Monday, June 11, 2012

Football Birthday Cake!

This year for my hubby’s birthday I decided to bake him a cake in the shape of a football. I’ve always wanted to try a character type cake, but since we have no kids, and really don’t know anyone with kids close enough to us for me to do this, my husband became the guinea pig. Whatever. Twenty-six year olds can have kid cakes too, right?

I’ve been into baking since I graduated university 3 years ago, and it stems from my mom being so awesome at it. She has a small wedding cake business, and I just thought it was so cool. I took the Wilton’s cake decorating class at Michael’s, and I really learned a lot. Before taking the class I baked very yummy cakes but had very little idea how to decorate them. I took this back in April, and this is really the first opportunity I am getting to put what I’ve learned to practice, even though character cakes were only a very small portion of the class on the very first day… Oh well, it’s fun!
Since a football is brown, I decided to decorate it with chocolate icing, instead of coloring the icing brown. Thus, I decided on a chocolate cake as well. I got this recipe a while ago from Wife From Scratch, it’s one of the best chocolate cake recipes I’ve tried! It filled the football pan and made 6 extra cupcakes. I have used it before to make a 2-layer cake and had some leftover for a couple of cupcakes.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your pans with Pam for Baking. If you don't want to use the special Pam, you can grease and flour your pan(s)8-inch round cake pans. 
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until everything is well blended. Pour into your pan(s).
The football pan took a freakishly long time. I would say it was an hour before a toothpick came out clean. I think it was because it was so deep. Regular cake pans should take about 30-35 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
The football pan was a little bit annoying in other ways too. I couldn’t get it to sit flat, so the cake ended up baking kind of lopsided. It didn’t really matter too much since it gets turned outside down on the plate anyways, so I wasn’t super concerned. After baking, I let the cake cool and then put it onto the “cake” plate, which was actually a turkey platter. Hey, it is oval, so it works! I wrapped it in the saran wrap and came back to decorate it 2 days later.

Here’s what I needed to decorate it:
  • Wilton 10 inch featherweight icing bag (any icing bag would be fine)
  • Wilton cake decorating tip #18 (for the brown portions) and #21 (for the white portions)
  • Chocolate buttercream icing
  • White buttercream icing
  • Template that came with the football pan
  • My awesome baking apron (made by my mom!! Here’s a plug to visit our Etsy shop – Tails & Toes)
Head on over to our Etsy store to see more cute stuff!
Here's the icing recipe:

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 teaspoons water
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
Cream the shortening, vanilla, and water in a stand mixer, or with a hand held mixer. Add icing sugar and meringue powder and mix. I only add a bit of the dry mixture at once to make sure it doesn't poof up and fly everywhere. Add more water if the icing seems to thick to spread easily.  For chocolate icing I added 3/4 cup of cocoa powder!
And finally, here’s some pictures of how it turned out!


Arden said...

Cute! It turned out well!

Sarah said...

Thanks! It was delicious too :)

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