So what birthday week would be complete without a party and cake? Yes, I did make my son an R2D2 cake (in addition to the alien cake pops for the class). Frankly, I wanted to try this one out so I kind of persuaded him into it--sometimes it's hard for my kids to fully visualize the end result when I'm begging them to "let" me make the cake/halloween costume/cute outfit of my dreams for them. I usually get funny looks and "ooookay, mom" as a response. But they're still of an age where they believe just about everything I say, and so far we've had only good results.
I'm going to go find some wood to knock on right now.
Without further ado, here's how I made the cake.
First, I assembled all my stuff. I used a 2" deep, 6" round Wilton cake pan for the body because it matched up with the ball pan I already had. I baked 4 round cakes and 1/2 of the ball cake for the top. I used the leftover batter for mini cupcakes, most of which I put in the freezer for later use. I like the Wilton buttercream icing mix (I know it's just sifted powdered sugar, but I like it anyway) and the pre-made Wilton white fondant, some Rice Krispie treats, and sparkle gel icing.
Bake all the cakes. After they've cooled completely I take a large serrated knife and level them off. Then I wrap them in tightly in cling wrap. I usually do the baking a few days in advance and put them in the freezer.
I assemble and frost my cakes the night before a party. So, I gather up everything I need and head to a large work area, which in my house is my dining room table. I start with the cake board, wrapping it in foil (easy clean-up and a little fancy) this time I also used some blue cling wrap I had on hand to give it a spacey look. Then I made the base. I cut a piece of styrofoam slightly smaller than the circumference of the cake and wrapped it in white fondant. Then, using icing I "glued" it to the center of the cake board.
Then I put more icing on top of the base and "glued" a cake board, cut to the same size as the cake, on top of the base. I was hoping to add some stability with the cake board. Then using the same idea, I started layering my cakes using the buttercream icing in between layers.
After these 2 layers, I added another cake board, partly for stability and partly to help separate the cake when it came time to cut it. After layer number 3, I put a large skewer through the middle of all the layers down into the styrofoam. My hope was that it would keep him standing upright. (***see note below)
Last, more icing then added the half ball on top. I had intended to use 4 layers, but scale-wise 3 worked better, so I put one back in the freezer.
Then I took a bag of icing with a large tip and filled in the spaces where the layers met. Once that was done, I frosted the lower half of the cake white, then tinted some icing gray and frosted the top. Then, using the sparkle gel, and a handy reference book, I added embellishments so he looked like this--
I got so involved in what I was doing, I forgot to photograph the next steps, but basically I took a bunch of rice krispie treats and squashed them all together and molded them into the shape of his "arms". Then I covered them in white fondant and attached them to his sides using icing and skewers. Then I used the black sparkle gel to add detail to the arms. And here he is assembled---
From the side----
And the other side---
(***Notes: When I went to sleep, he was standing upright, I thought the cake boards and the center skewer were enough to hold him upright. Well. The next morning he had a slight backwards tilt, which although it still looked good, scared me to bits so I ended up using my big stock pot to brace him up until party time. So where I might have gone a bit wrong; first, I need at least 3 skewers, or dowels in the cake to help hold him together as he shifted and settled. Second, the cakes were still somewhat frozen in the centers and I think as they defrosted, the weight shifted and when he started to lean backwards the single skewer was not enough to hold him in place. I'm not certain that the weight of the arms came into play, but they were heavy so I would try to make my arms less dense.***)
Having said all of that, when it was time to debut R2D2 for the birthday party, he was still standing! And that's really all that matters. Well, that and a very excited birthday boy---
Both of them look pretty happy to me!