Image © standret, under a Creative Commons license.
If your child is a Doctor Who fan, what could be better than a Doctor Who birthday cake for their party?
Follow these step by step instructions detailing how to make a Tardis cake they are bound to love. Although it may seem like a daunting project, you don't need much equipment for this Tardis cake tutorial, apart from rectangular cake tins and lots of blue icing!
For This Dr Who Cake, You Will Need:
For The Cakes: 350g self-raising flour, 350g softened butter, 350g caster sugar, 6 large eggs (at room temperature), 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract.
For The Buttercream: 560g icing sugar, 280g softened butter, 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
For Decoration: Ready-to-roll fondant icing in blue, black and white, a white icing pen.
Equipment: Two 20x30cm rectangular cake tins, a cake board or large flat serving plate, an electric whisk or mixer.
Follow these step by step instructions which explain how to make a Tardis cake that kids will love!
1) Preheat your oven to 170°C (or 325°F). Grease your cake tins with some softened butter or margarine. You could also line them with baking paper for extra safety.
2) Make your batter. First, sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add in all the other ingredients one by one (remember that the butter must be really soft) and mix them together using an electric whisk. Keep whisking until your smooth mixture is smooth, with no lumps.
3) Next, divide the batter evenly between your two cake tins and smooth the top of each tin of mixture with a spatula or spoon.
4) Bake the cakes in the oven for 30-35 minutes. After 30-35 minutes, you can check if they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cakes. If it comes out clean, they are ready to be taken out of the oven! Let the cakes cool in their tins for 10 minutes, then remove them from their tins and place them on a wire rack to cool for another 15 minutes.
5) While you wait for the cakes to cool, make your buttercream frosting: in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with the electric whisk until it is soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until combined. Add the remaining sugar, one tablespoon of milk and the vanilla extract. Keep beating until you obtain a smooth mixture, adding a tablespoon of milk to loosen it if necessary.
6) It's time to assemble your Tardis! Flatten the top of both rectangular cakes with a bread knife, and cut them in half to form four identical squares. On your board or serving plate, place one square cake and cover the top of it with buttercream icing, then place another one on top. Repeat this process with all the cakes. To make sure the tower stays in place, insert a wooden skewer into each corner, cut out to match the height of the cakes.
7) Cover your the sides and the top of your Tardis cake with the remaining buttercream frosting. Roll out the blue fondant icing evenly, wrap it around your rolling pin and gently place it onto your cake. Smooth out the icing with your hands, and trim any excess with a knife.
8) To make the top of the Tardis cake, roll out a thick layer of blue fondant and carve out a square about a centimetre smaller than the top of your cake, and another slightly smaller one. Layer those on top of your cake, and make the tiny lamp on top of the Tardis with white and blue fondant. If you are unsure of the design, refer to a photo of the real deal Tardis. Place the lamp in the middle of your Tardis cake, on top of the blue fondant.
9) To make the detailing on the police box, roll out more blue fondant icing. For each side, cut out three thin ribbons of blue icing (a few millimetres wide each), one centimetre shorter than the height of your cake. Cut out five more ribbons of the same width, one centimetre shorter than the width of your cake. Gently place the three longer ribbons onto one side of the Tardis, the same length apart. Place the five shorter ribbons across them, the same length apart. This creates the doors of the police box (if you are unsure of the design, refer to a photo). Repeat this process on each of the four sides.
10) And now for the final details. With the white icing pen, draw six small rectangles in the top two window squares on each side of the Tardis cake to make the windows. You can also draw the lock and the handle on one of the doors. Use black fondant to make four small rectangles to fit above the windows of your Tardis (about half a centimetre wide). On these rectangles, use the white icing pen to spell out the famous words that are instantly recognisable to any Doctor Who fan: "Police Box". Place one of these on each side of your Tardis cake, above the windows.
Tips And Recommendations
Making this cake can take up to five hours as it includes lots of detailed decoration. However, it is worth it to see the smile on the faces of the Doctor Who fans in your family!
Children as young as two can help you mix the dry ingredients with a manual whisk, but the electric whisk should be kept for adults and older children with adult supervision. The decorating process is lengthy and delicate so is best left to adults, but children from aged five and over can help by rolling out the fondant icing. Doctor Who experts will be able to draw the little details of the Tardis and help you decorate as accurately as possible!
This Tardis cake should serve at least eight people. Children as young as two can enjoy a slice, but it contains a lot of sugar so be mindful of portions!
If any of your guests have allergies, you could substitute the self raising flour in this Dr Who cake for a gluten free alternative such as spelt.
You can make a Tardis cake with whatever recipe you prefer. Red velvet, chocolate, lemon drizzle: the possibilities are endless!
You can go as far as you would like with the decoration, depending on your supplies and aptitudes. If you want more of a challenge, you could sculpt a Dalek out of grey fondant icing to accompany your Dr Who birthday cake!
Although this Tardis cake tutorial uses fondant icing, you could use dyed modelling chocolate to construct the panels on the side of the Tardis if you wish (this requires a lot more equipment and time, though).
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