Ipso Fatto Instant Photos: Stella's Star Wars Communion Party

When my friend Jim told me that his daughter Stella was going to have her First Holy Communion on May fourth, I jokingly asked if the party would have a Star Wars theme -- because he and his daughters all love Star Wars and May fourth is Star Wars Day. When he and his wife Colleen decided to go with both a traditional cake and a Star Wars-themed one, I was delighted to make both.

The Star Wars cake was easy. I made two 9-inch layers of chocolate butter cake (Rose Levy Bernabaum's recipe from The Cake Bible), filled and frosted them with chocolate buttercream (recipe from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook), and topped the cake with a Funko Pop Chewbacca bobblehead (Stella's favorite Star Wars character). I used the Star Wars alphabet cutters I bought last year (to make a Kylo Ren cake) for the fondant message. This cake required very little effort but I was so pleased with the result.
Because Stella loves Chewbacca so much, I couldn't resist making some Chewbacca-shaped cookies as well, using Stella Parks' Homemade Oreo recipe (without the filling). I bought the Chewbecca cutter and stamp from Ebay and I thought the results were adorable. Plus, asking party guests if they would like a "Wookiee Cookie" never got old.
Finally, the traditional cake was two 10-inch layers of white butter cake, filled with elderflower mousseline and covered in fondant (all recipes from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible). Jim and Colleen requested that I avoid artificial food color, so I used McCormick Color From Nature food coloring for the fondant; the yellow color comes from turmeric and annatto. The color is in powdered form and I used the entire yellow packet in a batch of fondant made with two pounds of powdered sugar. I colored the entire batch of fondant, which is why the lettering on the Star Wars cake is the exact same color as the fondant covering the traditional cake.
I made edible lace with Martellato Sugar Dress Lace Mix and the Charlotte English lace silicone lace mat; it stood out nicely against the yellow fondant. I made the cross out of fondant with a silicone mold that I first bought to make a first communion cake for Stella's older sister McKenna; later I also used it to make a cake for the baptism of Stella's youngest sister Lea. This cake also had a very simple design, but I thought it was effective.

I really liked the fact that there was one fun cake and one elegant cake at the party. It was a joyous celebration and I was grateful to be able to be a part of it!

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