Learn how to make the perfect number cake for your birthday parties and other occasions! Everything you need to know about this number cake, how to make it, which crust and fillings to choose and all my tips to make it successful.
What is number cakes?
The number cake is a very popular recipe on social networks and pinterest, created by a young Israeli baker Adi Klinghofer.
With its original and graphic shape which makes all its success, the number cake recipe is the ultimate cake for celebrating a birthday next to the layer cakes.
This recipe of number cake is easily declined in all the shapes to make a letter cake (alphabet cake) or still under other symbols like heart cake or in shape of ring, perfect for a wedding cake.
Mostly made of 2 sweet crust bases assembled in a sandwich and filled with a creamy frosting. You can customize this birthday cake according to your tastes and desires and decorate it with fresh fruits, chocolate, and candies.
>> See all birthday cake recipes
Sweet shortcrust pastry and templates
To make a number cake we generally use a sweet shortcrust or as here a homemade amond sandy sweet shortcrust pastry (pâte sablée).
We make first a sanding by mixing flour, with powdered sugar, almond meal and unsalted cold butter, then we add an egg which comes to bind the dough.
Then cut the dough into the desired shape with a small knife and a pattern using the templates below to print on a sheet of A4 paper (8,3 x 11,7 inches).
But you can just as easily use a puff pastry sheet in a savory or sweet version or a vanilla or chocolate genoise sponge sheet.
All kinds of frosting can be used to make a number cake, a mascarpone whipped cream, vanilla buttercream, a dark whipped chocolate ganache, etc..
It is important to use a frosting with a firm enough texture to prevent it from collapsing under the weight of the sweet shortcrust and decorations.
The best frosting recipe is the diplomat cream, the same one that is used in the French Fraisier cake. It is simply a pastry cream with gelatine into which we then incorporate heavy whipping cream.
Here are some ideas for frosting to use in your number cakes:
- Whipped chocolate ganache
- Mascarpone whipped cream
- Chocolate mascarpone whipped cream
- Pastry cream
- Chocolate ganache
- Mousseline cream
- Cream cheese icing
- Vanilla buttercream
Let's get creative! Once you've found your base and filling, you have endless choices for decorating your number cake!
According to the theme of the party and the tastes you can create unique, colorful and very tasty desserts.
Here are some ideas to decorate your number cake:
- Fruit: Add some fresh fruitS slices for color, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or exotic fruits, such as passion fruit, mango etc.
- Chocolate: Kinder Bueno, Malteser, Kit Kat, Bounty, Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello, Kinder maxi, Oreo, Speculoos, etc.
- Candy: meringues cookies, macarons, sugar pearls, sprinkles, candies, chocolate shavings, popcorn.
- Flowers: Use preferably edible flowers, or avoid direct contact of the flowers with the cream.
Find inspiration on instagram with : #numbercake
How to make a Number Cake recipe
1 - Make the cake number
- Roll out the sweet shortcrust pastry on a sheet of baking paper to a thickness of 3-4 mm.
- Place your paper pattern in the center of the dough and glue it in place, pressing lightly with your hands to prevent it from moving during cutting.
- Using a small knife, cut out the outline of the pattern and remove the excess dough.
- Repeat again to get two cake numbers of sweet shortcrust pastry.
- Bake the two number cake in a preheated oven at 350°F / 180°C for about 10 to 12 minutes then let them cool completely before moving them gently.
Tip: Place the rolled out dough in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting to get a nice clean shape.
2 - Make the diplomat cream filling
- Prepare the diplomat cream recipe and fill a pastry bag with a round piping tip.
- Pipe small balls of cream over the entire surface of the first layer of sweet shortcrust pastry.
- Place the second layer of shortcrust and again pipe the cream over the entire surface to cover it completely.
Tip: Let the sweet shortcrust pastry cool completely before making the number cake.
3 - Decoration
- Then add your decorations, starting with the larger ones, fresh fruits and macarons.
- Then fill in the gaps with small decorations, meringues cookies, pearls, etc.
- Place your number cake in the fridge until ready to serve.
This number cake recipe keeps like a cream tart, stored in the fridge in a storage box for about 1-2 days.
You can make ahead the sweet shortcrust pastry and fillings the day before and do all the number cake assembly at the last minute.
Frequently Asked Questions
A number cake is usually made on an A4 template (21 cm x 29,7cm).
To cut a number cake, use a large knife and hold the top the shortcrust between your fingers while cutting to avoid crushing the filling.
Place the number cake on a large rectangle cake board and in a large baking box to transport your cake.
In a number cake made with an A4 pattern, you will have about 6 servings.
More birthday cakes
- Strawberry Layer Cake
- Vanilla birthday cake
- Strawberry whipped cream cake
- Chocolate strawberry cake
- Kinder Cake
- How to make Cake pops
Did you like this recipe? Don't forget to rate it and leave me a review in the comments! And to not miss any recipes follow @sweetlycakes on Instagram and tag me to share it if you make this recipe 😊!Print
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 slices
How to make a number cake, with a sweet shortcrust pastry, strawberries and diplomat cream (for a cake of about 6 slices)
Shortbread crust :
- 250 g flour - all-purpose
- 80 g powdered sugar
- 40 g almond meal
- 1 pinch of salt
- 125 g cold butter
- 1 egg
- 250 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 40 g egg yolks (about 3)
- 60 g granulated sugar
- 20 g cornstarch
- 2 sheets of gelatin
- 250 ml heavy cream - full fat and cold
- In a large bowl place the flour with the powdered sugar, almond meal and pinch of salt.
- Add the cold butter pieces and mix with your fingertips until you have a sandy mixture.
- Then add the egg and gather the mixture until it forms a ball of dough.
- Cover on contact with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on 2 sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of 3-4 mm.
- Place the dough disc in the freezer for at least 10 minutes, then peel it off the 2 sheets of baking paper.
- Place the cold disc of dough on a silicone baking mat or a sheet of parchment paper and place the paper pattern in the center, sticking well to the dough.
- Using a knife, cut along the outline of the paper pattern.
- Remove the excess dough, then gently peel off the paper pattern.
- Repeat the last step to cut out the second cake number.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and bake the 2 dough numbers for about 10-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned on top.
- Let them cool completely.
- Bring the milk to a boil with the vanilla bean, cut in half and scraped out, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rehydrate the gelatin leaves in a small bowl of cold water.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and pour it into the bowl containing the egg yolks while whisking.
- Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat while whisking constantly until the cream thickens, at the first boil continue to heat for another 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
- Add the gelatin, previously wrung out, and mix vigorously to incorporate it.
- Pour the pastry cream into a large baking dish and cover with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator until cool.
- In a bowl, whip the cold heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff.
- In another bowl, whip the cold pastry cream with a whisk to loosen it, then gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula until you have a smooth, firm diplomat cream.
Assembling the number cake
- Place a first layer of shortcrust on a large plate or cake board.
- Using a piping bag filled with diplomat cream, pipe balls of the same diameter to cover the entire cake number.
- Gently pipe the second layer to cover the first one and again pipe diplomat cream with the piping bag.
- Decorate with the strawberry pieces, then the macarons and finish with the small meringue cookies.
- Place the number cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Storage: Place the number cake in the refrigerator in a storage box or under cling film for 1-2 days.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: dessert, cake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: number cake, lette cake, alphabet cake
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