Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bowling Ball Birthday Cake

Today I completed and delivered my 3rd cake order.  I've mentioned in the last couple posts that I would be busy working on a bowling birthday cake and it finally came together last night and today.  The cake was for a co-workers son, and the only guidelines he really gave me was that the bowling ball be black and orange.  Those were the colors of the birthday boy's soccer team.  His wife did send me a few pictures of bowling cakes that she'd seen and liked.  Based on those cakes, and with some help from my chief design consultant, Joe, I decided on a 9"x13" base cake with a 6" full bowling ball on top with a bowling pin on either side.  The only needed the cake to serve about 25 kids but I didn't want the cake to look too small so it was more than a 25 serving cake.  I started the whole process on Wednesday night by making the fondant that I'd need to cover all the different parts.  I make my own marshmallow fondant which is pretty simple to make and tastes significantly better than the stuff you can buy at the store.  Then on Thursday I baked the cakes and dyed the fondant to the correct colors.  Since I knew that I'd need black fondant for the bowling ball I started by making chocolate marshmallow fondant and adding black dye to that.  It makes it a lot easier to get a good black color if you start with a chocolate base.  Plus, you don't have to use nearly as much food coloring.

This was 1 and 1/2 batches of fondant.
Friday night I made my icing, assembled the cakes and covered all the parts.  The bowling pins were made by baking a cake in a loaf pan and then cutting it in half on the diagonal.  Then I hand carved each half into a bowling pin shape.  For the bowling ball, I invested in a cake pan specially designed for making perfectly round cakes.  It bakes in 2 halves which then get stacked.  The base of the cake was supposed to look like a wood floor, but the colors I used were a little dark and blended together too much when I tried to marble them.  I ended up just drawing some wood grain in after I'd covered the cake to try and make it look nicer.  In the end I was pretty happy with the result.

Saturday morning I completed the diamond details on the front of the cake and added the writing.  I finished everything up about 30 minutes before we had to leave to deliver it.  The cake survived the trip just fine thanks to the careful driving of my cake chauffeur, Joe.  As you can see, Joe plays many roles in this cake business :)

Here are some pictures!

Marbling the black and orange fondant to cover the bowling ball.

Joe had the idea to cover the rest of the cake with paper towels before covering the bowling ball.  Good idea!

You can kind of see the wood grain on the base layer in this picture.

Carving out the bowling pins.

This time I covered the pins with fondant before placing them on the cake.

The last step on Friday night was adding the bowling pin stripes.

All done!  The writing is a little shaky, but I'm working on that.

We made the finger holes in the bowling ball by pushing a wine cork into the fondant.  Another one of Joe's ideas!

The birthday boy was turning 8, so we made it an 8 pound ball :)

Overall I was happy with the end result, and I always learn something when I make a new cake.  I hope the birthday boy and his parents liked it too!


  1. Sounds like Joe is a big help when you're making a cake! He has some good ideas. Geat job on the cake.
    Aunt Sharon

  2. Looks so good! The colors on the bowling ball look great and everything is proportioned so well. You have an awesome talent!

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