It doesn’t take much to convince me to decorate a geeky cake, especially if it is inspired by Star Wars! So when the Galactic Coven asked me to participate in their recent virtual Star Wars celebration on Instagram, I was all in!
While I frequently make Star Wars recipes, I realized I had never made a treat inspired by Princess Leia! And since it is also the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back this year, I knew exactly what to do.
Star Wars Cake Tutorial Inspired by Leia’s Hoth Vest
While it may be summer, Hoth is the perfect vacation spot to cool down, right? I’ve always loved Princess Leia’s Hoth vest, and even have one from the Her Universe collection, and I thought it would also make a perfect, simple cake.
Pulling in visuals from Leia’s vest, I added a quilted pattern around the cake, a badge using a reverse buttercream transfer technique, and the rebels logo on top.
While you can make this cake and the buttercream in whatever flavor you’d like, I chose to make mine with vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream.
Watch the Star Wars Cake Tutorial
Watch this step-by-step cake tutorial to learn how to makes this Princess Leia cake — plus, find instructions and ingredients below.
Princess Leia Cake Inspired by Her Hoth Vest
What You Need:
- Three 6-inch circular cakes (I used vanilla 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 — blue, red, black
- White sanding sugar (sprinkles)
- Angled spatula
- Icing bags (5)
- Icing tip — medium star tip
- Serrated knife
- 6-inch cake board
- Cake spinner
- Icing scraper
- Wax paper
- Hoth Vest Image Template (reversed) — DOWNLOAD
- Rebels Logo Template — DOWNLOAD
Prepare and bake three 6-inch circular cakes — you choose the flavor! I went with a vanilla cake with added blue and orange sprinkles for an Ahsoka take on funfetti!
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 your cake on a cake board and a cake spinner.
Next, it’s time to prepare your buttercream icing.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat your softened butter until fluffy and creamy (this is an important step!). Then, add vanilla and and a tablespoon or so of milk. Mix, then add half of your powdered sugar. Add the remaining milk and powdered sugar, and mix until incorporated. (I let my stand mixer go for several minutes until the buttercream mixture is creamy). Taste test to be sure it’s perfect!
Color a small amount of buttercream red, blue, light gray, and dark gray. Place each color in an icing bag and set aside (no icing tip required).
Next, add a white buttercream crumb coat to your cakes. Place your first cake on top of your cake board and add a generous amount of icing to the top of it. 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 buttercream layer.
Add white buttercream around the edge of your cake. Then, using your angled spatula, smooth the icing around your cake.
Next, place your cake in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. (Do this step as often as you need if you’re working in an area with warm temperature.)
Once your cake has had a chance to chill, add an additional white buttercream layer to the cake. Smooth with your angled spatula and return your cake to the fridge for an additional 10-20 minutes.
Remove your cake from the fridge, and use your icing scraper to get that extra smooth buttercream surface. Tip! Run your icing scraper under hot water for a few seconds and then dry it off prior to using it to smooth your buttercream. This will help your icing be extra smooth.
Next, prepare your badge decoration. Print out the reversed image (found in the list above) and tape it to a cutting board or a cookie sheet. (Note — the image is reversed so that once we “flip” it over, it will display correctly.) Place a piece of wax paper over the image and tape it down in the corner. Using your prepared buttercream colors, outline each of the badge shapes accordingly, starting with the smaller pieces. (See video tutorial.) Once your smaller details are added, fill in the remaining spaces with light or dark gray icing, then cover the entire badge in white buttercream — around the edge and across the top.
Place your badge buttercream design in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to cool and harden.
While your badge is in the freezer, transfer your cake to your cake plate or stand. Then, use your icing scraper to create a quilted pattern along the edge of the cake. (See video tutorial.)
Next, print out the rebels logo (found in the list above) and cut out the logo, leaving the outline of the shape to use as a stencil. Place it on the top center of your cake, then use vanilla buttercream to pipe the design by following the shape around the edge of the template. Fill in the center of the Rebels logo with white sanding sugar or sprinkles.
Once your badge has had a chance to cool an harden in the freezer, carefully stick it to the center of your cake with buttercream on the back of it, then slowly remove the wax paper from the front of the design. (Note — I gently pressed the badge on each side to help it to stick to the curved cake.)
As a final touch, add a decorative white buttercream design around the edge of your cake.
More Star Wars Recipes
Whether you’re planning a Star Wars party or movie marathon night, I’ve got a ton of Star Wars recipes for you to try!