Space Shuttle Cake {A Cake Decorating Tutorial}

Remember a couple of months ago when my Hudson-boy turned five? Remember his space cake and how I promised you step-by-step photos? Well, I’m finally delivering on my promise.

I’ve only ever shared two other cakes on this blog before, and that’s because I’ve only MADE two other cakes with fondant before. Both were for Abby, and both are in the top five highest trafficked posts here at CailaMade. Yes, my two CAKE posts are some of the most popular posts on my SEWING blog–ha! All I can say is, people ย must type “cake decorating for beginners” into their Google search often.

Before I get started, you should know that decorating cakes is not my area of expertise. I make cakes for my kid’s birthday parties because it’s fun and they ask me specifically to make them special cakes. How can I say no?

Therefore, these posts are written for beginning cake decorators by a beginner cake decorator. I make it up as I go, as you will soon see.

OK, here it goes! My steps for making the Space Shuttle Cake.

1. I started out with a square pound cake, made by a friend of mine who actually is an experienced cake-maker/decorator. This is a firm pound cake, perfect for carving. After I carved and put the shape of my space shuttle together, I covered it with a sweet syrup to soften it up.

Start with your cake on a thick piece of cardboard, covered with foil, or a cake plate. It must be large enough for the finished cake with wings.

2. On a piece of wax paper draw out the dimensions of your cake (see #1 below). Divide the square into various shapes to form the basic body of a space shuttle (#2). Next, cut the pieces out and make sure they fit together right (#3). Make sure you have enough cake for the space shuttle body.

Sorry these pictures are so bad, it was the middle of the night.ย 

3. Use the cut pieces of wax paper as guides for cutting your cake.

4. Piece the shape of your Space Shuttle together. I made a few changes at this point, like angling the nose piece. Just go with whatever works for you.

“Glue” your cake pieces together using regular frosting.

5. Round off the nose.

6. Using cardboard, trace the shape of a Space Shuttle wing. Cut two wings and place them alongside the body of your Space Shuttle.

7. ADDING THE FONDANT: I don’t have any pictures of this part, but prepare your fondant by rolling it out on a flat surface dusted with powdered sugar. Make sure it’s thick enough to cover your cake without falling apart. You don’t want the cake showing through. (I didn’t have quite enough fondant, so mine turned out a bit too thin).

Lay your fondant over the cake and smooth it down. Use a knife to cut the excess fondant along the bottom of the cake.

Cover the cardboard wings with fondant in the same way. Make sure all the sides are covered. Smooth as best you can.

At this point I added some details with black decorating gel. I should have used something else for the black, but I decorated this cake on the 4th of July and the craft stores weren’t open.

8. Prepare the vertical tail wing: Cut out a piece of white cardboard in the right shape and draw in the details with a permanent marker.

Your cake should be starting to take shape!

For the rest of the details, I referred to pictures of the Orbiter Space Shuttle I found online.

Here is the finished product! Not professional, but still perfect in my son’s eyes. It looked like a space shuttle and that’s what matters!

We added a little American flag on the other wing, but I don’t have a picture of that detail.

As a finishing touch, I added some long, black candles to the back of the cake for rocket blasters. This part was a great hit with the kids!

The cake tasted delicious…

…and the space party was a success.

If you use these instructions to make your own Space Shuttle Cake, I’d love to hear from you and see pictures! Thanks so much for visiting CailaMade!


  1. says

    That cake is awesome! You did a great job! I love making cakes for my kids b-day’s but I’m no professional either. I love that my kids always think they are so “cool”! This year I made a dinosaur cake with volcanoes. It was fun to see their faces ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so impressed that you used fondant. I’m kinda scared of it, but might have to give it a go next time.

    • says

      Thanks Leigh-Anne! You SOUND like a pretty good cake decorator if you made a dinosaur cake with volcanoes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t let fondant scare you; it’s easy!