Close Menu
source image

Circus Tent Cake

Parve Parve
10 Servings Serving Icon
2 Hours Preferences Icon

For my son’s last birthday, I chose to go with a circus-themed party; after all, he’s my little acrobat who believes that anything higher than his waist is made for climbing on, and he lives in a circus dreamland. This is a pretty simple method, using a star tip to give the cake a ruffled look. All of my beginner cakes were done with this method, since if you mess up it just looks like part of the overall fluffy look. So, if this is your first attempt at cake decorating, I’d say go for it!


Make the Cakes

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Prepare the cake batter and divide into the pans and Pyrex. Tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter before placing it in the oven.
3. Bake round pans for 35- 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. The bowl will need about ten extra minutes.
4. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

Prepare the Icing

1. For this cake you will need four recipes worth of cream.
2. Using the food coloring, add yellow gel coloring to one-third of a cup and blue to one-third of a cup. Divide the remainder in half, leaving one part white and coloring one part red. Set aside.

Shape the Cake

1. Using the leveler, remove the dome part from the top of the cakes. The cakes should now be flat and leveled.
2. Place one round cake on your cake board. Fill an icing bag with red cream. Without any tip in place, squeeze out the cream, starting at the outermost part of the cake and going around in a swirl until you reach the center. Using your icing spatula, smooth out the cream before placing the second cake on top. Repeat with a second layer of icing and placing the third cake on top.
3. Using a sharp, preferably serrated, knife, cut around the edges of the cakes until you have a nice, even, circular-looking cake. Using a rotating stand while shaping this part will help you get an even shape more easily.
4. Cut the last dome-shaped cake into a cone shape for the top of the tent. Using your icing bag, once again swirl a circle of icing onto your top cake and place the cone onto it.
5. Once you are satisfied with the overall shape, pipe white cream around the entire cake and evenly flatten it out with the spatula. Always put on extra icing since while smoothing it out you will be removing plenty of it. When shaping cakes, it’s easiest when the cakes are firm and set. I like working with them directly from the freezer, especially when I’m going to be shaping them, as in with this tent-shaped cake. If you’re pressed for time, just place them in the freezer for about an hour, or until they don’t have that fresh, soft feel anymore.

Decorate the Cake

1. Place tip #1 onto the red icing bag and draw the outline of the stripes on your cake. These guidelines are always important to make when using this star-tip method, to ensure an overall even design. Using the same tip on a bag of blue icing, draw the outline of the tent opening.
2. Now is the easiest part. Using tip #18, or any star tip, you will be filling in all the empty spaces. In order to get even stars that give a uniformed look, squeeze the icing bag with the edge of the tip resting on the surface of the cake. When you release, quickly take the bag off of the cake. It is important to do this with the same amount of pressure and identical movement throughout the entire cake. I usually practice a few stars on a piece of parchment paper before I begin, just to ensure that I’m comfortable with my position.
3. Using the above method, fill in the red, white, and blue areas. I wanted a balance of the primary colors, so I opted to finish off the edge of the cake with some yellow icing. Using any star tip, give continuous pressure to your icing bag and work your way around the edge of the cake in an up-and- down motion. This will give your cake that professional finishing touch.