This is a cake I’ve wanted to make for so long! I love making bespoke cakes and I’ve been waiting for this particular birthday for ages as I knew the recipient would love a crafty knitting or sewing cake. Don’t get me wrong I loved the slightly violent Game of Thrones cake but to combine knitting and cake? What more could you want! A slice of knitting cake whilst you sit around knitting?
For those of you who like cake, or fancy trying your own knitting basket cake, here are some rough guidelines (with a mini sugar wool tutorial below), please bear in mind this is just general advice so I may have missed areas out!
The cake itself is an 8″ dairy-free vanilla sponge with strawberry jam and dairy-free buttercream filling. If you ever need to make a dairy-free cake you can adapt most normal recipes to use dairy-free margarine, my favourite brand is Pure (Sunflower or Soya version).
I made two 8″ cakes and split them in half so there was four layers with jam and buttercream on each- this gives a nice tall cake. I then watered a little of the buttercream down with soya milk to crumb coat the whole cake, I then popped this in the fridge to harden it up a bit before applying a layer of white sugarpaste.
To make the basket I rolled out brown sugarpaste and cut long strips which I then wove together (with an extra pair of hands!) before wrapping the whole piece around the cake and finishing with a twisted braid on top. (Sorry there are no pictures of the different stages- I was decorating the cake at the persons house the evening before their birthday so there wasn’t a lot of spare time!).
I made the sugar wool a couple of days beforehand to save time, this meant they weren’t edible on the day but normally you would be able to eat these just fine, if a little sweet!
I’ve made a mini tutorial below to help if anyone else wants to have a go.
- Mix rice crispies, marshmallows and a little bit of butter in a saucepan on a low heat then allow to cool slightly before using (it’ll be a bit less sticky then).
- Dust your hands with icing sugar and shape into balls- allow to harden for a few hours.
- Coat with sugarpaste (ready-to-roll fondant) and try to fill in any big holes to make it smooth- don’t worry too much as it’ll be hidden mostly by the next step.
- Roll out thin sausages of either sugarpaste with CMC or ideally a purpose made modelling paste like MMP. You can use a sugar shaper if you have one but I found it quickest to roll them by hand using a smoother on a board- you can get them a lot longer this way.
- Line up all the strands side by side and then cut 2 end sections (almost in the shape of a house) and attach to opposite sides of the balls with edible glue.
- Then cut 2 long rectangle strips from the strands and place diagonally over the balls overlapping in the middle.
The cake was placed on a cake drum (board) covered with ivory sugarpaste made to look like it had been quilted with cute pearl dragées. I then placed the balls of sugar wool on top with some loose strands of wool and a pair of actual wooden knitting needles (If you’re doing this properly you should make these out of something edible or not stick them in the cake- what’s a few splinters between family though!)
Sit back with your knitting and enjoy a slice!
What would your perfect cake be if you could make anything??