Crisped Rice Treats (aka Rice Krispy treats) are great for snacks and ideal as a base for sculpted cakes! It's perfect for this groom's TARDIS cake.
It’s all about the base
This week I’m wrapping up how I made the TARDIS cake for my new son-in-law. Quick reminder...a TARDIS is part of the Dr. Who universe, of which he is a huge fan.
In Part 1 I told you about the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting my younger daughter & I used for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake layers, and Part 2 was the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake itself.
Since the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake was the upper 6-inches of the TARDIS cake, this week (with apologies to Meghan Trainor) it’s all about the base…the Crisped Rice Treats we used for the lower 12-inches of the tower.
Secrets of Competition Cakes
When we made our DIY Wedding Cake, I told you that one secret to competing in cake decorating contests is that the cakes themselves aren’t cakes...they’re actually made of Styrofoam.
I'm going to let you in on another secret...
If you watch those baking competition shows about fancy cakes, you’ll discover that Rice Krispy Treats are frequently used for structure. They’re cheaper and easier to make than cake layers, plus they’re easy to carve.
Since the TARDIS cake base needed to be sturdy, I went looking for a recipe that was, shall we say, firm…no soft and chewy treats need apply. I found what I needed in the Smitten Kitchen’s Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats.
Ironically, Deb (of the Smitten Kitchen) considered this recipe a failure (which has since been taken off the site). She wanted a treat that was soft and chewy with a fuller brown butter flavor, but this recipe produced a treat that was too hard. Maybe not the texture Deb was looking for, but it was perfect for my needs. I didn’t bother with brown butter…I was after sturdiness, not taste.
In order to make our 12-inch tall base, we made 6 batches of the Crisped Rice Treats recipe, and had a bit left over to make the pyramid-shaped top. Each batch was pressed into the same 9-inch square cake pan I used for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. We were up to our elbows, ears, and other various body parts, in cereal and marshmallows!
(Side note: Deb updated her recipe to make it softer while retaining the brown butter flavor she was after, calling them Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats)
(Another side note: In case you’re wondering, the reason why I’m not calling this recipe “Rice Krispies Treats” is very simple…I would rather use a more generic name than something that’s copyrighted. Plus, since these treats are firm, I wanted to differentiate to avoid confusion. You’re welcome.)
Assembling the TARDIS cake
The Crisped Rice Treats actually tasted great, and they did their job. My younger daughter did a fantastic job on constructing and decorating this cake, complete with a little light at the top…our 18-inch high TARDIS cake was a huge hit with the groom (and the guests).
Here’s how the whole cake came together…
Step 1: Straightening the sides
Because the cake pan was sloped, we had to trim the sides to even them out. The trimmings were delicious!
Step 2: Creating the tower
My daughter's boyfriend helped her assemble the two parts of the tower, then she had to trim the Chocolate Chip Cookie layers to match the base. Again...delicious trimmings!
Step 3: Cover the sides with marshmallow fondant
My daughter added a light coating of frosting (called a crumb coat) to the tower. This helped the rolled-out blue marshmallow fondant stick to the sides of the tower.
Adding decorating details...a TARDIS is born
The final step was adding the decorating details to make a nondescript tower turn into the TARDIS. We used white edible paper and edible markers for the fine work.
Giving the gift and delighting the groom
We were so happy to give the groom his special cake...the surprise and delight on his face was exactly the reaction we were hoping for. His joy was evident as he, his brother, and one of his groomsmen showed their fandom as they posed with the cake (and a sonic screwdriver...don't ask).
I hope you’ve enjoyed peeking into what my younger daughter and I did to make my older daughter’s wedding day special.
I’ve always said that Food = Love, and preparing the DIY Wedding Cake and this TARDIS cake was one of the best ways to show how much we loved her and her new groom. That’s how this baking mama & baby do it.
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
How to make sculpted cakes
This series of posts showed how we made our DIY Wedding Cake and our sculpted TARDIS cake:
- DIY Wedding Cake with Marshmallow Fondant: Make fondant edible and easy to work with
- Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: A delicious cake needs delicious glue...uhm...frosting
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake: A different type of layer cake, yummy and sturdy
- Crisped Rice Treats (aka Rice Krispy Treats): When you're sculpting a cake, Crisped Rice Treats are easy to shape and and tasty, too
TARDIS Cake Crisped Rice Treats
- 1 cup butter, salted or unsalted (8 oz, 227g)
- ⅛ tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
- 1 bag marshmallows, (10-1/2 oz, 298g)
- 1 box Crisped Rice cereal, (12 oz, 340g)
- Line 9- x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or wax paper, allowing paper to overhang the sides (eases removal from the pan)
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.
- When butter is melted, stir in marshmallows and 1/8 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter). Melt and cook, stirring often, until mixture turns pale brown, then stir constantly until lightly browned but not dark, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat, add cereal, and mix well, preferably with a silicone spoon or a spatula. Scrape into prepared pan and press down firmly. If necessary, butter hands to press mixture flat or use a small piece of plastic wrap.
- Let cool, then remove from pan. If not using as part of a cake, cut into squares or bars as desired.