Here are some pictures on the cake assembly this year. I made a Death Star cake. I got the original idea from pintrest via here, although I simplified my process a little bit.
My mom and I did a trail run of making a 1/2 sphere cake last weekend and it turned out a lot better than predicted.
Each of the cake halves consisted of 1 and 1/2 box cake mix. The whole box was a yellow cake mix and 1/2 was chocolate swirled in. And baked in a medium pyrex bowl. It took a lot longer to bake than a normal cake, and we also had to adjust the temperature of the oven so not to burn the top, while the inside still cooked. (Again, trial and error)
To hold the 2 halved together I had thick (boba tea) straws- 4 of them stick in the middle of the bottom cake, a little bit of icing glue and shoved the top cake on top of the straws sticking out from the bottom. The middle section is (another cake) that was crumbled and mixed with icing so I could fill the little gap between the 2 to make a perfect globe.
If you know anything about the Death Star you know it has a "satalittlite" disk on the side that concave in a little. At this point of putting the 2 cakes together waiting for the middle "glue"and also being close to midnight, I forgot the hole. Screw it! I let the cake set over night in the fridge.
Next day I cut the hole. And I think it worked a little better than how I originally planned. The cake was cold and solid so it cam out in 1 perfect piece, and barely any crumbs. (You can see the marbling in the cake) For the icing I used regular canned Betty Crocker butter cream frosting, and dyed it with wilton black (sparkle) gel coloring.
The finished product! The "panel" pieces were from wilton sugar sheets, black, and we (my friend and I) piped on royal icing (also dyed the grey-ish color) to make the patterns. I then used Duff's edible food spray silver to give all the black pieces a little sheen. Note to self: sugar sheets bend, royal icing not so much. So when adhering the panels, some of the royal icing fell off, but I like the black color underneath so I kept some like that and re-piped some others.
Needless to say boyfriend was totally awe struck by his cake. We blindfolded him before it came out and, started signing "happy birthday" while the blindfold came off. I told him his cakes from now on are going to be publix cakes with "happy birthday" written on. I don't think he took that seriously! I guess I have a few more Star Wars characters to go through.