You are most likely here because you are wondering how to make a personalized sphere basketball cake. You have come to the right place. This is a step-by-step tutorial so you can make a basketball cake for your team or player.
This sphere ball cake is mostly covered in frosting, although there are fondant elements.
However, that’s not your main purpose for being here, is it? You are wondering how to make a personalized sphere basketball cake. Let’s get started.
How to Make a Personalized Sphere Basketball Cake
As with any project, it’s important to gather your supplies. Being prepared for the cake decorating experience is half the battle.
Materials Needed to Make a Personalized Sphere Basketball Cake
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- Black Fondant (I would not consider making your own. You want to buy it black. Trying to make black from white is impossible. You use loads and loads of black food coloring, and in the end it looks purple.)
- 2x 8″ glass bowl or 8″ cake sphere pan
- 8 inch cake pan
- Cake Recipe: red velvet, white velvet or chocolate are classics. I did 1.5x the red velvet recipe (coloring it orange instead), to fit my two glass mixing bowls and one 8″ cake pan.
- Frosting Recipe: My favorite vanilla buttercream is amazing and pipes out beautifully. If you don’t want a frosting that contains cream for allergy reasons orbecause the cake will be sitting out for prolonged period of time, this is a great alternative.
- Orange and Copper Food Coloring
- 8 inch cake board
- Bubble Tea Straw – I always use wide bubble tea straws or wide smoothie straws to dowel my cake. They are easier to cut than the wooden dowels and are just as strong. I’m not convinced this cake needed a center support, but I still did it as precaution.
- Decorating Tip Number 7
- Pastry Bag
- Cake Spatula
- Serrated Knife
- Pizza Cutter
- Fondant Roller
- Fondant Mat
- Yard Stick or alternate straight edge
- Small Plastic Tupperware
- Parchment Paper
- 1.5 inch Letter Cookie Cutters – I got mine from this 100 piece cookie cutter set, which I have loved having on hand
- Powdered Sugar
Fat Daddio's PHA-8 Cake HemisphereFondarific Buttercream Fondant, Black, 8Wilton Performance Aluminum Pan 8-InchFOYO 8-inch Round Tempered GlassWilton 610-205 Icing Gel, 1-Ounce,Wilton Copper Icing Color Pattern,Wilton 8-Inch Cake Circle, 12-PackALINK 100 Extra Large PlasticWilton #7 Round Decorating TipWilton 411-1989 Coupler Set, STD,Ateco 4712 Disposable Decorating Bags,Wilton Icing Spatula, 13-Inch, AngledJ.A. Henckels International 16906-201 ForgedOXO Good Grips 4-Inch PizzaWilton Large Fondant Roller withNon-slip Silicone Pastry Mat ExtraSwanson Tool AE141 36-Inch Yardstick,
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a Perfectly Round Sphere Cake
The first goal is to make a sphere cake. Mine was not a perfect sphere. The bottom was flat for two reasons. I wanted it to stand secure. The glass bowl I used was flat bottomed.
The final step in this making a sphere cake tutorial shows how to trick the eye so that the cake appears perfectly round.
To make this sphere ball cake I used two 8 inch glass mixing bowl and one 8 inch circular cake pan.
Prepping the Cake
- Grease pans and bowls and then dust with flour.
- Cut out parchment paper the size of the bottom of your bowl. Do the same for your circular pan. Put these pieces of parchment paper in the bottom of the bowls and circular pan. These first two steps ensure your cake doesn’t stick.
- Fill your bowls and cake pan with batter. One whole red velvet recipe was poured into the two bowls. 1/2 recipe was poured into the circular cake pan. I baked these separately because I knew they’d cook at different rates. The bowl takes longer to cook. I would not fill it completely because to cook a half a bowl of cake would take too long and much of the cake would taste burned.
- Once baked and cooled, remove your cake from the cake pan.
Stacking the Sphere Cake
- Using a serrated knife, level off the dome shape of your cake. Reserve one of the domes to be the top of the ball since your baking bowl had a flat spot.
- Cut a cake circle to the size of the bottom of your cake. Add one of the half circle cakes to the cardboard cake circle, wide side up.
- Stick one of your straws in the center as a dowel.
- Make frosting, and add it to the first layer. I added a combination of orange and copper food coloring to get my end color.
