"Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It's all about the memories."
Sixteen years old is the birthday around which Mickey Mouse and dolls go out of fashion, and GI Joe and high heels take priority in one's life. A simple cake can be turned special by adding some exotic ingredients to it, or transforming it into a unique shape.
We shall provide you with ideas and recipes for sweet 16 cakes for boys and girls, from simple to innovative to wild!
A princess cake is a classic. Sweet 16 princess cakes have become legendary in pop-culture, and while America moves on to show off its fancy side, princess cakes will still never go out of fashion for sweet 16 birthday ceremonies.
Have a look at how to go about it, along with some awesome variations later on.
Sweet 16 Princess Cake
Separate 8 egg whites and yolks. In a bowl, whip the yolks until they double in volume, and in another bowl, whip the whites while simultaneously adding a cup of sugar to them until they are stiff and frothy. Divide the whipped egg whites in two parts. Fold one part to the beaten egg yolks until uniform in color. Then fold the remaining egg whites in too. Sift the general purpose flour neatly. Fold it in the eggs slowly, followed by baking soda, and then the butter in the end. Pour this mixture into a baking dish and bake in a preheated oven (350° F) for about 30 minutes. For checking, insert a thin blade knife in the center and see if it comes out clean. If required, put the cake back into the oven and keep checking every 2 - 3 minutes. Once completely baked, pull the cake out of the oven and let it rest and cool for a while.
Heat some milk in a saucepan and add a couple of drops of vanilla essence, as its simmers. Remove from heat and let it cool. In another bowl, whisk eggs, cornstarch, about half cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Keep the saucepan containing milk over medium heat and start whisking in the egg mixture slowly. Continue whisking until it is smooth but thick. Keep the cream simmering for a while, pull off heat, and let it rest for a while.
Once the cake has cooled, slice the cake horizontally into 3 even-sized discs (ideally should be about ½ to ¼ inch each). Place a cake dish on a cake board and place one layer on it. Brush it with sugar syrup. Spread strawberry or raspberry jam evenly on the top. Place the second layer on top of the jam topped first layer. Brush this layer too with sugar syrup. Pour the vanilla cream over this layer. Place the third layer of the sponge cake on top and brush it with sugar syrup too. Gently press this layer with your palms to even out the entire cake's height. Put in the refrigerator and let it set for an hour.
Using a roller pin, roll the marzipan in a circular sheet, such that it is big enough to cover the entire cake. Use powdered sugar or general purpose flour to make sure the marzipan does not stick to the rolling surface or rolling pin. Create, knead, and use any marzipan of your choice and color.
Once set, take the cake out of the refrigerator and frost it with whipped cream from all sides. Keep pouring the whipped cream at the top in the middle of the cake, and using a spatula, spread it all over the cake. The cake should now resemble a mound or a dome. Once done with applying the whipped cream, very softly place the marzipan covering over it. Make sure it is covering the entire cake, and the cake does not collapse. Seal the edges in such a manner that the entire structure looks like a ball covered in marzipan, and none of the whipped cream corners are peaking from anywhere. Keep the cake aside for some time.
For a more fancy touch to your sweet 16 party, try making a purse or a high heel cake to celebrate the girl's coming-of-age!
For the purse cake, you will have to use a ready-made cake, about 10 inches in diameter and 3 - 4 inches in height (preferably in chocolate or dark chocolate or such related flavors). Cut about ¼ of the side facing you, such that, that side forms a straight edge that can help the cake to stand. (Using two cakes will lend more robustness to the end result, but it will also be large in size and quantity.) In a bowl, mix 16 oz. vanilla frosting and food color. Keep adding food color until the color you desire for your purse cake is achieved. Apply the frosting mixture on the top and the cut edge face of the cake. Then make the cake stand on the cut edge and slice it in the middle vertically. Apply frosting mixture to all uncovered sides and press together the two sliced cakes very hard so they can stay in place. Use different colored frosting for thread knits, buttons and zips, as you desire. Use liquorice strips, cover them in frosting of your favorite color, and attach them to the top of the purse cake to act as a handle!
For the flower cake, you'll need a 6 cupcakes. Deciding the color depends on which flower you want to base your cake on. A list of suggestions:
|Flower Name||Corresponding Cake Suggestion|
|Carnations||Pink Velvet Cupcake|
|Dahlia||Pink Velvet Cupcake/Carrot Cupcake|
|Lily (Orange)||Orange Cupcake|
|Lily (Red)||Carrot Cupcake|
|Lily (White)||Vanilla Cupcake|
|Rose (Red/White)||Similar to Lily|
|Rose (Yellow)||Banana Cupcake/Meyer Lemon|
|Sunflower||Orange Cupcake/Maple Cupcake|
Since the cupcakes are going to be covered in a frosting color of your choice, using any cupcake (any color or flavor) is alright; but matching your cupcake color with the color of the flower you want to represent through the cake will only add to its beauty.
A 12 or 15 oz. can of ready-made frosting should suffice for this recipe. In a bowl, mix the frosting and food color. Keep adding food color until the color you desire for your flower cake is achieved. Now place the cupcakes in a flower pattern - one in the center and 5 or 6 or as many possible around it. Use the frosting to cover the cupcakes all over. Let it set in the fridge for about 40 - 45 minutes.
