To celebrate the eighth anniversary of Final Fantasy XIV — the critically acclaimed MMORPG with a free trial up to level 60 that covers the base game, A Realm Reborn, and the first expansion, Heavensward, with no restrictions on playtime — Kim-Joy Hewlett has baked one of the cutest cakes to exist.
Since she became a finalist of the ninth season of The Great British Bake Off, she’s become a star in the baking community. In 2019, she published her own cookbook, Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile. It’s safe to say she’s accomplished to do that for many in the Final Fantasy XIV community with this beautiful birthday cake.
The three-layered cake has lemon sponge at its core and is coated with buttercream and Final Fantasy XIV-related decorations. On the bottom layer, there are Cactuars, Sabotenders, and Gigantenders that have been made into gingerbread cookies decorated with royal icing. In the middle layer are Fat Chocobos, made from tangzhong bread and sitting on a watercolour blue and white backdrop that represents the sky, and Spriggans that are made from mochi and filled with a thick custard. They are seen clutching their precious gems, which are made from kohakutou-style jelly. Lastly, the cake is topped with an adorable fondant-covered Moogle head.
The recipe is as follows (believe me when I say that I tried my best to summarize this for you, reader, but exact measurements or times are not provided and I have never baked in my life):
- Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder) into one bowl. Add wet ingredients (milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar) into another bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir until it’s nice and smooth. Put it into the oven.
- You’ll need lots of buttercream to make this fancy cake. To make the buttercream, put butter and icing sugar in a bowl and let it whisk.
- Put thin layers of buttercream in between the cake layers. You’re going to do this for multiple cakes so that you can ultimately make a three-tiered cake. Use a pallet knife to scoop off all the excess and make it precise. Put in the fridge.
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Then, you will proceed to:
- Sprinkle biscuit crumbs on the first tier to make it look like a desert backdrop.
- To make the Spriggans, pour corn flour, rice flour, and icing sugar in a bowl. Do a quick whisk. Then add milk, oil, and a very generous amount of black food dye. Put that into the microwave and heat it so that it’s thick. Roll it into a thick custard and shape it into Spriggans.
- Use red, orange, and yellow food dyes to color the fondant pieces that will be used to decorate the Spriggans.
- Use blue food dye on some buttercream and spread it on the cake. Use white buttercream to fill in the gaps, then scrape off the excess to make it smooth.
- Use biscuit dough to make the Cactuars. For ease, you can make paper templates of the Cactuar shape to then cut the biscuit dough accordingly. Put them in the oven. Once they’re done, use icing to decorate the Cactuars.
- Use bread dough to make the Fat Chocobos. Make a few and bake them. Use edible ink pens to decorate their faces.
- For the top of the cake, which will be the Moogle head, make sure to round out the top of that tier. Put buttercream all around the Moogle’s head and scrape off the excess to make it smooth. Cover the whole head in a layer of fondant and cut around the edges to trim off the excess.
- Be very creative like Kim-Joy and make bits to decorate the Moogle, like its eyes, nose, ears, wings, and pom-pom.
- Put it all together. Profit.
While this is treated as Final Fantasy XIV‘s eighth birthday, it’s a bit more precise to say it’s the anniversary of A Realm Reborn, which was released on August 27, 2013. The original 1.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV will celebrate its journey to eventually become one of the best MMORPGs on September 30. Happy eight years to Final Fantasy XIV! Here’s to many more.