Home Run Cake for Jake

Baking date: May 26, 2017

I’ve made so many home run cakes over the years, I can’t keep count. This year on my son’s travel team, only one player hit a home run.

Technically, he hit two home runs. But one of them came after May 31 and I have been out of the baking game since then, when I had surgery to repair/rebuild a rupture in my Achilles. Recovery required 6 weeks completely off of my foot, so the the kitchen has been shut down while I was on the mend.

Jake requested a vanilla cake, so I used a French vanilla box mix — always add that extra tablespoon of vanilla when mixing to make it seem a bit more homemade.

The frosting was white. I dyed some red for the baseball stitches and some green for the grass around the base, piped on with a #233 tip. I also used some of the white for piping his name and date of the home run on the star candies. The large red star candies were for his name; the small star candies for the date of the home run. Home run was spelled out using royal blue candy melts (only the number mold is shown on the site, but they have an alphabet mold also).

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Finally, I added turtle crunch sprinkles around the base of the cake on the grass to simulate dirt. It’s been my go-to for sports cakes that require dirt, but I fear the product has been discontinued. It’s no longer on the Wilton site, and every place that does show it says it’s out of stock with no anticipated available date. Guess I’ll have to buy Heath bars or Butterfingers and pulse them in the blender if I need “dirt”. *sigh*

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Turtle Crunch sprinkles – the perfect “dirt”

Congrats on your home run, Jake — and welcome to the cake club!

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Chocolate-on-chocolate Home Run Cake

Baking date: May 13, 2017

As my oldest son has gotten grown up, I haven’t had the opportunity to make as many home run cakes for his baseball teammates. Those fences have gotten farther away as they have become teenagers, and it’s become tougher to crank it out.

So, when an opportunity comes along to make a home run cake for someone I know, I jump on it. Such an opportunity presented itself in May when my youngest son’s football coach posted this:

Csm at bat

I texted Coach and asked what kind of cake Cam liked so I could make him a home run cake. He asked and Cam said “chocolate with chocolate frosting”. OK…makes it more of a challenge, since my typical home run cake has white frosting.

I made a one bowl chocolate cake with easy chocolate ganache frosting. It was a two-layer, 9″ round cake.

I decided to decorate the cake with round bright white candy melts for the baseballs. I used a basic round mold. I use bright white candy melts for anything I want really white, because I feel like the white candy melts are more ivory. I had some leftover white frosting that I was going to use to pipe on red seams, once I dyed the frosting. But I was out of red icing coloring. Yikes – quick trip to grocery store to get emergency supplies. since my craft store go-tos (AC Moore or JoAnn) are on the other side of town and I was on a tight time line to finish!)

Red icing

I made star candy melts using the Starry Mix candy mold with red candy melts to spell out Cameron’s name and date of the home run. I used white icing to pipe on the name and numbers.

I used white candy melts to spell out home run with Make ‘n Mold Bakerella letter candy molds — the only molds listed on the website are the numbers, but they have letters also. You can really see the difference between white and bright white candy melts in this photo of all the candy melt decorations for the cake:

Candy melts

Here is the cake all put together and decorated from the top and side:

Cake from topCake from side

Cam was delighted with the treat…

Cam with Cake

And his dad was very appreciative…

Facebook thank you

Even though I don’t make as many home run cakes for the kids on my son’s baseball team as I used to, you can always find a way to pay it forward, if you are tuned in to your community!

Home Run Cakes for Brooks and Andrew

Baking dates: May 6, 2014 and June 9, 2015

Each year during baseball season, I promise the players on my son Alex’s team that if they hit a home run, I will make them a home run cake. I have made a whole bunch of cakes over the years. Before my son Nick transitioned from baseball to lacrosse, I also made home run cakes for his teammates.

A couple of my favorites have been a grand slam cake, and a lifesaver home run cake for a kid who has allergies to most of the ingredients found in cake.

I’ve even made home run cakes for players who we played with for a few seasons, but left to play on full time travel teams. All of these kids have gone to the same middle school, so we are one big family. One deviation was baseball home run cupcakes, for a former teammate who hit a fence-clearing home run on Cal Ripken Sr., field at The Ripken Experience in Aberdeen, MD.

This year our boys moved up to the “big field”. Our 13 year olds played on a high school size field — our three oldest kids are only in 8th grade. The pitcher’s mound is farther from home plate, and the bases are farther apart. And the outfield fences are much, much farther away.

So, I didn’t end up making any home run cakes for our boys. But another former teammate who played with my son for 4 years and now plays for a full time travel team did hit a home run. So, of course, I had to make him a home run cake.

