Space Shuttle Cake

My little man turned 5 today! When I asked him (some weeks ago) what he wanted for a cake, I was a little surprised (then majorly worried) when he said without hesitation “space shuttle.”

How on earth would I do that? (Pardon the pun. I like puns.) If you don’t want the detailed how, skip to the bottom for pics and a succinct description of how I put it together. 🙂

I scouted around Pinterest for a while and decided to try and do a 3D cake versus frosting an image on a sheet cake. This meant a few things.

One, I would need to find a baking dish suitable for the shuttle, because I do not like working with cut edges on a cake. So messy! I looked at longer, narrower pans in several places, but nothing was quite what I wanted. It was the Dearliest who reminded me of a cast iron bread pan I have. It’s longer, and it’s narrower. As it turned out it was just the right size!

Two, I would need to work with fondant again. I have refused to touch it for almost two years, as my first two attempts at fondant were flops (literally). I decided to try a different recipe, and I was much, much happier with how it turned out this time around. I still have a lot to learn about fondant and how it behaves at different temperatures. Also, I need more practice at measuring/ cutting/ putting on a cake. I still can’t figure out how to get “seamless” seams.

Three, I would need to find a way to decorate the fondant other than frosting, because I didn’t want to spend hours trying to detail the shuttle with a toothpick. I have done the toothpick method before. I kind of loathe the memory. This leads me to sharing my neatest discovery ever in cakery: decorating pens! I read up on a number of different brands before selecting these black pens off Amazon. I probably would have bought the 10 color set if I hadn’t already bought a basic red-blue-yellow-green set from Walmart.

Enter a new learning experience! The black pens behaved more like actual writing markers. The set from Walmart was a different brand and behaved more like fine brushes. Due to the reading I’d done on the pens, I knew I needed to do the decorating on fondant that was at room temperature and dry, because cold fondant leads to condensation and the pen won’t work on a wet surface. These were fun to work with and I will definitely use them in the future.


Loaf cake, sugar cone cut to size (pressed into the end and “glued” with frosting), covered with buttercream frosting.


Twiglet (sister-in-law) playing with fondant and the pens. We made planets!


Ready for assemblage. Sheet cake (frosted with buttercream), shuttle cake (rockets are sugar cones cut to size and covered with fondant, tail is cardboard wrapped in cling wrap and covered in fondant), and wings (cardboard wrapped in cling wrap and covered in fondant). Also, planets.



3 thoughts on “Space Shuttle Cake

  1. Wow that is brilliant. I could never make that. Luckily my boys don’t ask for such difficult things (I trained them well lol!). It was Big J’s birthday this week and being the grand old age of nine he has slightly more sophisticated tastes and requested chocolate fudge cake…. Warm with cream or ice cream. Because he wanted it warm it required no decorating other than the chocolate fudge icing/frosting. That I can manage 🙂

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