This year my baby girl asked me for a gymnastic cake. She is truly getting into the sport and doing pretty well so we did the gymnastic party and off course I made her a cake! I decided to make a gym with 4 gymnastics girl figurines, one for each event she will be competing in later on in the year.
I made the gymnastic figurines out of polymer clay for 2 reasons: 1) I have recently discovered and have fallen in love with this new craft and 2) and most important is that she will be able to keep them on her room FOREVER! (or at least for as long she wants to). Click here for a tutorial on how to make the gymnastic figurines. Also, if you like them and want some, I am custom making them at my etsy shop (click here to go to my etsy shop)
OK, now back to the cake. The gym was relatively simple and straight forward to make as you will see:
- 2 rectangular cakes of about 9" by 13" - if you have a bigger pan you can do one cake
- 1 batch of my strawberry filling recipe (click here for recipe) (optional but recommended)
- 1 batch of my buttercream recipe (click here for recipe)
- Color the majority of it in blue (like the floor at gyms)
- Leave about 1/2 cup in white for details
- Gum paste or fondant hearts in white (optional)
- Cake board - big enough to have both cakes side by side
- Cake decorating tips: Star, circle #4 and flat
- Cake decorating bags
Cut both your cakes in half horizontally and place the bottom halves side by side on a cake board. You can put a little buttercream icing under the cakes to help them stick to the board. Pour the strawberry filling over both halves and spread with a knife, making sure that all the cakes are covered with the liquid. Top the cakes with the other halves. If you are not doing the filling, skip all of the above!
Put a thing layer of icing over the cakes, making sure you fill all the cracks, seams, etc. The cake should now be as it was one rectangular cake and not two, this is called a crumb coat as it will prevent crumbs to get to your final icing later one. Put the cake in the fridge for about an hour or so so the crumb coat hardens a little and seals in all the crumbs!
Now it is time to cover the cake with your blue icing. With a big spatula, put a big blob of blue icing on top of the cake and spread carefully. Do the same to the sides. I made a weave basket design on the sides of my cake so I did not worry too much about making the sides perfect (they will be cover with the weave basket design). However, as the top was my gymnastic floor, I wanted it as smooth as possible. A good trick is to warm your big long spatula with hot water, quickly dry it out and slide it carefully over the cake, the heat will melt the buttercream a little leaving you with a nice smooth cake.
Decorate the edges of the cake and the bottom with whatever design you like best. I used a star tip and put little stars all around my edges and borders.
To make the weave design, take your flat tip and make some vertical lines about an inch apart.
Then do some horizontal lines that go over the horizontal line in alternate rows i.e. row 1 it goes over the vertical line, row 2 it stars ad stop before the vertical line (it does not cover it), row 3 it goes over the vertical line and so on. Put some gum paste hearts to decorate. Do the same in all sides.
Now draw a small square for your floor setting with a tooth pick (make sure you measure it with the gymnastic floor figurine so you know it is big enough for the gymnastic figurine to be inside). Now go over the mark with white buttercream using a round tip - I used #4. You have now a floor!
You are pretty much done. Take your figurines and place them on the cake. With the white buttercream and the #4 tip, do small swirls here and there for decoration or write the age and name of the birthday girl. All completely up to you. And that is all!!!
TIP: if you are making the cake in one location and your party is somewhere else, I recommend you do not place the gymnastic figurines until the last minute - right on the place where the cake will be for the party - it will only take you 5 minutes before the party starts to do it. Believe me, moving and driving around with a cake without figurines is soooo much easier!!!! and you will not risk ruining the icing if one of them were to fall.