How to make a Spiderman Cake


Spider man is here

I don’t remember having any such cake as a child.

My Mother was never the frilly apron type. In fact her apron was not required much as her attitude to cooking was… why ? Admittedly there was little time for cooking with four small children a Pekinese dog and a cat called Tiger who was a needy orphan after having been dumped as a 4 week old baby in Toongabbie Creek.

Much praise was bestowed upon the convenience of ready-made family pies, just add water and beat Pavlova mixes, packet cheesecakes and teenagers learning to cook. And, learn to cook we did so that the relentless parade of crumbed sausages and peas would stop.

I don’t recall having a birthday cake because my birthday is on New Years Day and we always had a family barbeque on New Years Eve. My cake would be disguised as a Pavlova or Pineapple Cheesecake (packet made ) and doubled as dessert.  On the odd occasion, when I was a little older, I remember having a passionfruit sponge from Healeys bakery near the station, resplendent with mock cream and a dome of yellow passionfruit icing.

head shot of spider man

As I’ve grown older I often feel quite embarrassed if I am presented with a cake. It may be something to do with being brought up in a no fuss, oh that’s right it’s your birthday environment. On the other hand I live to make cakes for others. As I have previously stated most cost me money, besides the fact that I am supposed to be making them for extra income. I just want to make them perfect (as they would say on Masterchef ). Really.

This beauty was for a 3 year old and his 40 family members and tiny cake finger friends. His parents were very specific about the colours and so with my red and blue guidelines I set off for inspiration.  Thanks to several people out there in the world of pinterest I smashed together a couple of ideas and came up with this. I’ve put together a quick video so that you can see how I did it.

How to make a Spiderman Cake
I've used a moist chocolate cake that is a bit of a staple of my chocolate cakes when I decorate. I doubled the recipe 30cm(12in) if you want a smaller cake just make the recipe once. It will make 2- 4 layers of a 24cm (10in) cake or 4 layers of a 20cm (8in)
My Kitchen Stories:
Chocolate cake
Preheat oven 350F/175C. I used a 30 cm tin. I doubled the recipe. Grease 2x 24cm or 10 inch for up to 12 people. I doubled the recipe
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 200gm/1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups plain flour (150 gm's each cup)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
Milk chocolate buttercream icing
  • 500gm (1.1lb) unsalted butter softened ( or ½ this for a 20/24cm cake)
  • 2 heaped cups sifted pure icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 200gm (7oz) melted milk chocolate (or dark if you like)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
What you will need for decorating
  • 1 kg (2.2lb) roll of white roll out icing ( plastic, fondant, sugar) - ½ this for smalller cakes
  • sky blue food colouring
  • 1 kg (2.2lb) red roll out icing (ready made)
  • 500gm (1.1lb) black icing ( ready made)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups of pure icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 x cake base depending on the size of your cake.
  • You will need a baking tray lined with paper
  • 2 disposable piping bags ( available in the supermarket or cook shop)
  • A rolling pin
  • a palate knife or spatula
  • a sharp pairing knife
  • Extra icing sugar and a sifter ?
  1. Pour the water gradually over the cocoa in a bowl whisking till smooth. Set aside till cooled
  2. Put the butter into the bowl of a mixer and beat till light . Add the sugar and salt and continue beating till light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together . Add the cocoa mixture and the flour alternatively.
  5. Split the batter evenly and smooth down.
  6. Bake for 35-40 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and then turn out.
The cakes can be made a day or two ahead. They need to be well chilled before assembling.
Trim the cakes till the rounds are the same thickness and size. You may have to lay them on the bench and trim till even. (if you have doubled the recipe you will have 4 layers)
Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Beat the softened butter till very light and fluffy. Add the sifted sugar and salt and beat till very light. Around 10 minutes. Beat in the melted cooled chocolate gradually. Add a squeeze of lemon ( 2 teaspoon, this will even out the flavour)
  2. Use a cake board or a cake stand. To rest your cake on. Start to add your buttercream adding an equal amount for each layer, approximately 1 x 1½ cups ( for a bigger cake).
  3. Continue like this till the layers are finished.
  4. Cover with a very thin coat of buttercream. Chill for 15 minutes and then cover with another thin layer if there is some left. chill if the weather is hot. You can cover a cake base with red icing if you like. Knead till soft . Sprinkle the bench lightly with icing sugar. Spread the board with a spoon of buttercream to help the icing stick. Roll out ½ of the red icing in a thin round and fold over the rolling pin onto the cake. Trim the edges. Add a little more buttercream to the iced board and gently put the cake into the middle of it.
  5. Knead the ¾ white plastic roll out icing ( the remainder is for the eyes) till soft and then start to add some blue colouring ( approx ½ teaspoon) Knead till smooth and evenly coloured. Sprinkle a clean bench with icing sugar ( no lumps) . Measure the size of the cake from side to side and across the top so you know how big to roll out the icing. Try not to get too much icing sugar on the icing as it will show on the finished cake. Roll the icing out fold over the cake smoothing down with an icing smoother or clean teatowel
  6. Next make the spider man head.
  7. Please watch my video for visual instructions. @My Kitchen Stories/ Tania Cusack on utube
  8. You will need to make the head, the buildings and the eyes.
  9. The recipe for royal icing is ½ an egg white , ¼ teaspoon lemon juice and approximately 1 cup of pure sifted icing sugar added gradually and mixed till smooth. It needs to be the consistency of toothpaste . if too thin add more to the mixxture. This can be used as glue to stick decorations onto the cake and as the tiny white windows on the cut out buildings.



