1, 2, 3 Blast Off birthday cake recipe
This can be made up to a month in advance and kept in the freezer.
- 250g butter
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup plum jam
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 ½ cups self raising flour, sifted
- 1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp bi-carb
Chocolate buttercream icing:
This can be made up to two months in advance and kept in the freezer or made fresh and frozen for next time. The leftovers are a great back up for those unexpected school fundraisers!
- 150g chocolate, melted
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- 125g butter, softened
- 1 egg
Rocky road for rockets:
Only a small amount of marshmallows and smarties are used to fill the rockets so the remainder were used in the middle of the cake with the buttercream icing.
- 1 pkt small marshmallows (1/4 cup used for rocky road)
- 1 pkt Smarties (1/4 cup used for the rocky road)
- 300g chocolate
- 100g copha
- ¼ cup Rice Bubbles
- 41cm square cake board, found in cake decorating stores
- 1 pkt fairy floss – white or blue
- 500g readymade white icing (also known as fondant icing)
- 1 mt wide blue ribbon
- 1 mt Happy Birthday ribbon
- Pins to secure ribbon to cake
- Blue edible glitter
- Sparklers or candles
- Food colour – grey or black, blue
Equipment and other items needed:
- 28cm x 28cm square cake tin
- Greaseproof paper
- Pallet knife
- Rocket-shaped ice block makers
- Letter and number cutters
- To make the cake: 15 minutes preparation time, approximately 45 minutes cooking time
- Buttercream icing: 5-10 minutes to make, 20 minutes cover the sponge
- Preparing the rocky road rockets: 10-20 minutes
- Covering and decorating the cake: 30-60 minutes
1. Cut the cake in half 2. Slice each half through the middle 3. Cover the bottom halves in buttercream and sweets
4. Cover the sweets with butterceam and place cake halves on top 5. Cover the cake in buttercream 6. Colour fondant icing grey, roll out and carefully drape over cake
7. Fill rocket molds with rocky road mixture 8. Unmold by gently by dipping in hot water for 5-10 secs 9. Roll out coloured fondant and stamp out letters and numbers
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line tin with greaseproof paper.
Beat the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating thoroughly between eggs.
Add the jam and beat until just combined.
Fold in the combined cocoa, flour and bi-carb alternately with the milk, stir until mixture is just combined and almost smooth.
Pour into the tin and smooth the surface if necessary.
Bake for approx 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow the sponge to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a rack.
When totally cool, cut sponge into two. For ease, cut the sponge in half before cutting through horizontally. Place the bottom pieces onto the cake board.
Spread a thin layer of chocolate buttercream on both sponge bases (approx 1/3 of the mix), using the buttercream to join the two together.
Sprinkle with smarties and marshmallows that were left over after making rocky road rockets.
Top with another thin layer of buttercream before carefully laying on the top pieces of the sponge.
Spread the remaining buttercream evenly around the cake with a pallet knife or smooth edged kitchen knife.
Place the icing, butter, egg and chocolate in a kitchen mixer. Place on low speed to combine all ingredients (if it’s on high you may lose a lot of the mix when it flies out of the bowl!) Once combined, turn up on high and allow to beat for a further 5-10 minutes until fluffy. You may need to scrape the bowl occasionally so it whips all of the mix.
Keep aside a tiny amount of buttercream to later attach the lettering and numbers onto the cake.
Use 1/3 of the mix in the centre of the cake.
Use the remainder for the outside of the cake.
Rocky road rockets
Ensure the rocket moulds are clean and thoroughly dry.
Melt together the chocolate and copha in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Mix until all is fully melted. Put in microwave for another 30 seconds if not fully melted.
Add in the Smarties, marshmallows and Rice Bubbles.
Using a teaspoon, begin by adding some melted choc/copha into the bottom of the mould and continue to carefully spoon in the mix until you reach the top. Use the teaspoon to move the lollies around so all areas of the moulds are filled to avoid any air bubbles.
Secure the stick on top and refrigerate until set.
Un-mould just before assembly by dipping the moulds into hot water for 5 - 10 seconds.
Readymade white icing
This is also known as ‘fondant icing’ and can be found in larger quantities in cake specialty shops – they also sell them already coloured if you don’t wish to do that yourself. It will keep for a long time if stored in a cool place (like the freezer) and if it’s wrapped very well (I usually use a few layers of cling film before placing in an airtight container).
Usually the icing is quite firm to touch when you open the packet. Break it into small pieces with your fingers and begin to ‘work’ or ‘massage’ it until you notice is becomes smoother and softer. At this point, bring the icing together and knead as you would a dough until it is soft and smooth (the smoothness reminds me of my kids’ baby bottoms!) Once it’s smooth and soft you are ready to add the colour. Approximately 70g will be blue for the numbers and writing and the remainder will be grey.
Starting with the grey fondant, flatten a little, press some ‘craters’ into the dough and add a few drops of colour. Going slowly but steady is better than adding too much at once (unless you are after a very bright colour!) until you have achieved the strength of colour you are after. To work the colour into the icing, continue kneading as you would a dough. If the icing starts to stick to the bench use icing sugar, as you would flour to dough. Repeat this process with the smaller piece of icing and blue food colour. Wrap the blue icing in cling film to prevent it drying out
Roll out the grey icing, using icing sugar to prevent sticking, until it is large enough to cover the sponge. Use the cake tin as a guide to ensure the edges will be covered.
Roll onto your rolling pin gently and transfer to the cake. Gently unravel over the cake, starting from the top until the icing is totally unravelled over the sponge.
Using a sharp knife or pallet knife, trim away any excess around the edges and gently push the fondant icing under the sponge to neaten up.
Using the remainder of the grey icing, create the bases for the rockets. Roll three pieces of fondant icing into three equal sized, wide cylinders. Gently press down to create a solid barrel and use a chopstick to create a hole big enough to hold the stick of the rocket ships but not too wide that they will fall out. These will be best if they dry out for a day so they won’t buckle under the weight of the rockets. Manipulate the chopstick so the rockets point up on an equal angle.
Glue the bases for the rockets on the cake with some butter cream and allow to set before positioning the rockets.
Roll out the blue fondant icing and cut out the letters ‘blast off’ and numbers 1,2 & 3 and small dots for the countdown. Remember to use icing sugar if the fondant icing begins to stick and the finished letters and numbers are best left on some greaseproof paper to dry out and harden (makes handling easier).
Finishing the cake
Glue on the letters and numbers with the reserved buttercream.
Wrap the wide blue ribbon around the cake and secure with a pin at the back of the cake.
Wrap the happy birthday ribbon on top of the blue ribbon and attach with a pin at the back of the cake. Use more pins around the cake to secure ribbon.
Sprinkle blue edible glitter around the cake.
Arrange the fairy floss around the cake and at the base of the rockets.
Put the rockets into position – ready for blast off!
- The number, letters and rocket bases can be made ahead of time and the cake iced and rockets made at least four days ahead of time and kept in a cool, dry spot. Make sure once the cake is iced, it is kept in a cool, dry place - not in the fridge as the fondant icing will melt.
- There are many different styles of icy pole makers which you could use to base your theme. I noticed some dinosaur icy pole makers – you could make a green iced cake and top them with walking rocky road dinosaurs!
- This recipe was created for Kidspot by Chef Sonia.
From Chef Sonia:
Although I am a qualified chef, I’ve had no formal cake making training. What I have learned is through trial and many errors. I hope that by sharing my knowledge, you can become as confident and as excited about cake making as I am! (without the mistakes!). I think the most important thing is to ‘give it a go,’ you’ll be producing amazing cakes before you know it!
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