Do you think I hit a home run with Wyatt's b'day Cake? I sure had fun making this baseball and bat cake! And yes.. the the kids got to eat both the ball which was made of cake and the bat! When my daughter and I were talking about how no one ever eats the cakes you buy from the local grocery store bakeries and how most of the cake gets tossed. (unless you go to the scrump-dilly-icious "Nothing Bundt Cake" bakery.. double..YUMMY!!!! They are the best but they don't make kiddie themed cakes and they are soooo expensive!) Everyone, even the kids hate that white, sugary frosting but what would a party be without a cutely decorated cake ??? Well... who doesn't like homemade cakes? not me!! My bet is not you either. (German chocolate is my fav!!) Wyatt's favorite is white cake with white frosting. (go figure ..Buddy Bear!)
Sooo Keely asked if I would try and make him a cake with a baseball theme, as he 's starting tee ball soon! His Mom baked him some cupcakes and Dad decorated them like little base balls..soo cute. He loved them and they were so deliciously Yummy!
And so moist! I bet you I know how she made them moist!
You know ..white cake is supposed to be white, not brown, when it comes out of the oven. Really!! Makes sense. I use the color test, followed by the pinch test! No, you don't pinch yourself or and this is no excuse for pinching your hubby. When my cake loses it's wet look, and when a white or yellow cake barely begins to turn that beautiful (not brown) golden color..it's time to open the oven door and PINCH a small dab of the skin off the top of the center of the cake. If the pinch is still gooey, but you can see the cake structure undereneath it ( it will look like sponge) That's when to take the cake out of the oven! Walaah! moist cake! (This was a tip from a professional.) If you waited too long ..go ahead...pinch the hubby!
Once the cake is out of the oven it will set up from the heat and the gooeyness will go away. If you wait until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan it is over baked! If you wait until the knife blade inserted into the center comes out clean...over baked!
Make sure your oven heats to the correct temperature... and stays at that temperature! Mine doesn't!! I have to keep people out of my kitchen when I bake, as they keep bumping the dial and turning my oven either OFF or to BROIL! I've ended up with some very ugly catastrophes! (I keep telling everyone around here "I NEED A NEW STOVE!" I'm having a love affair with a big.. hunking.. Viking, ohhh..I dream of him nightly....awwh ..just kidding.) But I manage..don't worry about me...I'm used to it...35 years of managing.. ......I got it down to a science.
To check your oven... bake a cake at 350 degrees and watch how it bakes. The cake should rise steadily up the sides of the pan while having an almost level top. If the top domes, or browns before its done, (DUH!!) the dang oven is probably baking at several degrees higher then what the dial says. (hey, my dial numbers are but worn off!)
You can purchase an oven thermometer and check it with an empty oven, then adjust the setting accordingly..the thermometer just hangs on the racks inside the oven.
Remember to let your cake stand at least 5 minutes after taking it from he oven, before turning it out of the pan. I hate explaining a hole in the cake!
Frosting the cake is the fun part! Most professionals use a crumb coat first ..which is just a quick coating of thin frosting..kind of like a glaze, then you can refrigerate the cake to frost later...whenever you want. Use about 1/2 cup of frosting and thin it down with water. When the cake has barely cooled spread the crumb coat icing all over the cake, let it dry at least an hour before you try and frosting the cake. I always refrigerate my cakes until we are ready to eat then let them come to room temperature.
The baseball on Wyatt's cake made by using a old Pyrex Bakeware (make sure it's ovenproof! ) glass bowl... (you could use any size you wanted the ball to be) and filling it 3/4 full . You can purchase pans just for making baseballs, footballs, etc. but I don't do anything the expensive way! (hey..don't call me a cheap-O..I just try and streeeetch a dollar!) anyway...I placed the bowl on a cookie sheet and baked as usual. After cooling..I put the two halves together with a straw down the center to hold them in place. Oh yeah..later..after frosting the ball, put another straw down thru the center of the ball, the other direction all the way into the cake (before you put on the licorice) ...so you won't have to chase the baseball down the street when delivering the cake to the party..they do roll you know!
I frosted it with white frosting and the stitching is made from red licorice. ( My son, Tom clued me in on what stitching should look like!! ...you'd think I'd know what a baseball looked like ...I threw enough balls to the boys to where my arms felt like they would fall off.....and had enough of them hit me in the head when they were young ... sooo, anyhoo... I copied a real baseball for the stitches!) The rest of the frosting was layered with deepening color using food coloring to look like clouds and sky ..but wear thin gloves when mixing, if you don't want to go to the party with blue and green fingers!
The bat was molded out of marzipan. The kids thought it was neat but they didn't seem to like to eat much of it. It tastes like a cross between a real sweet cookie and candy! I would like to try and have more fun with the marzipan. You could be very creative and make anything ..kinda like adult play dough! wooHoo! After finishing up I thought of many more things I could have done differently..like making the grass more spikey using coconut ..maybe making a playing dirt field out of cocoa or chocolate crumbled cookies. Adding people in the stands with multi-colored round candies. Even adding little players. What fun!