Baking date: October 9, 2016
I was commissioned by a mom to make a cake for the high school field hockey team to celebrate senior night during the last home game of the season. There were no specific instructions other than it needed to feed about 40, but I knew I wanted it to include a special nod to the seniors in the school colors.
I started with a French vanilla cake mix. I always add a tablespoon of vanilla to any box mix, and if the recipe calls for vegetable oil, I used canola oil. I find that canola oil makes cakes a bit lighter/”fluffier”.
For the cake shape, I used the 8″ and 12″ squares from the performance pans square set. For the icing, I used my go-to buttercream recipe. I dyed some of the buttercream using royal blue, kelly green, and golden yellow icing colors.
To personalize it, I made yellow candy melt stars and piped on the girls names using the royal blue frosting. I started using a #1 tip, but the frosting was not going through the tip well (too thick), so I switched to a #3 tip. You can see the difference in the lettering (next time, I’ll use a small amount of the buttercream that is thinned a bit when I pipe with a #1 tip). I was able to script the name with the #1 tip, but the thickness of the frosting was an issue. With the #3 tip, I didn’t have as much room to script the letters because of the thickness of the piping. I also made royal blue candy melts smaller stars, and using the golden yellow icing, piped the number of each player on the star with the #3 tip. I also added a “bead” border between the top and base layer, using royal blue candy melts in the large size bead mold.
I placed the stars with the players names on the base layer, pushing them against the top layer to anchor them. For the stars with the player numbers, I used a 3 tip to make a burst on the top layer above the corresponding player name star and anchored the number stars there.
Using a #17 and a #18 tip, I added yellow bursts with blue on top on the corners of the top layer. I did the reverse for the border of the top layer. In the corner bursts, I added white sugar pearls. I piped on grass along the base cake border using a #233 tip in the kelly green frosting, and added more of the white sugar pearls in the “grass”.
On the base layer of the cake, blue bursts with yellow on top were placed in the corners, and yellow bursts were placed along the border.
I felt like the cake needed something more, so using the blue and golden yellow icing, I piped on bursts in the shape of field hockey sticks, with a sugar pearl in the curve at the base of the stick.
Now the cake was complete!
I wasn’t done there, tho. As a bonus, I decided to use a round/sports ball cake pan to make a field hockey ball.
Prior to placing the cake on the cake board, I cut off part of one side so that the base would be flat and more stable. I covered the cake in the buttercream frosting, and added the “grass” at the base of the cake. On top of the grass, I added alternating blue and golden yellow bursts. Finally, I added the same style of field hockey sticks on top of the ball that I had put on the top of the other cake, again with a white sugar pearl in the curve of the stick.
I’d say the cakes were a big success!
And as a reminder, it takes a village to honor kids and make things special for them. Cake was only one element of the celebration.