How to make a space shuttle cake

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This space shuttle cake will send your kid's birthday party into orbit, and it really doesn't take a rocket scientist to make it. Just watch baker and author Liv Hansen for the Betty Crocker Kitchens as she demonstrates how to make a very cool space shuttle cake.

meet theexpert
  • Liv Hansen

    Liv Hansen Professional Baker and Author Liv Hansen is the author of three books, has appeared on the Today Show, Top 5 (Food Network), The View and Roker on the Road, and was a finalist on the Food Network Challenge: Haunted Gingerbread. more about this expert »

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How to make a space shuttle cake Building your NASA-worthy space shuttle cake:
  1. Use a serrated knife to shave the top of the cake so that the layer is completely even on top.
  2. Flip the cake over.
  3. Using the space shuttle cake template, cut out the space shuttle body. Place this piece on the serving platter.
  4. Use the top of the template to cut out a nose for the space shuttle from the remaining piece of the 13x9 layer. Place it on the top front of the cake to make the nose of the space shuttle taller.
  5. Place the top of the template on the last remaining piece of the cake layer. Cut out a fin and a small rectangle. Place the fin standing up in the middle of the space shuttle. Place the small rectangle at the bottom of the cake to look like the space shuttle’s fuel tanks.
  6. Lift the space shuttle slightly and place some frosting underneath to adhere cake to the serving platter.
  7. Crumb coat the cake by frosting the entire cake with a thick layer of white frosting. Place cake in freezer for 30 minutes.
  8. Cover cake in another layer of white frosting. Work from the top of the cake down to the sides.
  9. Smooth frosting with a spatula that's been dipped in hot water. As you scrape the excess frosting off the cake, scrape spatula on the bowl’s edge to clean the spatula. Wipe water off the spatula each time before continuing to frost cake.
  10. Decorate cake using an assortment of blue and red candies, and the colored frosting in the pastry cone.
  11. For a fun blast off, insert birthday candles into the fuel tanks at the bottom of the cake. Place them sideways into the cake tilting slightly upward.
Betty Crocker's Space Shuttle Cake serves 15.

Remember to get a template to help you make the Space Shuttle Cake at BettyCrocker.com

 

 

 

Transcript

LAURIE: I’m Laurie Gelman for howdini.com. I’m here at our space shuttle party, complete with a NASA-worthy cake. This ship has a high wow factor, but a low difficulty factor. So lets head over to mission control, also known as the kitchen, where Liv Hansen from Betty Crocker Kitchens will show us how its done. Hey Liv, how are you?

LIV: Hi, Laurie.

LAURIE: We’re going to blast off with this cake?

LIV: We are.

LAURIE: Let’s see it.

LIV: Okay. Well, I’m using a 13 by 9 cake, and what I’m going to do first, is I want this cake to be somewhat level so I’m going to slice off this little dorm that’s formed. So I’m going to use a serrated knife. Sort of like cutting bread, it makes it a lot easier tocut through.

LAURIE: You’re just going level, you’re not digging it at all?

LIV: Yeah.

LAURIE: Okay.

LIV: I’m not digging in. Okay so now, to get even fewer crumbs, we’re going to flip it over, because we haven’t cut on this side.

LAURIE: Okay.

LIV: Now I’ve made a template to help me out. I’m going to place it down, and I’m going to use a small knife and just cut along. And this will be the main body of the space shuttle. So maybe you could pass that board over to me.

LAURIE: Sure.

LIV: This is going to be our serving platter.

LAURIE: Okay.

LIV: And I’m going to place this down right there. And now we’re going to cut off some extra pieces. The first one, I’m going to use this guideline again. Just cut off this little triangle. And I’m going to place this here.

LAURIE: Oh.

LIV: Just to give it a little bit more –

LAURIE: Height.

LIV: Depth and height. And again I’m going to use it as a guideline. First I’m going to cut this off, and then I’m just going to cut this part off, and then cut this extra triangle off. And then a little piece. This will be the back of the space shuttle. Right here. And then this one will be like the fin there.

So now we’re going to start to do a crumb coat on the cake and actually stick all of the pieces together so they don’t slide around. So we’re going to just use some vanilla frosting. I’m going to put a little bit underneath the cake so it doesn’t slide. And I’m also going to adhere the little back part there, and now I’m going to start the crumb coat. I’m going to put a nice big dollop on and start to spread it.

LAURIE: Can I help you?

LIV: Sure. So I like to get a nice, thick coat of frosting on, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like because then I’m going to come back and smooth it all out.

LAURIE: Right, okay.

LIV: I have one ready to go in the freezer. I’ve chilled it for about thirty minutes, and that sets up the frosting really nice, so it’s easier to finish.

LAURIE: Okay. Let’s switch it out.

LIV: Great.

LAURIE: I’ll take this.

LIV: Okay. So this one’s ready for the final coat. And just like the crumb coat, you want to get a nice smooth layer of frosting all over the cake. Once I have the top covered, I’m going to start covering the sides. And I like to use a nice, loaded spatula. And that will help me cover it with fewer strokes.

So there’s one trick to help getting your frosting nice and smooth, and that’s to have a bowl or a pot of hot water on hand. You just dip your spatula in, and it will melt the frosting. Just make sure that you dry it off afterwards. And the heat will actually melt the frosting a little bit, making it really smooth and getting rid of some of the air bubbles.

Now I have most of my sides done now. And you’ll notice that in a lot of places, it formed a little lip of frosting around.

LAURIE: Yeah.

LIV: So now its time to scrape off the excess. So what I recommend is sort of coming in like an airplane landing, and then again taking off.

LAURIE: Oh, so you push it all forward.

LIV: Push it all forward, and then you can push it back up before you get to the edge there.

LAURIE: Gotcha.

LIV: Sometimes when it’s a small area, sometimes instead of doing the sides first you can actually come over, flatten the top a little bit, and then the lip will form over the sides, and then you just slice it down.

LAURIE: Beautiful.

LIV: I think we’re ready to decorate.

LAURIE: I think so, too.

LIV: I have some little chocolate candies here. Maybe we could do a little pattern running around the sides, want to do that?

LAURIE: Sure. We’re doing a red, white, and blue theme, huh?

LIV: Yes. While you’re putting the chocolate on, I’m going to do some piping.

LAURIE: Okay.

LIV: I have pastry cones filled with vanilla frosting that I’ve tinted. I have blue, and red, and white. If you don’t want to use a pastry cone, you can use a decorator’s tube. They have those at grocery store, in the baking aisle.

LAURIE: Okay.

LIV: And I’m going to do a little pattern up here.

LAURIE: So you’re just going along the sides?

LIV: Going along the sides, but I’m going to add a little bit more. Okay. And some decorations on the side. These are just little jellied rounds. I also have some small red and blue stars, and I’ll put those over here. I also have these candies here, which are kind of fun. They come in little strips.

LAURIE: Oh, yeah.

LIV: And you can peel them off, they kind of look like little stars. You can also add like inscriptions if you want. There you go. And we need a little accent up here, maybe some more of these little blue candies.

LAURIE:Okay. This looks super duper.

LIV: You know what? There’s one final touch.

LAURIE:Oh yeah?

LIV: Which is very fun. We’re going to have our rocket blast off. We have candles.

LAURIE: Oh my gosh.

LIV: And you can stick them in the back.

LAURIE:Oh, wow. Can we light those?

LIV: Sure.

LAURIE:That’s going to be fantastic. There we go. Oh, what a fantastic looking cake!

LIV: That’s great.

LAURIE: I knew this wasn’t going to be rocket science! Thanks, Liv, so much. I’m Laurie Gelman for howdini.com


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