Friday, February 13, 2009

Twilight Cake/Cookies and Party!

Last fall, one of my co-workers, Cindy, began reading the Twilight series. She eventually talked the 3 of us into reading the series, and we were all hooked. For about 2 months, we were talking about Twilight 24/7!

Cindy's birthday was December 31, and Vickie wanted to get a carboard cutout of Edward to put in the office, but it wasn't going to be shipped on time. Vickie told me about it, and I said how about we do it on Valentine's Day.

Well the ideas snowballed, and we decided to have an all out Twilight themed Valentine's Day party. We surprised Cindy with it, and it was so much fun.

In this post, I'm going to have directions to make the Twilight cake, which has many elements, and took me all week to make (but could probably be made in one marathon day)!

To plan the perfect Twilight party, we had the cutout, a cake, cookies, apples with caramel and chocolate dip, "Blood" punch, then for decorations we had red, black and white balloons, red and while tulips (like the New Moon cover), banners with the Twilight font, and we listened to the Twilight soundtrack all day.

So here is how to make the cake, with the cookie decorations, fondant, icings, cake, filling, and assembly.

This post will be LONG, with lots of photos!

Twilight Cake!

I made this cake over 4 days, each day I did a part of it, taking about 3 hours each day.

Day 1 was making the sugar cookies and royal icing.

Step #1 - Cookie Decorations
My Famous Sugar Cookies!
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest
5 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.
Add in eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
Add in vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
Beat for 10 seconds.
Add in baking powder and salt, beat again.
Add in flour 1 c. at a time, mix for 15 seconds between each addition.
Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.
Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.

This recipe made about 50 cookies - I made 6 small sized of each cover icon (3 total cookies, on sticks, sandwiched), and 4 large to give away to my co-workers. Then I also made 16 skinny hearts (8 total cookes on sticks)
To make the sugar cookies, I used the following

Twilight Apple - pumpkin cookie cutter, bottom pinched in to make it apple shaped

New Moon Tulip - upside down tulip cookie cutter

Eclipse Ribbon - cancer ribbon cookie cutter

Breaking Dawn Chess Piece - I used a baby bottle cookie cutter with the sides cut out

To make the cookies on sticks, I rolled them out really thin, brushed warm water on the top, then pressed the other cookie on top. These baked for about 9 minutes.

I made 3 (only used 2 though) in case one broke or the icing was messed up.

I made a large batch of Royal Icing to ice the cookies, and to pipe on the cake:

Wilton Royal Icing:
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
I put half the icing in one container, left white, and the other half in another container, and dyed it red with Christmas Red gel food coloring.

I filled bags with each icing, then piped the outside edges of each cookie.
I made sure the bags still had lots of icing in them, then I added a few TBSP of water to the containers holding the icing so I could use it to flood the cookies. You want it to be like maple syrup in consistency.

I like to use squeeze bottles to fill my cookies, it's easier to control the flow.

To make the tulips, I filled them with white, then made 3 stripes of red with the flooded red in a squeeze bottle. I used a toothpick to make the red run like feathers.

Since the apples and tulips have a few elements, I left them with just the icing. With the ribbon and chess pieces, since they're somewhat plain, I used sanding sugars to give them a bit more dimension. Make sure you sprinkle them right away or the icing will dry and it won't stick.

It's optional to pipe leaves on the apples, they don't need it, but it does add some color. Use folled fondant to make the stem (which we'll make later...) Here are the final cookies with the cooresponding books. Let the cookies dry overnight to harden.

I made Chocolate Frosting for the cake on night 2, here is the recipe:

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup butter
3/4 c. Dutch process cocoa
6 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream Butter, add in cocoa powder and mix together on low. Add vanilla.
Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Keep refrigerated until use.

I covered this cake in Chocolate Rolled Fondant. I used my white chocolate recipe, but subbed in dark chocolate candy melts and some cocoa powder. It cracked much easier than the white chocolate fondant, but it tasted much better!

Chocolate Rolled Fondant: (For photos of steps, see this post)

1 lb. dark chocolate candy coating
3/4 c. corn syrup
1 c. Cocoa Powder
3.5 lbs. powdered sugar
8 tbsp. hot water
1 c. glucose (I get this at cake/candy supply stores)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. white crisco

Step 1: Melt the chocoalte chips in the microwave or over a double boiler, stir in the corn syrup, set aside so it cools. It should form a pasty dough.

Step 2: Put 3/4 of powdered sugar and cocoa powder in the bowl of a mixer, make a well in the center. Set Aside.
Step 3: Mix water, glucose, vanilla, salt, and shortening together in a saucepan. Heat until shortening is almost melted.

Step 4: Pour into the well of powdered sugar, use dough hook and mix until incorporated, about 4 minutes. Add white chocolate mixture to mixing bowl a tablespoon full at a time, until incorporated.

Step 5: When mixture is too hard to mix, take it out and turn on a powder sugar dusted surface, knead in the remaining powdered sugar.

Wrap very tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a ziplock bag. It will get somewhat hard, but kneading it will loosen it up. Use within a month. (Do not refrigerate)

I made a Red Velvet cake with creamcheese filling for the Twilight cake. I used this recipe.

