I made this Soccer Ball Cake for Jaco’s first birthday.
I bought a Wilton Sports Ball Pan Set and followed the instructions religiously.
What no-one tells you, and this became apparent very quickly, is that the bottom half of the ball sags under the weight of the top half, so the ball is not 100% round. This makes applying the fondant shapes a bit tricky. You will notice that the shapes on top of the cake are pristine while the ones at the bottom have been stretched to cover the cake. Even then you can see the buttercream icing peering through the gaps. Hence the grass border.
So the instructions, very quickly.
For a soccer ball cake you will need:
- Wilton Sports Ball Pan Set (which includes the templates for cutting out the hexagons and pentagons)
- White fondant icing
- Wilton Black Fondant
- Cake batter and icing – see THIS POST for the cake recipe I always use and THIS POST for the icing recipe
- Desiccated coconut
- Pro-Gel Food Colouring – Leaf Green
- 12″ Round Silver Cake Board
- White royal icing
When you have baked the two halves, let them rest for at least a day. This will help prevent sagging. Slice the tops off with a serrated knife so that you have two perfect halves of a perfect ball.
Gently upend them and slice the bottom off of one (no more than 1cm, I would say). This will then be your bottom half. Place it on a cake board and secure it to the cake board with some buttercream. Spread the top with buttercream – not too thick or else you will have an ostrich egg, not a ball. Gently place your top half on top and give the cake a crumb coating. This is basically just a thin layer of icing that will hold in most of the crumbs. Pop in the fridge for an hour or so. You can see THIS POST to find out more about torting and crumb-coating.
When your crumb coat is nice and firm, add another layer of buttercream all around the cake.
Then, using your Wilton’s template (supplied with the tin…), cut out a bunch of white fondant hexagons. Cut out some black fondant pentagons.
Now start sticking them on in the iconic soccer-ball fashion. As already mentioned, the shapes around the bottom will need to be bigger than the shapes around the top, so I would roll them out slightly thicker and stretch them as needed. You could also make a slightly bigger template, I suppose.
Finally make some green fondant with your food colouring and your white fondant, and cover up the messy bottom with some free-form grass. I just cut a looooong rectangle and then hacked away at the top with a really sharp knife.
Colour some of the remaining buttercream green and spread it all over your cake board.
To colour the desiccated coconut, put some coconut in a plastic bag. Squeeze a tiny bit of the green gel colouring into a small bowl and add a few drops of water to make it runnier. Mix and pour into the plastic bag. Shake the bag until the coconut turns green. Sprinkle the coconut over the cake board to create your grass. You can press it down into the buttercream a bit to help it stick.
Finally, take some white royal icing and pipe some accents or a name onto the grass.
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