Marian’s 60th Birthday knitting basket cake

 Marian’s 60th Birthday vanilla strawberry knitting basket cake

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I had been planning this cake for months before I actually made it, did loads of research online and spent hours on Pinterest and cake blogs. Now making cakes, cupcakes and frosting with the likes of buttercream has never really phased me, but  sugarcraft is not my friend!  Although I’m still delegated with how it turned out for a first attempt, I  gotta say I won’t be willingly dealing with sugar paste or fondant in a hurry again.

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Ingredients

2 +3/4 cups of flour

1/2 cup of self raising flour

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

8 oz margarine

2 + 1/4 cups of sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup of milk

1+1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Method

Sieve the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar together, mix in the margarine, then add in the eggs1 at a time, beating well after each one, gradually add in the milk and beat until you have a thick batter.

Lastly add in the vanilla, I personally keep adding until I like how it tastes.

When baked leave to cool completely until frosting them.

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Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients

500g icing sugar

160g unsalted butter

50ml cream

1tsp vanilla extract

half strawberries to decorate

Blend icing sugar and butter until combined, then add the cream slowly (make sure it’s not too wet) and lastly the vanilla.

Beat for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy but firm enough that it will stay on your cake or cupcake!

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Assembling the cake

For the actual basket and wool you will need fondant or sugar paste plus an icing gun tool to make the strands of wool. Mine wasn’t strong enough at all and I had to use the nozzle that I had picked and forced the fondant through with my fingers. Adding a little water to your fondant helps to loosen it up.

I made 2 round vanilla cakes, which I split into two and layered strawberry jam and frosting in-between them. That was the easiest part.

The basket was brown fondant rolled out to cover the cake, I then took a knife and scratched a basket weave type effect on. ( for this make sure to not use a sharp knife as it will cut through).

I also rolled out 2 long pieces of brown fondant to kind of plait or braid together to put at the top of the “basket”.

For the balls of wool I had made cupcakes to go inside the fondant, each ball of wool was 2 cupcakes halved and then the 4 pieces frosted back together and bound then by the fondant wool.

When all the balls of wool were placed on the cake I used 60th candles and 2 long kebab skewers to hold one or two of them in place.

 Any places that looked a bit empty on the cake, I just piped in some frosting.

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