Red Velvet Cake (original recipe for cupcakes):

15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.

Line 2 8" and 2 10" cake pans with parchment and spray with nonstick spray.

Pour batter into 1 8" and 1 10" pan. Make another batch and fill other pans.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes, invert and cool until room temperature.

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8oz. brick of cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk

Cream together all ingredients, beat until smooth.
Use a serrated knife to level out cakes. Fill with creamcheese filling, then ice with chocolate buttercream.
Roll out fondant, cover cakes.

Decorate cake with icing and cookies!


Joelen said...

Great job Ashlee! Everything looks awesome and your creativity rocks!

Kelly said...

That's all so cute. I love it all. I'm actually making conversation heart cookies to send to friends and family as V-day packages so hopefully mine turn out as cute as yours.

Tracey said...

Wow, that's so impressive! Everything looks wonderful.

pinkietries said...

You are very, very talented! Did you take a cake decorating class? I took one and I still can't make Wilton roses! You are awesome!

Angie said...

Not you, too! It all looks awesome, though! Wanna come to Chicago and show me how to decorate cookies with royal icing?

KellieBelle said...


Angie Eats Peace said...

WOW! I am so impressed!

Tammi said...

What a thoughtful and creative party! thanks for all the pics and easy to follow tips!! Happy Valentines!

Sara said...

Ahh, I love it! I'm a big fan of the Twilight series and all your treats look fantastic. Awesome job! :)

Ceci said...

AMAZING! What a cool party. I wish I had a bakin' fiend friend like you.

That Girl said...

I couldn't stand the Twilight books, but I love the cake!!!!

Melissa said...

Wow...that looks like it was a ton of work, but SO,SO COOL! I'm just getting into Eclipse now and loving the series so far. I need to get some people hooked and have a party like this! Great work!

DeborahSW said...

That is too funny! I bet a Twilight party would go over well in my office too, I work with quite a few fans. The cake turned out super cute!

Dawn's Recipes / The Baby Blog said...

That's awesome! I haven't seen the movie yet, but I loved the books. Beautiful work on the cake!

Erin said...

This cake looks amazing!

emily said...

I'm not a Twilight fan, but I can't get over how creative you are!

Lynds said...

The cake and cookies looked amazing! You are very creative. I'm a huge Twilight fan and this made my day! :)

Sophie said...

Lol what a cute cake! As a Twilight fan, I approve :)!

Anonymous said...

hey this looks very nice im gonna use this 4 my twilight party!

Hannah said...

I'm so excited about this cake! I'm going to try and duplicate most of it at SOME point this summer (thinking not so much the cookies, but I'll paint apples on the cake)!

Thank you for posting this, and it looks to die for!

Angie said...

I don't know how I didn't catch this in my google reader but I'm so bummed I didn't. I would have totally made this for a Twilight DVD party. Guess now I'll just have to make some cookies for a New Moon party!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so great! I love it!

MissMaris said...

can i just say that this cake and cookies are the most ADORABLE and creative things i have ever seen!? you are such an inspiration to bakers and chefs everywhere! i have shown the pics of your cake to all my best friends and family (all of whom are HUGE Twilight fans!) and they all have gushed over it. I plan on creating my own cupcakes for the New Moon premiere this fall and I am going to use your cake recipe and some of your decorating ideas as a spring board for mine! I will be sure to post a link to pics of my creation :) thanks again for being so detailed in your recipe and pictures, much appreciated and I ADMIRE you so much!

Amanda Williams said...

These look great! I just made a batch and mine came out a little puffy and dark on the I'm not sure what I did wrong!

How think do you roll out your dough? Maybe that was my problem?

Anonymous said...

I just made a batch! They were yummy, but kind of puffy. It was hard to 'flood' the icing. The icing would run off because of the puffy tops of the cookies. Did the butter need to be softened? Room temperature? Melted?


Ashlee Wetherington said...

the butter should be room temperature. it's very important that you cream the butter and sugar thoroughly, and then the eggs should be incorporated thoroughly. also, you might want to add more flour next time, and make sure your dough is chilled when you roll and bake the cookies. don't put them on warm cookie sheets, and make sure they're cut thick. email me if you have any more questions!

Jen said...

Thanks Ashlee. My butter was cold. Everything else I followed to a T. I'll give them another try with room temp butter. Thanks for the help!

Garret said...

Great Job! I can see that you are a huge fan of twilight!

Ever since I read the book on an airplane my wife wants me to read more. Anyway, the cake looks amazing and thanks for the tips and how to guide!

do you have any secret restaurant recipes? We are looking for more for our site.

Lindsey said...

I just came across your site and I love it! Thanks for all of the great posts. I especially like your twilight cake :))

Aynie's Catering & Cuisine on Call said...

Ashlee! I am so glad that I found your website! Inspired me to finally try fondant! I've been working every evening this week to perfect your cake idea...

Thanks for having such a detailed & insightful blog and step by step decorations... The baby bottle for chess pieces is a priceless tip!

Best Wishes in All you bake!

Melissa Loggins aka Sweet Miss Confections Wyoming, Ohio