The countdown to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has officially begun! And to prepare for the final film in the Skywalker Saga, I’m marathoning all of the Star Wars films by watching one each week leading up to December 20.
I LOVE a good movie marathon. There’s something so cozy and comforting about a couch night with my hubby, cozy blankets, a cuddly puppy (when he wants to cuddle, that is), and delicious snacks, all while watching one of our most beloved series.
And to take our movie marathon treats to the next level, I’m taking on a personal Star Wars baking challenge and creating a recipe for each of the nine films, one week at a time! (Gosh, I hope this isn’t too lofty of an endeavor! I am a self-taught baker after all!)
Star Wars Baking Challenge — Week 1, The Phantom Menace
I’m kicking off the baking challenge with a recipe inspired by one of my FAVORITE characters in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. That, of course, is Queen Amidala.
Growing up, The Phantom Menace hooked me on Star Wars. While I had watched the original trilogy before with my older brother, The Phantom Menace released when I was nine years old and that’s when I really claimed Star Wars as one of my favorite fandoms.
I LOVED Queen Amidala.
I had her barbie dolls (and even her paper dolls)…
And I even dressed up as her for Halloween!
So it should come as no surprise that my first recipe for with the Star Wars baking challenge is inspired by Queen Amidala’s iconic red dress.
Taking queues from Queen Amidala’s red dress in The Phantom Menace, I chose to bake a chocolate cake iced in red buttercream with brown decorative edging, symbolizing the fur trim. I added a decorative design on top of the cake to capture the design on the shoulders of the dress. I added a gold embellishment down the center of the cake, similar to her dress, and even made edible jewels to line the bottom of the cake (probably my favorite part!).
Queen Amidala Cake Inspired by Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
What You Need:
- Three 6-inch circular cakes
- 4 sticks of salted butter, room temperature
- 2 lbs. of powder sugar (1 bag), sifted
- 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 3-5 tbsp. milk
- Food gel coloring — red, brown
EDIBLE JEWEL DECORATIONS
- Food gel coloring — yellow, black
- Corn syrup
- Silly putty containers (used as the mold)
- Empty egg carton
- Small pot
- Wooden spoon
- Cooking spray
- Wilton Sparkle Gel, gold
- Parchment paper
- Angled spatula
- Icing bags
- Icing couplers
- Icing tips — open star tip, small and large round tip
- Serrated knife
Creating Edible Jewels From Queen Amidala’s Dress
Let’s start with your edible jewels (or the “eggs” as I used to call them).
If you’ve never melted down sugar before, I would recommend that you watch my tutorial on how to melt sugar down from my Avengers Infinity Stone Cupcake recipe. You see, the second you turn the heat off and add your food coloring, the mixture starts to cool — fast. So make sure you’ve read the instructions below or have watched the tutorial, and then you’ll be ready to go!
For the shape I was after, I bought several containers of Silly Putty (found in the bargain toy section) and used each half of the container as a mold. (I’m sure there are more official molds out there for this shape, however, this did just the trick for me!) Wash and dry your Silly Putty containers and then spray the inside well with cooking spray. In order to position your molds in a vertical angle, place each of your greased Silly Putty molds in the hole of an egg carton to keep it in position.
Before you begin melting down your sugar and corn syrup, let me take a moment to warn you to be careful! Melted sugar is very hot, so be sure to use caution.
In a small pot, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar and one tablespoon of corn syrup. Turn your stove on to medium-high heat. Stir the sugar mixture continuously with a wooden spoon. As the sugar begins to break down, you’ll notice the mixture begins to get “wet.” Continue stirring to help the mixture melt evenly and to prevent it from burning.
Once your sugar mixture is melted and begins to boil, cover it with a lid and let it boil further for a minute or so. Once your mixture reaches a light brown/light caramel color, remove the pot from the heat, continuing to stir the mixture. Quickly add black food coloring or gel to the mixture, stirring well. Then, working quickly and carefully, pour a small amount of your melted black sugar into the base of each of your molds.
