July 21, 2017

How do I use a Ball Cake Tin?

We are often asked about how to use ball tins. Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that the ball tins we sell have the manufacturer’s suggestions/instructions printed on the reverse of the box label so please remove it if you are throwing the box out!

If you are making a fruit cake in the ball tin you will bake the cake as one ball. Line both halves and sit the bottom half in the tin stand. Fill that half with mixture and continue to pile up the mixture effectively creating the ball shape, leaving a little gap at the top for the cake to rise. Place the top half of the tin over the domed up cake mixture and lock into place, ready for baking.

Space Shuttle from 'Quick and Clever Party Cakes'

Space Shuttle from 'Quick and Clever Party Cakes'

If you are doing a Madeira or Chocolate ball shaped cake we find baking the cake in two halves works best. Line the tins as before and sit the bottom half in the stand. Fill almost to the top. Then make a scrunched up ring of foil to sit the other tin half in. Fill that one almost to the top with mixture and then bake the cakes as normal. When the cakes have cooled trim to the top of the tins and sandwich with buttercream.

Halloween Bat Cake from Party Animal Cakes

Halloween Bat Cake from Party Animal Cakes

Don’t be tempted to use a soft sponge like a Victoria sponge. It’s not strong enough to hold the shape when iced, so will end up getting squashed under the weight. You can also use your tin for other things, try it out for your Christmas pudding, ice cream bombes, steamed puddings and summer puddings.

Tin for cooking a ball cake

Tin for cooking a ball cake


  1. Please help – I can’t line my ball tin to save my life! I know how you’re supposed to cut the greaseproof paper and then stick it round the ball with veg oil but my paper WOULD NOT STICK!

    Had to give up in the end, relied on greasing & flouring the tin & fortunately got away with it!

    Would love to be able to do it properly though – what am I doing wrong?

    Also on the subject of ball tins, why can’t you get them any bigger than 6in?

  2. Hi Jenny
    My guess is that you were using baking paper, which sticks to nothing……try using greasproof paper instead. Regards the size of ball tins, I’m afraid I don’t know of any manufactuer that makes them larger, but can I suggest that you find a large circular oven proof bowl, forexample a pryex bowl, and cook your cake in two halves and then sandwich these together to form a ball.

  3. not sure if this helps but i bought some of the wilton bake easy spray…and since using it i have not had to line one tin!!!!!!

  4. lindy…im a bit confused about the fruit cake bit…im going to order these tins at the end of the month( pay day!) if you keep piling it up doesnt it all fall out over the sides ???

  5. Hi Shelley
    Fruit cakes don’t rise that much, so nothe mix doesn’t all fall out!

  6. Hi Shelley
    I have used this too but I’m not a fan!

  7. Hello Lindy, I really hope you could give me some help on this one, I have seen some beautiful small ball cakes used for a wedding I would love to recreate these, but I can only find the mini ball pans and they seem too big for the balls. Firstly,are there any other smaller ball pans available and secondly, is there a special knack to icing them, how do you manage to get them so round?

    I eagerly wait for your reply. Thanks Sharon

  8. Hi Lyndy,
    is it possible to tier two sphere cakes?

  9. Hello Sharon,
    You will find some ball cakes in Lindy’s Cakes To Inspire and Desire (available on online shop at our online shop). We also supply three sizes of ball tins. Hope this helps.

  10. Hello Aileen,
    The best way would be to have the top tier as a dummy cake. This way it would not weigh down the bottom tier and you wouldn’t loose the ball shape of the bottom tier. To do this you would need to dowel through both cakes.
    Alternatively using cake for both tiers, you would need to flatten the top of the bottom tier. Dowel it and place a small round cakeboard on the top. Then place the top tier on using royal icing to secure it to the cakeboard. You can find all items you need from our online shop.
    Good Luck

  11. Thanks Jane,
    I might try it with cake I have plenty of practice time, I’m thinking of a snowman cake and thought of tiered spheres.


