I am a huge fan of themed birthday cakes so, when my friend said she was having her son’s birthday party at Top Golf, I told her that I would make the cake. I had no idea how to make a golf course birthday cake, but I figured it couldn’t be that hard! And, if it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, I doubted the kids would care. As long as there is cake, the bar is low for success.
Step 1 – Make the Cake
I started to make my golf course birthday cake by baking one long, rectangular chocolate cake. Gluten-free, of course. We always use the King Arthur gluten-free chocolate cake mix and have never been disappointed.
Step 2 – Make the Frosting
For the next step, I doubled my standard recipe buttercream frosting and divided it into sections to tint different colors. I kept half of the batch white so I could frost the entire cake with a “crumb coat” before I started frosting with the colors. If you don’t normally do a crumb coat when you are frosting cakes, now is a good time to start that habit. A crumb coat is just what it sounds like – a layer of frosting designed to catch the cake crumbs so they don’t spoil your final product! All you need to do for a crumb coat is evenly frost your entire cake with white frosting. Smooth out the crumb coat as best you can and then stick the cake in the fridge while you prepare your next frosting layer or the frosting colors you will be using to decorate. If your family loves chocolate cake – as mine does – the crumb coat is essential!! Trap those chocolate crumbs in that white frosting layer and your top layer will look so much smoother.
Step 3 – Plan the Decorating
For my decorating, I knew I would need three different colors of frosting: light blue for the water hazard, light green for the green, dark green for the fairway and rough areas. I crumbled gluten-free graham crackers in my food processor to make the sand for the sandtrap. So fancy. Don’t skip the sandtrap – I think it was everyone’s favorite feature!
Step 4 – Crumb Coat!
Once I frosted the cake with my crumb coat and prepared the other colors, I removed my cake from the fridge. The white frosting layer should be firm. Using a toothpick, I drew out the different sections onto the white frosting to help me know where I needed to frost. I started with the fairway and the green – I decided to make it a large space shaped like the number 8. I added sand hazards on either side of the fairway and green area and then drew in two circles for water hazards. These shapes can be anywhere. Everything that wasn’t designated to be water, sand, or green, was essentially the rough and would be getting frosted using my “grass tip.” For Wilton decorating tips, the tip that is best for making grass is number 233. It actually says GRASS TIP right on it if you go to Michael’s and try to buy it in the store. For the other colors, I just used a simple frosting knife. (For a quick video of me making grass, check out the video for my football field cupcakes.)
Step 5 – Add a golf cart
If you have time to order a cute little golf cart online, I highly recommend you check out Amazon and get one shipped to you. It really added a fun dimension to the cake! Click here to see the one I ordered. They are all less than $10 – I think I bought this one for $7 or so and it arrived in a day or so.
Step 6 – Don’t forget the flagstick
For the final fun feature, you must mark the hole and add a flagstick. And, if this is for a birthday, the flagstick should have the age on it! To mark the hole, I used black writing gel and made a pronounced circle on the green frosting. To make the flagstick, I took a flat toothpick and folded a shipping label around the wood and then cut it into a triangle. Easy peasy. I added a 14 because we were celebrating a 14th birthday and stuck it into the cake.
This cake fed a lot of hungry golfers! The next time you need to surprise a golfer or a golf lover, try to make this golf course cake. It’s not too hard and very fun to put together.
For more fun cake and cupcake ideas …