Along Came A Spider

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Weave an intricate web across this brilliant spider’s web cake. Just make sure the spiders don’t crawl off the cake board!

You will need

  • 20cm round sponge cake crumbcoated with buttercream, on a 20cm cake card
  • 15cm round sponge cake crumbcoated with buttercream, on a 15cm cake card
  • 2kg white sugarpaste
  • White vegetable fat
  • White and black stiff peak icing
  • Silver and black dusting powders
  • Black food colouring paste


  • Non-stick board and large rolling pin
  • 30cm round cake board
  • Icing smoother
  • Ruler
  • Small sharp knife
  • Web embosser
  • Baking parchment
  • Spoons 4 dowels
  • Edible black pen
  • Kitchen paper, small bowls and plates for the dusting powders
  • 2 straight-ended dusting brushes
  • Fine-textured sponge
  • Spider stencil (optional)
  • Long-bladed knife
  • White ribbon to edge cake board
  • Double-sided tape
  • Piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle


  1. To cover the cake board, knead 350g white sugarpaste until soft, then roll out to 3mm thick and 32cm in diameter, on your work board, which has been lightly greased with white vegetable fat. Dampen the surface of a 30cm (12in) round cake board with water, then drape the sugarpaste over the top. Using an icing smoother, or the fl at of your palm, gently smooth the sugarpaste over the board. Trim the excess with a small knife.
  2. Smear a thin layer of white vegetable fat over your Web Embosser. Place it on the coated cake board, and press it with your fingertips to emboss the web into the sugarpaste. Be careful not to press around the edges. Repeat randomly over the board. Set aside to dry.
  3. To cover the larger cake, place it in the centre of a sheet of baking parchment. Knead 1.25kg of the white sugarpaste until soft. Roll out to 5mm thick and 42cm in diameter.
  4. Drape the sugarpaste over your rolling pin, then lift it over the prepared cake to completely cover it. Starting at the top of the cake, and gently using the palm of your hand, smooth the sugarpaste flat. Then work down the sides, opening out any folds, and ease the paste onto the buttercreamed surface. Make sure the sugarpaste is smooth.
  5. Using an icing smoother, or the side of your hand, make a chopping motion at the base of the cake to create a neat indentation. Trim off the excess sugarpaste to form a neat finish.
  6. Smear your Web Embosser with a little white vegetable fat. Place it against the side of the cake, and emboss the web as before in a random pattern. Leave a few areas un-embossed in order to stencil the spiders later. Repeat Steps 3 to 6 to cover the smaller cake with the remaining 400g white sugarpaste and emboss with webs.
  7. Spoon white stiff peak icing in the centre of the cake board, and place the larger cake on top. Push four dowels into the cake, evenly spaced. Use an edible black pen to mark a line on each one, just above the surface. Remove the dowels, and cut through the marked lines. Return the dowels to the cake – each dowel should sit 1⁄2mm above the sugarpaste. Spread a little white stiff peak icing in the centre of the cake and place the smaller cake on top.
  8. Tip a little silver dusting powder onto kitchen paper. Load a straight-ended dusting brush with powder, and tap off the excess. Brush over the embossed spiders’ webs, moving the brush from side to side, to highlight the lines. Build up the amount of colour in layers rather than brushing one thick layer.
  9. Put a little black dusting powder in a bowl. Brush it over the silver highlights using the same method. Mix it in to create areas of light and shade. Leave to dry for two hours.
  10. Put a little black food colouring paste onto a plate and load a fine-textured sponge ready for use. Hold your Spider Stencil, head facing downwards, in an un-embossed area on the side of the top tier. Dab the sponge over your Spider Stencil, taking care not to stray over the outer edges.
  11. Once you have stencilled the entire spider motif, lift your Stencil away from the side of the cake, taking care not to smudge the outlines. Repeat to add as many spiders you want.
  12. Brush a line of black food colouring paste along the edge of a long-bladed knife. Carefully imprint a line from the tail of the spider to the top edge of the cake by gently touching the painted edge of the knife, tip facing downwards, onto the side of the cake. Edge the board with white ribbon, and secure with double-sided tape.
  13. Using a small piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle and black stiff peak icing, pipe eight legs for each spider. Pipe a small dot for the head and a larger dot for the body. Repeat to add as many spiders as you like.
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