How to make a Perfect Sphere Cake – Sphere Cake Tutorial
A perfect sphere cake can be tricky and yet achievable with the right technique and right method. This post will show you how to choose one of three methods I use that will help you make a perfect sphere cake every single time. No matter what size cake you make; it will be perfect every single time.
Who hates making sphere cakes? I use to! When I just started off I wondered how everybody else managed to get a perfect sphere except me..! No matter what I did … eventually, it would end up … not so perfect!
A couple of things very important to make a perfect sphere cake.
- Recipe – yes, you want to make sure you have a recipe that is not too soft. Preferably a butter based cake that will firm up when you chill, making it easy for you to work. I have given you my recipes – Vanilla Sphere Cake and well as Chocolate Sphere cake in my post Sphere Cake Recipe
- Weather – if you live in a place with warm weather no matter how dense your cake, the possibility of the bottom cake and frosting getting soft is higher. What happens if the bottom cake becomes soft? It will not hold the weight of the top half. I think you know the rest.
- Dowel – one way to support your cake when weight is a concern would be to dowel the cake. While doweling is a great option – the base of the cake is pretty small so you usually end up making a three-quarter ball just so you can dowel it. Right?
- Cake Base – Another way to make your sphere cake more sturdy is, of course, to use a different base instead of cake. So the bottom one-third of your cake could be rice Krispy treats or foam. yes, form. Especially if you have a large cake foam makes a perfect bottom.
Let’s talk about the support options to make a perfect sphere cake.
- No Dowel –
If I’m making a cake for my kids.. usually this would be my go-to method. Quick, easy, less hassle. As long as the cake will not have to stay out for long.
BUT!!! If I’m making a cake for my customer it usually needs a bit more time. I usually finish my cake a few hours before the customer comes to pick up. Then the customer usually will pick the cake a few hours before the event. As a business person, you have to take these things into account so you don’t chance any last minute accidents or risk your good reputation. In such cases, I definitely use one of these options below.
- With Dowels
Like I said above the base is small so you have to cut a bit of the bottom cake to place a small cake board. This is again a great way to make a quick ball cake. It works well in good weather but usually, it’s not a full ball. More like a three-quarter ball. Works if you want to make a teapot or a carriage etc.
- Rice Krispy Treats
This is a great option to use if you want a more full ball effect. Since the rice Krispy treats are firm the base tends to hold the weight of the cake much better. May you remember this Cinderella Carriage Cake Tutorial? This is a sphere cake which I used to make the carriage. The bottom base for the sphere is rice Krispy treats. You can see this detailed tutorial here – Cinderella Carriage Cake
- Foam / Styrofoam
This is the best option if you have a big ball cake. which of course won’t work with dowels or with rice Krispy treats. This Barcelona ball has foam at the bottom 1/3. Because it’s an 8″ cake and it was made in the middle of summer! There is no way I would get away with it in our weather.
Do I need a ball pan?
Yes and NO!! A ball pan is not necessarily one that you buy for cake. Thought those aren’t really expensive and you can make not just a ball but so many other cakes in it. Alternatively, I’m sure you have stainless steel bowls or Pyrex bowls that are the same as a half sphere. Bake two of those and use them just as I have in this post.
Let’s make a perfect sphere cake with just a cake board and some dowels first.
- Bake your cake in two half ball pans
- Cool cakes completely – then cut the domes off and torte the halves if you want.
- Prepare two small cake circles/ boards using form core or similar. One about 2 inches for the bottom of the cake and the other an inch smaller than the widest circumference of the ball this will be in the middle for support. Here my ball pan is a 6″ round so my form core circle is 5 inch.
- Using the same ball pan you used to bake the cake – line the pan with a plastic or cling wrap so the frosting won’t freeze to the pan.
- Place the small 2-inch from the base at the bottom
- Now layer the cake in the ball pan alternating with cake and frosting
- You should have two half spheres like below.
Chill for 10 mins then continue
- Using bubble tea straws or similar dowel to the bottom sphere. The one that has the small 2-inch base.
- The dowels have to be close to each other so they are within the 2-inch base.
- Next, add a little frosting over the dowels and
- Place the second cake circle (5 inches)
- As you can see in the image above – I have two half spheres – bottom one with dowels and centerboard and top sphere with only cake and frosting.
- Now fill frosting in any gaps of the two spheres and place the top sphere on the bottom sphere.
- The frosting should be the same height as the pan.. so no gap between the two spheres… remove any excess.
- The ball pan should have no gap between the top half and bottom making a perfect sphere. Any gap in between will end up into an oval, not a sphere later.
- Chill the cake in the pan for a couple of hours so its all nice and firm
- Once chilled slowly pick the pans off the plastic wrap and unwrap
- You should now have a perfect sphere cake – ready to be frosted with either buttercream or ganache and then fondant.
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Now let’s make a perfect sphere cake using Rice Krispy treats as a base.
As you can see rice Krispy treats are easy to make with just melted marshmallows and Rice Krispy treats. I’ve given you the recipes and lots more info in my post – Rice Krispy treats in cake decorating So I’ll skip the basics here.
- Melt marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl
- Add rice Krispy treats and mix to combine
- Mold the treats into the bottom of a ball pan so you have the shape of the ball pan.
- Make a hold in the center now if you plan to add a center dowel to your cake – (making a hole later may cause cracks).
- Place the treats in the pan for a while in the fridge so it goes firm and hard.
- When the rice Krispy treats are firm follow the same process as I shared above
- layer both the pans with cake and frosting until you have two halves.
- Then place the top sphere on the bottom sphere and chill as before.
- Remove when cold, unwrap and continue frosting the cake.
Let’s make a perfect sphere cake using a Foam base
To use foam as your base use a foam ball the same size as your cake. You can find these at any craft shop near you. These are not food safe but we will cover the base with foil before we use it.
- Cut the bottom part of the ball. Depending on how big your cake is I’d say use between 1/3 to 1/2 of the ball.
- I used 1/3 of the ball for an 8″ ball – I’d use 1/2 if the cake was larger.
- Once you cut the foam base – make a cake circle the same size as your base.
- Glue the two together with hot glue. (see image above)
- Then wrap the whole thing in foil to make it food safe.
- A large ball cake needs a center dowel not just for stability but makes it easier to work too.
- Place a center dowel thru the form and
- Stack cake/frosting on the cake board (no pans for large ball cakes)
You remember the pumpkin cake?
In this pumpkin cake – I used a sphere cake too! But I made it simple no dowel and not support because I made it in winter!! But you will get to see some of the process in this video on how to make the pumpkin cake video tutorial
I must admit I have learned a lot of this the hard way because everybody shows you a perfect sphere but no one tells you the little details that take away from getting to that perfect sphere cake. Small things that you learn only by way of making the cake. I have in my small career as a cake artist learned so much on these cakes. I hope that this post will help you with your next sphere. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and I will be happy to answer them for you.
Don’t forget to check out my Sphere Cake Recipes – Vanilla Sphere Cake Recipe as well as Chocolate Sphere Cake Recipe
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