May The Fondant Be With You

*Note: This post is very photo-heavy. Hooray!*

My coworker-friend (co-friend/friendworker?) talked to me very far in advance about possibly baking for her son’s birthday, saying that she has lots of baker friends (bakends/frakers? Okay, I’ll stop.) and they’ve often done something quite elaborate (previous year’s cake was Angry Birds themed with marzipan birds). I said it’d be a possibility (but truthfully was a little intimidated) and we started dreaming of an R2-D2 cake. But then we were brought back to earth a little and dropped the conversation. A few months later, she inquired again about my interest in doing this and I said if it were within my abilities, I’d be happy to help. The birthday party ended up being postponed due to scheduling difficulties, but that gave us enough time to plan. We brainstormed and got lost in Google images for Star Wars and Lego cakes for hours. In the end, after six hours and a bottle of wine, here’s what our ideas and abilities allowed us (and this is after me talking her down a few notches because she was getting too creative for my *ahem* skill).

Bought new cake pans for this. Pans with straight edges and everything! What a great idea. As you can see, it’s funfetti, which ended up being the cake I made for Greg as well.

Layer 1. Like Fruity Pebbles in a cake.

Layer 2. With vanilla buttercream in between.

Oh, and here’s what the kitchen (my parents’ kitchen) looked like. (Cameo by Hello Kitty toaster.)

Frosting the cake. An icing spatula would’ve come in handy for this! (Which my co-friend ended up buying me afterwards :))

I did a lot of the batter-mixing (two cake rounds, chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, and frostings), and my co-friend took the helm for fondant work. I had mixed some fondant colors (blue, yellow, black, Yoda green) in candy clay the day before and, in combination with food coloring gel, she mixed these with white fondant to get the best coloring and amount. So here she is rolling out fondant on the cake.

Also, in case you’re wondering…why, yes, I do have an apron that says “Anything tastes better dipped in chocolate.” My friend Sarah got it for me and it is a life mantra.

All draped! We were a little short on one part, but we smushed things so it was inconspicuous enough.

Ta-da!

At this point, we realized the candy clay softened the fondant a bit too much and my co-friend pointed out that we probably couldn’t decorate the sides or else things would get misshapen or fall off. Whoops. Improvisation is a thing that happens when you bake. So we worked mostly with the top of the cake. I had previously picked up Williams-Sonoma’s Star Wars Heroes and Villains cookie cutters and they turned out to be our awesome saving grace.

So here’s the top. I printed out the Star Wars lettering and my co-friend did a great job with cutting out the fondant in that shape. She colored in the Stormtrooper with some black gel, and I also found in my bag of random cookie cutters the number 8. We were representing the age of her son, not the 8th Star Wars movie, thank you very much.

The details from the cookie cutters came out GREAT. I think my co-friend was a little disappointed that it wasn’t ‘fancier’ but I thought it was pretty cool. Then again, I’m a 26-year-old female and her son is an 8-year-old boy so he probably has higher standards.

On to the cupcakes! We also got Williams-Sonoma cupcake decorating sets (in both Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire) and made Dark Side and Light Side cupcakes. These were chocolate (with chocolate buttercream instead) and vanilla, respectively. We put the cupcake toppers on some and put fondant cut-outs on others.

On the cupcake Yoda is. Haaaaa.

Many Yodas there are. Haaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Stormtrooper. A bit of a pain to color in the little details, and we skipped some. But luckily my co-friend did it all. Muahaha.

Here’s one with all the details colored in. Toothpicks were involved.

Eeeeek. Too many Darth Vaders. See how the fondant-candy clay mixture ends up being too pliant and droops? Something to keep in mind for the future. It’s otherwise kind of hard to create a good black without buying it pre-made like that.

Everyone coexisting…peacefully??

Chocolate sprinkles on chocolate frosting on chocolate cupcakes. That’s not a fashion sin or anything, is it?

Rebel Alliance…

…meet Galactic Empire. *vvvvvvuuwwwwooommmm*

My co-friend’s “bakends” had some nice cupcake carriers.

This photo is unnecessary. Oh poor Yoda’s drooping ears.

At the party! We hid the cake until it was time, so it was hopefully a surprise. Oh yeah, and Luke and Leia held a (super fancy) birthday sign. Very nice of them. Vader wouldn’t do it.

First cut! There’s always some hesitation in cutting into a fondant cake…

Second cut. Trying to save the decorations.

Cutaway shot.

Funfetti being all fun-like and stuff.

Ah, finally get to have a piece. Very sweet. Did not eat the fondant. I can never bring myself to…

Greg destroyed Darth.

This was my first big project and we had fun, though it gets tiring standing for six hours. The boy band tunes helped us get through it though. Definitely learned some things that helped me with future projects, like Greg’s cake. I think people enjoyed it. Greg said he would’ve loved it as both his younger self (and loved it as his current self), so I hope the birthday boy liked it as well.

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