30th Birthday Football Cake

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I made this cake for a friend’s son for his 30th Birthday party. He is a big Cobblers fan so his wife wanted a cake using this theme. Here’s how I made it:

The first things I did were make the cupcake toppers and cover the board in fondant. These were completed a few days ahead to ensure they had time to dry.

I used readymade burgundy gumpaste but I didn’t have a shirt cutter so I drew one on card and cut around it to get them all the same size. I then used my click together letter impressions to write the name and number. Last of all I painted on the white gel colour. Unfortunately the red of the gumpaste bled into the white and it became a little pinky so I decided to stick fondant over the top instead.

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I covered the board in white fondant by partially rolling it out then placing on the board and rolling until it covered the edges. I then cut around the outside and smoothed it with my palm. I left it a few days to dry.

The next job was to bake the main cake. It was a red velvet cake and this recipe makes 4 layers but for this cake I only needed 3. To bake even layers I always measure the bowl beforehand then once mixed, I weigh the bowl and mixture and subtract the weight of the bowl. I then divide the amount by 4 and measure that much into the tin.

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As the recipe makes layer cakes I chose not to torte these but just levelled off the tops once they had cooled.

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I wanted to make this a surprise inside cake so I cut a hole out of the middle of each of the bottom 2 tiers. As I knew I would be placing the football cake on top too I also placed a support in the middle.

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I placed chocolate footballs inside then stacked the final cake on top, cutting the dowel down to size.

I then crumb coated the whole cake and placed in the fridge to set and crust. Once crusted, I placed a heavy book on top to help it settle and avoid any filling bulges. I then added a final coat of buttercream and again let it set and crust in the fridge.

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During all that time in the fridge, I baked the half sphere cake and cupcakes from chocolate sponge. I used Delia’s all in one recipe but replaced a quarter of the flour with cocoa powder and added a bit of buttermilk. I greased the tin well and placed a cross of strips of baking paper across the middle. As the tin is quite deep, I also used a greased flower nail as a heating core. This was also crumb coated, left to crust and given a final coat which was also left to crust.

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Next, I covered the sides with fondant. My skills need a little work here as I had to use a join. I then placed it on the covered board and let it dry for a while before adding the scarf, letters, numbers and stars. I also added another shirt and some modelled football boots. I also added the other 5 dowels (bubble straws) and cut each one to the same height. For a final touch I added personalised ribbon around the edge of the board with double sided tape.

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I didn’t cover all the way to the top as I knew it would be covered by the grass.

The final step was to decorate the football. I used a tutorial on the Lakeland site which explained that the pentagons and hexagons needed 35mm sides. Using the ruler in Word, I measured out the shapes. I copied the pentagon onto card but just cut out the hexagon on paper. I rolled out ready coloured black fondant and then left it to dry a little. Next, I cut the pentagon shapes out and left them to dry a bit so they would hold their shape but still be flexible. Finally, I stuck the first pentagon at the top and using the paper hexagon as a guide, I used a knife to place in the sides of the hexagons. I placed the other 5 pentagons at each join.

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Lastly I coloured the edges of the cake green with a little green buttercream and placed the football on top. After that, I used more green buttercream to hide the join and board with a knife. Lastly, I used a grass tip to pipe grass around the edge.

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I also piped rosettes on the cupcakes and placed the toppers on top.

Tada!

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