August 21, 2011

Stick A Fork In Me Sunday #5: The Star Wars Cake

Every birthday I like to make a themed birthday cake for my kids.

This year it was the Tangled Birthday cake,

Tangled Birthday Cake

we've had a Hello Kitty,

Hello Kitty cake

and my son's Star Wars cake.

Star Wars Birthday Cake

He actually asked for a zucchini bread birthday cake. So there was something healthy in it, right? We make zucchini bread with regularity in the summer and instead of bread we make cupcakes. The kids love them. The recipe for that, if you're interested, is here in a post from last year.

Anything I ever learned about fondant and buttercream icing I learned here at Peggy's Baking corner! I have tried the premade fondant in a box and I have found that a simple recipe using marshmallows is tastier and easier to make.

The ingredients for faux fondant are

  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows, 16 ozs
(They have change the packaging this year so weigh out 16 ozs of marshmallows from two 14.5 oz bags)
  • 1    2 lb bag of C and H powdered icing sugar.
 Additionally, you need
    • 2 to 5 Tbs. of water

    • 1/2 cup Crisco.

    Melt the marshmallows in a bowl in the microwave. It takes me usually about 2 or 3 minutes in 30 second intervals. Dump the marshmallow bowl into a bowl with the powdered sugar. Mix the powdered sugar with the marshmallow with a spatula greased with Crisco.

    Use the Crisco to cover your hands and knead the mixture with your hands. The Crisco isn't an ingredient, but just a tool to keep the marshmallow from sticking unmercifully to you. Having fun yet? You should only add water if the consistency of the 'dough' is dry and breaking apart. It will feel like Play-doh.

    Place, covered with plastic wrap or bag, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The extra bits of powdered sugar will dissolve and be incorporated into the fondant. Carefully wrapped, this is fine in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.

    My cake schedule usually looks like this.
    Tuesday: make fondant
    Wednesday: dye fondant
    Thursday: cut out shapes for decorating
    Friday: Bake, ice and add fondant decorations

    I dye the fondant with regular food coloring. The only colors I use a special Wilton icing colors for is Royal Blue, Red and Black.

    You will never get past a pastel looking Lightening McQueen red unless you use these. I have also heard that a lot of Red food coloring tastes awful, so adding the Wilton no-taste red will make the icing or fondant taste keep its normal flavor. I use a tooth pick and add a little at a time. I knead and twist the color into the fondant.

    Use a rolling pin to whatever thickness you need and press the cookie cutter into the fondant. Refrigerate the design on parchment paper and add to the cake later with a bit of buttercream icing.

    I bought some Williams-Sonoma cookie cutters to make these designs.

    How cute would a fondant polka dot cake look or a pink Valentine's cake with lots of red fondant hearts? Any cookie cutter would make a cute design.

    I sometimes cover an entire iced cake with fondant icing like the Star Wars cake and the Rapunzel cake. Think of fondant as pie crust. You roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick, or less if you can manage it, and lay it over the cake. Avoid touching it with your fingernails as it will leave a mark that is hard to remove.

    I smooth the edges and cut them with a pastry scissor. You will have a ragged edge, but overall the fondant will lay flat.

    The edge or any imperfections get covered up by the designs or piped icing. I had tears in the Rapunzel tower fondant so I added a flower. I had bubble or two in the SW cake so I added a ship there. More icing can't be a bad thing on a kid's birthday cake!

    I really like Coolest Birthday Cakes for ideas. I hope you try this! I know my kids love it!


    1. your faux fondant sounds yummy! What is the timing on the zucchini cupcakes? Sounds like a winner to me!

    2. Good question Karen! I cook them at the same temperature with the bread side by side in the oven. It think it is about 15 minutes or until the tops brown!

    3. Wow, you are a cake creator extraordinaire! Fondant always looks so impressive but seemed way beyond my ability. You make it sound completely doable. Cute cakes!

    4. what adorable cakes! i especially like the tangled one. so fun!

    5. Love it! We love some marshmallow fondant at our house too!


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