You can make spectacular communion cakes at home and have them every bit as beautiful as what a professional cake designer will make. You just need a little bit of instruction, a few recipes and some pictures of cakes that you want to try to recreate. Well, a little bit of baking talent helps also, but you don’t need to be more than an average skill in baking.
The Most Popular Communion Cakes
If you do a search on the picture pinning website Pinterest for the words communion cake, you will see that there is one very popular cake for this occasion. Pretty much the only cake people want to make now is the fondant cake. The reason is, this particular style of cake is so gorgeous and it doesn’t need a real professional to make one. You need to bake a cake and encase it in fondant with some style and you’re done.
Search the Internet and bookmark photos of cakes that you like and might want to make yourself. After you get a collection of your favorites then spend an evening narrowing it down to just one. Print that photo with a color printer and save it to use when you make this cake.
How to Make a Fondant Cake
Fondant cakes are very beautiful and they taste good, too! For the fondant frosting, you can either purchase it at a craft store that caters to people who make cakes and cookies professionally or you can make the fondant yourself. You can save a load of money by making it yourself and it tastes a lot better, also.
You can bake the cake and you can make the fondant, but there are still some minor items you might want to buy. You might need little decorative pieces that are edible and possibly a big ribbon or doll to put on top of the cake. Don’t be afraid to put real items on the cake, not everything has to be edible. You can have a rosary lying on top of the cake, you just remove it before cutting the cake.
You will need to decide if you want to work with square cake pieces or round. You can make them in small layers or build them up to have tall cubes or cylinders. When you work with buttercream frosting, the cake layers can slide and look sloppy, but that isn’t an issue when working with fondant. You can make a much deeper cake and the fondant will hold it together nice and neat.
Recipe for Homemade Fondant
There are a lot of different recipes for fondant, but the one that tastes the best is the one you make from scratch. The problem with the fondant that is made by melting marshmallows is that you will have to fight the marshmallow flavoring. Marshmallows are basically gelatin and sugar with an added flavoring oil, so if you make your fondant with gelatin and sugar, you get to bypass that flavor fight completely.
Of course, you can purchase ready-made fondant at the craft store, but it is expensive. If you have chosen an elaborate design for your cake then you can put a huge dent in your party budget just making the cake with purchased fondant. It is really best to make it yourself and it will taste a lot better also.
- 1 package of unflavored gelatin
- ¼ cup of water
- ½ cup of corn syrup (light)
- 1 tablespoon glycerin
- 1 tablespoon flavoring oil
- 2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
How to Make Fondant
Open the envelope of gelatin and sprinkle it on the water. Let that sit for 2 minutes then microwave it for 15 seconds. The heat will dissolve the gelatin.
Remove it from the microwave and stir in the corn syrup, glycerin and flavoring oil. It is best if you use a clear flavoring oil. If you use a flavoring oil like vanilla then you are going to add a little bit of tan color to your fondant. You can only have a white color fondant if the ingredients are white or clear. If you plan to add a color to your fondant then this won’t be an issue because the colorant will take care of the tan tint the vanilla will cause.
Put the bowl back into the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it up. Stir until it is well mixed and clear.
Put 1-1/2 pounds of the confectioner’s sugar into a mixing bowl and add the gelatin mixture to it. Use your electric mixer to mix it on a low speed. Scrape it all back together from time to time so that it all mixes well. Add more sugar as it needs it until it finally no longer looks like it is wet.
Knead the fondant on a clean counter top that you have dusted with corn starch. You might want to put some canola oil on your hands or shortening to keep the fondant from sticking to your hand as you knead. When the fondant is very smooth then you are done.
Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. It is okay to make this up ahead of time. It will keep in the refrigerator up to a month without any problems.
When it is time to assemble your cake, remove it from the refrigerator and place it on a countertop that is freshly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. You can dust your rolling pin also to keep it from sticking to that. Roll out the fondant to about ¼ inch thickness or a little thinner. You can cut the fondant into shapes, use cookie cutters on it and treat it like your sculpting medium. It will feel like you are working with play dough.
If your fondant is too stiff, you can knead it and add a tablespoon of glycerin or shortening to it to make it more pliable. When your fondant is rolled, it should be very smooth.
To attach the fondant to your cake, you first frost your cake with buttercream frosting. This buttercream will act as glue and hold the fondant in place. The buttercream layer should be about ¼” thick and use more where you need to even out any type of imperfection that you find on the cake.
After the cake is frosted with buttercream all around, very carefully lay your fondant layers onto the cake, pinching, smoothing and cutting as needed.
It is best to assemble your cake the day of the event and avoiding refrigerating it. When you remove a fondant cake from the refrigerator, the glycerin in the fondant will attract moisture from the air. If this happens, your cake will develop sticky and gooey spots.
You might find that making your own communion cakes for your child’s first holy communion is a very rewarding experience and that you are really good at it. Other people might start asking you to make cakes for their special occasions also. Before you know it, you have your own cake decorating business operating out of your home. The best businesses are ones that start as hobbies and the demand from church members, friends and family gets to be so much that you have to expand into a real business.