muffin pan alone will get you started.

  • Hand or standing mixer (like a Kitchen Aid)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cake pans
  • Cookie sheets
  • Cupcake or muffin pans
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cooling racks
  • Silicone baking cups or paper muffin cups
  • Silicone baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Cake plate
  • Icing decorating kit
  • Plastic or paper decorations
  • Oven thermometer

The Pantry

It’s good to have your pantry pre-stocked for when you get those spontaneous urges to bake.

  • Cake flour or all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour) or store-bought cake or cookie mixes
  • Store-bought frosting or ingredients for frosting (like corn syrup, shortening or butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, etc.)
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • White and brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Butter or margarine
  • Eggs
  • Chopped nuts
  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Food coloring
  • Vanilla extract and other flavorings

Batters

There are lots of tutorials online to assist you in making the perfect batter.  I personally don’t mind ready-made mixes, but it’s important to choose carefully. Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker are classic favorites, and you can always embellish with colors or flavorings of your choice.

You can even freeze batter for later use.

Frostings

Buttercream?  Cream cheese?  Whipped cream? Ganache? Fondant?  What should you use to frost your creations?  For many of the more complicated game-inspired designs, fondant is a good option because it can be easily molded and tends to stay flat more readily than other frostings.  You can mold it into a variety of shapes and also literally paint your own designs on it using food-safe paint or marker products.  Fondant comes pre-packaged, or you can make your own.

This guide to frosting is a good start for grasping the basics.

Cookies

Inspiration

Here is a tutorial for making game controller cookies – it covers a lot of the basics needed for any type of game-inspired cookies.  Or, check out these Portal 2 cookies.

Shapes

You can use cookie cutters or cut out your own shapes.  There are a number of game-related cookie cutter sets already on the market.  There is even a kit you can use to mold your own custom cookie cutters.  This is also a great use for a 3-D printer, if you happen to have one.  Hint:  you can also use the cutters for bread, cheese and even fruit.  In addition, there are stamps available for molding shapes into any shape cookie.

Even more cookie cutters!

Decorating

There are a lot of options for decorating your cookies, from the food-safe markers mentioned above to royal icing, which you can use to pipe designs onto the cookies.

 

You can also stencil your cookies using game-related stencils:

 

Cupcakes

Inspiration

I love watching Cupcake Wars.

Or here is a time-lapse tutorial for creating Candy Crush Saga cupcakes:

Flavors and Colors

You can get very creative with flavors and colors with cupcakes.  Here’s a tutorial for making cupcakes with multiple flavors using plastic dividers.

Decorating

Fondant, gum paste and marzipan are all great options for molding edible 3-D figures for your cupcakes and cakes.  You can even cut out designs using Cricut Cake cutter:

You can also print edible images using edible ink in an Inkjet printer:

Once you have cupcakes nailed you can move on to cake pops!

Cakes

Inspiration

I have seen some truly amazing game-related cakes.  Check out this gallery of 19 amazing video game cakes, as an example.

Flavors and Colors

Like cupcakes, there are a zillion options when it comes to flavoring and coloring your cake creations.

Decorating

Covering square cakes with fondant.

Other techniques include frozen buttercream transfers using images you print!

And of course there is a Pinterest board: Gamer Baking and Candy Making.

Let us know if you enjoyed this article and would enjoy seeing more like it!

Written by

Dr. Lisa Galarneau is a socio-cultural anthropologist, futurist and games researcher. She's been playing video games since 1981 (Pong!) and loves adventure-style games, RPGs, online games, simulations and anything novel. Her love for games has been passed onto her gamer kid, and she spends a lot of time observing and pondering the future of games.

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