Football boots

Football boots

All-in-one chocolate cake

The Birthday Cake Book
Laura Edwards

Guaranteed to delight a football fan when made in their team’s colours. If you have real football boots to copy, it will make these more realistic. Think of the all-in-one chocolate cake here a bit as you would a little black dress: bring it out for any occasion, and dress it up or down as mood dictates. Serve it at a children’s party, or fill with one of the icings below for a sophisticated celebration.

For the cake


Quantity Ingredient
225g unsalted butter, really soft and diced, plus more for the tins
180g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
225g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, mixed to a loose paste with 3–4 tablespoons boiling water and cooled

For the buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
100g 70% cocoa solids chocolate, chopped
or 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
150g unsalted butter, really soft
200g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate

Quantity Ingredient
840g white sugarpaste
christmas red food colour paste
baby blue food colour paste
liquorice food colour paste
icing sugar, to dust
30 g bag white royal icing
2 liquorice strips, about 75 cm long
chocolate footballs

Special equipment

Quantity Ingredient
20 cm square thin card
3 cm star cutter


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C. Butter a 20 cm, 7.5 cm deep square tin and line the base with baking parchment. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cocoa paste. Beat together but do not over-mix. Scrape into the tin. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. Remove from the oven, leave for a few minutes, then turn on to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the papers.
  2. For the buttercream, melt the chocolate, if using, in a small heatproof bowl over simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Cool. Beat the butter until pale and fluffy and add the icing sugar, vanilla and cocoa, if using. Beat for five minutes. Add the chocolate, if using, and beat again. It will thicken if you keep beating.
  3. If you are colouring your own sugarpaste, remove 40 g and colour it red. Next, colour 600 g blue and the final 200 g black. Give the cake a spell in the fridge, to make it easier to shape.
  4. Make a football boot template, about 20 cm long. Cut the card into two football boots, using the template; don’t forget to turn it over so you have one left and one right foot! Place the template on top of the cake and cut it into shape, straight down towards the board. Cut an oval about 10 x 4 cm in the back of each shoe (where the ankle goes) and scoop out the cake. Slope the front half of the shoe down towards the toe and the edges (it helps to have a real boot to copy). Stick each boot to its card with a little buttercream, then cover with buttercream.
  5. Next, on a work surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out half the blue sugarpaste to a 5 mm thick rectangle about 28 x 18 cm. Lift on to one of the boots and gently ease over, pressing into the foot hole and moulding around the sides. Repeat with the other boot and rub and smooth all over until you are happy with the shapes. To make the insides of the boots, roll out two black ovals of sugarpaste about 10 x 6 cm. Pipe royal icing into the two cavities and press into place. Cut two small ovals of black sugarpaste for the tongues (about 6 x 2 cm) and again stick in place on the front of the boots. Roll two large ‘U’ shapes for the laces panel in blue sugarpaste, each 1.5 cm thick and 9 cm long, wider towards the foot hole end, and position using royal icing.
  6. Using a cocktail stick, make stitch markings all around the inside and outside. Make five holes with a skewer either side for the laces. Cut the liquorice laces into eight 4 cm strips and press into the holes. Cut the remaining liquorice to form the four long laces. Cut a triangle from blue sugarpaste about 6 x 5 x 5 cm and cut off the point to form the flap. Stick into place, making stitch holes again with a cocktail stick. Roll out the red sugarpaste and cut out two stars and two 14 x 1.5 cm strips to make the flashes at the back of each boot. Stick on with royal icing.
  7. For the studs, roll out some black sugarpaste into a thin sausage and cut into 22 balls. Mould into studs and place under each of the boards, sticking around the heel, the front, and the edges, where they will be visible. Fill each boot with chocolate footballs.

Alternative icings to try

  • Caramel frosting: Fold 200 ml double cream and 4 tablespoons dulce de leche (or caramel spread) together lightly so that it is marbled.

    Chocolate ganache: Melt 150 g 70% cocoa solids chocolate over simmering water and mix into 150 g sour cream.

    Mocha: Beat 250 g mascarpone, then beat in 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar and 1 teaspoon strong cooled coffee.
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