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Friday, March 18, 2011

The Death Star Birthday Cake

I love making fun birthday cakes for my kids and usually I show them a list of options that I feel I am capable of successfully constructing. But, this year my second son made a request for a Death Star cake! I contemplated purchasing a sphere cake pan, but really that sounded like a disaster. In brainstorming I came up with the idea of covering a Styrofoam ball with fondant and wondered if that was doable. In Internet research, I learned that it was very doable. They make fake wedding cakes all of the time to cut the cost.

It is important to wet the Styrofoam with either royal icing or water. I chose to spritz the ball with water. The fondant adhered to the ball very well. It was scary doing the bottom half, as you do not want your fondant to get wet. It will take on a shiny look. I used plastic wrap as a shield. I tried to be even in making the "equator", but I don't know if it really mattered...

One think I noticed was that I had to deal with a lot of air bubbles. I poked them with a pin and rubbed the fondant smooth. I was concerned that the moisture would seep out of the pin hole and wet the surface, but I didn't have that problem.

I tried to have organization on when applying the darker grey fondant. It did help for the top and bottom, but as I made my way to the equator of the death star, the pieces needed to have straight edges not curved. That's when I just winged it.


When covering the cake with fondant, I first covered the cake with buttercream frosting (all the cake experts seem to use buttercream, I do not know why) to seal in the crumbs and chilled it. I loved that step. When I frosted it with chocolate frosting, it went on SO smooth. I have always known about this cake tip, but haven't had the time to do it. Covering the cake in the fondant was tricky. It was a large surface. When I was rolling it out, I kept rubbing my surface and the fondant with powdered surgar. In the end I couldn't rub the excess sugar off, so there is white patches. Oh well, it didn't stick. It helps to think of it as the milky way:)

I accesorized with Wilton Sugar Pearls (stars) and Wilton Sparkle gel and Black Decoration Gel. If it is hard to tell, I put light sabers around  the perimeter of the cake NOT paint brushes (heehee). All depends on how you look at it:)

I have to say I was very happy with the finished cake.
I do not think I will be taking requests in the future.

I used this blog: I crave cake as inspiration. After I already committed to this endeavor, I browsed her blog and was blow away by her amazing talent. I though, "what did I get myself into?" I made this cake the night before the birthday. I wanted my son's birthday to be about him, not about the cake. I learned that when storing fondant, it is best to leave it out on the counter. If you put it in the fridge, freezer, or airtight container, the fondant may become glossy and slippery, due to the condensation build up. I was really nervous that I was going to wake up in the morning to find a melted cake sitting on my counter. It was fine and the cake was still moist because the fondant locks it all in :)