Image © Harry Grout, under a Creative Commons license.
We all know a football fanatic, and there's no better way to celebrate a birthday than with a football t-shirt cake in their favourite team's colours!
Whether you're planning on making a Manchester United shirt cake, a Chelsea cake, or a Liverpool shirt cake - we've got you covered. Our simple step-by-step method will definitely prove a hit among young fans who want to show their support even on their birthday, and will taste that little bit more delicious when they spot their team's colours!
Ready to get started? Follow our recipe below and you'll be an expert in football-themed cakes in no time!
For the Cake: 420g of softened butter, 420g of caster sugar, 8 medium eggs, 510g of self-raising flour, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 5 tbsp of milk.
For Decoration: 250g of softened butter, 60ml of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 500g of icing sugar (sifted), and ready to roll fondant in the two main team colours (e.g. blue and white for Chelsea, red and white for Manchester United, and so on).
Equipment Needed: a football shirt cake tin (or a 30x30cm square cake tin), a photo of the shirt that you're making as a guide, a large cake board, and a rolling pin.
This recipe makes 12 servings of cake, and takes approximately 4hrs to complete from start to finish (including the baking time).
For the Cake:
1) Preheat your oven to 150°C, then grease and line your cake tin with baking paper.
2) Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
3) Beat the eggs in, two at a time, until well combined.
4) Sift in the flour bit by bit, and fold the mixture together carefully.
5) Add your vanilla extract and milk into the bowl, and mix again until everything is fully combined.
6) Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, and place in the oven for an hour. Raise the temperature slightly to 180°C and bake for another hour until golden and springy to the touch - or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.
7) Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then very carefully remove from the tin to complete cooling for an hour or so.
8) If you did not use a football shirt shaped cake tin, you'll need to cut the cake into the right shape. You can print and cut out a template for this online, place it onto your squared cake, and cut around it!
For Icing and Decoration:
1) Combine the butter and milk in a large bowl, and give them a good mix.
2) Add half of the icing sugar into the bowl, and mix it for a few minutes until well combined.
3) Add in the rest of the icing sugar, vanilla extract, and repeat.
4) Spread a little bit of your buttercream icing onto your cake board, and carefully place your cake down onto it so that it sticks.
5) Spread the rest of your buttercream icing over the top and sides of your cake, and smooth this down with the back of a spoon until even coverage is achieved.
6) Roll out the main base colour fondant for the football shirt cake with your rolling pin, and make sure it's large enough to cover the whole cake. Gently place this on top, press the fondant down carefully so that it is fully stuck down to the top and sides of the cake, and trim the edges with a knife until you're satisfied with how it looks.
7) Use your secondary colour of fondant to replicate details of the football shirt that you're going for, such as the colour, any stripes, or to write the number and player name. Stick these gently on top.
(Optional: You can order an edible football team logo or badge online to add to the football shirt cake if you wish!)
8) Step back, admire your football cake decorations - and dig in!
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutes:
1) If you want to take your football shirt cakes one step further, a great idea for decoration would be to whip up some buttercream icing using the method above, and add a touch of green food colouring. This can then be transferred into a piping bag, and piped over and over again onto the cake board itself to imitate grass! Another idea would be to personalise your cake with your child's name and age instead of the player's name and number.
2) Got any chocolate lovers in the family? You can also very easily turn this recipe into a chocolate cake by substituting about 150g of flour for cocoa powder in the cake itself, and 100g of icing sugar in the buttercream frosting.
3)If you can't find any ready to roll fondant in the correct colour for your team's football shirt, you can simply buy it in the colour white and knead in drops of food colouring sparingly in order to get your desired colour.
4) Kids over 5 years old may want to lend a helping hand when it comes to baking and decorating this birthday cake, but those over one-year-old can certainly enjoy a taste for themselves too!
5) If you don't manage to eat the entire cake in one day, don't worry - it can be kept in an airtight container for 3-5 days at room temperature, or wrapped up, placed in a freezer appropriate container, and frozen for up to three months.
6) If anyone in the family has any allergies or food intolerances, there are plenty of vegan or dairy-free alternatives for eggs, butter, and milk that can all be used to make this delicious football shirt cake. There are also a variety of brands catering to vegan fondant, so you won't have to miss out on a thing!
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