Whether you're hosting a boat themed birthday party or your child is simply a big fan of boats, sailing boat cakes are always an awesome idea!
A show-stopping sailing boat cake may sound a daunting task, but it's surprisingly easy to bake and doesn't break the bank in terms of ingredients and equipment for decoration. Easy, delicious, and bound to make a child's birthday even more special - what more could you ask for?
Follow our simple step-by-step recipe below for a boat-iful birthday cake that will blow everyone out of the water!
For The Cake: 250g softened butter or margarine, 250g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 250g self-raising flour, and 1 tsp baking powder.
For Icing And Decoration: 500g icing sugar, 250g softened butter, strawberry jam, blue ready to roll icing/fondant (to cover the cake as the sea), brown ready to roll icing (for the base of the boat), white ready to roll icing (for the sails/extra decoration), red ready to roll icing (for extras), and a grey or silver food colouring, dust, or paint (optional)!
Equipment: Two 20cm round sandwich cake tins, a large mixing bowl, a whisk, weighing scales, a cake board or stand, a rolling pin, and kitchen scissors.
This recipe provides 12-14 portions of cake and takes on average 1h45 from start to finish, including baking time.
For The Cake:
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan and grease and line both of your baking tins with butter and baking paper.
2) In a large mixing bowl, beat together your butter and sugar.
3) Add the rest of your cake ingredients into the bowl (eggs, vanilla extract, flour, and baking powder) and whisk everything together until smooth and well combined.
4) Divide the cake mixture between your two tins, and use the back of a spoon to gently even out the surfaces.
5) Place the cakes into the oven for around 25-30 minutes or until golden, slightly springy to the touch, and a skewer stick comes out clean.
6) Remove the cakes carefully from their tins and leave on a wire rack to cool down.
1) Beat together your icing sugar and butter in a large bowl until smooth and fully combined, adding a tablespoon or two of boiling water if needed to loosen the mixture slightly.
2) Take one of your fully cooled cakes, and turn it upside down onto a cake board or cake stand.
3) Spread a layer of jam and then a layer of buttercream on top. Place the other cake on top (also upside down) gently.
4) Spread the rest of the buttercream on all sides of the cake and smooth down with a knife.
5) Sprinkle some icing sugar on a work surface and roll out your blue ready-to-roll icing until it's large enough to cover the entire cake.
6) Gently lift the icing up and place it on top of the cake so that it is covered, pressing it down to the sides carefully. Trim/mold the edges as you see fit.
7) Now that the base of the cake is done, it's time to create decorations for your sailboat cake. Begin by using your brown fondant to create the base of the boat. You will also need to create a separate mast. Set these aside, allowing them to begin hardening.
8) Use your white fondant to make two triangular sails, and set these aside. You can then use your red and white fondant to mold a lifeboat ring, extra red fondant can be used to create a little crab, and your grey/silver edible paint can be used with extra white fondant to create an anchor.
9) Gently place all of your fondant creations onto an oven tray that is covered with baking paper, and place them in the oven at the lowest setting for around 10 minutes. You will find that the fondant has softened, but once cooled it will have hardened significantly.
10) Use a spoonful or two of icing sugar and some water to create an edible glue, and begin assembling your sailboat. You will want to carefully attach the mast to the boat, and the two sails to the mast. Allow this to dry and set.
11) Using the remainder of your 'glue', place the boat on top of the cake gently. You can then stick on your lifeboat ring, your crab, and your anchor.
12) Step back, and admire your impressive sailboat cake; then dig in!
Tips, Storage And Substitutes
If you're catering for those with allergies or food intolerances, vegan and dairy-free alternatives to butter and eggs are readily available, and most ready to roll icings are also vegan friendly.
If you'd rather make a chocolate sponge rather than plain for your birthday cake, you can substitute 75g of flour for cocoa powder in the cake mixture. Additionally, if you'd rather not use blue fondant to cover your cake, you can simply add a couple of drops of blue food colouring to your buttercream icing and pipe it all over the cake to create the illusion of water or waves.
The boat cake decoration can be adapted into a cruise ship cake, or a pirate cake, and so on simply by creating different fondant models. You can create a white cruise cake topper, or add skulls and treasure for a pirate theme.
If you don't manage to eat all of the delicious birthday cake in one go, it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days, or wrapped in cling film and foil and stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Children aged three years and older may enjoy lending a helping hand to the baking of the cake, though we'd recommend that those over 12 years are best suited to help with the fiddly decorating. Either way, anyone over a year old may enjoy a taste!
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