How To Make A Rocket Ship Cake

Wednesday June 23, 2010

Perhaps more aptly titled – how *I* made a rocket ship cake for Sam’s 5th birthday.


1. Come up with a design that is doable and agreeable to all parties.

Sam requested a rocket ship cake, so I sat down at the computer to see what I could come up with.  I didn’t want to buy a special Wilton pan, as I’ve done in the past, so I was looking for something I could do based off of a 9″x13″ pan.  There a ton of great cakes out there — but finally I found one that was the best example of what I was hoping to do.

I printed the cake I found and sketched out the specifics.  Sam wanted a circle hatch, so I had to incorporate that.

2. Bake the cake.

Note to self – when it matters, use shortening instead of spray oil to grease the pan!  I was so irked when I flipped my cake and half it was still sticking to the pan.  I was going to pitch it and try again, but then decided that frosting hides a multitude of sins and I could make it work.

3. Make the frosting.

The tricky part is getting the right consistency.  I made two batches of Wilton’s Buttercream icing and divided and tinted.  My first batch was not quite creamy enough – when I piped it, it kept breaking apart.  However, cornstarch is the great repairer of frosting errors.   I kept a little bit in a small bowl and would dab my fingers in it then gently mold the frosting back into the shape I was going for.

4.  Cut the cake as needed and apply a thin layer of frosting as a crumb coating.

I cut triangles off the top to create the domed top of the rocket, then flipped the triangular pieces and placed them next to the bottom to create the wings/rockets.  To make my crumb coat frosting, I took some of the buttercream and diluted it even more with water to make it runny.  I still struggled with getting all the edges covered well.

5. Outline the design with frosting before filling in the details.

Since I was freehanding everything, I used a toothpick to trace my design before drawing the lines.  I used a wider round tip (Ateco #11) for the blue lines — I wish I had something a little smaller.  I switched to my Wilton #3 for the rest of the lines.  #3 seems to be the recommended outline tip that Wilton uses in most of it’s cake designs (the ones I’ve used, anyway).

For the circle, I wanted to use the cool edible markers that I have, but I found the frosting was too soft.  So I cut a circle out of wax paper and markered my astronaut on that.  This worked well enough and he was excited to see “himself” in the rocket ship.

For all the filling in, I used the Wilton #16 star tip and did the “star technique“.  Labor intense, but effective.  For the border around the base, I used a larger star tip and did a sort of wave thing.  My hand was getting tired and time was running short, so it’s a bit sloppy.

For the jet fire, I used the biggest open star tip I had (mine’s an Ateco #6) and attempted the “shell technique“.  Mine looks atrocious, but the overall effect is achieved and looks pretty neat (from a distance).

6. Light the candles, serve and celebrate!

While I’m no Buddy Valastro and my cakes certainly aren’t going to win any awards, I do love seeing my kids eyes light up when they see that special cake made just for them.  Baking and decorating my kids’ birthday cakes definitely works for me.

For other Ideas for Rocket Ship Cakes, check out these links:

For other Works For Me Wednesday tips, head over to We Are That Family!

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One Response to How To Make A Rocket Ship Cake

  1. 1

    Looks amazing! You’re the Queen!

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