A 60th birthday is reason to celebrate. Often the cake is the highlight of a party. Instead of making a plain cake, customise the cake with themes from the birthday celebrant's life. Adding fondant or gum paste items, making a tiered cake or writing special phrases on the cake are all ways to make the cake a memorable piece. Ask the guest of honour what her favourite flavour and filling is to choose the type of cake you will make.
Pre-heat the oven according to package directions.
Mix the cake mix according to instructions. Buy enough cake mix to fill as many pans as you need. Most cake mixes can fill two 8-inch-by-8-inch pans.
Grease the entire inside of each pan with butter. Sprinkle flour into the pan and move the flour around until it evenly coats the inside of the pan.
Fill the pans with cake mix. Place them in the oven and set a timer for the time indicated on the mix. When the time has expired remove the pans from the oven and test the middle with a cake tester. If the tester does not come out clean, bake the cakes for two to five more minutes and test again.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes.
Invert the pans onto a cake rack and remove the pan. The cake should come out cleanly if the pan was properly greased and floured. Let the cakes cool until they are at room temperature, about one to two hours.
Cream butter in a mixer. Slowly add icing sugar until the mixture becomes slightly crumbly. Add flavouring to the frosting and mix thoroughly. Slowly add milk or cream until the frosting becomes a spreadable consistency.
Set the height of the cake leveller to half the height of the cake layer. Move the leveller back and forth through the cake to split the level in half for filling.
Place the pointed piece of the coupler into the pastry bag. Add a writing tip to the pointed end of the coupler and secure in place with the coupler ring.
Fill the pastry bag with frosting.
Pipe a line around the border of each cake piece. This will create a dam to prevent the filling from spilling out of the cake.
Fill one side of each cake tier with filing. Replace the other side of the cake tier.
Frost each cake tier with the colour of your choice. Make each tier unique to the birthday celebrant. For example, if the birthday girl was in the armed forces, consider making a red, white and blue cake with each level being a different frosted colour. Let the frosting crust over and then smooth with a clean frosting spatula.
Place a dollop of frosting in the centre of the cake board. Center the first tier on the board. Place a second dollop on top of the first tier and centre the second tier on top. Continue until all of the tiers are stacked.
Fill the gaps between the cakes with a border of stars, dots or bands of frosting.
Colour a portion of fondant for each of the different names, numbers or images you want to place on the cake. Roll the fondant out to about 1/4 inch. Cut out each of the fondant pieces. Don't forget to cut out letters for the birthday boy's name and a big 60.
Stick the fondant pieces to the cake by placing a dot on the back of the piece and pressing it onto the cake.
Place the cake in the fridge if it will be a long while before the party.
If you cake is more than three tiers in height, you may need to stabilise the cake by hammering wooden dowels into the centre of each cake.