How To Make A Rugby Ball-Shaped Cake That Kids Will Love

Two children, wearing chef's hats, kissing their mum on each cheek as they bake in the kitchen.
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Image © freeograph, under a Creative Commons license.

Looking for birthday cake ideas for little sports fans?

Birthday cakes for a rugby fan can be hard to come by, but don't fear, this step by step guide to creating a rugby ball birthday cake is so easy to follow. You will be able to create a rugby ball birthday cake masterpiece in no time!

This simple rugby birthday cake recipe is bound to wow any sports fans in the family. You don't need any fancy tins or equipment for this bake: two square cake tins, a bread knife, a handful of ingredients and an electric mixer are all you need for everyone to have a ball at your rugby themed birthday party.

You Will Need

For The Cakes: 350g self-raising flour, 350g softened butter, 350g caster sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 6 eggs (at room temperature) and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

For The Frosting: 600g icing sugar, 300g softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract.

For Decorating: Ready-to-roll white icing, fondant icing in the colours of your choice (perhaps your child's favourite rugby club's colours) and a black icing pen.

Equipment: Two 8" (20cm) square cake tins, a cake board or large serving plate and an electric whisk or mixer.

Mum in the kitchen baking a cake with her young son sat on the chair watching her.
Image © Kireyonok_Yuliya, under a Creative Commons license.

Method

1) Preheat your oven to 170°C (325°F). Grease your cake tins with some softened butter or margarine. You could also line them with baking paper for extra safety.

2) Prepare your cake mix: sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add in all the other ingredients one at a time (make sure the butter is really soft!) and mix them together with the electric whisk. Keep whisking until you obtain a smooth mixture with no lumps.

3) Divide the batter evenly between your two cake tins, smooth the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes. Before taking them out of the oven, check that they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cakes: if it comes out clean, they are ready! Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before removing them from their tins and placing them on a wire rack to cool for another 15 minutes.

4) While you wait for your cakes to cool, prepare the buttercream icing. Sift 600g of icing sugar into a bowl. Add 300g softened butter and beat using an electric whisk or mixer. Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix for another minute. If necessary, add a tablespoon of boiling water to make the frosting runnier and easier to spread.

5) Time to cut and assemble your rugby ball cake! First, carefully flatten the top of your two square cakes with a serrated bread knife. Then, cut out an oval along the diagonal of each cake.

6) Choose one cake to be the base of your rugby ball and place it onto your cake board or serving plate. Trim the edges of the top of the second cake so that it is rounded, like rugby balls are. Layer some buttercream frosting on the bottom cake, and sandwich the second cake onto it to form your rugby ball shape. Cover the entire cake in buttercream frosting: this does not have to be neat as it will be covered up.

7) Roll out the white fondant icing thinly over your rugby cake. Wrap it around your rolling pin and gently place it onto the cake. Smooth the icing with your hands and trim any excess with a knife.

8) Roll out your other colours of fondant icing and cut out thin strips which span the length of your cake and are about one centimetre wide. Place these strips to form oval shapes at the top of your rugby ball cake. In the centre of the coloured ovals, you can inscribe the message of your choice with the black icing pen. There you have it, a perfect rugby ball birthday cake!

Young boy holding a rugby ball outside, smiling.
Image © wavebreakmedia_micro, under a Creative Commons license.

An American Football Alternative

If your child is an American football fan, you can make this rugby birthday cake into an American football one in a few simple steps.

Substitute the white fondant icing for brown to cover the ball.

Instead of decorating as described in step 8, roll out a small amount of white fondant icing and cut out two 1 centimetre wide strips. Wrap these around your cake width-wise on each side.

To make the stitching marks in the middle of the ball, cut out smaller ribbons of white fondant. Place one across the middle of the cake between your two white ribbons, and place the shorter ones across it to look like stitches.

Close up of a woman kneading dough on the kitchen worktop.
Image © Theme Photos, under a Creative Commons license.

Tips And Recommendations

This rugby birthday cake should serve 8-10 people. Children as young as two can enjoy a piece of it, but it contains a lot of sugar so be mindful of the portion sizes.

Children will love helping to bake this rugby ball birthday cake. Kids of all ages can get involved with mixing the ingredients (under adult supervision, of course), just ensure that an adult handles any sharp equipment and helps with the more intricate decorating steps.

Although this rugby ball birthday cake is best eaten fresh, the sponges can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (not the fridge) for up to five days. Once the rugby cake is decorated, you can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days. You can also freeze this rugby ball birthday cake: leave it in the freeze for an hour so the icing sets, then wrap it in clingfilm before placing it back in the freezer in an airtight container for up to two months.

If you are in a hurry, you can make this rugby ball birthday cake recipe even easier by using ready made cake mix. Simply follow the instructions on the box to bake the square cakes, before following the guide to creating a rugby ball shaped cake above!

This rugby cake could also be made using your favourite cake recipe: sponge cake, chocolate cake, lemon drizzle, the choice is yours!

If you have guests with allergies, you can substitute the self raising flour in this rugby ball birthday cake for a gluten free alternative such as spelt.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

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