Spiderman cake.

They ordered these cupcakes too just in case there wasn’t enough cake.

and cupcakessigniture


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BBQ Sprouts, Grilled Salami, Smoked Mozzarella

BBQ'd Sprouts

Sponsored Post

It seems that BBQing is still a man’s domain. Men are expected to turn the snags at the family do. Don’t get in their way.

After years on the grill in restaurants managing to juggle a multitude of orders for different meals cooked to order, I am  still treated like an interloper if I offer to wield the tongs at a BBQ. Even though I am sure I can BBQ much better than most male people I know, I feel like I’ve entered the wrong locker-room and duly scuttle back off to the kitchen with the women.

Despite loving to grill we don’t have a BBQ at our house, and Skater and I often stop by the shops to look at all the BBQ’s. Its a strange thing that my son, who is not so interested in food really loves the whole idea of a BBQ. It could be the natural lure of the mens business, I am not sure, but on a trip to the Supa Centa to get a new printer on the weekend we took a detour past Barbecues Galore, the BBQ store .

bbq sprouts

Once inside the store we marvelled at the wok burner on the side, monster- sized BBQ’s and oo-ed over the large lidded grills. When a salesman sidled up and we started to chat. He suggested we should look at the Ziegler and Brown or the “Ziggy” – “Because if you guys don’t have much room and you live in a rental house,  it’s easy to move anywhere you go.”  So, even before we were able to tell him we were really just dreaming, he proceeded to give us the run down on the Ziggy.

the ziggy

It looks a bit like that famous brand of flip top BBQ’s that have been around forever. So I asked what the difference is and apparently it’s all about the burners and the high dome. This Ziggy is designed to cook perfectly with the lid up or down because there is more burner coverage, more heat in the double or triple burner. The salesman suggested using them together for high heat or independently for a gentle heat or when there’s just one or two people.  He went on to tell me how he bought one on special and that he bakes and roasts and even makes pizzas in his………..all the while he talked to my son, who was exclaiming superlatives like…awesome & cool & sick.  They bonded over the flame thrower on each burner……….did I tell you that this was all directed to my son, kind of like I’d walked up to a group of men barbecuing in the park. Secret BBQing business. That is when I told him that we were just dreaming. We left the shop to go and get our printer chatting about where we’ll put our Ziggy one day.

I got home and still dreaming, thought of what I could make. I wanted a recipe that was all about the thrill of the grill, that used the idea of the lid, and the smokey charry flat grill. I came up with this warm Brussel sprout salad. If you don’t like sprouts you can use cauliflower or potatoes or even fennel.

4.3 from 3 reviews
BBQ Sprouts, Grilled salami, Smoked mozzarella
Make this warm salad on the BBQ and take the cooking outside
My Kitchen Stories:
  • 500gm Brussel Sprouts halved if large or left whole if small
  • 6 slices of hot salami ( or mild if you prefer)
  • 6 slices of eye bacon
  • ½ bunch chives
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • 50gm toasted pinenuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons good balsamic
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra olive oil
  • 100gm smoked mozzarella ( or feta if none available)
  1. Prepare all of the other ingredients before you start. The chopped parsley, chopped chives, toasted pinenuts, ½'d salami and bacon pieces, grated mozzarella .
  2. Take a large bowl and add the trimmed sprouts, salt pepper and olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a flat BBQ plate till very hot, then turn down to medium. Lay all of the salami and bacon pieces on the grill. Turn after 1 minute and brown up the other side before taking off the grill and putting on a plate.
  4. Put the sprouts on the the grill and turn every couple of minutes, cooking and charring on all sides, put the lid down. The temperature will rise to about 200C between each time you move them around approximately 10 minutes. Test the sprouts with the tip of a knife and when the knife pierces easily they should be done.
  5. Scoop all of the sprouts back into the bowl and add the salami, bacon, parsley, chives & nuts. Mix together.
  6. Dress very simply with the balsamic and extra olive oil. Add a grind of fresh pepper and taste it for salt, add more if necessary . Put onto a plate and sprinkle with the smoked grated mozzarella.
This salad can be prepared by using a frypan and oven if you don't have a BBQ

Brussel sprouts

 ziggy BBQLooks like a little robot….Ziggy is exclusive to Barbeques galore. One day Ziggy, one day..


This post was sponsored by Ziegler and Brown and I still wish I had one.

Smoked Mozzarella is available at Paesanella Food Emporium Sydney

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