Most people recognize Feb. 14, as Valentine’s Day, but it’s also the day Major League Baseball’s pitchers and catchers begin reporting for Spring Training this year. I start the countdown to this day as soon as the last out is made in the World Series.
And, it’s not just about the baseball — it means spring is on the way and summer is close behind here in the Northeast. I do have to admit that since attending a Spring Training game a few years ago, I was hooked more on this time of year than the regular season, at least when it comes to going to games — the stadiums are much more intimate, the people there truly enjoy the sport of baseball and you get to see a lot of your favorite players in more of a relaxed setting.
Back to the cake. So, to celebrate both Pitchers and Catchers Report Day and Valentine’s Day a heart-shaped cake with a baseball decorated in Valentine’s Day colors would be a good solution to acknowledge both big events going on!
1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix
1 box Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix
2 containers vanilla icing
1 container white icing
2 Wilton disposable decorating bags
Decorating tips 4, 16, 21 and 66
Wilton red icing coloring (you can use regular food dye)
large heart-shaped pan
Wilton sports ball pan set
Prepare the red velvet cake mix as directed on the box, following the cooking time for 13×9 pan size. Pour into the large heart-shaped pan, and bake. Prepare the devil’s food cake mix as directed, and pour about half the batter into only one of the balls in the Wilton sports ball pan set. (use the other half for Valentine’s Day cupcakes) Follow the directions on the Wilton sports ball pan set for cooking. (Lower the heat to 325 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes) Let both cakes cool completely on a cookie sheet before starting to decorate.
Dye both containers of vanilla frosting pink (you could do it red, but for me, it looked to much like a Boston Red Sox cake, and I’m a Yankees fan, so that wasn’t happening) Once you reach your desired color scoop the icing into a bag that has tip number 21 on it. I used a larger tip for the heart and a smaller tip for the baseball to give it some depth.
Start decorating the heart with the sides first and then the top. Before you get too far with the top, prepare the ball by cutting off any excess cake that would prevent it from sitting flat. Spread a thin coat of icing on the flat part and place in the center of the heart cake. When decorating near the ball go as close as you can without actually getting the frosting on the cake.
Fill another bag with white icing and using tip 16 decorate the ball.
Using the bag with pink icing and tip number 4, create baseball-like curved lines – small ones at the top and bottom and one large one. Switch over to tip 66 to make the baseball threads, spacing them evenly apart.