Sphere and Hemisphere Cake Designs
Here are some examples of custom 3D cakes made from the simple half sphere shape including an owl cake, a fish cake, a beach ball cake.
Below is an example of two 3/4 sphere cakes presented side-by-side to make a booby cake. Follow this link to read my Breast Wishes Cake Tutorial.
Below is an example of a princess cake made from a combination of a half sphere and a traditional cylinder shape cake. Follow this link to watch my 5 Part Princess Doll Cake Video Tutorial.
How to Make a Half Sphere Cake
- 8” round cake pan or ring, for nesting the bowl mold (commission earned)
- cake batter
- butter & flour to coat the baking pan
- plastic wrap
- cake filling
- small offset spatula (commission earned)
- buttercream frosting
- wood turntable or cake wheel (commission earned)
1. Bake the Cake in a Bowl
2. Fill the Cake in the Bowl
3. Pop the Cake Out of the Bowl
How to Frost a Half Sphere Cake
Frosting rounded shapes is not as complicated as one would think. In my opinion, it’s easier than frosting traditional square and cylinder shapes because because there are no corners or edges involved. You can use the palm of your hand to do this job. Or you can use a couple of tools.
METHOD #1 Half Sphere Cake Frosting with Tools
Using a small offset spatula, crumb coat the cake with buttercream frosting. Transfer the cake onto a working platform of some sort like a flat platter, a larger cardboard circle, an old cake board, or in this case, a pizza pan (commission earned) to support cake while it’s being moved in and out of the fridge to be frosted. Chill the cake in the refrigerator until the buttercream is cold and no longer sticky.
METHOD #2 Half Sphere Cake Frosting with Your Hand
Sometimes, the best tool for the job is your hand. An open palm has just the right curve for frosting rounded and contoured cakes. For the smoothest possible finish, wear a safety glove.
How to Make a Full Sphere Cake
To make a full sphere cake, bake two half spheres. Level off the curve on one of the hemispheres (see photo below) and fit it with a piece of cardboard to serve as the cake’s bottom. This will help prevent the cake from rolling.
Proceed with the top half as per a half sphere cake.
If the diameter of the spheres are greater than 7″ in diameter, add wooden dowel supports to the bottom half so it doesn’t get crushed by the weight of the top.
Frost both halves upside down then fit them together and smooth over the seam.
In the above clip, I’m decorating a sphere cake on a turntable using a parchment paper piping cone filled with chocolate buttercream frosting.
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When i make a cake sphere, Farenheit grade for make the cake, because i try make one and the middle cake is down i used 350F, i dont know is to much.
I meant to post these last year! Your tutorials have helped so much! Assembling my cakes in the pan has changed my baking life.
Elizabeth – Wow! Is that Wonder Woman holding up the weight of the planet? I love how you did the blue/white/green swirl. Even more impressive is how you got that sphere up in the air. Well done! Thank you so much for sharing a photo. So glad to hear the pan trick is working for you!
I did a repeat for my son’s birthday, the Death Star.
OMG wow. Even the candles match! I love it.
I am curious to learn and/or see photos how you made the armature. I can’t figure out how you did it.
Elizabeth, your son is going to smile about the memory of this cake for the rest of his life.
It is a system called Cakestackers.
It is a series of plates and customizable rods that screw together. Makes a floating sphere cake possible.
sorry i was looking at bottom of page instead of top for comments.. (LOL)
was wondering if you used a three or four inch cake board on the bottom of the full sphere cake. (tried to post this but wouldn’t go thru – hope this isn’t a duplicate )
was wondering if you put a three inch or four inch cake plate on the bottom of the full sphere cake.
Your work are great
Wow! Is that really a cake? Impressive!
Hello and thank you for your tutorial. I have a client that wants a fishing bobber cake for a 1st birthday smash cake. Is there any other suggestions of supporting the two cakes without using wood dowels since it’s for a 1 year old? Also, my client wants the cake to be white but I know that cake batter is not heavy enough to be made into a ball. Any suggestions on another cake batter that would be close to a white cake? Thanks so much!
You could use bubble tea straws instead. If the cake is very small (4 inches or less diameter) you should be able to get away with no supports. Another alternative is to make just a half sphere. It’s probably more appropriate for that kind of occasion + no supports needed.
Thank you for the tutorial. For the full sphere, do you keep both cardboard bases and attach them with buttercream? Thanks in advance.
Yes. The cardboard bases always stay with the cake.
I am a sophomore student in high school. We were asked to make a model of an animal cell, and I thought of baking a cake. I’m a beginner baker. Would a Pyrex glass bowl work? Or does it have to be metal? Any advice you have for creating the look of an animal cell would be fabulous!!! Thank you!
