Who denies a 6-year-old--Chewbacca Cake?
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
When your kid wants a Star Wars Birthday party, you give him a Star Wars Party! When he asks for a Chewbacca cake to go with said party, you figure out a way to make that happen.
One of my friends from work knew that I had also thrown my son a Stars Wars party, and, therefore, reached out to me to help him make one piece of his son's birthday dreams come true. Charlie, his son, wanted a Chewbacca cake! My friend sent me a picture of an example cake that, he hoped, I could at the least mimic. I thought to myself, "What a tall order? I don't know if I can make such a cake." I felt I could do a better job than the picture I was sent and I did not want to let his family down. Everyone I asked believed I could make this cake incredible so I told him, "I would love to give it a shot." I knew I could turn this lovable Star Wars character into a cool cake. I just needed to do some research.
That evening, I began doing some research on Pinterest. You can see all the helpful links I used to learn more about Chewie and the best way to make him happen.
We decided on a strawberry cake with chocolate frosting to accommodate a more friendly Chewie hair color. The cake we were making was also going to be made out of a 13x9 sized cake. I decided to make it a 3 layer cake to give it enough height to get a good feel for Chewie. I spent a week deciding on the shape I wanted to use to convey his face. I used legal sized paper to create a stencil for the shape and come up with the best utilization of the cake.
A Chewie trademark is also his ammo belt he carries on his shoulder. I knew, to make this cake stand out, he would need a belt. I decided to use black and silver fondant to make the belt. I used white fondant to make the eyes and mouth. I started the fondant 2 days before the party so that it would have a little time to dry out, but, not so dry it would harden. For the belt, I used my fondant roller to get it nice and thin. Then, I used a ruler to cut it to the length and width desired for the base. I cut an additional 1/2" strip about 10" longer than the belt for the overlay of the ammo. I made the ammo packs out of the silver fondant. I made them about a 1/4" thick and slightly narrower than the belt. I used a touch of water to "glue" them to the belt and then placed the 1/2" strip overlay. Careful to push the seams into the ammo, as well as, using a little water for the "glue" again. I took little crumb-sized pieces of the silver and flattened them to make the rivets "glueing" them down as well.
The eyes were almond shaped pieces of white fondant as the base. The iris of the eye was a little white with blue gel coloring added cut into circles. I attached those, then used black fondant for the pupil and crumb sized piece of white for the gleam. I used some black gel food coloring and a toothpick to put on the outside of the eyeball so it would blend better with the eye socket. I then used a paint brush with some water to blend it so it was not as obvious.
For the mouth, I had sketched out what shape I wanted lips and teeth to be. I first cut a piece of black fondant, the full size for the inside of the mouth. Next, I cut the teeth out and shaped them and "glued" them to the black. I painted the tongue with some pink food coloring. Finally, I shaped the lips and colored them with brown, black and pink food coloring. The fondant work was done. I let them sit out for about an hour and then put them into an airtight container to sit until I was ready to place on the cake.
**Fondant tip if you didn't know, use Crisco solid shortening for easier handling and less sticking, to hands, shapes, and counters.
The same day I made the fondant, I baked the cakes. I trimmed them to about one inch thick--wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing in the freezer. This allows for easier handling for stacking and less fear of the breaking. On the day of, I stacked the cakes with strawberry frosting in between. This was to ensure the strawberry flavor would hold up to the chocolate on the outside. After it was stacked, I cut it down using the stencil. I glued the cut pieces with additional strawberry frosting and did a chocolate frosting crumb coat. This gave a good chocolate base, color-wise, should there be any gaps in the frosting hair.
After the crumb coat, I did the base hair coat with a chocolate fudge frosting. This would give the darker hair color. After the dark base was done, I mixed a milk chocolate frosting with a vanilla butter cream and some yellow food coloring to make the lighter blonder face color. I used standard milk chocolate for the second coat of hair mixing in occasional blonde highlights.
Then, I placed the fondant belt on the shoulder and continued with the hair--making sure that some of the hair overlapped onto the belt adding hint of realism. I continued with the hair flow around the head making sure there was enough for the other fondant elements to sink into. I alternated colors trying to make blending effect and visual depth. I placed the nose and mouth first.
After the nose and mouth, I used some black spray coloring to darken around the eyes and mouth. This created the more sunken look for the eyes and a little definition around the mouth. Finally, I added a little more hair to blend it in in the mouth area and placed the eyes. Then that was it, Chewbacca cake DONE!!!