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)
Buttercream or chocolate ganache
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.
2 wooden BBQ sticks
Cornstarch or powdered sugar
White rolled fondant icing
Cornstarch dusting bag
Block of styrofoam
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).