I’ve never tried baking a cake in pyrex but I assume it would be just fine.
Hi, I want to make a hemisphere cake for my son’s birthday. But I’d like to make it a few days in advance and freeze it. When do you suggest freezing? After cutting layers and putting back in the pan with buttercream? Also, any advice on defrosting? Thank you so much!
Lots of tips here: Cake Timing
Can I freeze the cake in the pan with the layers filled for a few days? And then how should i defrost? I’d love any advice you have. Trying to make this cake for my son’s birthday, but want to be able to do some of it in advance. Thank you!
Great tutorial! What kind of mixing bowl do you have?
The bowl is described along with a link within the article.
Hi! I am going to use this tutorial to make a dog with two spherical parts. I was wondering how you transfer your cakes from the cake board you use for icing to the final cake board. The cake board the dog will be on is 13x19inch which won’t fit in the fridge, but I’m concerned about moving the cakes off cake boards.
Technically what I refer to as the “cake cardboard” stays attached to the cake from start to finish, so you can always move the cake around. It basically fuses with the cake, becomes part of it like the wrapper to cupcake does, except you can’t see it because it’s underneath and gets frosted over. The working platform on the other hand is the part that is temporary – you use that up until the point when you transfer the cake to the serving platter. It’s just for moving the cake around as you’re frosting and decorating it.
Are you sure you can’t move things around to free up a whole shelf in your fridge? Those dimensions are doable for a standard fridge. If not, hopefully this cake requires minimal work after assembly so you’re not rushing around trying to do last minute decorations.
Do you have any tips for some kind of support that will prevent the cake from rolling away? I want to make a cake that’s a complete sphere, but am afraid I won’t be able to transport it when I do… It’d be nice if there was some kind of base with a rod on it that I could get.
After step 9 above, I show a photo with explanation on how to level off the bottom of the cake and add a cardboard round so the cake doesn’t roll away. Secure that cardboard to the cake drum or platter as you would with a standard cake, using sturdy tape, hot glue, or my favorite option: glue dots. I recommend adding dowels as supports in the bottom half and two long sharp dowels to pass through both halves to keep the cake secure in transport. More here on my cake dowel support method.
Thanks for the tutorial. I am making a 10″ dome cake for a party. Do you have any suggestions and or tips on how to cut it? Do I tell the caterer to cut it like a regular 10″ round? Worried that the pieces from the middle will be awkwardly tall. Thanks!
I would cut it in wedges.
Hi! How many servings does a 6 inch ball cake give? Also, whats the best chocolate cake recipe to use for this kind of pan? Thanks! Great tutorial!
I’m going to guess about six servings. I have no best recipe that I can recommend for these pans.
Do you have a favourite cake recipe that works well in the hemisphere pans? Ours just rose in the middle, leaving the sides way down.
Try using a heating core in the middle. It will help minimize the rise.
I’m new at this what’s a heating core?
A heating core helps distribute the heat into the center of the cake. It helps a lot for this type of cake shape, where most of the batter is concentrated in the center.
I think it is wonderful that you have taken the time to answer every question! I learned something from every comment and answer. I am working on a turkey cake and believe this tutorial has made my ideas click together. Thank you and Happy holidays to all bakers out there
Cheers, Julie! I hope your turkey cake comes out great.
this email is for Julie, who posted on November 4, 2015, saying that she was working on a turkey cake. I, too, want to make a turkey cake, but out of tofu. We have a co-worker who is Vegan and I don’t want him to feel left out when we have our annual Thanksgiving Dinner at work. I have no clue how to bake the tofu in a shape that resembles a baked turkey. Just wondering if her idea from last year worked. Or do you have any ideas?? Thanks
I have reached out to Julie to let her know you’ve asked a question of her but I am going to throw my own two cents in here as well since I’ve done a couple bird cakes of my own. Using the method shown above, I constructed a round body using two half sphere cakes. I sculpted the head and neck separately using modeling chocolate wrapped around rice treats which were formed around a skewer, which I kept anchored in a piece of styrofoam, which itself was sealed with plastic wrap because styrofoam tends to shed. You can see photos of how this came out looking on my facebook page here: Rooster Cake
In your case, since the turkey is going to be made of tofu and is just for one person, you might consider cutting yourself a break and doing something more simple and 2D such as building a half a body on a large platter (just one half sphere) that leaves enough space for you to draw the head out of gravy or form it out of vegetables laying down flat as opposed to constructing a whole standing up figure.
Thanks! You are so right………….I will give myself a break.
How did you use the Heating core in this cake?
The heating core works well in a half sphere pan. I think it’s because the pressure of the batter both around it and inside it is enough to hold it in place. You have to be careful that it is fully upright when you slide the cake into the oven. As long as the hemisphere pan is sitting on a ring or nested inside a cylinder pan so that it’s not going to tip around, the heating core should stay in place.
