This spaceship birthday cake will impress your kids at their next birthday party. A simple cake to make, it is dressed up with fondant icing and decorated with a range of delicious sweets.
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and a half cups caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 and a half cups self raising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 drops green colouring
- 850g (375g for the cake board) white ready-to-roll fondant icing*
- blue gel or paste colouring (liquid food colouring not compatible with the fondant icing)*
- 1 jam jar lid
- flying saucer sherbets
- 12 Freckle lollies
- 8 yellow jubes
- 8 orange jubes
- 4 green jubes
- 1 extra jube
- 12 yellow Skittle lollies
- 12 orange Skittle lollies
- 12 green Skittle lollies
- 6 lollipops
- 1 liquorice allsort
* from your local cake decorating shop
You will need a Dolly Varden cake tin (mine has top diameter 19cm, base diameter 5cm, height 14.5cm) and a 30cm cake board or plate for this recipe. If you dont have the cake tin, most cake decorating shops have tins for hire overnight at reasonable prices
Preheat oven to 180C. Liberally grease the cake tin with butter and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour. Jiggle the tin around to coat evenly, then discard any remaining flour.
In an electric mixer, beat butter for 2 minutes until pale in colour and creamy. Add sugar one third at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute between each addition. Add the vanilla essence and beat until combined. Sift flour and add half to butter mixture with half the milk, beat until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Spoon mixture into tin, place on a baking tray to catch any over flow and bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, loosen edges with a knife and then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Cream butter until pale and smooth. Add the milk and half the sifted icing sugar. Beat until well combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. The mixture should be a spreadable paste; if it is too dry add some more milk, if too wet add more icing sugar. Add food colouring and stir until an even colour.
If you are covering a cake board or plate, chop 375g of the white fondant icing into small pieces and knead on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until it softens slightly. Add a small amount of blue colouring using a toothpick. Knead until the colour is even, add more colour if needed, knead again and roll out to 3mm thick. Carefully roll the icing onto a rolling pin and roll out over the cake board or plate. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps, trim away any excess blue icing.
Trim the top of the cake so it is level; turn the cake upside down onto a flat surface. Cut the cake in half and sandwich together with half of the butter icing (you could call it Martian blood, depending on the age of your kids!). Reserve 3 tablespoons butter icing and spread the remainder in a thin layer over the top and side of the cake using a butter knife or groovy offset spatula from the cake decorating shop.
For the space ship, chop the remaining (475g) white fondant icing into small pieces and knead on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until is softens slightly. Roll out the icing to 5mm thick. Carefully roll the icing onto the rolling pin and roll out over the cake (see Notes). Dust your fingers lightly with icing sugar and smooth the icing into place. If you have an excess fold of icing, smooth this into a wedge at 90å¡ to the cake, slice it off and carefully smooth the join (and make this the back of the cake). Trim off the excess around the base of the cake.
Place a jam jar lid on the cake board and stand the cake on the lid so it is slightly raised. Reknead and roll out icing trimmings, cut out stars and moon crescents and place on the cake board with some of the flying saucer sherbets. Stick the freckles around the base of the cake using a little of the butter icing on the back of each freckle.
Cut the jubes in half. Use the sticky side of each jube to stick on a row around the ship, four yellow, one green in a repeating pattern. Use a dab of butter icing on one side of the skittles to form a second row, two yellow, one green, two orange in a repeating pattern. For the third row, stick on four orange, one green jube in a repeating pattern.
Decorate the top of the space ship with lollipops. For the command centre, use butter icing to stick together the extra jube, liquorice allsort and a flying saucer. Then stick this to the very top of the cake.
- Preparation time: 25 minutes, baking time: 45-50 minutes, decorating time: 1 hour (allow longer if you have not used fondant icing before).
- Cooking time really depends on the size of your cake tin and if it is smaller than mine (see above), cook for a shorter time, if larger, cook for longer. Also, Dolly Vartan tins are an unusual shape, so the top may look a bit over done before the centre is cooked. Dont worry about this as you will be trimming the top.
- To make the BIG Day preparations easier, make the cake two days before the party, keep in an airtight container in the fridge (it is easier to decorate a cold cake), then decorate the night before and leave at room temperature.
- To speed up the decorating time, use a blue (or any colour you fancy) plate rather than covering a cake board with fondant icing.