Spider-Man, the comic book character created by Stan Lee back in the 1960s, has gained plenty of popularity throughout the years. Whether it's the black Spider-Man or the original red and blue Spider-Man, he is almost every little boy's superhero and a favorite theme for birthday parties. Many use frozen buttercream transfers to place a desired theme on the cake, lending a personal touch that makes it special for the birthday child.
Things You'll Need
- Box cake mix
- 13- x 9-inch cake pan or two 9-inch cake pans
- Buttercream icing (recipe provided below)
- Wax paper
- Parchment cones, zipper bags, or icing bags
- Cutting board or cardboard
- 4 bowls
- Food coloring
- Cake Platter
- # 4 writing tip
- # 21 writing tip
Baking the Cake and Making the Frozen Buttercream Transfer
Grease the cake pan(s) and set aside. Prepare the cake mix and bake as directed on the package. Once baked, cool the cake(s) completely. Place the cooled cake(s) on a cake platter and frost with a buttercream icing. Set in the refrigerator until needed.
Choose a picture of Spider-Man from a coloring book or a picture book. There are also plenty of websites that have printable images (see Resources).
Tape the picture to a hard surface like a cardboard or a cutting board. Double-sided tape works well to keep the papers in place.
Place a piece of waxed paper over the picture, tape it so it doesn't move and set aside. Put 1/2 cup of the buttercream icing into each one of the four bowls. In the first bowl, add red food coloring and stir to make red icing, in the second bowl, add blue food coloring and stir to make blue icing, and in the third bowl, add black food coloring to make black icing. The fourth bowl will stay white. Place the tinted icing into individual piping bags, zipper bags, or parchment paper cones. Cut the tips off of each bag.
Trace the image chosen with the black icing and a #4 writing tip, and trace and fill the spider on Spider-Man's chest. Squeeze the bag gently as you move it up and down to fill in the head and body of the spider. This is just like coloring, fill in the eyes with the white icing using a #21 writing tip, again squeeze the bag gently and use an up and down motion to fill in the eyes.
Proceed to fill the head, the body and the boots with the red icing and a #21 writing tip, since the torso and the head have small squares because of the web, fill one square at a time using the same up and down motion.
Fill in the legs with the blue icing and the #21 writing tip. Use an up and down motion or, if it seems too long, a side to side sweeping motion is okay too. Do not worry if the image doesn't look neat, this side is not going to be seen.
Smooth out the filled image with an off-set spatula. Try not to blend the colors, though. Use the main icing to cover the entire picture evenly, then place the picture with the cardboard still intact in the freezer for an hour and 30 minutes or overnight if needed.
Remove the transfer from the freezer and get the cake from the refrigerator, turn the transfer onto the iced cake. With your hands, press the image gently, then remove the waxed paper by carefully pulling up one of the corners. If the icing is not sticking onto the cake, it's okay, put the cake with the transfer still on it into the refrigerator for another hour or two and try again.
Decorate the cake as desired once the buttercream transfer has been placed on the cake successfully.
Recipe: Buttercream Icing
Cream three sticks of butter and one cup of shortening in a bowl with a hand mixer on high speed, until well incorporated.
Add 1 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of butter extract and continue mixing for about a minute.
Slowly add the 2 lbs of the sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing in between each cup used.
Continue mixing on high speed for approximately five to 10 minutes for a smooth consistency.
Add more powdered sugar if the icing is too thin. If it's too thick, add milk or water a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency has been reached.
Tips & Warnings
- To sift the powdered sugar without the fuss, put it in a food processor and process for a few seconds.
- Land o' Lakes butter is very good for buttercream icings, as well as the Crisco shortening.
- The icing can be made up to a week ahead of time as long as it's in a container with a tight lid.
- If the icing has been refrigerated, take it out a few hours before using it so it can soften.