Did you use the cone type or the needle type?
The 4 inch heating core type – cone shaped
Never use paper towels to touch food because they have toxic chemicals in them which is why you never see suggestions for using in cooking on the packages are the ads for paper towels.
Interesting point. You could use a napkin or something meant specifically for food instead. There is no reason why it has to be a paper towel. As long as it’s soft but sturdy, it should work.
Making a Pokeball for my daughters bday… Do you put any buttercream between the two hemispheres when making a full sphere cake?
I would be more likely to put cardboard between the two hemisphere cakes if the cake was medium or large sized. Add some dowels to the bottom too. Read the comments below for more info about dowels.
Thanks for your help with another one of my daughter’s birthday cakes! You’re awesome as always! I would stress the use of SEVERAL dowels on the bottom half. I did not take Kristen’s advice seriously enough and only put two dowels. It started crushing so I quickly took off the top half off and put more dowels. Saved it!
Nice save, Sally! Also, you did an awesome job on that cake!
For an 8″ sphere cake, how much batter do I use to get the height right?
Fill the pan 1/3 – 1/2 way with batter depending on how much the batter tends to rise. It will dome up in the middle more than it usually does so you have to put a little more batter than usual.
Hi I plan on making a half sphere cake. It’s going to be a kettle. Have attached an image of what I am trying to make. So I need to place the half sphere dome side down. I was just wondering what kind if support will it need?
See the photo in the article above where it says “Level off one of the half spheres (above left) and fit it with a piece of cardboard to serve as the cake’s bottom.” The half sphere in the left of that photo is how I would recommend building this cake. You probably need some supports for the spout and handle.
Weird question, but where did you get a hold of the yellow bowl scraper as shown in the picture? I have one at my work and we desperately need more since they are literally the best ones i’ve ever used. or if you could recommend some that are similar? most that i come across are too big, to flexible, or don’t have a smooth enough edge for finishing cakes.
When I worked as a pastry chef, I got them for free from kitchen supply salesman, so the yellow one in the photos is not on the market. But you can find them online here: plastic bench scraper. In a pinch, you can also make a similar type of bendy cake frosting implement by cutting a U shape out of an empty soda bottle.
Hi! I want to know how many servings provides the 8,75″ ball pan. For wole cake and also half cake?
for an 8.75″ diameter ball pan, you could probably serve roughly 15 servings per half.
Loved it I’m going to try this, the last time I tried a round cake the top crushed the bottom so I’ll try your suggestion.
Very nice. How do you keep the top half from squishing the bottom half. That is my problem.
I recommend two things: #1 is to insert three thin dowels into the bottom half sphere for support (just one dowel is not enough support). #2 is to keep that cardboard base underneath the top half of the sphere intact so that it can rest like a base on top of the dowels. Then if you are planning to move or transport the cake at all, I would also recommend inserting one more dowel down the middle to secure the two halves together.
hi, I am attempting an angry bird cake for my son’s 4th birthday this weekend and just purchased the daddio 8″ sphere cake pan. Though I have never covered a cake with fondant before I am going to (nervously) attempt it!
Do you know how much fondant I will need to cover the full sphere? (ie both 1/2s put together?)
I am printing out your instructions above, thanks so much for posting this!!
That would depend on how thinly you roll the fondant. Are you making the fondant from scratch or buying it? 2 cups worth would probably be enough but it would not hurt to have some extra on hand, just in case.
how long do you bake the cake for in the 8inch hemisphere pan?
Not sure! Would totally depend on the type of batter, and where the cake goes in the oven, and what kind of oven you use, etc. Too many variables to give a number, sorry!
I baked 2 sphere cakes in 2 halves. why did they rise in the centre and not the sides. what am I doing wrong. I used a victoria sandwich mixture.
Not sure why it works but someone told me to push the uncooked cake mix from the middle of the pan to the sides so u get a dint in the middle before putting in the oven and when it cooks it magically levels out, not sure how but I’m not complaining 😉
Thank you for answering this comment that I lost track of! You are awesome! I concur.
Can you please go into a little more detail please. What do you mean push away from the middle? I’m new to making cake design etc. Thanks
Since the batter is so heavy when it’s raw, it has a tendency to dome when it’s dropped into the pan, which just adds to the problem created when it rises in the middle during baking. With a spatula or similar implement, try distributing the batter more around the edges of the pan so it laps up the side a little bit. Push it away from the middle. This will help achieve a flatter surface on the finished cake.
Thank you for sharing this tutorial, this was very helpful
This is a great tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to make such an informative blog. I appreciate and enjoy your efforts.
very nice n awesome ideas