Coronavirus Cake

October 10: National Cake Decorating Day

Highlander’s birthday was at the height of a national stay-at-home order this spring due to COVID-19. We had to find ways to celebrate creatively, safely and quietly (drive-by parades and front lawn decorations are not allowed in our tiny townhome community anyway). Islander decided to decorate a coronavirus cake (it was humorous to some friends but understandably controversial to others). But we already had the limited ingredients in our pantry when store shelves were nearly empty from panic buying.

Since it is National Cake Decorating Day, this post focuses more on decorating a coronavirus cake than on a recipe (use your favorite cake mix and frosting recipe). A ball-shaped pan is needed (thanks to Brother Justin Q. for giving one to us some years ago). We made the spike proteins using red fondant. It turned out cute and was a unique cake for Highlander’s birthday during a global pandemic.



  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Vanilla frosting
  • Black food coloring
  • Orange nonpareils and green jimmies/sprinkles (optional)
  • Red fondant


In a mixing bowl, dump the red velvet cake mix and stir in the water, eggs and oil.

Mix until the batter is smooth. Divide in the greased halves of the ball-shaped cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until the cake is baked through. Cool the cake completely.

Slice off the round tops to level the cakes. Place on cake on top of the other, with one half on the bottom. In a large bowl, tint the vanilla frosting with a little black food coloring to make a gray color.

Frost the cake, let it dry and smooth it out with Viva brand paper towels. Use a small round piping tip to gently press circles on the frosting.

Randomly place clusters of orange nonpareils and green jimmies/sprinkles around the cake. Roll out red fondant into a long skinny rope (1/4 inches thick). Cut 1-inch long pieces and shape the bottom as a spike and the flatten the top. Roll out red fondant and flatten to 1/8 inches thick. Cut small triangles.

Let the triangles and fondant spikes dry before using water to assemble them. Let dry and harden again.

Insert spikes into the cake. Refrigerate to set. Top with matching red candles. Slice, serve and celebrate that you are not sickly from the virus.


  • Colored frosting gets darker overnight so tint the vanilla frosting a lighter gray if desired.

  • We pray that there will be a vaccine/cure for the coronavirus. Please stay healthy and safe!