How to make a knitting basket cake

knitting basket cake

Two years ago I made a 3D knitting basket cake. The cake got so many great comments and the cake was featured on a lot of knitting blogs :-) Last year I was asked to do a tutorial on how to make the knitting basket cake by Desserts Magazines. I want to share it here aswell. It is a really fun cake to make and if you know or have a family member who just loves to knit, this cake will be a big hit.

For this cake I preferre to use a firm and moist cake like a Chocolate Mud Cake. But any firm cake of your choice can of course be used.

This is what I use:
1 x 8″ cake in preffered shape: Round, oval or square
1 x 6″ cake (this cake will be blended and mixed with a little bit of buttercream or chocolate ganache to a cake ball mixture)
Cake board
Buttercream or chocolate ganache
Sugar syrup
Serrated knife
Small knife
Angle spatular
Rolling pin
Basket weave embosser from Patchwork Cutters or a basket weave textured rolling pin.
Sugarcraft Gun with medium round disc
2 small paint brushes
White Shortening (Crisco) or Petal Base
Silver edible liquid color
Brown food gel color
Gel food colors of your choice for the ball of yarns. I like to use three matching shades.
Clear alcohol
2 wooden BBQ sticks
Cornstarch or powdered sugar
White rolled fondant icing
Cornstarch dusting bag
Block of styrofoam
Edible glue

Knitting needles:
Start by rolling 2 small fondant balls and glue them to the end of the BBQ sticks with some edible glue. Set aside and let it dry. When dry, paint both BBQ sticks with silver edible liquid color and place them in the block of styrofoam and set a side.

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Ball of yarn, step 1:
Trim of the top of the 6″ cake and place it in a bowl and break it down with a fork (a foodprocessor can be used instead) add 2 tbsp of buttercream or chocolate ganache to start with and mix the cake mixture until it can be rolled into balls. Make sure that they can fit into the basket cake (use you chosen cake pan as a guide) Place the cake balls on a plate and put them in the refrigerator to firm .

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Ball of yarn, step 2:
Color some of the fondant in your chosen colors and take out 1 cake ball at a time. Brush the cake ball lightly with sugar syrup and set aside while you roll out some fondant. Next cover the cake ball with fondant and trim the edge with a knife. You do not need it to get all smooth, because you will add strings of fondant on top next. Continue with the last 2 cake balls.

Tip! To make the fondant more easy to push through the sugarcraft gun, knead in a little white shortening (Petal Base) and drops of water. Then load the sugarcraft gun with fondant and use the medium round disc. Push out long strings of fondant and lay them close together like shown on the photo.

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Ball of yarn, step 3:
Brush edible glue on one end of the cake ball and with a knife cut the strings like shown on the photo. Place it on the ball and repeat on the other end of the cake ball.
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Continue making more strings of fondant with the sugarcraft gun. Brush with glue on the ball and place them across on the ball. Do this twice, only now placing them the oposite way. Set aside and continue with the last two fondant covered cake balls.

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Remember to save some of the excess fondant for later to make extra strings.

Basket cake, step 1:
Give the cake a light crumb coat with buttercream or chocolate ganache and set aside. Color some fondant in a light brown color, roll it out and cut a “lid” in the same size as the cake, using the cake pan the cake was baked in. Trim off any excess fondant if needed. Knead the light brown fondant and roll it out, long enough to go around the cake. Take the basket weave embosser, dust it well with cornstarch/ powdered sugar and emboss the fondant in the same height as the cake. Cut it into a long strip and roll up the fondant.

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Basket cake, step 2:
Roll the embossed fondant around the cake. Trim off any excess fondant and remove any left over cornstarch with a dry brush.

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Basket cake, step 3:
Make 2 long sausages (long enough to go all the way around the top of the basket cake) out of the light brown fondant and twist the two sausages together to make a robe. Cut the ends clean and glue it on the top of the cake with a little edible glue.

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Basket cake, step 4:
Mix brown food gel color with drops of clear alcohol on a plate and paint the whole basket cake with a brush. Set aside and allow to dry.

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Assembling the cake:
To assemble the knitting basket cake, take the three “balls of yarn” and place them in the basket. Make more strings in the same colors as the “yarn” and place them randomly on top. Finish by placing the knitting needles in the basket (see top photo).

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Happy Caking!

Louise

Louise
Louise is the founder and editor of CakeJournal. She's a passionate, self taught, cake artist who has been doing cake decorating since 2002.
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Comments

  1. P. says

    I was just asked to make this cake, after I shared the photo. Questions: 1×8″ cake? I assume you mean 1 – 8″ cake ( not 1″ tall pan). And I assume that I could make 3 layers of cake- just need to adjust the width of fondant.
    Last- Since you have done this cake- how do you think it would look in buttercream basket weave/rope border w/fondant yarn or in modeling chocolate? She is not a big fan of fondant on cake. Excited to make this and appreciate your input. Thank you.

  2. Katie says

    I love this cake! I see that you made this all in one day, but I have two small children and will be making this cake at home while they’re in school, and then traveling with it out of town a day or two later. How far ahead can you make everything, and how would you store it while working on other pieces, or after it is finished until I get it to its destination? Thank you in advance!

  3. TheHappyBakerNC says

    This cake is AWESOME and thank you so much for the set by step tutorial! My only question is did you tort and fill the basket part of the cake or just leave it as is? The pictures really didn’t show that part. Someone may have all ready asked but I am too excited to read through all the answers!! I can’t wait to make this for my mother! She has knitted sweaters for me and my children and also has knitted all the throws that are in my house! I can’t wait to see the look on her face when we present this cake to her!!!

  4. Vanessa says

    Amazing cake. Did you do everything with fondant (no gum paste?). If yes how long do you need to do it in advance that the fondant does not dry out?

    • Louise says

      Only fondant :-) Well unless the knitting pins. Not sure what you mean with the fondant drying out?? The covered knitting basket was easier to paint when the fondant had dried a little. I stored the “yarn” in a air tight box while finishing the rest. and then palaced them all in the basket before losely decorating with strings of yarn. I think if you work intense it can be done within three hours. The most time consuming part is making the yarn.

      • Vanessa says

        Thanks so much for your answer Louise. Much appreciated. I planning to make a similar cake on the evening before it get served (next day in the afternoon) and was just slightly worried the yarn might dry out. But it looks to me you didnt really experience that.
        Thanks

      • Louise says

        There is cake ball mixture inside the “yarn” so no. The only thing that would dry out the most is the strings of “yarn” place randomly around. Good luck with the project and I would love to see your finished cake if possible :-)? Just send the photo to my email which you find under contact on the front page.

  5. Brenda says

    wow, am speechless. your work is truly amazing. l am a knitter and just love that basket. which cakes do you use?

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