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For my niece’s birthday this past weekend, I made a soccer ball cake with the same cake pan that I used for my son’s 1st birthday baseball cake. The timing couldn’t have been better because a soccer ball cake is also perfect to celebrate the FIFA World Cup!
It was my first attempt at using a frosting decorating bag to ice a cake. It was also my first time using waxed paper and toothpicks to trace a pattern onto a cake. I found that the decorative process is straightforward but it takes some time and patience.
I used my standard buttercream frosting which is probably not as stiff as the recommended decorative icing but I didn’t want to eliminate the creamy texture and buttery vanilla flavor of the frosting. My stars weren’t perfect but the cake definitely looked more professional using a star-tip finish than simply icing it with a knife.
All in all, the cake decorating experience was a success. The best part was that I overcame my fear of icing cakes with a decorating bag and a star tip. Hopefully as I get more practice, the process will become quicker and easier. And trust me, if I can do it, you can, too!
Black food coloring
I used a Wilton cake pan made for 3D sport balls. It came with two semi-circular pans and instructions for decorating different sports balls.
I followed the instructions that came with the cake pan, pouring 2 1/4 cups cake batter into each pan, baking a basic white cake in the two semi-circular pans.
To decorate the soccer ball cake:
Once the cakes are completely cooled, cut the round bottom off of one cake half so that the bottom of the ball will rest on a flat surface. Ice the two halves together using buttercream frosting. Then ice the outside of the soccer ball with white buttercream frosting. Let the icing dry until it starts to form a crusty outer layer.
Divide the remaining buttercream frosting into two bowls, leaving 2/3 of the frosting white and coloring 1/3 of the frosting black.
Trace the two shapes of a soccer ball onto waxed paper and cut them out. Gently press them onto the frosted cake and place toothpicks around the edges to trace the outline onto the crusted frosting. Then remove the patterns and the toothpicks.
Fill a frosting decorating bag half full with white frosting. Using a tip with a small dot (such as #3 or #4), connect the toothpick marks to outline the soccer ball pattern.
Change the tip on the bag of white frosting to #16 or a similar star tip. Fill in the white areas of the soccer ball with white stars.
Fill another frosting decorating bag half full with black frosting. Using a star tip (such as #16), fill in the black areas of the soccer ball with black stars.
TIP: Especially if you are in a warm climate, you can refrigerate or even freeze the cake for a short time to ensure that the icing doesn’t melt prior to serving it.