Any rugby fan obsessed with the oval ball game will be delighted to have their favorite sport incorporated into their birthday celebrations. This does not just have to mean attending a game, receiving a replica shirt, or getting a shout-out from one of their heroes, you can do your bit too in the form of a birthday rugby ball cake.
Make their day a special one with a centerpiece to remember for the family gathering or when their friends all ensemble for the celebration. Give them a cake to remember with a unique rugby-themed decor that will leave guests in awe and the birthday boy/girl with a smile as wide as the posts!
We have divided our ideas up into five manageable sections for you to browse through and select on your capability, budget and ambition. There are three choices in each of the sub-categories we have focused on which have been divided into three levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert) ;
- Keep It Simple
- Try Time
- Trophy Focus
Feel free to mix and match some of the 15 creative and innovative ideas amongst the options below and if you are feeling confident enough, try combining a few different ones to take your rugby cake to the next level!
For a rough guide to how we have categorized the difficulty level, see below for a basic explanation before you begin;
Beginner: Attempting cake decoration for the first time and has little or no knowledge of baking or the preparation involved
Intermediate: Has baked cakes before but only performed simple tasks rather than anything too tasking or intricate
Expert: Has designed and completed many culinary masterpieces in the past and thrives on the challenge of new ideas and experimental cooking techniques
Keep It Simple
1. Keep It Simple 1: Ball And Candles (Beginner)
There are two basic ways of accomplishing this. Firstly you can make the entire cake the ball and shape it like a rugby ball. Alternatively, have the cake base as the pitch (green) and place the rugby ball as an accessory amongst the candles.
Use thin strips of white fondant to match the pattern of rugby balls.
2. Keep It Simple 2: Add Some Posts (Intermediate)
It is optional to repeat the above and include some posts or to make the set of posts the main focus and get creative around them. Focus on one half or include an entire pitch, you could be lining up a kick at the posts or even make some little post-protectors to accompany them.
3. Keep It Simple 3: Introduce A Player (Expert)
This is where it can get tricky and verging on moving away from simplicity (depending on how accurate you want your player to be).
If you wish to produce a random player whose face can remain unrecognizable and anonymous if needs be then great. This will allow you to focus on body shape, the kit, and other small details rather than the awkward facial expressions and individual markings a specific player design can hold.
4. Try Time 1: Player Scoring (Beginner)
This can be an interesting one for a novice cake-maker as there is a plethora of scoring scenarios to choose from. There could be a dive for the corner flag, a casual placement of the ball, a drive over the line amongst a crowd of bodies or a race to gound a free ball over the line.
5. Try Time 2: Player Being Tackled Whilst Scoring (Intermediate)
Alternatively, a player being tackled over the line can always create some drama and action to your birthday cake. Whether it is under the sticks or in the corner, this occurrence can add drama to the game and a sense of realism to your cake.
6. Try Time 3: Try celebration With A Teammate (Expert)
You can use your imagination with this one in terms of replicating a current or previous celebration that your team has performed or conjure your own if you are feeling brave. This could be a basic hug, an enthusiastic high five or an extravagant jump in jubilation.
7. International 1: Flag And Ball Combo (Beginner)
A Straightforward extension to the basic ball cake is by adding a country’s flag to the equation. You can make the flag the base whilst adding a ball on top to include the rugby them or vice versa. Having the ball as a base allows you to add flags and names of your choosing on the ball cake itself.
8. International 2: Emblem, Ball And Player Combo (Intermediate)
Similar to the idea above but whereas most flags involve simple patterns like stripes and squares, international rugby emblems are more recognisable by their increasingly complex appearances. Wether it is a Wallaby, a Springbok, Red Rose or Three Feathers, a significant challenge awaits you.
9. International 3: Recreate A Moment (Expert)
There are many iconic moments throughout rugby history, time to pick your favourite or the one that means the most to your child.
Recreating a Grand Slam win or World Cup victory would be the go-to options whereas you could also attempt a winning kick, drop-goal or try for your cake. It could even be a favourite big hitting tackle or swerving sidestep depending on your personal preferences.
10. Trophy Focus 1: William Webb Ellis (Beginner)
The famous William Webb Ellis trophy has become synonymous with the Rugby World Cup. The stunning golden cup is presented to the winning captain to lift after the victory in the World Cup Final and can make a fantastic birthday cake for rugby fanatics.
Subtle additions to your Webb Ellis Trophy cake can be the winning country’s flag or emblem if you are confident enough to try it.
11. Trophy Focus 2: Six Nations (Intermediate)
For a European flavour, shift focus to the silver Six Nations trophy as a cake base. If you decide to celebrate a particular campaign you could have your countries flag as a central component close to the trophy then include the other Nations’ flags around the cake and input the scores from each game underneath.
12. Trophy Focus 3: Domestic Cup (Expert)
The primary reason for this being categorized as expert is not because a domestic cup or trophy is harder to make than the two above. It is more to do with the range available and the level of research required to provide accuracy and to avoid disappointment.
Having already discussed two of world rugby’s most well-known competitions and the ide of having their respective trophy for your birthday cake inspiration naturally means the less celebrated competitions will be harder to find, replicate and bring to life because of their less prominent exposure.
That being said, it is possible that whichever trophy you decide to attempt may be less complicated than the two main ones. You could choose other well-known trophies or even replicate something much more personal like a local trophy that your child has won or competed in recently.
This also makes the cake unique and extremely special to you and your family.
13. Personalized 1: TMO (Beginner)
One of the most innovative and modern ideas on this list but also arguably one of the easiest to construct as well. All you need is a large screen ad then you can pretend that the TMO (Television Match Official) has put happy birthday on their screen instead of the usual try or no-try.
You could even add in a team of officials looking up at the screen awaiting the decision and holding their ear-mics to listen in to the discussion if you wished.
14. Personalized 2: Favourites (Intermediate)
This is where knowing your child well helps. Combine all the teams they play for (school/college, club, district, country, region etc) onto one cake. You can blur the teams colors together or even segment the cake so each area is clear and separate from the others.
Maybe a picture of your child in the middle with all their teams badges and clors surrounding their image would be an appropriate touch.
15. Personalized 3: The Haka (Expert)
Seeing The All Blacks perform the Haka before a match is perhaps one of the most iconic sights in global sport let alone international rugby alone.
The pre-match ritual is also conducted by pacific island countries such as Tonga, Samoa and Fiji but it is the New Zealand and New Zealand Maori war dance that has captured the attention and clamour of the global game.
Traditonally performed by the entire team (all 23 match-day squad members) before they do battle, the Haka is intimidating and mesmirising when in front of it in person. You may astuggle to fit every player onto your cake so should consider reducing numbers to something more manageable.
Usually there is one leader, either a Maori representative or the team captain that will be vocal and dempnstarte actions for their teammates to follow suit. This can be your lead figure with the supporting cake figures all doing the same motion behind the leader who will have their own individual stance on the cake.