Image © Vidal Balielo Jr., under a Creative Commons license.
What's yellow and lives in a pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob SquarePants, or his exact replica as a cake! Although it looks like a daunting bake, this guide to creating a Spongebob cake is detailed and easy to follow.
Try your hand at cake decorating with this impressive project. All the equipment you need is two sheet cake tins and an electric whisk, as well as lots of fondant!
You Will Need
For The Cakes: 710g all-purpose flour, 450g unsalted butter (at room temperature), 600g caster sugar, 8 large eggs (at room temperature), 480ml milk, 2tbsp baking powder, 2tbsp vanilla extract, a pinch of salt.
For The Frosting: 100g unsalted butter (at room temperature), 180g icing sugar, 320g cream cheese, 1 tsp vanilla extract.
For The Decoration: Ready-to-roll icing in yellow, white, brown, and a small amount of red, blue, black ready-to-roll icing.
Equipment: Two 33cm x 23cm (9"x13") sheet cake tins, an electric whisk or mixer, a cake board or large plate.
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place an oven rack in the centre of the oven. Grease your cake tins with some softened butter or margarine. You could also line them with baking paper for extra safety.
2) Start to make your cake batter: in a bowl, mix and whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
3) In a different bowl, beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract with an electric whisk (medium-high speed) until it becomes light and fluffy. This should take three to five minutes. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, keep beating well. Turn the whisk or mixer to low speed and add a third of the dry ingredients, then half of the milk. Keep alternating and mixing until you have added all of your ingredients.
4) Divide the cake batter between the two cake tins. Smooth the top of the mixture with a spatula or spoon. Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes. To check whether they are ready, insert a knife or a toothpick into the centre of the cakes: it must come out clean before you can take it out of the oven. Once they are out of the oven, place the cakes on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes.
5) While you wait for the cakes to cool, make the cream cheese frosting: with your electric whisk or mixer, beat the butter until it is light. Add the icing sugar and keep whisking until the mixture becomes fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, then the cream cheese, gradually. Beat until everything is fully incorporated.
6) It's time to assemble your Spongebob cake! Once your cakes have cooled down, remove them from their tins and flatten the top with a bread knife. Place your first cake on the board or plate, add a layer of frosting on top of it and place the other cake on top.
7) Use the remainder of the frosting to cover the entirety of your cake, including the sides. If you have time, put your frosted cake in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out the yellow fondant icing thinly, 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. To create the illusion of the sponge body, press down into the fondant icing gently to form little craters in the cake.
8) Now it's time to decorate your Spongebob cake! Roll out the brown icing thinly, and cut out a rectangular shape that will cover about a fifth of your cake. Place the strip of icing to cover the bottom part of your cake - this is Sponge bob's trousers! Smooth the icing and trim any excess.
9) To make Spongebob's collar, roll out the white fondant icing into a rectangle roughly the same size as your brown icing. Place it onto the cake above the trousers, and cut out two small triangles of white icing to make the shirt's collar.
10) Now you can add all the remaining details to decorate your cake: make a tie out of red fondant icing (one diamond shape and one small triangle), Spongebob's eyes from circles of fondant layer on top of the other (a larger white circle, a slightly smaller blue one, and a small black one), Spongebob's cheeks from two balls of yellow fondant icing, etc. You could also make Spongebob's arms and legs out of yellow fondant if you fancy! If you don't have red, black or blue icing at hand for the detailing, you could draw them on with icing pens or homemade icing and a toothpick. Alternatively, you could use white fondant icing and food colouring to make the other colours.
Tips And Recommendations
This cake should serve at least 12 people, ideal for a birthday party! It's suitable for young children as young as two to eat, but it contains a lot of sugar so be mindful of your portion sizes.
If any of your children have allergies, you could substitute the plain flour for a gluten-free alternative like spelt.
Although it is best eaten fresh, you can make this Spongebob birthday cake in advance and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. You can also freeze this cake for up to two months. Leave it in the freezer for about an hour unwrapped to let the icing set. Then, wrap it in cling film and place it in an airtight container before freezing it.
You can make this Spongebob cake with your favourite sponge cake, or any other cake of your liking (chocolate, lemon drizzle, fruit cake, etc). You could also flavour the cream cheese icing with cocoa powder or any extracts you have in the house!
If you are feeling creative, you could go further in the cake decorating and have fun making other Spongebob characters from fondant icing like Squidward or Patrick!
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