Place your egg carton in the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes or so. Then, remove the tray from the refrigerator and place your eggs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Prepare your second, larger batch of melted sugar for the yellow part of your jewels. Repeating the same process as before, combine 1 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of corn syrup in a pot and melt it down. This time, add yellow food coloring and mix well. Then, working quickly and carefully, pour the yellow sugar into each egg, covering the black candy and filling the mold entirely.
Place your jewels in the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes or so. Then, remove from the refrigerator and let the candy warm to room temperature before removing from your finished candies from the molds. Then, set them aside.
Decorating Your Cake
Prepare and bake three 6-inch circular cakes (you choose the flavor!).
CAKE BAKING TIPS: Grease your cake pans and then sprinkle flour all over the surface. Next, cut out a circular piece of parchment paper and lay it on the base of the pan before pouring the batter into the pans. These steps will help your cakes slide right out of the pan once they cool.
Once your cakes are out of the oven, set them aside to cool. Then, using a serrated knife, level off the top of the cake, if needed.
Before you begin to ice your cooled cakes, place several small pieces of parchment paper on your cake stand or cake plate and then place your first cake on top. By doing this, you will help to keep your cake plate clean and free of extra icing while you work.
Next, it’s time to prepare your buttercream icing.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat your softened butter, vanilla, and a tablespoon or so of milk until blended and smooth. (I let my stand mixer go for several minutes until the butter mixture is creamy). Slowly add your sifted powdered sugar, a few cups at a time, until all of it is incorporated. Next, add one tablespoon of milk at a time, if needed, until you reach your desired frosting consistency. Taste test to be sure it’s perfect!
For this cake, you will need two colors of buttercream — red and brown. Separate 1/3 of your buttercream and set aside in a bowl. For the remaining 2/3 of buttercream, add red food gel coloring until you reach your desired red hue. Note: this step can take more food coloring than you might think. I definitely had a few Kylo Red moments during this step until I got the Perfect Queen Amidala red. (Wrong movie, I know.)
Using a large round icing tip (or just an icing bag with the tip cut out!), add a generous amount of icing to the top of your first cake. Then, using your angled spatula, smooth the icing out across the top of the first cake.
Once your icing is smooth and even, place your second cake on top. Repeat the process, adding a layer of icing to the top of the second cake. Spread the icing across the top of the second cake with your angled spatula and spread the excess icing over the edge of the cake. Repeat process for your third cake, smoothing the top icing layer.
Pipe icing rows around the edge of your cake. Using your angled spatula, smooth the icing around your cake to form a “crumb coat.”
Then, stick your cake into the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so to set.
Once your cake is set, remove it from the refrigerator and cover it in another layer of red icing. Using your angled spatula, carefully smooth the icing around the edge of your cake, removing the excess icing as needed.
Smooth the edges of the top of your cake, and return your cake to the refrigerator for another 20 minutes.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and carefully remove the parchment paper from under your cake.
Now it’s time to start adding the details of Queen Amidala’s dress to your cake.
Starting with the top of your cake, use a small red tip on your icing bag to add a design to represent the pattern on the shoulders of Queen Amidala’s dress.
Next, move work on the center gold design by using a toothpick to lightly draw the design you’d like to cover in gold icing (or freehand it if you’re a pro).
Next, using Wilton Sparkle Gold Gel, apply the gel over the design you drew.
Next, color your remaining 1/3 white icing with brown food coloring.
Prepare and fill an icing bag with the brown icing and an open star tip. Then, add two rows of icing peaks on either side of the gold design to represent the fur trim of the dress. Start by adding one peak at the bottom and one at the top, then work your way in to the middle one peak at a time to ensure that your line is straight.
Add small brown icing peaks around the base of your cake to give it a clean edge, representing the fur of the dress.
On the top of your cake, add larger icing peaks all around the edge.
As a final step, the crowning jewel, if you will, add a good amount of buttercream on the cake stand at the center of the gold design, then secure one of the candy jewels in place by setting it on top of the icing.
Repeat this process to add the candy jewels all around the edge of the cake.
And there you have it! A three-tiered buttercream cake inspired by Queen Amidala’s dress from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Stay tuned for more Star Wars recipes as I countdown to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! Next up, Episode II — Attack of the Clones.