- Stack as follows – small cardboard cake circle, half bowl cake (wide side up), frosting, cardboard cake circle cut slightly smaller than 8 inch round, 8 inch round cake, frosting, half bowl cake (wide side down), small amount of frosting, top dome piece you had cut off your cake to level. Now you have a ball shape.
- Using a serrated knife, trim off some of the 8 inch circle and shape top of the cake to make it into a perfect ball.
Frosting a Sphere Ball Cake
Every good frosted cake starts with a crumb coat. Read my Cake Making 101 post to read more. Follow up with my Cake Making 201 post if you plan to use fondant on your sphere cake or just want to learn more about cake decorating.
A crumb coat is a real thin layer of frosting (pictured upper left) that basically grabs the crumbs and adheres them to the side so that you don’t have crumbs in your outer layer.
To make a crumb coat, take your cake spatula and apply frosting, in a thin layer, to the outer edge of your cake.
Pro tip: Separate the crumb coat frosting from the batch of frosting so you are not dipping your crumb-coated spatula into all of your frosting.
You will see cake and crumbs in your crumb coat. That’s OK. Stick your cake in the refrigerator to solidify those crumbs into that first layer of frosting.
Once set, pull out the cake and do your second layer of frosting. You’ll be covering the cake with piped dots, so this doesn’t have to be perfect, but just try and make the ball look evenly round. I had a plastic frosting smoother that bent so I could go around the ball more evenly with the curves.
Decorating a Personalized Sphere Basketball Cake
- Cover your work surface in a light layer of powdered sugar. Take a piece of black fondant and roll it into a snake. Then, using your fondant roller with the purple band setting, roll out the fondant into a long strip. The bands help ensure you are rolling to an even level.
- Using a clean straight edge and pizza cutter, cut one side of the fondant straight.
- Use your straight edge to make sure the cut side remains in a straight line.
- Measure 1/2 inch from that edge in a few different places and make with a toothpick.
- Use your straight edge again, laying it in line with the toothpick holes. Take your pizza roller and make another cut.
- Use your strips to make a line all the way around the center of your cake. I went over the top first and then used two different pieces for the two different sides.
- Use the back of a butter knife to try and make these initial lines as straight as possible.
Quick side note: Sorry for the discrepancy in the coloring in the photos. Different lighting yielded different results. Your coloring will be dependent on both lighting and color of frosting. Our final result was more orange than all of these prep-photos suggest.
- Cut more black fondant strips for the four curved lines on the basketball.
- I just used my eyes as well as a ruler at points to try and get the curves even on both sides. Cutting out a template is another option.
- Using letter cookie cutters, cut out the name of your child. I cut my end two letters shorter by hand so they’d fit. Do their name on both sides of the ball.
- Time to do dots, dots and more dots. Using a size 7 tip, add dots to all of the parts of the cake basketball that is not covered in black fondant.
- Pro Tip: To shine up black fondant so that the powdered sugar disappears, use a little bit of shortening on a paper towel and very lightly rub on the fondant.
- Once all the dots are done, put the cake in the refrigerator to let the frosting stiffen a bit. Pull it out, wash your hands and use your finger to press down all of the dots so they look a bit flat rather than like little Hershey kisses.
The question of the hour: How long did it take to do all those dots?
How long does anything take as a mother? Probably twice as long as it needed to. I tried to keep track, but there were interruptions. My guesstimate would be 2 1/2 hours to do the dots.
- The final step, which I promised to reveal, was how to make a sphere cake with a flat base look perfectly round. The way to trick the eye is creating a base or a stand. I used a plastic piece of Tupperware and covered it in fondant. You could also use something like a container for shredded parmesan or goat cheese.
There you have it – Instructions about how to make a personalized sphere basketball cake.
After you have read all the instructions, you might be ready to jump in and tackle a fun but challenging project.
However, you might feel overwhelmed and have decided you’d like an easier project. If that’s the case, maybe this is your solution:
While my son wanted the cake for his birthday, we made these basketball cupcakes for his classroom celebration.
This is his first year playing basketball, and he is pretty excited about it.
Decorating these cupcakes were fairly simply. The edible basketball cupcake topping I bought at Hobby Lobby. An alternative would be to stick in plastic basketball rings instead. I applied the black sprinkles in a swirl pattern using my Wilton sugar writer. These cupcakes were baked in black and white cupcake liners.
Below showed some of the products used or an alternative. The Wilton Sugar Writer was a Christmas gift from my husband. The 3-tier cupcake carrier has been so wonderful to have on hand. These would make great gifts for the baker in your life.