How to Make a Numbers Cake
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How to Make a Numbers Cake

Difficulty Intermediate
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1 hr +

Nothing says ‘Happy Birthday’ like a number cake, especially for a big birthday. This fantastic letter cake tin from Wilton allows you to make any letter or number from just one tin, so you can spell out a name or number for the best cake of the day.

You will need

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How to make


You will need:

(Makes one letter or number)

Wilton Letters and Numbers Pan 


For the Recipe:

Eight eggs

16 oz margarine

16 oz caster sugar

16 oz self-raising flour

One teaspoon vanilla extract 

1.5 kg Renshaw blue icing 

One tub Betty Crocker vanilla buttercream 

Wilton Decorator Icing  (for the stars)

Wilton red food colour


Craft Essentials

Wilton Star nozzle no.32 

Piping bags  

Step 1 

First of all, determine which inserts are needed to create your chosen number or letter. For the number nine I used the medium long rectangular insert and a square insert. Create a mirror image of the number by positioning the inserts in the tin, ensuring that they are sitting in the grid pattern in the bottom of the tin. The inserts block the areas where no cake needs to be baked.

Step 2 

Grease the bottom and sides of the tin well, this is really important to ensure your cake turns out of the tin easily – don’t forget to grease the outside of the inserts too.

Step 3 

Make up your cake mix and fill the cake tin two thrirds full with cake batter but leave the inserts empty.

Step 4 

Bake at 170 Centigrade for approximately 40 – 50 minutes turning the tin around halfway through the cooking time. When the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, then it’s time to remove the cake from the oven. Leave the cake in the tin for ten minutes.

Step 5 

Remove the inserts and invert the cake tin onto a cooling rack. Lift off the tin and leave the cake to cool completely. Wash the tin in hot soapy water before repeating the process to make the number zero using the same two inserts positioned in the middle of the tin.

Step 6 

When the cake is completely cold place it right way up on the cake board. Use the triangular insert to cut the corners away from the cake to make a more rounded number shape.

Step 7 

Give the whole cake a coat of buttercream (called the crumb coat) and smooth it on all sides with a cake scraper or palette knife.

Step 8 

Leave the buttercream to crust for an hour or two or put in the fridge for 30 minutes before covering with fondant icing.

Step 9 

Knead the icing until warm and roll out on a surface lightly dusted with cornflour or icing sugar. Roll out a rectangle measuring at least 35 cm x 50 cm and to a thickness of 5 mm. Use the rolling pin to drape the icing over the cake and work quickly to smooth it over and around the top and sides of the cake.

Step 10 

Trim the excess icing away around the base of the cake with a sharp knife and use an icing smoother to ensure a neat finish.

Step 11

For the hole in the nine and the zero, use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ and use your fingers to gently stretch and smooth the icing down into the hole. Use excess icing to patch up any gaps and use a rounded tool to smooth the joins.

Step 12 

Colour some Wilton White Decorator Icing with red food colour and fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (I used Wilton 4B » also known as a French tip). Pipe stars all around the base of the cake leaving equal sized spaces in between.

Step 13 

Repeat with Wilton White Decorator Icing in between the red stars.

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