My son wanted a Star wars cake for his birthday. Being a Dad and thus the maker of miracles meant a sheet cake with the words “May the force be with you” wasn’t going to cut it. If my son wanted the force to be with him on his birthday then he was going to have the mother of all Jedi – Yoda himself.
Several KC Dads had mentioned they had made cakes out of marshmallow fondant so I wanted to give it a try. Thanks to Teacher Dad and Enforcer Dad for all of their advice on the application of this alternative to icing. It turned out pretty well so I figured I would share how I did it.
1. The Model
If I was going to make his head out of fondant I figured I’d better get real acquainted with what it looks like so I printed up a bunch of Yoda head shots from the Internet and then using the kids play dough made a small model of Yoda.
2. Making Fondant
I found several recipes for marshmallow fondant on the internet and it was easy to make.
Mine consisted of: 24oz mini marshmallows, 3lbs powdered sugar, 6-7tbsp water and Crisco Shorting to keep it from sticking to everything.
I made the fondant earlier in the week and stored in the fridge with no coloring.
3. Preparing the Base
I cut some thick cardboard 15” by 9.5” and wrapped it in foil for my cake to sit on.
It was just small enough to fit in my freezer (damn the side by side) but barely big enough for the cake.
4. Baking the Cakes
I then baked two sheet cakes using a boxed Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix in a 9” x 13” baking pan.
Some websites recommend using a denser cake so it can hold the weight of the fondant. I didn’t notice any collapsing using the boxed mix, but when it came to carving the face it might have been advantageous to have a denser cake.
Once cool I leveled them at about 1.5 inches in height.
5. Cut and Stack
I then placed my templates on top and cut out my shapes for stacking.
I used a can of Betty Crocker butter cream frosting between the sections.
The next morning I stuck the cake in the freezer for about two hours to firm it up before carving it. It did make it firmer (mainly due to the frozen Icing).
I then carved the cake, taking a little off at a time. It looked horrible at this stage. It was such a fluffy cake that it was hard to shape it without tearing sections of it off.
(A denser cake may have made this process less troublesome.)
7. Crumb Coating
Next I crumb coated the entire thing in butter cream frosting.
8. Coloring the Fondant
I had taken my fondant out the night before to get to room temperature, but I still had to knead it a little to get it workable again. I separated a little of the fondant to use as the white of Yoda’s eyes. Then I added green and a little black Wiltons gel food coloring to dye it the right shade of green. A little goes a long way when it comes to the gel food coloring.
9. Rolling the Fondant
I then rolled out the fondant to a little over 1/8 of an inch thick, using corn starch to keep it from sticking to everything. Some sites say to use Crisco Shortening and I might try that next time. Once on the cake, I had to stop working details into the fondant after the surface started drying out and Crisco might extend that time by holding the moisture in longer.
10. Transferring the Fondant
I transferred the fondant to the cake by rolling it up on a rolling pin. (avoid using a french rolling pin if you can). In the process it started stretching like crazy so I think next time I might roll it out a little thicker.
11. Shaping Details
I then just shaped in the details using a tool I stole from my kids play dough set (gotta love that play dough). I added the white eyes and used additional green fondant to make the eye lids.
12. Final Details
I then mixed the Wiltons gel food coloring with vodka to make a kind of water color to shade the face. I used a much thicker consistency to color the eyes. And then presto I had a Yoda cake!
24 oz mini marshmallows,
3 lbs powdered sugar,
6-7 tbsp water
2 Betty Crocker chocolate cake mixes
2 cans of Betty Crocker Whipped Buttercream frosting
Wiltons Gel Coloring for Frosting (Black, Brown and Green)
1 Fondant Paint Brush