Just like all the others, I went with his favorite flavor cake (butter) and used decorations in his new team colors black and gold. It was a busy Spring, so it took me almost a month from when he hit the home run to when I was able to make the cake.

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He and his family were genuinely surprised:

Facebook thanks

A year before, I had made a home run cake for another former teammate who hit a home run and now plays for this team also.

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Congrats on your fence-clearing accomplishments, Brooks and Andrew!

Here’s a look at the boys from the first year they played together in 2010 as All Stars. They won two tournaments that year. Brooks is first row, second from left. Andrew is second row, second from right.

2010 UMCA Champs

Five boys in this picture still play together today. Some have left to play with full time travel teams. One went on to play lacrosse. But all of them attend the same middle school. My son is in the second row, third from left.

Looking back, they were so small. It’s been a pleasure to watch them grow and mature into young men, no matter what team they play on.

Home Run Cakes from The Ripken Experience

Baking Date: July 5, 2014

In June of this year we had the marvelous opportunity to participate in a tournament at The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, SC. We had been fundraising for a more than a year to help cover the costs. We have played at The Ripken Experience in Aberdeen, MD at weekend tournaments, so the boys and their families were incredibly excited about this week-long adventure.

As is my custom, when the boys on my son Alex’s baseball team hit a home run I make them a home run cake. Three of the boys went yard during the tournament.

First there was Brett, who hit the ball over the fence in right field…after I had shouted “hit me…hit me!” while standing in right field taking pictures. Really! This was his swing:

Brett Home Run Swing

He damn near did hit me. This was Brett’s cake – a french vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. I added star-shaped candy melts with his name, home run and the date added on in sparkle gel frosting. There is green grass piped on around the base of the baseball. This is the second cake I’ve made for Brett this season.

Ahalt Home Run CakeThe next two cakes were earned after I left the tournament. I had a business trip that overlapped with this event, so I flew out early Thursday morning as the championship round began. The home runs were hit during their first game in the championship round, which they lost. Editor’s note: Yes, the boys were sad to be out of the championship round early, but they spent the rest of the time in Myrtle Beach at water parks, on mini-golf course, at the beach, and enjoying each others’ company. That will be remembered long after losing in the championship round.

The first to hit a home run was Mickey. This is the third or fourth home run cake I’ve made for Mickey. One of his cakes was for a grand slam shot he put over the fence in a tournament. Mickey’s cake was a royal blue velvet cake, decorated in the usual way. I used regular vanilla icing and not the marshmallow icing the recipe called for.

Home Run Mickey

When I dropped the cake off for Mickey, I was greeted by Mickey, his dad, and his younger brother Andrew (who also has received a home run cake). Mickey’s mom and sister were out of town, so the “bachelors” let me know that the cake was going to be dinner!

The remainder of the royal blue velvet cake was used as half of a cake for the next home run hitter. Jake cranked a home run during the same game as Mickey. And before I could make the home run cakes for the boys, Jake hit a second home run during the team’s first game at a Fourth of July tournament. So I made him a double layer cake – one layer being the rest of the royal blue velvet cake and the other layer being the rest of the french vanilla cake. I dyed the french vanilla layer yellow since royal blue/yellow/white are the team colors.

Home Run Jake

Jake doesn’t like cake — at all. So I made the cake for his family to enjoy. I got Jake a gift card to Five Guys — because Jake does love meat.

Here’s Jake with his cake:

Jake and Cake

Jake and Cake

Here’s the inside of the cake:

Blue and gold - Go Lions!

Blue and gold – Go Lions!

As we head into the State Tournament this weekend, it is bittersweet. This is probably the last year many of these boys will be playing together, since things change at the next age level. It’s been a marvelous ride for the past 4 years.

No matter what happens at States, it’s been a pleasure to get to know these boys, their families, and to bring a bit of sweetness to their amazing accomplishments on the baseball field.

GVAA Baseball Magnet

Home Run Cake for Brett

Baking Date: May 10, 2014

As is my custom for the kids on my oldest son’s baseball team, I make a home run cake when they hit one. Recently, there were four hit in less than a week — and one of them was a grand slam.

I am now finally caught up on all the cakes, after a business trip (work continues to get in the way of all my baking — sheez!). This last cake was for a first time home run hitter.

