Soccer cake


I was so surprised (not!) when my beloved son told me he wanted to have a soccer party followed by a BBQ at home  to celebrate his birthday.  I love the fact that he requested a BBQ so that the families of his friends could come too – so that his party would be fun for everybody. And the fact that he shares a birthday with his wonderful soccer coach sealed the deal.

Of course this means having enormous amounts of food! – but everyone is generous and helps out on that front, leaving me to do the odd dip, a couple of salads, a mountain of kebabs, and of course CAKE.

The rest of the plan sounds easy – take the boys to a park and let them run themselves into the ground before you bring them home for a feed and more playing.  Of course the reality is, there is no such thing as running a bunch of 10 year old-ish boys into the ground.  Five minutes of chill out time and they are full of beans again.

Anyway, I was immersed in kitchen activity when the boys made their noisy appearance at the house.  Suddenly a couple of mums screamed “out out OUT!!!”.  I looked up to see that the boys had had a water fight to cool down after the game, and so they arrived at the house sweaty, stinky, ravenous AND covered in mud! Yay – go the dads who were so thoughtfully supervising park activity!

I needn’t have fretted too much about the mud for there was worse to come.  In an uncharacteristically public place, our infamously socially inept cat (her actual name is Honey but there are SO many other names…) did the unthinkable under the porch table – with at least 10 people sitting around it. And of course, a good friend, wearing some stunning (and no doubt expensive) suede boots, stepped in it.  I do believe this was my ultimate definition of mortification.  Words cannot express the agony of the moment as I strut outside with a huge tray of dips and crackers and cheese, and the reality of the commotion sets in. The cat was lucky she didn’t become the next soccer ball – although of course she commited the deed and made a very speedy exit…

It is a true testament of our friendships that we could move on with the day.

Of course the boys played on in the backyard in happy oblivion.

Eventually, after large quantities of food were consumed, the garden was slightly trashed (the backyard had a bit of a Lord of the Flies vibe going on there for a while), and some sporadic quiet was acheived due to a live soccer match on TV featuring the Sydney Football Club, it was time for the cake.

In keeping with the party’s theme we had two cakes – in the shape of soccer jerseys and decorated in the colours of the birthday boys’ favourite teams.  I took the easy route and used shaped cake tin, rather than cutting them to shape.  The cake recipe that I use is my standard for all cakes I make in moulds.  It takes the mould well, and is solid enough to withstand a bit of prodding in the icing process, and it has a lovely buttery vanilla flavour.


  • 375 g butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c caster sugar
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 c sifted self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease cake mould.  This recipe will make the equivalent of two 18cm round springform pans.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until well combined. Add vanilla and milk and beat in.  Fold in sifted flour and spoon batter into tin. Spread with a spatula to make sure batter reaches all crevices. Cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Once cooled to room temperature, place cake in fridge or freezer to firm up before icing.

About baking bohemian

My name is Jen and I am the baking bohemian. My blog identity comes from the cultural background of my mother’s family, (Bohemian), and my mother’s more left wing lifestyle (bohemian). The big ‘B’ Bohemian refers to the rich cultural heritage of our family that emigrated from Bohemia when it was still its own country (it now comprises two thirds of the Czech Republic). Food featured prominently in the family and broader social life of that part of my family. No social interaction was without sustenance, and any celebration, large or small, was an invitation to cook up a storm. My own family emigrated from the United States to Australia when I was a child. For the most part we lived with our mother, and my dad eventually moved back to the US. The little ‘b’ bohemian relates to the semi-alternative lifestyle we led with our mother. I hesitate to refer to her as a hippy, for that conjures up so many misconceptions, but certainly she was on that side of the fence. She was probably more eccentric than radical at the end of the day, but she could really cook. We always set extra plates at the dinner table because inevitably people would visit at dinner time. I started cooking when I was about eight. Cookies. Obviously I was motivated by desire! I loved cooking, I loved that the kitchen was always, in every way, the heart of the house, so I was always part of anything else that was happening while I was cooking. I loved people loving my food. With all the different things that I have done in my life and am interested in, food has remained my most consistent and enduring passion.

10 responses »

  1. Happy birthday to your son! I love the cakes. You are so creative and quite the mom to prepare cakes to match the soccer jerseys!

    Jen, you are wonderful! Birthdays are so much more fun for kids right in their own back yards. Good fun, good friends, and family! And all you can eat cake and barbecue! A lot more work, but so much more intimate; love it!

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