The X-Files was probably one of the first cult shows that I was obsessed with, and it launched a lifelong attachment to cult shows. It was unique, quirky, fun and had two extremely likable leads. While I admit, my attention did wane towards the end of the original series as I never quite got over Mulder leaving; it still holds extremely fond memories.
When I heard they were going to re-boot the show, I was so excited! My youngest even binge watched the entire series (thank you Netflix) so that she would be able to watch the revival and understand the history. She loved it so much she named her biology book Mulder. It was a proud Mom moment.
I wanted to do something fun to mark the X-Files return so I decided what better way to celebrate than with an Alien Autopsy Cake. I found a few pictures and some vague instructions online, but in the end I just dove in and gave it my best shot. While it wasn’t a total success, we did enjoy cake in celebration of Mulder and Scully’s triumphant return.
Here are the instructions on how I created my alien autopsy cake, and some of the things that I learned along the way.
Step 1) Purchasing Supplies
I wasn’t sure exactly what to use for the alien “insides” so I wandered around the candy isles of a couple of stores, as well as dug through my own pantry, to come up with some options of things that would work.
I ended up selecting:
- Mini Marshmallows which I already had stashed in my kitchen.
- Gummy Worms (Technically, Sour Brite Crawlers)
- Heart Shaped Peeps
- Cadbury Eggs
- Green Food Coloring
- (2) Yellow Cake Mixes
Step 3) Preparing the Cakes
I figured I would need a couple of cake mixes to have enough for all the body parts but here’s a *tip* use a sturdy cake. I chose a basic yellow cake mix, and it was a little too soft to manipulate easily. If I make this again, I will use a much sturdier, denser cake.
I mixed the cakes and thought it would be fun to dye the batter green to give it a more alien look. I didn’t have enough green food coloring to really make it as dark as I would have liked, but it did add a little bit of a grayish green tint which worked. Although, if I had to choose between cake color and type of cake, again, sturdiness of the cake trumps the color.
Step 3) Cake Sizes & Baking
I ended up using one rectangular, one circular, and one square pan for my cakes. This breakdown of cakes did actually work really well. From these cakes I was able to cut up the alien body as follows:
- Round Cake – Alien Head
- Rectangular Cake – Alien Body and Arms
- Square Cake – Alien Legs, Feet, and Hands
Step 4) Frosting
While the cakes were baking, I made a double batch of Wilton’s Classic Buttercream Icing. I’m glad I made a double batch as I did use almost all of it. I tinted this green too, although I see that a lot of people go for more of a gray tint which definitely matches up more with the aliens in the X-Files mythology, but I just liked the more dramatic green.
*tip* While I used basic frosting, I think that Fondant to cover the cake would be much better. See my notes below about frosting him.
Step 5) Layout the Cake
Once the cakes were done and cooled, I started piecing together my alien. I pretty much went free form here – no templates. I used a Cadbury Easter egg cut in half for the eyes and a little chocolate piece for his month. I cut a rectangle out of the top half of the chest area for the autopsy opening, and sliced each side of the rectangle cake to make the arms.
Step 6) Frost & Decorate the Cake
I frosted him which was quite challenging given all the cuts and open cake layers. If I had experience working with fondant, I think it would be much better to cover him in fondant and that it would give a smoother, more accurate look to the end result. But, I worked with what I had. So, after covering most of him with frosting, I smoothed and evened it out using a knife dipped in hot water which did help a little. There were a lot of crumbs in the final product, but given it was an alien autopsy, it seemed to work.
For the guts, in the end I used:
- Mini marshmallows that I dyed green. I put about a cup of marshmallows in a plastic bag and added some green food coloring. I shook it all together until they were tinted green. This actually worked pretty well.
- Gummy Worms randomly laid out in the autopsy opening. I also used these for the alien fingers. They worked okay as fingers although were hard to really frost.
- A red peeps heart with green food coloring dripped across it a few times.
- I dripped the rest of the green food coloring that I had over the guts and opening giving it a “blood” like look.
While it didn’t come out quite as I envisioned, the basic concept was there and my family enjoyed dissecting and eating the alien cake.
Even more important, is that the reboot of the X-Files was amazing, and I loved every minute of it. I’m looking forward to the last of the six episodes, which is airing on Monday. Here’s hoping for more time with Mulder and Scully in the future!