Well hello! This post, we’re talking about a carved basketball cake that Kaytee made the other week. This was a 25 serving basketball for a University of Kentucky Wildcats fan. Kaytee’s here to show you how she got to this result.
First – and a few days in advance of working on the cake – I cover the cake drum with shortening to adhere the fondant wood strips. I place beige fondant down and measure out even, wide strips and lightly cut into them with my boning tool. To paint the wood grain, I use gel color diluted with vodka and a wide round brush. As we’ve discussed, vodka thins out paint, but we also use it to remove unwanted paint smudges from fondant. So when painting wood grain, this removal comes as an advantage, since the brush is simultaneously applying and removing the color in the patterns we choose.
Next, I cut out the letters from fondant, allowing them to dry beforehand.
Then, when the cakes have been baked and cooled down, I stack the layers on top of each other, carving around before crumb coating.
Then when I have my approximate shape figured out, I fill between the layers. I place the cake on a 6″ board, so that it’s easier to transfer onto the pre-fondanted board once the cake is covered. Also, since it’s a cake with more than 4 layers, we use a cake board in the middle and dowel it for structure. I crumb coated both the to and the bottom of the cake separately, making sure to get buttercream all around, sealing in the crumbs.
While the cake is setting up, I mix up my color. I use a mixture of modeling chocolate and fondant to allow me more time to work with it without it drying.
Here’s what the cake looks like once I put the top cake on the bottom. I then frost the entirety with Swiss meringue buttercream.
I then put the cake back in the fridge, allowing the buttercream to set up. Then I put on gloves and smooth the hardened buttercream with the heat of my hands.
Then I cover the cake with the fondant/modeling chocolate mix, smoothing with my hands and corn starch. I immediately put a dowel in on both sides of the ball, to stabilize the cake, filling in the dowel holes with fondant.
At this point, I transfer the cake onto the board I have pre-covered. Then I use an impression mat to give the cake its basketball texture.
Then I use a ball tool to indent the lines.
I put the cake back in the fridge, and then I turn my attention to the edible images I’m using for the logos. I roll out a very thin piece of white fondant, apply water and place the image down, cutting around it with an x-acto knife. In case you’ve not worked with edible images, we use them on white fondant when the background color isn’t white, as the background color will show through otherwise. But on plain white buttercream, it’s totally fine to apply it directly. Remember to use edible ink, or have a professional printer do it for you using edible ink. Otherwise you will have to warn your clients that they will be ingesting inedible (though non-toxic) ink.
I steam the cake before applying the edible images, as the water will destroy them. I apply the letters I had onto the board.
Then I paint in the lines I had indented, using gel color diluted with vodka.
And there you go! Your very own basketball cake! These techniques can be used for almost any other ball shaped cake, so feel free to improvise with your own soccer ball cake (though you’re on your own for getting those pentagons and hexagons just right!) haha
See you next time!!