Happy May the 4th Be With You Day! We are big Star Wars fans in our house. I figured today was the best day to share a post that I wrote a long time ago on another blog. This post was originally published on January 24, 2012; at that point Trae and I were still marriage newbies and had been married for a mere two years! But with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I thought it was fitting to revisit this R2-D2 cake.
Way back in 2012, Trae’s birthday coincided with the release of the special edition blu-ray boxed set of all six Star Wars movies, or also known as the perfect birthday present ever.
Yet, the star of the show was the R2-D2 cake. I started with a standard 9×13 cake pan and two nine inch rounds.
I used my trusty Better Crocker recipe and doubled it; you can use any cake recipe and double it as long as the cake doesn’t get too crummy. Honestly, two box mixes would work wonderfully. I cooked the cakes according to the directions and let them cool thoroughly. After the cakes were completely cooled, I used a R2-D2 popcorn bucket from Disney as my model, but if you don’t have a popcorn bucket, just pull up an R2-D2 image on your phone.
|The hubby devouring R2’s popcorn entrails while at Disney MGM.|
I ended up cutting the rectangular cake in half; a round cake was cut in half to make the head portion of R2 D2. To make the legs, I cut three rectangular pieces about two inches wide with one of three rectangles being just slightly larger then the other two. Two pieces laid up against the cake and the third, larger piece was used to cut two isosceles trapezoid, or a small top with slanted sides and bigger bottom. The little quarter moons that made the shoulders were portions from the left over circle that made his head.
I used one of my circle cookie cutters and placed only half of it on the cake to make a half-moon. I realize now I could have just made one half moon circle shape with my cookie cutter and cut it in half to get the curved top portion of the leg, but yeah, you live and learn. After cutting all the pieces, I colored the fondant pieces: gray/silver, blue, red, and brown.
Sadly, I ended up running out of time and had to rush through decorating, but over all, I am still happy with the droid. I covered the whole thing in white canned icing. (Any flavor will do as long as it is white.) If you want a smoother looking droid, I would use a standard buttercream recipe since they do tend to spread a little better than canned icing.
I then used my popcorn bucket as my model to free hand the fondant pieces. Again, if you don’t have a popcorn bucket, any image will do for a visual reference. As a time saver, I covered the whole top portion of the head in the gray fondant. Having a food scraper with a flat edge helped keep the fondant smooth, even though the flat side of a knife would have done the same thing.
I added a thin strip of gray fondant to the bottom of the head to give R2 more depth, but also to hide my uneven fondant work. Since this was my first time covering a large portion of a cake, the edges were not exactly Charm City Cakes quality. I focused on one section of the body at a time, which was time consuming, but allowed me to have the most accurate proportions. A lot of the detail was also traced into the icing with a knife. A good portion of R2’s body is white, and by adding the line detail into the white icing, the cake really did pop.
The last close up shows the time crunch I felt because some of the fondant pieces were cut a little slanted. If you work with fondant, make sure you have time to let it stiffen back up. Since I was running out of time, the fondant ended up getting warm and super stretchy. The line would be straight, but then by the time I placed it on the cake, it would magically be off. Yet, the birthday boy nor the guests minded the few messed up lines.
I promise that this is not “a trap” and you “shouldn’t have a bad feeling about this” because this cake is super easy to carve and decorate even if you have never worked with fondant before. I hope this post helps to inspire you to make your own R2-D2 cake. May the force be with you and your cake decorating!