Spaceship Birthday Cake
10 – 12
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 drops green coloring
- 30 ounces (12 ounces for the cake board) white ready-to-roll fondant icing*
- blue gel or paste coloring (liquid food coloring not compatible with the fondant icing)*
- 1 jam jar lid
- flying saucer wafer candies
- 12 colored nonpareils
- 8 yellow gum drops
- 8 orange gum drops
- 4 green gum drops
- 1 extra gum drops
- 12 yellow Skittles
- 12 orange Skittles
- 12 green Skittles
- 6 lollipops
- 1 liquorice allsort
- * from your local cake decorating shop
You will need a Dolly Varden cake pan (ours has top diameter 8 inches, base diameter 2 inches, height 5 inches) and a 12 inch cake board or plate for this recipe. Most cake decorating shops have a kit called “Wonder Mold Kit” by Wilton that includes the spherical pan.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease the cake pan with butter and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour. Jiggle the pan around to coat evenly, then discard any remaining flour.
In an electric mixer, beat butter for 2 minutes until pale in color and creamy. Add sugar one third at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift flour and add half to butter mixture with half the milk, beat until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Spoon mixture into pan, place on a baking tray to catch any over flow and bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, loosen edges with a knife and then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Cream butter until pale and smooth. Add the milk and half the sifted confectioners sugar. Beat until well combined. Add the remaining confectioners sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. The mixture should be a spreadable paste; if it is too dry add some more milk, if too wet add more sugar. Add food coloring and stir until an even color.
If you are covering a cake board or plate, chop 13 ounces of the white fondant icing into small pieces and knead on a surface lightly dusted with confectioners sugar until it softens slightly. Add a small amount of blue coloring using a toothpick. Knead until the color is even, add more color if needed, knead again and roll out to 1/3 cm thick. Carefully roll the icing onto a rolling pin and roll out over the cake board or plate. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps, trim away any excess blue icing.
Trim the top of the cake so it is level; turn the cake upside down onto a flat surface. Cut the cake in half and sandwich together with half of the butter icing. Reserve 3 tablespoons butter icing and spread the remainder in a thin layer over the top and side of the cake using a butter knife or groovy offset spatula from the cake decorating shop.
For the space ship, chop the remaining white fondant icing into small pieces and knead on a surface lightly dusted with confectioners sugar until is softens slightly. Roll out the icing to ½ cm thick. Carefully roll the icing onto the rolling pin and roll out over the cake (see Notes). Dust your fingers lightly with confectioners sugar and smooth the icing into place. If you have an excess fold of icing, smooth this into a wedge at 90° to the cake, slice it off and carefully smooth the join (and make this the back of the cake). Trim off the excess around the base of the cake.
Place a jam jar lid on the cake board and stand the cake on the lid so it is slightly raised. Re-knead and roll out icing trimmings, cut out stars and moon crescents and place on the cake board with some of the flying saucer wafers. Stick the nonpareils around the base of the cake using a little of the butter icing on the back of each nonpareils.
Cut the gumdrops in half. Use the sticky side of each gumdrop to stick on a row around the ship – four yellow, one green in a repeating pattern. Use a dab of butter icing on one side of the skittles to form a second row – two yellow, one green, two orange in a repeating pattern. For the third row, stick on four orange, one green gumdrops in a repeating pattern.
Decorate the top of the space ship with lollipops. For the command center, use butter icing to stick together the extra gumdrop, liquorice candy and a flying saucer. Then stick this to the very top of the cake.
- Preparation time: 25 minutes, baking time: 45-50 minutes, decorating time: 1 hour (allow longer if you haven’t used fondant icing before).
- Cooking time really depends on the size of your cake pan – if it is smaller than ours (see above), cook for a shorter time, if larger, cook for longer. Also, Dolly Varden pans are an unusual shape, so the top may look a bit over done before the center is cooked. Don’t worry about this, as you will be trimming the top.
- To make the BIG Day preparations easier, make the cake two days before the party, keep in an airtight container in the fridge (it is easier to decorate a cold cake), then decorate the night before and leave at room temperature.
- To speed up the decorating time, use a blue (or any color you like) plate rather than covering a cake board with fondant icing.