  12. i now use a wilton product called cake release, i have never had to line a tin since and it works perfectly every time. This is a miracle for meas i do a massive amount of novelty cakes which often require unusual shape tins, i can highly reccomend ths product, but also if you cant find i cheap, another very good and easy method to save having to line awquard tins is to grease them with butter and then use flour to coat, cover all surfaces of the tin with the flour and remove the excess by giving it a quick tap upside down and this will solve the problem, hope this helps!

  13. Hi Lindy,

    I baked & filled the ball cake. Then i put two halves together but got cylinder cake, rather the ball. Shouldn’t i cut into the layers & fill them?


  14. Hi Sibel,
    This may have happened if you used a light sponge cake. It shouldn’t happen with a more dense cake like a Madeira.
    We wouldn’t suggest cutting into the layers and filling them as this makes the cake less stable.


  15. Hi

    Please help, my friend has asked me to make the space shuttle cake for her son, no problem I said, however she would like it to be a chocolate cake !! have you got a receipe for the 6″ ball tin. Hope you can help!!

  16. Hi Adele,
    Yes for a 6″ ball tin use an 8″ round tin recipe.

  17. Thank you for that Marina, Hopefully everything will go well fingers and legs crossed – I am going to try Mud Pie receipe !!

  18. Hi Lindy,

    Im going to have a go at novelty cakes. I have bought one of your books for beginners. There are alot of cakes that need spherical cake tins. Ive been looking online for them and have found some but in your book you state the size in litres/cups/pints. Would you be able to tell what size these are in inches please. Then i can order them.
    Pam :-)

  19. Hi Pam,

    I have added more information for you on the sizes of the Silverwood Ball Tins, please see the bolded typing.

    An easy way to create a ball/ sphere cake.
    The tins come in 3 sizes:

    Large ball tin

    16cm (6 1/4 in) diameter, ideal for novelty cakes eg footballs = 4 pints/2 litres.

    Medium ball tin

    12.5cm (5in) diameter, ideal for smaller novelty eg teapots and the Christmas bauble = 2 pints/1 litre.

    Small ball tin

    10cm (4in) diameter, used by Lindy to create the small ball cakes on top of her wedding cakes = 1 pint/ 1/2 litre

    I hope this information helps you.


  20. Can you share some information about the shuttle atop the sphere? Thanks!

  21. lynda morrison says:


    I am just about to make my first ball cake. How do you attach a ball cake to its cake board, will it just sit there and not move?


  22. Hi Lynda,
    You need to cover the ball cake first and then attach it to the board using Royal Icing,
    Good luck!

  23. Eileen
    The shuttle and moon cake is from my ‘quick and clever party cakes’ book. I don’t have copies to sell but you can still find them if you search….
    Good luck

  24. mary joseph says:

    I baked a cake in each half of the ball pan.placed it on the ring stand and then on a cookie sheet as per instructions on the box., but the cake was undercooked and took double the time to get fully baked. Please tell me what I did wrong. How to we adjust the baking time to suit a ball shaped cake. The recipe I followed was for a 9′ square pan.

  25. Hi Mary,
    What size ball tin did you use?

  26. siobhan brown says:

    hi please can you help? i have had the same problem, long cooking time and the cake just does’nt look right. i am using the wilton football cake tin but cant seem to find a recipe for it anywhere



  27. Hi Siobhan,
    If its not coming our right, then you could fill the tin with water and transfer this to a regular cake tin. By doing this you will see how much mixture you will need and can tweak your recipe accordingly.
    All the best,


  28. Amanda Marshall says:

    Hi, i’ve bn asked to make a ‘golden snitch’ cake (its an item from the harry potter films). i have decided to use a ball tin for this and just wondering if any1 has any advice on making this. (I am pretty new to making novelty cakes)

  29. Hi Amanda,
    A Golden Snitch cake sounds great!
    All the tips that we have for using a ball tin are on this blog.
    Is anyone else able to offer anything further to Amanda?

    Best wishes

  30. Hi Lindy
    Is it possible to bake a sponge cake in the spherical tin without baking it in two halfs?

    Many thanks


  31. Hi. Could you suggest the best chocolate cake recipe for the Silverwood 6″ spherical tin? Would it be better to bake the two halves separately, or assembled? I’m hoping to try a 3D Dora the Explorer head (eeek!)

