You’re attending or hosting a Super Bowl party, and have been tasked with providing dessert. You know you want to "wow" your fellow football fans with a cheer-worthy confection—not just some simple, store-bought creation.
You’ve decided to craft a Super Bowl-themed cake, but seek ideas. Should it be football-shaped? A mini replica of a football field? Or a multi-layered, 3-D concoction—complete with football figurines and a cheering crowd?
Whether you're a beginning baker or a professional chef, when it comes to Super Bowl cakes, these ideas are all sure to please the crowd.
Novice bakers should keep their cakes fun and simple, says Mary Ruff, owner of Sweet Inspirations Cake Designs in North Carolina. Ruff suggests that inexperienced bakers focus on fun, simple designs, such as a football field. “If doing a football-field cake, try to keep the end zones of the fields and logos as correct as possible,” she says.
Ruff, who has been decorating cakes for 20 years and has been a cake-decorating instructor for over 10 years, suggests that, before starting, bakers research end zones, team colors and logos.
“Football fans are very proud of their teams, colors, home fields and stadiums,” she says.
Start by baking a sheet cake, frost it with field-worthy green icing, then use white icing to mark the yard lines and numbers. Icing bags can be tricky to work with at first; if you're a beginner, you can find pre-made icing tubes at craft or grocery stores in a variety of colors.
For goal posts, you can twist pipe cleaners into shape, or purchase plastic ones at a party or craft store. You can also find toppers such as flags and football players at party supply stores to add extra pizzazz to your design.
Beginning bakers and experienced decorators alike can tackle baking a cake in a shaped pan. "Shaped pans add more dimension,” says Ruff.
A variety of websites offer Super Bowl-themed shaped pans, such as footballs, helmets and jerseys. Shaped cakes can be decorated with simple frosting, or, if you’re up for a challenge, you can make an “actual-size” football cake using two of the football-shaped cakes and attaching them in the middle with icing.
“More experienced decorators will add more dimensional details,” says Ruff.
Again, do your research before starting so that the colors, logos and designs are as spot-on as possible.
If this isn’t your first foray into cake decorating, another idea is to craft a stadium cake. Stadium-shaped cake pans are widely available online, and essentially resemble a large, rectangular bundt pan, with an open space at the bottom for the field.
More experienced decorators can “resort to creating and hand-carving more intricate designs and shapes,” says Ruff. “They will go the extra mile to research their design ideas, make templates, and incorporate realistic details.”
If you're a skilled cake decorator, for instance, you can create a football stadium by making a layer cake, adhering the layers with icing, and then carving out the stadium's seating rows and "bowl" with a knife.
Whether you use a shaped pan or your own ingenuity, you'll want to add a field. Either place the cake on top of another sheet cake and secure it with icing, or, if you're carving the design yourself, leave a layer at the bottom to serve as the field.
If you have experience working with fondant—and a good amount of time to spare—you can shape miniature football players, fans and coaches and add them to your design. You can also purchase flags, lights and other details to your cake to make it even more realistic.
If you really want to have your guests swooning over your cake design—and, if you've had plenty of experience wielding an icing bag—you might want to try creating a 3-D replica of the Lombardi Trophy, which is essentially a pedestal with a football perched on top.
You'll need to start by printing out a copy of the trophy as a reference. Then, you'll need to bake several sheet cakes for layers, secure those with icing and wooden dowel rods, and then carve layers into the trophy's triangular pedestal. Instead of icing, an option is to cover the cake with silver-tinted fondant, which gives the trophy a smooth appearance.
This type of decorating, says Ruff, takes plenty of skill and patience. “Always take your time, plan ahead, do your research, make sure your icing consistencies are correct, and enjoy yourself,” she says.