For those of you unaware such a day existed (as I was until I met my dear husband), today is May the 4th, as in “May the 4th be with you’ day! In commemoration, I’m posting the story of a cake I made not so long ago to celebrate Greg’s 29th birthday.
Now if you’re thoughts are going where I think they’re going, yes… I agree that it’s a tad odd to decorate a Star Wars cake for a grown man. BUT growing up my mom always made special cakes for our birthdays and now my sisters are doing the same for their little ones. Why not join in the fun?
Here’s how it came to be:
First, Greg walked me through an Ebay auction win to bring home our brand spankin’ new, Wilton R2D2 cake pan, straight out of 1980. The vintage effect was fun, but also completely necessary since Wilton doesn’t make R2D2 anymore.
The original plan was to make the cake / frosting Friday, decorate Saturday, share with friends Sunday. Simple, right? If only it was… My inevitable downfall was the quality of our new R2D2 cake pan. I hadn’t considered that Wilton cake pans from 1980 might not work as well as the ones from 2013. Oh how quality has changed. It felt as though I was working with extra strong foil that mostly held its shape. eek!
Attempt #1 on Friday night (below left) came out with hard, nearly burnt edges and a soggy middle. Enter Google. Found out that putting your cake pan in a larger pan and surrounding the sides with wet towels will prevent this effect. Done. Attempt #2 came on Saturday afternoon (below right). I watched it constantly, as if I were a helicopter parent… of a cake. When it was starting to brown a bit too much, I covered it with foil for the remaining time. Busted yet again. The cake adhered itself to the foil and then sank in on itself. So disappointing. (side note: please excuse the random bites taken out of the failed cakes… we needed a little something to keep us invested in the process )
Attempt #3 was a last minute scramble on Sunday morning after a 6 am trip to the grocery store for more cake flour and eggs. I surrounded the pan with wet towels and forced myself to stay away from the oven while it baked. The middle sank in a bit, but all things considered, it was a beautiful success!
As for the frosting, I made it Saturday evening. The only obstacle was coming up with four small containers to keep the four colors in until Sunday. A small raid of the fridge was all that was necessary. We threw out some old leftovers, did a few dishes, and voila, crisis averted. Sunday afternoon however, we discovered another problem. The ‘medium blue’ tasted like onions. Apparently we should have used a little more dish soap… By then it was too late to start over though, so we gave our guests fair warning and enjoyed a good laugh (side note #2: my fingers twitched for 3 solid days from gripping the icing bag so tightly while decorating the cake… slightly creepy but oddly entertaining)
If you ever set out to make one of these, I’ll pray for you (and your twitching fingers).