    One more question… the instructions for all Wilton 3d tins (3d stand up teddy bear, egg, car etc) warn against greasing with only butter or oil; they recommend shortening and flour, or Cake Release etc. What happens if one only butters/ oils such tins?

    Thanks for your great site:)

  32. Hi Natalie,
    We recommend baking a sponge cake in two halfs when it is in a spherical tin.
    We have tried doing it in the whole tin and the mix spilled out of the top and left a hole in the middle.
    Happy baking!

  33. Hi Aurora,
    The best chocolate cake recipe we recommend for the spherical tin is in each of Lindy’s books. It is rich and firm, so will keep its shape well.
    Lindy always lines a ball tin with baking parchment and there are instructions show in her books, picturing how to do it easily.
    May the cake be with you.

  34. Hi Lindy and all, Just baked a cake in the ball mould and used Lakeland”s cake release it was great. Just fell out onto my hands.

  35. Hello all
    How can I make a big apple shaped cake ? Like the big apple for New York.

    Thank you

  36. Hi Susan

    You could use Lindy’s ball cake tin. Please see the link below if you would like to buy one.

    Happy Baking!



  37. Jane Stephenson says:

    I am interested in making one of your sphere cakes. Please can you tell me how to keep the bottom round??
    Will the wait of the cake, esp if made in fruit, not make the bottom go flat??
    Thank you very much,

  38. Helen Donovan says:

    Hi, I have two halves of your ball cake in my oven as I type – I have been asked to make a Zumba booby cake for a charity fundraiser for a disabled childrens nursery which has had its funding cut. Need to make a woman’s torso with a strappy ZUMBA top. Am using the two halves for boobs and a traybake tin for the torso, fingers crossed! Hope it works, will let you know how it turns out!! ‘

  39. Hi Jane,
    These tins will ensure that the cake is round. The weight won’t affect it.
    Enjoy your baking!

  40. Dear Helen

    Good luck with the Zumba cake. Let us know how it turns out!


  41. Hi,

    I would be really grateful for some advice. I have seen some beautiful
    sphere cakes with two or three spheres stacked on top of each other. They
    often seem to have a collar in between each one which I presume is to make
    them more stable. I have no idea what the collar is made of – cake or some
    kind of plastic / polystyrene – or indeed where you can buy them. Are you
    able to help and also give me any tips on how then to use them.

    Many, many thanks.


  42. Hello Julie,
    To stack ball cakes you would need to flatten the top of the bottom tier. Dowel it and place a small round cakeboard on the top. Then place the top tier on using royal icing to secure it to the cakeboard.

  43. Hi, I want to make a cake of the little EDF energy mascot (the dancing orange blob). Do you think two tiered ball cakes would be the best approach and if so which size would you reccommend?

    Many Thanks,


  44. pat green says:

    Could you please tell me what book the posy cake is in.



  45. Hello Cheryl,
    The smallest ball tins we have are 4″ and I think these would be idea. Would love to see it when you finish – please send us a picture.

  46. Hello Patricia,
    Lindy’s posy cake is in the Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible.

  47. Hi Lindy,

    I hope you can help.

    I am going to purchase one of the ball tins, but i could do with a guide of how much mixture i will need to use and how many people it will serve?



  48. Hello Claire,
    For a 4″ ball you will need a 4″ round cake recipe, for a 5″ ball you will need a 6″ round recipe and for a 6″ ball you will need an 8″ round recipe. Depending how you cut the cakes you can get 6, 12 and 24 portions respectively for a sponge recipe.

  49. Hi Lindy & the Team
    If I’m only making half the sphere i.e. a dome, do I still need to use a denser sponge recipe or will a soft sponge suffice?

  50. Lisa Levine says:

    I misplaced the wire square that goes around the ball pan. What can I use to substitute?

    Also, the hole on the top of the sphere half needs to be covered – Will paper lined in the pan hold the batter in so as to not leak?

    Please advise and feel free to email me at talobx@gmail.com

    Thank you so much!

