As I mentioned in April Part 1, the big cake for April is my husband’s 40th birthday cake. It was a surprise party, so the whole thing involved a lot of shenanigans. He was traveling for work the week before the party, so I had plenty of time to bake and decorate it and get it off to our friends’ freezer until party time. The trick was keeping it hidden from our 3-year-old, who is not yet great at the concept of secrets.
My husband is a big baseball fan, so I decided to try a retro Cubs jersey, preferably from 1975, the year of his birth. A lot of online research indicated there was nothing particularly exciting about the Cubs uniforms that year, but the 1972 away jersey has the distinction of being the only uniform in MLB history with a centered number. Obviously the iconic pinstripes and logo of the home jersey would be nice, but since A) no number appears on the front of a home jersey, and in a benchmark birthday the number is actually kind of important, and B) pinstripes seem basic until you actually try to do them and realize you do not have a steady hand, I decided to go with the away jersey.
This was a cake for around 50 people, so would be my biggest yet. By his request I made the Guinness ginger cake with white chocolate frosting featured last month in the ABC cake.
I did two batches of the cake. Each batch filled one 9″x13″ and one 6″x8″ Pyrex to about one inch deep. Shallow batter in glass baking dishes are both cake no-nos, but as I said previously, this recipe is very forgiving and still turned out great.
White chocolate frosting went between the layers and around the top of the cake, and then it was time for the fondant.
I grabbed my own away jersey to match the color and then tried a full batch in the food processor to repeat the awesome success I had with the ABC cake. Of course it was way too much for the processor to handle at once, so I quickly gave up and kneaded it by hand.
You math whizzes out there may have calculated that my assembled cake was 17″ across the sleeves, and about 2 1/2 inches tall, which means I was looking at a fondant piece over 2 feet wide. Now I see why people spring for that 20 inch fondant roller. I rolled it with our marble rolling pin, trying cooking spray to keep it from sticking instead of corn starch or powdered sugar.
The cooking spray worked great, but to get it big enough I had to roll thinner than I would have liked, and my rolling pin was too short and too heavy to be much use.
I have no idea how it worked, but I got the fondant over the cake without any tears over the main part of the cake. Both sleeves required some patching, but that’s where the stripes would be going anyway.
A few stripes on the sides and we were ready to party!