John 4 Rocket Cake

I have never done a tutorial on this site. However, my dear friend Jennifer, the mother of John, asked me to.  She took a cake decorating class with me in June, and has come over to learn a few tricks, but wants to see more.  Both of us have a 4 year old and a 2 year old.  So scheduling time for us to spend together decorating is nearly impossibly.  She has been wanting to order a cake from me for months and finally did for her son John’s 4th birthday.  He is into anything that flies: Saturn 5 Rockets and super heroes. If it flies, he loves it.  His party was to be held last Saturday at the Bowling Alley and my girls were invited.  I was ready to surprise all our friends with my carving abilities.  Unfortunately John came down with a bad ear infection and the party was postponed until after the holidays.  I had baked the cakes and made the Swiss Buttercream prior to the cancellation.  We decided to go ahead with the cake in honor of his birthday and let them eat it during Thanksgiving with his family in Alabama.  I delivered it today and they were all impressed.  Especially John!


Click here to learn “How To” make this rocket.

How to make a Saturn 5 Rocket Cake

1 week before cake is due:  make the rocket boosters from gray gum paste with a wire in the tip.  Make one whole fin and two half fins from gray Royal icing over a flower former and using the color flow method by Wilton.


Step 1:  Mix cake batter.  Fill: 1 jelly roll pan, 1- 6″ ball pan, 1-6″ round ball pan, and 1 -3″ round ball pan.

Step 2:  Cool all cakes on wire racks except jelly-roll cake.  Remove the jelly-roll cake from the oven and run a knife around the edge.  Flip it immediately onto a tea towel covered in powdered sugar.  Roll towel with cake into a “Swiss roll”, with seam side down, place on a wire rack to cool.

Step 3:  Unroll cooled cake and spread filling on it.  I used one small container of whipped cream on this one, per the customers request.  Re-roll the cake and wrap tightly in saran wrap and then tin-foil.  Place in freezer at least 3 hours up to overnight.  This will ensure it is strong enough to withstand being cut-in-half lengthwise.

Step 4:  Level all three of the small cakes.  Place the 6″ round on a cardboard round and add 1/3 ” of icing.  Top it with the 6″ round cake to make your moon.  Now cut the “Swiss roll” lengthwise.  Trim the edges 1/2″ on all 4 sides.  Now remove an extra 3″ from one 1/2.  Trim this small half lengthwise again, but around the curve to make the smaller portion of the rocket (top).  Use the leftover 3″ “Swiss roll” to create the front of the rocket.  It should be the shape of a 1/2 cone.  You should now have 5 pieces of un-iced cake: the moon (6″ round), the earth (3″round), the base of the rocket, the top of the rocket, and the cone of the rocket.


Step 5:  Put rocket together on prepared cake board.  Crumb coat all of your pieces with no-color-added Swiss Buttercream.  Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.


Step 6:  Apply your real coat of icing to the rocket.  Take care to ice the different size portions with a right angle.  Apply Earth to the board and coat with icing.


Step 7:  Color remaining icing light gray.  Cut the moon on one side about 1″ in when looking down in the circle.  This allows you to slide the Moon up next to the rocket.  Now, ice the Moon.  Make sure to ice it thick, about 3/4″, so you can make craters and mountains on the moon.  Use a small pastry spatula to carve out the craters.


Step 8:  Use a board to separate and cover the Moon and the rocket.  Spray the earth with blue edible paint, air brush, or Wilton’s color spray.


Step 9:  Make a batch of Royal icing.  Divide and color: 1/3 cup black, 2 tablespoons of red, 3 tablespoons of yellow, 4 tablespoons of green,  1 tablespoon blue, and save a little white for the flag.

Step 10:  Attach rocket boosters and fins with Royal icing and wires.  Pipe all details with Royal icing.

Your done! Enjoy your rocket cake!