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    How to Make a Rocket Ship Cake

    June 7, 2011 by Brandy Vencel

    Let’s start with my usual disclaimer: cake instructions on this site are by amateurs and for amateurs. If you want a professional-looking cake, you need to go elsewhere. If you are simply getting ideas for putting your own cake together, well…you’ve probably come to the right place.

    This particular cake is not my favorite of the cakes I’ve made. I’ve been told by some guy, whose name I won’t mention, but let’s just say he is legally obligated to love and cherish me {which presumably extends to what I do with my time} thought it looked decent. I think my main complaint is not that it looks bad, but that I meant to go another direction entirely, and somehow the cake got away from me.

    It’s sort of like how I hear wood carvers ask the wood what it wants to be and then bring the image out of the wood. My cake wanted to look like metal, even though I’d hope for something more cartoonish.


    As I was saying: I made a rocket ship cake for E.’s ninth birthday. I used a football cake pan in order to get the shape right. If you’re not in a hurry, and plan ahead, you can get it for about six dollars at Michael’s using their weekly 40% off coupon. If you are in a hurry, and didn’t plan ahead, you have to order it from Amazon and pay for overnight shipping, which makes it cheaper to go order a cake and be done with it already.

    This time, I planned ahead. But I don’t think I could bear to order a cake because it is now a firm tradition that, for better or for worse, Mommy makes the cake.

    I don’t have great step-by-step photos, so you’ll have to bear with me. {I don’t know what I was thinking. Possibly, it was how much I’d love to be sleeping.}

    If you bake the cake in the football pan, you can slice it along one of the lines, effectively cutting off one end {around a third or so of the football} and this makes for the perfect rocket shape. We were expecting a lot of people, and so I felt obligated to put this on top of a standard half-sheet of cake. What would have been cuter is to have taken that bottom portion I cut off, slice it in half, and carve each half into cute little rockety legs for the rocket ship. Unfortunately, said legs did not fit on my sheet cake.

    Bummer, that.

    Anyhow, as per usual, bake your cakes the night before you mean to decorate them. In the morning, pop them out of the pan {this is easy enough if you floured your cake pan} and freeze them. Frozen cakes are much easier to decorate.

    When it’s time to decorate, make your frosting. Use the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe–it never goes wrong. I use Spectrum Shortening and real butter.


    Glue your rocket shape to your sheet cake {unless you went for the cool legs look} using frosting. I think I frosted the whole bottom cake first. Then, frost your rocket shape. I chose gray. It didn’t taste that great. I forgot how bad black gel food coloring tastes. I wanted a few stars, so I had bought a cheap set of star-shaped fondant cutters. I pressed them into the frosting where I wanted stars, and that gave me nice lines to trace, as I cannot draw a star with frosting to save my life.
    It was about this time, when I was tracing stars that were supposed to be red, that I noticed the color was more pink. I didn’t care, until I realized that nine-year-old boys do care, and they are horrified by pink, especially on their cakes.


    Being that I am an amateur, I grabbed my red glitter sprinkles {from making Valentine treats} and tried making them look more red. I can’t say they looked better, but The Boy was convinced they were red, and that was the point.

    After this, I did basic things like adding a border around the bottom, touching up, etc. I wish I had done a crumb coat because crumbs can be seen through the frosting on the sheet cake. The main reason I didn’t was time; I didn’t want to be up all night.

    Siah bought me some flexible candy pipe-shaped thingies {I have no idea what they are, I am not a candy person}, which I think worked well as the “flame” at the bottom.

    Oh. Almost forgot: I added the word “NASA” on it in order to convince everyone it was really a rocket. It worked wonders. Even I was convinced.

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  • Reply Anonymous July 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Very cute cake! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Reply Rebekah June 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I think you did a great job…it’s super cute!

  • Reply Heather June 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    It may not be what you pictured, but it looks great!

  • Reply Kristen @ Dem Golden Apples June 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Bravo! I think you are at the very least an advanced amateur. I need to be more fun with my cakes, and I definitely need to plan ahead (sometimes my downfall). Thanks for the nudge. I hope E had a wonderful birthday!

  • Reply Denver automobile accident Attorney June 8, 2011 at 6:26 am

    It looks so cute. Perfect for my little boys.Thanks for the idea! =)

  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts June 8, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Ellen–I like your cake! I totally forgot to check the Family Fun site during my cake planning…I usually do that. I am glad you reminded me because I have to make yet another cake come August…

  • Reply Mahers Hill Academy June 8, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Both my boys would love this – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Ellen June 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I made the easiest rocket ship cake for Seth’s 1st birthday. They made it fancier on the Family Fun site, and I’ve seen versions that used ice cream cones for rocket boosters. Anyway, here’s the link to my picture of that-

  • Reply Mystie June 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Very nice! You always make such lovely cakes. 🙂

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