My friend, Lia, asked me to help her design and bake a cake that would fit with a themed ‘1981 NBA All-Star Games Throw Back’ surprise birthday party for her husband and brother-in-law.
Finished product – View from the top!
Our final design sketch to scale
The boys are big fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, so the font reflects that team’s identifying logo, and the entire cake represents a basketball backboard with their names and stars for all-stars 🙂
This was my first cake using fondant for decoration, and I also used licorice strung on a wire for the rim, and wove the net out of yarn.
Close-up of Reese’s basketball and red licorice hoop
We ran into some complications along the way, for example, we ordered a full sheet from Costco for the main part of the backboard, but they only gave us a half sheet! So Lia and I had to run around to Fred Meyer and pick up another half sheet to make it whole. The two cakes aren’t quite the same height, but oh well; we had to work with what we could get. I baked the three-layer ‘basketball’ portion of the cake, and added a little orange food coloring to the, really yellow, cake to look a bit more basketball-ish 🙂
‘Section cut’ through basketball at the party
We couldn’t find any ready-made boxes big enough, so Lia spent a long time designing and making the beautiful and gigantic box with the blue base and transparent star on top. The whole thing–box with cake inside–was so bulky, awkward and heavy by the time the finished cake was inside of it, I had to ask my neighbor to help me carry it out to my car!
Custom designed and assembled cake box by Lia
Let’s take a look at how we got there………………………………..
Costco didn’t give us a full sheet like we were expecting…. so we had to run to Fred Meyer and pick up another half sheet so that we had a full sheet size. Variety in flavors isn’t bad, right??
Transferring these half sheets onto the cake box board was challenging
One down… one to go
Second one up…
Success with minor damage!
Wax paper edging to protect the final board surface underneath
3 cake layers, waiting in the wings
Carving room for the basketball
Round cake homemade filling/frosting, and large sheet cake homemade frosting
First basketball layer down
Second basketball layer in place
Second layer frosted
Third layer down
Basketball form complete
Applying basketball (Reeses) detail
First fondant borders on
The big ’30’
The rest of the custom Blazer-type fondant lettering and finishing touches
Creating the basketball hoop
Weaving the net
In the box, ready to go!