Summer is here . . . time for summer themed cakes, like this beach ball cake!
My client is throwing a beach ball themed party for her son’s first birthday, and she asked me to make a cake and a smash cake. When she first told me her vision, I was excited but also nervous – as I’ve never made a 3D ball cake before. I may have lost sleep in the planning phase – but I love a challenge! 😉
After some pinterest and google searches, and sketching out ideas, I started to wrap my mind around how the vision could become a reality.
For the 3D ball cake, I baked two hemispheres of vanilla cake, frosted each half and then chilled them until they could be handled. I then filled the middle and frosted the outside smooth. After chilling it again, I covered the entire ball in white fondant. Now for the challenging part – getting those panels of color on the ball!
I couldn’t find any beach ball templates, so I made my own. I knew the diameter of the sphere was 6″, so I calculated the circumference (diameter x pi (3.14)) . . . then used half of that as the length of each panel. My goal was to have 6 panels of color, so I used the circumference divided by 6 to find the widest point of what the panels needed to be (since each panel is elipse-shaped). Who knew there was this much math in cake decorating?
I used a 50/50 mix of fondant and modeling chocolate for each panel – so that it would cut easily from the template, but also had enough stretch to cover any miscalculations. Turns out I made 8 panels instead of 6, but more color isn’t a bad problem to have.
I made a life preserver out of fondant, with ropes on the outside from extruded fondant. This was made days in advance, so that it would be nice and dry. I attached it to the cake with royal icing – the sturdiest “glue” that I know of!
The waves around the cake were a mix of fondant and modeling chocolate, and the fish and glasses were cut out of modeling chocolate. I added some graham cracker sand and chocolate shells to tie in the beachy theme. The “1” was also made out of fondant.
The bottom tier was chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream, and the ball cake was vanilla with vanilla buttercream.
What first birthday would be complete without a matching smash cake? I used the ball pan to make another 3D ball – vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. I traced 8 segment outlines, then used a Wilton #18 tip to pipe stars in the panels.
I absolutely fell in love with this cake. Maybe it’s because I adore summer and this cake is bursting with summer fun – but also because it was a fun challenge. Happy Birthday Elijah!