Wrigglers 7th Birthday Cake
This was my second attempt at a themed birthday cake. Previously I had done Wriggler a Thundercats Cake. This year he wanted Spiderman!
… and this is how I did it!
What I used
3x 250g of Red Royal Icing
1x 250g of Black Royal Icing
Black Food Colouring
1 Medium Egg
( I use the wonderful Lakeland for all my cake decoration needs. Its one of my favorite shops!)
Wriggler loves ginger, so I baked him a lovely triple layer Ginger Sponge Cake using this recipe.
I started off by trimming the three sponge layers, levelling them off and removing any bumps. I then trimmed the circumference of the cake to give a flat surface for the icing.
Next I prepared the butter cream for the middle of the cake using; 6oz of icing sugar mixed with 3oz of butter. I gradually creamed them together until the mixture was light and fluffy.
I covered one layer of the sponge with jam and the second with some of the butter cream.
Next it was time to prepare to ice the cake.
Firstly I covered the cake with a layer of the remaining butter cream. This helps the icing adhere to the cake and gives you a little room to move the icing slightly if it isn’t quite on right and it also helps keep the sponge moist.
I then rolled and molded the three red blocks of icing together in my hands, warming up the icing to make it more pliable. I lightly dusted the work surface with icing sugar to stop it sticking to the surface. I rolled out the icing into a circle big enough to cover the cake top sides and onto the cake board. (use a tape measure to measure the size you need) I needed 14 inch.
When you are ready; taking lots of care, use the rolling-pin to lift the icing and roll it onto the cake.
I made sure the icing was pretty much central, then using the my fingers and the palm of my hand I smoothed down the icing on the top. For the sides of the cake, I lifted away the icing with my right hand while using my left hand to smooth the icing to the sides of the cake. This bit can be quite tricky, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I trimmed off the remaining icing that wasnt required. Then using a cake smoother, I smoothed the icing in circular motions on top and around the sides. This gives it a smoother more professional finish than using fingers alone.
Before I went any further I had a good wipe up of any left over butter cream, dusted icing sugar and generally cleaned my work space. I used a damp cloth on the cake board. The cake at this point was looking a little dusted with icing sugar so I used a baking brush and gave it a little coat of water all over. This brightened up the icing back to brilliant red.
I left the cake to one side while I prepared the icing to pipe onto the cake. I was going for a silvery colour for the web. I made the icing using; 375g icing sugar, 2 tea spoons of black food colouring and the egg white of one medium-sized egg. I mixed them together well using a spatula to get a light pliable consistency. I knew it was right when I could make spikes in the icing and they held.
I practiced lots on the work surface. This gives you an idea of how you need to hold the icing syringe or piping bag and the amount of pressure needed to keep the piping fluid.
Using a tape measure, i found the centre of the cake and made a little mark and then proceeded to mark on the cake where i wanted the web to go. I made marks at (pretending it was a clock) 12, 3, 6, 9 then 1.5, 4.5, 7.5, and finally 10.5. I then piped the icing following these markers one at a time. I did all the top web lines first then proceeded to pipe down the sides of the cake (this was very tricky) I practiced on a cake tin for this bit.
When the main outline of the web was done, I then filled it in taking care and not rushing.
Using a different nozzle on the icing syringe, I then piped ‘Happy Birthday Spiderman’ around the edge of the cake board. Again I practiced using different nozzle heads to find the best one for what I wanted.
For the huge spider in the centre of the cake, I found an image off the internet and printed it out and cut out the spider.
I then rolled and played with the black icing in my hands to make it pliable as before with the red. I rolled it out over a dusting of icing sugar on a piece of grease-proof paper.
I placed the paper spider over the top of the icing and rolled over it with the rolling-pin. This then left an imprint in the icing of the spider. I cut out the spider from the icing using a very sharp knife, taking care to remove the left over icing bit by bit.
When the spider is cut out, I trimmed the grease-proof paper down so I could hold it im my hand. I then slowly slid the icing spider off the paper onto the cake taking care to place it exactly where I wanted it as there isn’t room for much movement when it was on. I positioned the spider legs where I wanted them and the smoothed the spider off generally using my fingers to give it rounded looked as opposed to ‘just cut out of icing look’ :)
Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of this bit (I get carried away sometimes)! However you can see how I did the Cat logo for the Thundercats Cake by following this link. What I did for the cat logo is pretty much the same as the spider.
As I did with the red icing, I used a small brush to paint water onto the spider to give it none dusted in icing sugar look and a bright black glossy finish. It really made it stand out from the cake.
What do you do with all the left over icing you ask? Make cake buns for classmates or the party each decorated with a little web or spider.
My little Wriggler had a Spiderific Birthday and the cake and buns went down brilliantly!