First Communion, a rite of passage for Catholic children, is regarded as a symbol of maturity. Some Protestant religions even have adapted the practice, to a degree. Traditionally, it's a cause for celebration, similar to the Bar Mitzvah and the Quinceanera. A themed cake for the First Communion adds a bit of novelty to the celebration.
A rosary cake will take up a lot of space and feed a nice, large crowd. You'll need to bake up to 59 cupcakes in order to make this accurate, otherwise, you can just bake a few dozen, knowing that an inaccurate representation of religious symbols on a cake isn't likely to insult anyone or affect your afterlife.
Use a card table as the base for this cake display. Place the cross at one of the front corners, then line up all of the cupcake "beads" along a path of ribbon. If you're aiming for accuracy, be sure that your cupcake colors are strategically placed, to separate the decades.
You can carve a sheet cake into a holy cross. The easiest way to carve a cake is to freeze it first. Use a bread knife to remove each of the corners, then brush away the crumbs. Frost the cake generously, replacing the knife each time it picks up crumbs.
Then, arrange the cupcakes on the table, along a path of ribbons. Ideally, there will be 10 plain cupcakes, followed by one of a different color. Again, accuracy is only as important as you want it to be. It's just a cake.
This simple combination of a cross and cupcake beads isn't difficult to decorate, but makes a big impact, creating a memorable and impressive display that you can customize for a crowd of any size, just by adding more cupcakes.
Communion Bread Cake
You can shape a round layer cake and then frost it to look like a loaf of bread. First, bake two round layer cakes, allow them to cool, and stack them together. Then, use a butter knife to trim the outer top edge from the cake, to create a dome shape. Finally, cut two long wedges across the top of the cake, parallel to one another and only going 1/2-inch deep. Restack the layers now, with a cream or custard filling.
Roll a 1/4-inch-to-1/2-inch layer of fondant and lay it over the entire cake. Press the fondant into the scored lines on the top of the cake. Use a clean sponge applicator and several shades of brown-, yellow- and cream-colored cake tint to make the cake look like it's perfectly cooked bread. The area inside of the scores should remain lighter than the rest of the "bread." The bottom would have the darkest shades of brown, and perhaps even a teeny bit of black.
Perhaps the easiest cake for a First Communion would be the Communion cup. Bake two layers of sheet cake, and cool thoroughly. Trim each layer by removing a crescent shape from each side, so that it has the shape of a communion cup, similar to a wine glass.
Stack the layers, filling them with cream, custard or even frosting. You can frost this cake with buttercream frosting or fondant. Fondant would look nice if it were tinted with a silver frosting color, to look like a metal cup. In lieu of metallic tint, use a gray frosting, or even white. The wide area that makes up the cup and the base make a nice platform for writing "Congratulations" or "First Communion."
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