He asked for vanilla cake. I frosted it with vanilla frosting, added the seams of the baseball with red sparkle gel frosting, and the word home run and the date he hit it in blue sparkle gel frosting. His name is made from red star-shaped candy melts, with his name written on in white sparkle gel frosting. The grass is vanilla frosting dyed green, using a Wilton Tip #233 to pipe it around the base of the baseball.

Brett's Home Run Cake

Brett’s Home Run Cake

His mom said he was so excited about getting the cake. And I think his smile says it all:

Way to go, Brett!

Welcome to the home run club

Way to go Brett!

Grand Slam Cupcake Cake

Baking Date: July 6, 2013

One of my oldest son’s All Star teammates hit a fence-clearing grand slam at a tournament.  Of course, the first reaction from the kids was “Wow! I wonder what kind of cake Mrs. Rice will make you for that!”

For the past three years, I have made home run cakes for the kids on my sons’ teams who hit them. While my oldest has played recreational league, travel and All Star for the past three years, this year my youngest made the travel and All Star team for his age group as well. I’ve made 4 cakes this year.  I even made one for a kid who is not on either of my son’s teams, but who hit a grand slam (technically, a triple with a throwing error). I know his parents, so I figured wouldn’t that be a nice, pay-it-forward thing to do.

Over the years, I have made 8 home run cakes.  The kids get so jazzed about it – I love that.

I was looking for a special cake to make for this kid.  I’ve known his family for four years now – which is how long both of our oldest boys have played together.  Our youngest sons also play together this year on the travel and All Star teams for their age group.

So I found this picture:

The inspiration cupcake cake

The inspiration cupcake cake

but decided I would put my own twist on it.  So here’s what I did.

Mickey wanted chocolate cake, so I made him devil’s food cupcakes in green paper cups.

You really have to push them close together

You really have to push them close together

I frosted the “infield dirt” with buttercream icing and then rolled them in Wilton Turtle Crunch topping.

The "dirt" is done

The “dirt” is done

The outfield and infield grass is buttercream frosting dyed green, piped on using a Wilton #233 tip.  Note: you’ll probably need to fill some gaps between cupcakes – no one will mind all the extra icing in between cupcakes!

For the bases and home plate, I used vanilla candy melts and piped them into the shapes of squares and a pentagon. For Mickey’s name, I used vanilla candy melts in the shape of stars, with green sparkle gel frosting to spell out his name.  For the words “GRAND SLAM” I used peanut butter candy melts in the shape of small stars, with red sparkle gel frosting to spell it out.

The bat is made from the peanut butter candy melts and vanilla candy melts. I modeled it after the bat Mickey uses:

DeMarini Bat

DeMarini Bat

I printed out the picture of the bat, taped wax paper over it and then piped on the melted peanut butter and vanilla candy melts. I wrote the name of the bat in black sparkle gel frosting.

The baseball in the upper right corner was made using vanilla candy melts with the Wilton large sports lollipop mold. I painted on the seams using red sparkle gel frosting.

I added a pink ribbon candy melt, because Mickey’s mom is the 2013 Honorary Bat Girl for the Baltimore Orioles – and still battling this dreaded disease.

So here it is all put together.

Grand Slam Cupcake Cake

Grand Slam Cupcake Cake

When people ask me why I bake, I say because of this:

From the heart

From the heart

Way to go Mickey.

More Home Run Cakes

Baking Date: April 27, 2013

I started a little something last year that was much easier to keep up with when I was unemployed. I would make a “home run” cake for any boy on my son’s team who hit one.

I ended up making 4 cakes last year over the course of 4 months. This year, with both my boys on a travel team, there have been 3 kids who have hit home runs. And we aren’t even into May yet.

I use a box mix and a 9″ round pan. If I only have one cake to make, I use the rest of the batter to make cupcakes for the team.  This time, the boys had requested 2 chocolates and 1 butter cake.

I used canned vanilla frosting to cover the cake. I then piped on the “seams” using red sparkle gel frosting. I made star-shaped blue candy melts and wrote each kids’ name on the stars with the red sparkle gel frosting. White sparkle gel frosting pops better on the blue star, but I was out of white.  I colored some of the vanilla frosting green, and using a #233 tip, piped on “grass” to outline the baseball.  I finished it by writing “HOME RUN” in blue sparkle gel frosting across the top. One boy hit a grand slam, so that’s what I wrote on his.

James Grand Slam

James Grand Slam Cake

Dayne Home Run Cake

Dayne Home Run Cake

Justin Home Run Cake

Justin Home Run Cake

Baseball and grass cupcakes with leftover batter

Baseball and grass cupcakes with leftover batter and frosting

Congrats James, Dayne and Justin!