Make this fab Star Wars birthday cake for the little (or big!) Star Wars fan in your life. It is surprisingly simple to make and is sure to delight everyone at the party! It’s the perfect cake reall because if you make a mistake, it just looks like part of the cake!
Mr 4 is now officially Mr 5. When did that happen? All I did was blink and then bam! 5! With his current obsession with all things Star Wars, it was no surprise when “R” chose a Star Wars theme for his party. There are so many wonderful ideas floating around the blogosphere for Star Wars parties, and next week I’ll be posting a round up of some of my favourites. This week though, I’ll be sharing snippets from our party, beginning with this fab (and really very easy to make) cake. Not only is this cake simple to make, but it has a few special surprises that are sure to have your party guests “oohing” and “aahing”.
If you’re not familiar with the Star Wars films, then I should explain that this cake recreates a scene from movie number 3. It’s a pivotal moment, right before Anakin Skywalker is transformed into Darth Vader. For those of you who ARE Star Wars fans, yes I realise Darth Maul was not in this scene – but that is a five year old’s creative license, especially when it’s his birthday!
When I asked R what type of cake he’d like, he immediately asked for a cake representing this scene. Oh my! After telling him that it would be too difficult and Mummy is no genius when it comes to cake decorating, I stumbled across this cake which was exactly what Mr 5 wanted. I made several changes to suit our needs and it turned out great. That’s the great thing about this cake – you can make mistakes, be messy, change it all you want, and it still looks terrific.
So what’s the special surprise I mentioned earlier? See that white chocolate disc sitting atop the mountain? That disc is covering a hole in the mountain, inside of which we placed some dry ice. We poured in a little water and……
I think the grown ups at the party were even more thrilled than the kids when the dry ice steam began billowing out of our “volcano”.
Sorry these pictures are a little blurry. There was a lot going on! Hopefully you can see the effect. The dry ice is completely optional of course, but it’s definitely worth it if you can get your hands on some.
HOW TO MAKE A STAR WARS BIRTHDAY CAKE
I simplified my cake somewhat from the version that inspired this cake. I also amended a few things to make it easier on myself. I wanted to make this as stress free as possible. Here are my tips and tricks for a stress-free but totally awesome Star Wars birthday cake.
1. Bake your cake. I made a very basic chocolate cake. My cake tin measured 12 x 8 inches which was perfect for 20 people. I doubled my standard cake recipe and it was the perfect volume of batter for the tin. You can use any size tin you like for this cake – whatever you need for the number of guests that you will be serving. The decoration of this cake lends itself beautifully to any size cake.
4. Place your cake tin on a piece of baking paper, and trace the outline of your tin on to the paper. This will form a template for you when you are working the rice crispy mountain and chocolate ground – having this template will help you to make the right sized mountain and sufficient coverage of ground.
3. Make a rice crispy treat mountain. Before you start, have a ramekin or other container ready. This is used to fill the cavity in the mountain, into which the dry ice will be placed. I was worried about handling the hot rice crispy but I found that it was still very easy to shape once it had cooled down enough to handle with my bare hands. I simply molded it into a mountain-like shape. Again, the great thing about this cake is it doesn’t have to be perfect. To give a more realistic look, taper the edges so the blend in with the “ground” on the cake. The original post suggested making the mountain and then cutting a hole out of it to fit in a ramekin. I actually put my container on baking paper first, and molded my rice crispy mountain around it. I just figured this would be simpler. I decided that my ramekins were all too large, so I used a clean, empty yogurt container. It worked perfectly. Any container that you feel is the right size is fine – just be sure it’s made from a material that won’t be damaged by the dry ice. When you are happy with the shape, place it on top of your cake to check that it fits. Trim or adjust if it’s too large.
4. Remove the container from the mountain cavity, and then cover the mountain and ground with melted milk chocolate. This is where your outline of the tin that you drew on the baking paper comes in handy. Spread your melted chocolate to the perimeter of the outline. Set aside until the chocolate has set.
5. On a separate tray, spread some additional melted chocolate and set aside. This will be used for the sides of the cake.
6. Frost your cake. You can ice it with anything you like. I made a butter frosting which I colored with red and orange food coloring – this is meant to look like lava so whatever color you think looks like lava will work just fine. I chose butter frosting because I thought it would act as a great “glue” for the chocolate that would be added on top. It was a good choice because it meant the chocolate stayed in place but it also gave me lots of flexibility – if I decided some chocolate was in the wrong place and needed to be moved, it was very easy to reposition things. I always use this recipe for butter frosting. It is the BEST frosting I have ever eaten and everyone always comments on how delicious it is.
7. Once the chocolate has set, replace the container back into the mountain. I melted a little more chocolate and spread it around the top of the container to conceal it a little. Next, cut the chocolate into shapes to represent the ground that is breaking up over the lava, then place the mountain and shapes on to the top of the cake. In the original version, the cake had white chocolate (that had been colored red) pouring from the container to look like lava spilling from the mountain. I didn’t bother doing this because R just loved it the way it was so I figured why make more work for myself?
8. Take your second tray of chocolate and then cut it into strips that match the height of your cake. Cut the strips into shapes to roughly match up with the pieces on the top of the cake and stick them to the side of the cake (see photo above as a guide). I also spread on some of the left over butter cream frosting between the chocolate pieces to look like lava oozing down the side of the cake.
9. To make the white chocolate disc that covers the hole in the mountain, I used the plastic lid of a cottage cheese container. I sprayed it with baking spray first, so that the chocolate could be easily removed, then I spread the plastic lid with melted white chocolate. I placed four toothpicks into the mountain and then balanced the chocolate disc on top of them.
10. Add your favourite Star Wars action figures and you’re done! All that’s left to do is add the dry ice. We did this right before we sang Happy Birthday. It goes without saying of course, that it’s important to follow the retailers instructions with the dry ice and take all precautions so that nobody touches it. The kids (and grown ups!) might be fascinated by it, but don’t let them touch it!
There you have it. It looks like a lot of steps but that’s just because I’ve tried to be as detailed with these instructions as possible. Really, this cake was VERY simple and probably the most stress-free birthday cake I’ve ever made.
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