For a pillow cake, you will need a 7 - 8 inch square-shaped cake; only about 2 - 3 inches in thickness. Cut the cake in a pillow's shape - sharp corners and curved edges. Cover one side fully in fondant sheet and turn over the cake so that the exposed side is facing you. Cover this side too in fondant sheet, and make sure both sides' fondant coverings are sealed together, and no part of the cake inside stands exposed. Using your thumb, create dents on the fondant covering, so that later, you can use small spherical candies to cover them. Using frosting of your choice of color, cover one side of the cake. Now place small spherical candies in the dents you made before. Your pillow cake is ready! For more effects such as tips, knots or ribbons, use frosting, fondant or marzipan as required.
High Heel Cake
Modeling a high heel cake involves a lot of cutting and a huge amount of fondant. Keeping this cake together also requires a few non-edible things such as toothpicks or lollipop sticks. Using fondant, create two layers about 4 inches each in length and 2-3 inches in width. Cut another square of 2 inches and place one layer of fondant such that half of it is on the top of the square and the rest half is covering one edge of the square. Now cut a slope from the cake approximately 4 inches long and tapering from 3 inches to about half an inch of thickness. Using toothpicks attach this slope to the fondant covered edge of the square shaped cake. The square cake will be the heel and the slope will form the rest of the high heel shoe. Cover the slope with the other layer of fondant. You now have the sole and heel ready. Cut two equal portions of a rectangular cake. Keep them about 2 inches thick. Using a toothpick, attach them from the side of the heels towards the lowest end of the slope. This will form the sides of the shoe. Cover these too with fondant layers. To cover up any exposed pieces of cake, use more fondant so the entire cake looks like a single structure.
Tiara Decoration for Cakes
Teenaged girls (or for that matter girls/women of any age!) love tiaras. It makes them feel like a princess. Tiara decorations can be used on top of any cake, more so, the princess cake. All you need is some frosting. Draw an outline of the tiara on a wax paper. Wrap this paper around a large coffee mug, an empty can or a glass. Tape the wax paper to the mug/glass/can, once you have it in the right position. Using a piping bag, start piping your frosting over the tiara outline. If your frosting layer looks uneven on the outline, tip it and even it out using a paintbrush. Once you have the desired result, set the mug/glass/can aside and let the frosting dry for at least 2 hours. Repeat the piping and drying process twice. When the last layer is completely dry, remove the tape and unwrap the wax paper. Now slowly start removing the tiara from the base where it is attached to the wax paper. Be very careful and gentle with this process, as the frosting is fragile and the tiara can easily fall apart.
Note: The tiara is just a decoration and not an actual cake per se. Place it over a princess cake or the pillow cake for best effect!
So you thought sweet 16 was only for girls? Well, think again. Boys come of age too, and they have their own way of celebrating their turning 16. After all, they have now progressed from root beer to lager beer!
Superhero Cake for Boys
While modeling actual superhero figures is difficult and should be best left to professionals, a superhero-themed two or three tier cake isn't too far out of your abilities. A multi-tier cake requires dowels (wooden or plastic) for support. Without proper support, a stacked cake will pretty much always fall apart. Other things that can be used for support are toothpicks, plastic straws, skewers, etc. If you get the assembling and keeping it together part of the cake right, the rest of it is pretty much simple. You bake three cakes (circular or square or even rectangle; triangles are very difficult to stack, and if you are not a regular, do not try them), each about 2 - 3 inches smaller in total size. Insert 4 dowels into the cake, make the markings, and remove the dowels. Place the second cake on top and sync its dowel markings with the bottom-most cake. Place the third and the smallest cake on top and sync its dowel markings too. Decorate the cake as desired - choose a superhero theme or use three different superhero themes for all three different layers. For example, you make a three-tiered cake with the bottom-most cake in a GI Joe theme, the middle one in a Batman theme, and the topmost and the smallest one in a Superman theme. Once decorating the cake is done, insert the dowels slowly into the cakes. Keep the height of the dowels an inch shorter than the top of the topmost cake. Seal of the holes on the cake where you inserted the dowels with more frosting or butter cream that matches your cake theme.
Pizza Cake for Boys
Boys love pizzas. There are no two views on that. A sports night for boys is incomplete with ordering a whole lot of pizza. How about surprising them with a pizza cake! A pizza cake is fairly simple as compared to the superhero cake. All you need is a round sponge cake about 10 - 12 inches in diameter. Spread strawberry jam or preserve on top to resemble pizza sauce. Use vanilla frosting and frost on top of the cake in such a manner that it resembles grated cheese. Alternatively, melt white chocolate, and using a spoon, pour it on top of the cake pizza. If you are using white chocolate, you'll need to give the cake pizza 30 minutes in the refrigerator, so the chocolate can take form and set. Now, take some fruit roll ups (preferably strawberry, since they are red in color and give the pepperoni effect), and cut them in 1-inch circles, and place them carefully on top of the pizza to complete the cake's pizza look. To add to the look of the 'pizza', use liquorice strips or fondant to create onions, mushrooms, green peppers, jalapeños, etc.
Apart from purses and pizzas, a lot can be done with sweet 16 cakes, if you let your imagination run wild. Musical instrument (guitar, violin, piano, etc.) cakes, Hollywood themed cakes, baseball or basketball themed cakes, etc., can be some options. So give the birthday star a surprise with one of these awesome cakes, and make their coming of age truly unique!