Star Wars Cake – The Force Was Not With Me

I did not know this, but kids don’t like lemon curd. My husband knew this and told me I should absolutely not put it in our son’s Star Wars birthday cake.

I had such high hopes for the cake, too. I make natural, mostly organic gluten-free cakes and I normally don’t use food coloring of any kind. But I really wanted the cake to look like outer space in a galaxy far, far away. I consulted with the owner of N.Y Cake West in West LA and we decided on black food coloring with bright yellow frosting (from a can!) for the stars.

It was not easy to make white frosting black. I thought it would be okay to use food coloring as long as I just used a little, but just a little food coloring made the cake gray. A little more and it was purple. A little more and it was a darker shade of purple. Finally, after an unacceptable amount of food coloring, it was black.

I added the stars and a glob of white frosting in one corner (to represent the ice planet Hoth) and wrote Happy Birthday. I can’t fashion Star Wars characters out of marzipan like my ex sister-in-law said I should have, so I vigorously cleaned my kids’ Star Wars figurines. I placed them on top of the cake to look like Jedi Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader were having a light saber duel with C3PO and R2-D2 watching. And I stuck a snow-suit-wearing Luke into the white frosting so it looked like he’d just climbed out of his snow speeder. I’m not an artist, but I was pretty happy with myself.

And it seemed to me to taste really good. I planned to heed my husband’s warning about not using the lemon curd, but I couldn’t make my own raspberry filling because I was out of cornstarch. I stared at my Trader Joe’s jar of lemon curd and thought how good it would taste with the vanilla cake.

My husband’s words came back to me. He said that even though the cake and frosting were vanilla, it’s colored black and people might think it’s chocolate. Psychologically the lemon filling didn’t work. “And kids don’t like lemon curd.” Ridiculous! Who doesn’t like lemon curd?

All children. “I don’t like this!” my son said throwing down his fork. Then another kid threw down his fork. And another. Of course I forgot, on the hottest day of the year, to buy ice cream for the cake. One kid said he wanted a popsicle and a bunch of them went running into the house to get one (we didn’t have those either). They settled for piñata candy.

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