How To Make A Number Cake

How To Make A Number Cake

Number cakes are a fun twist on the classic birthday cake and are a fantastic way to celebrate a child's birthday or important milestone events like decade birthdays and anniversaries. But unless you have a dedicated shaped cake tin for every number, making them can be a bit of a puzzle!

At Spotlight we love baking and decorating (and eating!) delicious cakes, so we've got a few secrets to impart about how to make a number cake (or two) out of the basic cake pans like the circle, square and rectangle pans we all have in our kitchens. We also have some handy ideas about decorating your number cake, as well as other useful hints you'll want on hand!

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What Kind Of Cake Should I Make For A Number Cake?

While you should always try to make the birthday person's favourite cake for their birthday, some types of cakes may not hold up to being sliced and shaped the way you will need to in order to make certain numbers. Cake types to avoid include:

  • Tea cakes: These cakes (also known as butter cakes) are usually served warm straight from the oven, so you won't have time to cut and shape them before your window to enjoy them runs out.
  • Self-saucing cakes: These delicious cakes release a gooey sauce when cut… which you will lose when cutting and shaping your cake into a number! Unless you are creating a number cake that doesn't require shaping, avoid this type of dessert.
  • Ice cream cakes: Unless you plan on assembling them right before they are eaten (stressful!), ice cream cakes will melt before you can successfully cut, shape and decorate them.

On the other hand, here are some good, solid types of cake you can cut, carve and shape to your heart's content!

  • Vanilla cake: Solid, dependable and simple enough for even the fussiest of dessert eaters, basic vanilla cake is soft, moist and springy with a light, delicate flavour. It cuts well and will take on any flavour of icing you decide to put on top!
  • Mud cake: Wonderfully dense, a mud cake will be moist and almost fudgy in texture, quite similar to a brownie except with a cake-like crumb. This density makes it ideal for carving and shaping, as it won't lose shape or too many crumbs in the process.
  • Pound cake: One of the easiest cakes to make, a pound cake will result in a firm cake that has only been flavoured by butter and sugar. The density is attributed to the lack of baking powder or baking soda, leaving a solid cake that is easy to cut and shape.

What Do I Need To Make A Number Cake?

While the ingredients you need to make your number cake will depend on what kind you are making, there are a few tools we recommend having on hang to make shaping your cakes into numbers easier.

  • Square, rectangle and round cake tins. You will need at least the round and rectangle tins to make each type of number.
  • Baking paper. This will help you release your cakes from their pans without them sticking or breaking apart in the tin.
  • Sharp knife. This will help you cut cleanly through your cakes without having to hold (and potentially squish) them.
  • D-line cake cutter (optional). If your cakes are rising into an uneven shape, you can cut them flat using a D-line cake cutter.

Number Cake Shapes You Need To Know

There are three shapes we use when making number cakes - master them all, and you'll be able to make any number cake easily!

  • Circles and half circles - use a round or bundt tin to create the round cakes needed to showcase curves in numbers. If using a bundt tin, the hole needed will be baked into the cake. If you only have a round tin, you will need to use a round cookie cutter and/or a knife to cut the hole out yourself. You can then slice the circle into halves, thirds or quarters to create the perfect size curve you need for numbers like 5 and 2.
  • Rectangles and squares - you can easily make these shapes out of straight-edge cake pans. Rectangular cake shapes are ideal for numbers with long sections like 1, 4 and 7.
  • Triangles - these shapes are super useful for joining sections together, such as the circle and straight parts of a 9, 6 and 2. They can be made by cutting the corners off square and rectangle cakes, or you can cut them out of spare pieces from circle cakes.

Example - How To Make A Number 2 Cake

One of the most difficult number cakes to make is one featuring the number 2. To make one you will need to bake both one round cake and one rectangular cake. For further details check out this video and the project below!

Number 2 Cake Project

The Complete Chart For Number Cakes

Now that you've seen some examples, check out the graphic below to see how to make each number!

The Complete Chart For Number Cakes

Bake Delicious Number Cakes With Spotlight

Now that you know the best ways to bake number cakes, it's time to bake, decorate and celebrate some special occasions with style! Purchase cake decorating products and accessories online including essentials such as fondant, cake toppers and birthday candles. Choose to pay your way to have your entire order home delivered for convenience. Or, visit your nearest Spotlight store to choose your number cake accessories in person.

You can find useful recipes and cake decoration inspiration for FREE on our cake and confectionary projects page. You'll love our other great articles such as 5 Essential Skills To Make You An Icing Pro and 10 Tips To Elevate Your Cake Making Skills. And for a little help in choosing the right products read our cake decorating tools and cake topping buying guides online!




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