Are you ready to score big at your next soccer-themed party? This soccer ball cake tutorial will guide you through the step-by-step process of making a soccer ball cake, from baking the cake to decorating it with frosting and fondant.
To make this cake, you will need to bake the cake in a sphere shaped cake pan. There are different sizes of ball cake pans available but for this one I used the Wilton 3-D Sports Ball Cake Pan which is 6". It comes in 2 half sphere pans and 2 metal rings to support the pans. Use a sheet pan underneath the ball cake pans (and rings) to make it easier to put it in and out of the oven and also just in case the cake batter overflows. Trust me you don't want cake batter spilling to the bottom of the oven.
For this cake I made one recipe of my Ultimate Chocolate Cake and filled the pan about 3/4 full. If you have extra cake batter left over you can just bake those as cupcakes.
I like to line my pans with the butter wrappers, yes, the packaging that butter is wrapped in. I keep my butter wrappers in the freezer for times like this. They are also great for greasing pans and even line the pan with it. Just make sure that the wrapper is the kind that would not melt.
You can also just grease the pan with butter or oil but with the lining you can just easily grab them out and have no risk of breaking the cake.
Let the cake cool off in the pan for about 10 minutes before taking it out. If a dome formed, level it with a serrated knife while still in the pan using the top of the cake pan as the guide where to cut the dome.
Flip the half sphere cakes over a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Add a dab of buttercream on to the cake board and place one cake on top. If the cake is rolling or unstable, you can flatten the bottom part by cutting just a bit of cake with a serrated knife.
Place the cake and board on a cake turntable. Pipe a dam of buttercream on the edge of the cake and add in the filling (I used chocolate ganache for this one) in the center, spread and level it with a small offset spatula.
Place the other cake on top and secure the sphere cake to the board by hammering down a skewer all the way thru the board.
Cover the cake with buttercream. I like to use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or just a coupler). This makes it easier to pipe a nice even layer of buttercream all around the cake.
Use a pliable piece of plastic or acetate to smoothen the buttercream on the ball cake. I made this piece by cutting a small piece from a plastic school folder and rounding out the corners. You can use any piece of plastic as long as it is flexible.
Scrape the buttercream starting from the bottom and bringing it to the top. Do this all around the cake until it is all smooth out. I find this part very satisfying by the way seeing how easy it is to smoothen the curve of the ball cake with this small piece of plastic.
Place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the buttercream. You want it to be nice and hard before covering it with fondant.
Roll out some white fondant to about 1/8" thickness. Make sure that it is big enough to cover the cake. This is a 6" sphere cake, so you need to roll out at least 12" diameter of fondant (and some change) to cover this cake.
Drape the fondant on the cake and carefully smooth it with your hands.
Do one part at a time, going from top to bottom, then all around the cake. Tuck the fondant on the bottom part o the cake with your hands and also with the help of the plastic.
Make a rough cut to take off most of the excess fondant using a knife or the plastic. Then make a closer cut to the cake to clean it out.
Next, to make the pattern on the soccer ball cake, roll out some white and black fondant thin, about 1-2 mm. Make sure to roll both colors out to the same thickness.
Print the soccer ball template below and cut out the hexagon and pentagon shapes.
Cut out the hexagon (6 sided) shape with the white fondant. You will need about 20 hexagons.
Tip: Cover the exposed parts of the rolled fondant with plastic wrap to avoid it from drying. Once cut, keep the shapes under the plastic wrap as well to keep it from drying out as well.
Cut the pentagon (5 sided) shape with the black fondant. You will need about 12 pentagons.
Once you have cut-out all the shapes, you can now start placing it on the cake.
Take a pentagon (black) and dab a bit of water on one side with a brush and place it on top of the sphere trying to center it as much as possible.
Take a hexagon (white), line one side up with one side of the pentagon. Attach to the cake with water.
Repeat for all sides of the pentagon.
After placing all the white hexagons, insert a black pentagon in between them where there is in inverted v-shape. Then add the white hexagon in between the black pentagons. Repeat the process until all parts of the cake is covered.
To add some "stitches" to the soccer ball cake, take a tracing wheel and run it very close to the line or seams. Do this all over the cake.
To cover the cake board, take some green fondant (or any color of your choice), roll it thin and cut a circle that is a bit offset to one side (because the cake is a bit offset on the board too). I used a 5" cake pan as my guide to cut out the circle.
Take the circle out, and cut a straight line on the shorter part, which will be on the back side of the cake.
Brush the cake board with some water and carefully wrap the green fondant around the cake. The seams should be at the back part of the cake so it won't be seen.
If you want to add some "grass", pipe some green buttercream all around the cake using pastry tip #233. You can also add a banner with the name and age (I used the Tappits letter cutter for this one). You can also just use buttercream with a small round tip to add a greeting.
I hope you enjoyed this soccer ball cake tutorial. Tag me in the social medias if you made a cake using this tutorial. Enjoy!