  51. Hello Danika,
    If covering with sugarpaste I would always recommend using a dense sponge recipe.

  52. Hi Lisa,

    We only make the cake whole if it is a fruit cake, and for this the hole needs to be left uncovered to let the steam out.
    For sponge recipes we bake it in 2 halves, and baking paper will suffice for this.
    Lindy shows this in her book – The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible – http://www.lindyscakes.co.uk/shop/Contemporary-cake-decorating-bible-by-Lindy-Smith.html
    With regards to the lost wire, we recommend contacting the manufacturer – Silverwood to see if you can get a replacement.
    Sending you sweet thoughts!


  53. How far will you need to fill one half of a 4″ ball tin to prevent it from flowing over the top? I am using a chocolate cake recipe. Please could you let me know in fractions? (e.g. 1/2 full or 2/3 full)


  54. Hello Bethan,
    You would need to use a 4″ round cake recipe, this will be the right amount for your ball tin.

  55. if baking a fruit cake in a ball tin do you still need to cover the outside of the tin in brown paper


  56. Hi Di, No, with fruit cake you don’t need to wrap it in brown paper.
    I hope this helps.

  57. Clare Matthew says:


    I want to make a ball cake but am concerned that without a layer of buttercream in the middle it will be quite boring. Is there anyway to jazz up the flavour rather than have just a boring vanilla sponge with sugarpaste?

    Many thanks in advance x

  58. Hello Clare,
    If you are covering in sugarpaste you would need to use a firm cake recipe. You can flavour Madeira with just about anything. You could make a chocolate cake (Lindy has a great recipe in her books). You could also flavour the buttercream – what about chocolate cake with Baileys buttercream…….mmmmmm

  59. Hi wondering whether you can help I am making a bra cake for a charity raffle and would like some advise on how to use my newly purchased ball tin I can see from the blog that for a 6 inch ball tin you use an 8 inch recipe can I check that it is 1 8 inch recipy between the two ball halves a silly question I know x

  60. Hi Heather
    If you are making a madeira cake, then yes you split the mixture and bake in two halves (1 half will have the stand, the other you can use tinfoil to make a stand), if you are making a fruit cake, you pile the mixture into the bottom half then put the lid on, and the cake will rise while baking.
    Good Luck

  61. Thanks for the help I don’t think it’d turned out bad for a first attempt some teething errors lol and my positioning could be better too 😉 xx

  62. Thanks for the help I don’t think it’d turned out bad for a first attempt some teething errors lol and my positioning could be better too 😉 xx if I can figure out how to load the pick up here I will do x

  63. Yvonne O'Neill says:

    Hi, Can you tell me how to check to see if a fruit cake is cooked in the 6″ ball tin please? My fruit cakes always seem to take a bit longer than the recipe guidelines so I am concerned that the ball cake will too! Looking forward to hearing from you, thanks, Yvonne

  64. There is a small hole in the top of the tin if you undo the handle. You could pop a skewer down to see if your cake is cooked properly. Susie

  65. Hi, I am about to bake a fruit ball cake for the first time….wish me luck! If it turns out ok, could you please explain how I would go about marzipaning it? I understand the technique for putting sugar paste on a ball cake but I was wondering if I need to cover the whole of the ball cake in marzipan the underneath etc? And then when adding the sugarpaste on the marzipan would that need to cover where the marzipan is? Or would the cake bottom be ok with nothing sitting on a 3″ cake card on a cake drum? Hope this makes sense?

    Thanks Ollie

  66. Hi Ollie

    The ball cake should be completely covered by marzipan, so including the underneath, but the sugarpaste should only be to the base of where it will sit. The trick is to use as little sugarpaste as you can so you do not end up with lots to be cut off and shaped!
    Good Luck

  67. Hi there!
    Ive just made my first 3d dinosaur cake using 2 x 1litre pyrex dishes and am thrilled with the result! I started my business last year and always wonder on how much to sell my cakes for? Also Id like to start giving extra information like guides on portions and on how to cut! Do you have any information, links or ideas? Many Thanks Sharon x

  68. Hi Sharon

    Thanks for your enquiry.

    Unfortunately we can’t help you with more information as we don’t actually sell cakes here. We just provide equipment for people to make their own cakes.

    Good luck with your business venture.

    Kind regards