We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Read It, Then Eat It: Defy the Stars Galaxy Cake

By Marcie Lawrence, Senior Designer

More cakes to continue our Read It, Then Eat It series! In honor of the release of Defy the Fates, the finale to the stunning Defy the Stars trilogy from Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars and Bloodline, Marcie is here to share the recipe and directions to her complicated but beautiful cake that defies the stars. She advises people to break it out over a few days so it’s more manageable.




  • ½ stick unsalted butter room temperature
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsps clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chocolate jimmies or sprinkles



  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup + ⅛ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp clear vanilla extract
  • 1 7/8 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • .38 g citric acid or 1/4 tsp lemon juice



  • 1¼ cups  water
  • 1½ cups  sugar
  • 15 oz  sweetened condensed milk, 1 can
  • 15 sheets gelatin
  • 25 oz white chocolate, chopped, over 30% cocoa butter
  • Food coloring (I used black, navy, light blue, purple, hot pink)
  • Food grade glitter (optional)
  • Star shaped sprinkles or plain white sprinkles (optional)




  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a quarter-sheet pan (10”x15”) cooking spray and line with parchment or a silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, salt, and 50g (1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles). Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and sugars. Beat on med-high for 2-3mins. Scrape bowl if necessary.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Scrape bowl.
  5. Turn mixer to low and stream in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Increase mixer to med-high and beat for 4-6minutes until mixture is light, fluffy, and no streaks of fat or liquid remain. Scrape bowl.
  6. On low speed, add flour mixture and mix just until batter comes together, 30-60 secs
  7. At this point reserve about ½ cup batter for the cake pop planet.
    – put food coloring in small bowls and color batter before loading the cake pop molds
    – spray pop mold with oil and bake off pops and set aside about 15 minutes (it is ok if they are under baked a bit)
  8. With remaining batter stir in half of the jimmies and spread cake batter in an even layer in the pan.
  9. Push cake pops randomly into spread batter and sprinkle with remaining 25g (2 Tbsp) sprinkles on top.
  10. Bake for 30-35 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. The cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. (Hint hint—don’t do this all in one day 😉)
  13. Cut out 3 rings (7”) for your layers (you will have 2 clean layers for top and bottom, and the middle layer will be a combination of leftover bits).



  1. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners sugar, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and cream cheese. Beat on med-high for 2-3 mins until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Scrape bowl.
  3. Turn mixer to low and steam in glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla. Increase mixer to med-high and beat for 2-3mins until smooth and glossy white. Scrape bowl.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in sugar mixture and citric acid (I used lemon juice). Once combined, turn mister to med-high and leaf for 2-3 mins until white and smooth.
  5. Use immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  6. After cutting out cake rings, ice the layers and the top and sides of cake and refrigerate.



  1. Cut out the bottom layer of cake from the sheet pan and put it on a plate with a large dollop of the buttercream on the cake and spread to create an even middle layer of frosting.
  2. Cut out the top layer of the cake from the sheet pan and set aside
  3. Use the cake ring to assemble the second layer of cake from the remaining bits in the sheet pan and Place the second cake layer over the layer of buttercream.
  4. Add another dollop of frosting and place the top layer on
  5. Frost the entire cake to create the crumb layer, creating a smooth surface.
  6. Place the cake in the freezer to keep cold (this can be done a day or two in advance).



  1. For the glaze, boil the water, sugar, and condensed milk in a pot for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in 8 cups (2 liters) of cold water for 5 minutes, then wring the gelatin sheets of excess water and mix into the sugar mixture.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture over the chocolate, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the chocolate to soften.
  4. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the chocolate and the liquid, making sure that you are not blending in air bubbles by lifting up the blender too high.
  5. Pour the glaze through a sieve into a large bowl to remove any excess bubbles.
  6. Separate the glaze into different bowls (one medium-sized bowl and four smaller bowls).
  7. Color the biggest bowl of glaze with black and navy blue food coloring, stir the coloring with the glaze until the color is distributed evenly.
  8. In the next 4 bowls add the navy blue food coloring and stir, then the lighter blue food coloring and stir, then the purple food coloring and in the last bow bowl, add the pink food coloring and stir.
  9. When you are ready to use the glaze, make sure each one is around 90-96°F (32-35°C). Microwave if necessary. Pour the colored glazes back into the biggest bowl of black and blue glaze. Swirl them gently with a spoon.
  10. Place the cake on a stand over a sheet tray to catch any excess glaze. Carefully pour the glaze over the cake.
  11. Use the glitter and star sprinkles and fling randommly onto the cake to create stars.
  12. Enjoy! If the cake is still frozen wait until room temp for this last step. 😊