Confirmation & Communion Cake Ideas
by Melinda Helton-Cromer
If you were to take a quick look outof the nearest window, you will undoubtedly notice at least one sure sign that spring is finally on the way. I happened to notice a few days ago that the tulips and daffodils are beginning to surface around our yard. Immediately, upon seeing them, I thought of spring and of the many wondrous events that come along with this refreshing season. Most of the upcoming events or occasions revolve around religion. So, you may be one of many that have someone about to celebrate a first communion or confirmation.
As with any milestone in a loved ones life, you will want to help make this occasion very memorable. One of the best ways to add a special touch to any special day is to create a unique cake that will function as a delicious dessert, as well as a beautiful centerpiece to any table. My philosophy for creating a cake that is truly outstanding is to make it personal and detailed. For example, a couple of years ago, I created a cake for the grandson of a family friend. While ordering the cake, the grandmother happened to mention that her grandson was very proud and excited about the upcoming event because had designed a banner that would be displayed during the ceremony.
I asked her to see if she could obtain a copy of the banner design for me, which ended up being simply a photocopy of his original drawing. I then made the cake to be an exact replica of the banner that was to be displayed. The cake was a big hit, and it meant so much to her grandson because it was very personal to him.
To make a cake for any of your upcoming events that is very personalized, begin by baking a 9 X 13 sheet cake in the flavor of your choice as per package instructions.
Once your cake has cooled completely, place onto a foil-covered cake board. Brush away any cake crumbs from the top and sides of the cake, as well as from the foil covered board. Ice the entire cake with homemade buttercream icing, or a container of icing. If you allow the iced cake to set for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, the icing will "crust". After it has "crusted" you will be able to place a clean, dry paper towel on top of it and use an angled spatula to apply a light amount of pressure in order to smooth out the icing. Repeat this procedure until the entire cake is smoothed in this manner. If you attempt this and find that the icing is sticking to the paper towel, then it has not had enough time to "crust" and you will need to wait several more minutes before attempting again. (Thinner icing will take longer to crust due to the larger amount of water in the recipe.) Now that you have the entire cake nice and smooth, think of it as a blank canvas that you can use to express your creativity and your loved ones personality.
You probably have the perfect idea already for what type of design you would like to place on this special cake. Maybe it is a specific drawing that your loved one has made that you want to copy, as I did above, or maybe it is a special Bible story that you would like to portray. Religious coloring books or coloring pages from the internet are excellent sources to get what you are looking for. Plus, when using this technique, the "chunkier and bolder" the details, the better. Once you have found the perfect design that you want to place on the cake, be sure that it will fit on the size of cake that you have baked, otherwise use a copier to shrink or enlarge as necessary. I recommend outlining the design you have chosen with a bold black marker in order to darken the details, so if you are afraid you may make a mistake on outline, I suggest you make a couple of copies while you are already at the copier.
Place your outlined design onto a cake board and scotch tape into place to prevent any shifting of the paper. Now place a larger size piece of wax paper on top of the design, smooth the wax paper into a very flat position and tape it into place. You should be able to see your outlined design very clearly through the wax paper. Now is the fun part!! This will be just like coloring in a coloring book, except instead of crayons, you will be using icing. There are a few things to keep in mind. First, the actual finished design will be facing the opposite direction of what it is on your copy, so if that is going to pose a problem, you will need to reverse the design while you are using the copy machine. Second, you will need to color in the closest points of the picture first. For example, in the cake pictured, I completely colored in the Cross area before doing the sunrise area. This is because you are actually working on the back side of the finished product...what will be the "seen" finished result is the icing that is directly touching the wax paper.
Begin your "coloring" process by outlining the entire design, including the small details, with black icing, or any other appropriate contrasting color with a small round decorating tip.I recommend tapping the bottom of the board with your knuckles, periodically, to help eliminate any air bubbles that may occur.
All that is left is to finish coloring in your design with the appropriate icing colors. It may look pretty rough right now, but remember, you are actually looking at the back side of your finished product.
Place your design, still taped the the cake board, into the freezer for approximately 20 minutes. When you remove it, the design should be completely frozen. (In some freezers, it may take around 30 minutes for it to freeze completely).
Quickly untape the wax paper only, and gently remove from the cake board. If you were to hold this slightly over your head you should be able to see the front side of the finished product. Any small details that do not show up well, or any air bubbles that left small gaps in the icing, can be fixed after it is placed on the cake. To do this, quickly flip the wax paper over so that the design is center on your cake. You can now, gently, rub the tips of your fingers over the wax paper to loosen the icing from it. Once this is done, remove the wax paper. There is a small possibility that you will have to do some light repair work to the design. If this is the case, you can actually just lightly wet the tip of your finger and smooth out any rough areas. Or you can use the round tip to further outline and detail the design. You can also add any other accents at this time...royal icing flowers, any writing desired, etc.
Now, to completely finish off your very special cake, add a simple border to the top and bottom edges of the cake...and VIOLA! Regardless of the design you have chosen, and the occasion you are making the special cake for, you can be sure that your family and friends are going to be very impressed with your creativity and the actual receiver of the cake will extremely touched by the personalization of it.