Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Basketball Birthday Cake

If you have read my previous post, you know that my husband is a basketball fanatic. When it came time to celebrate his 25th birthday last year, it was quite obvious to me that his birthday cake should be, well, a basketball.

When I began contemplating a basketball birthday cake, I knew a standard two-layer cake would not cut it - I had to come up with a way to make it rounded (3D, if you will). I've seen other people make several layers in an 8" or 9" cake pan, and then cut the cake into the desired shape - but I felt that would add extra, unnecessary step. I began scouring for ideas in my own cabinets - and then it hit me. I would use a glass bowl to bake a cake and then flip it upside down to create the 3D effect I desired. Using a glass, heat resistant, oven-approved bowl (gotta love Pyrex!) I received at one of my wedding showers, the game was on!

I did a trial run using my genius new method and found that (1) cake mix requires 55 - 60 minutes in the oven (!) but that it didn't affect the moistness of the cake (a very good thing). For Francis's cake, I used (2) cake mixes and ended up baking for 70 - 80 minutes in the oven. Again, I had good luck with the consistency and texture of the cake - but I think the (1) mix cake actually tasted better.

To create the look of an actual basketball, I used black (pre-made) icing to create the striping and a multi-dot tip (Wilton #233) to resemble the "grips" of a basketball. (The numbness in my hand and wrist from "squeezing" the icing bag that many times returned a few days later!)

Here is Francis blowing out his birthday cake, with the help of Camryn.

Other desserts for the party included banana pudding (Francis's favorite) and 7-layer bars.

Overall, I'd say Francis was pretty impressed with the basketball cake and I was pleased with the outcome. The only thing I would change is the consistency of the border icing. Since it was very thick, after several hours, the border began to pull away.

I'm already thinking of other ways to incorporate other rounded shapes into cake creation - perhaps I'll go with another passion of his... Golf!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

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