March 17, 2011 - A Basketball Backboard Cake
Click here for short instructions
With March Madness coming up and the NBA playoffs not far behind, a basketball-themed cake seemed fitting. You can make a cake like this for a basketball party or for your family's own basketball star! Click here to watch a YouTube video of this cake being made. To make this cake, you'll need a Cake-Shaping Strip (look here about how to make one), a small oven-safe bowl (to make the basketball), prepared cake batter (from about 2 boxes of cake mix) and icing (about 2 1/2 16-oz. white-icing containers and one small tube of black icing gel). Here's the finished product:
To make this cake, first, make a Cake-Shaping Strip with (six sushi-mat segments) as described here. Then line a cookie sheet with two large pieces of foil: one laid vertically along the sheet pan and the other horizontally (extending over the edges of the sheet pan). Shape the Cake-Shaping Strip into a rough shape of a backboard. You can look to my backboard shape for inspiration of a shape that should fit on most standard cookie sheets. Make sure that the hoop portion of the backboard is just wider than the diameter of your oven-safe bowl. Wrap the foil sheets around the Cake-Shaping Strip, cutting lines in the foil as needed so that the foil can cover curved portions of the strip. If you feel that cake batter will likely leak through a bottom portion of the strip, make a small wad of foil using a 3-inch square of foil, and position the wad on the outside edges of these areas of concern. Then press the strip down into the inner-most portion of the foil wad. Here's a picture of my strips.
Grease the strips and the underlying foil with aluminum foil with cooking spray. Also, grease your oven-proof bowl with cooking spray. Add prepared cake batter to the backboard section and the oven-proof bowl. Two boxes of cake mix make about the right amount of batter for these cakes. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees until down and cool. Insert a knife in between the strips and cake to make sure that they are well separated. If any cake batter leaked through the strip, cut these portions away so that the strips could pull away from the cake. Gently separated the strips from the cake.
Take the cake from the oven-safe bowl out of the bowl and cut the top off so that it is flat. Ice the cut edge of this "ball" cake with icing and put it on top of the other cake. Then apply a thin layer of icing over the entire combined cake to ensure that the ball cake will stay on the backboard cake and any crumbs will not show through your final icing layer.
Next comes the decorating. Ice the ball cake with orange icing and use a black icing gel tube to make the lines on the basketball. Ice the remaining surfaces of the cake with white icing. Pipe on red lines on the backboard and across the basketball to make the basketball hoop. Combine the rest of the blacking icing gel with white icing to make gray icing. Put this gray icing in a piping bag and pipe the net onto portions of the ball and backboard cake segments as shown below. Bring this to a basketball-watching event, and you'll be the hit of the party!