Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello Kitty, Goodbye Basketweave

Did I mention that I stink at piping! If I haven’t, let me say it now. I stink at piping!

My niece had her 1st birthday the other day and I wanted to make a little cake just for her. I decided to try my hand at piping a basketweave design. But, I guess I should have practiced first because it didn’t come out exactly like I had hoped. I started by piping all the vertical stripes. Big mistake. Then I piped all the short horizontal stripes. This wouldn’t have looked so bad if I could have at least made my lines straight. But, since I stink at piping, this is what you get.

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

See those horizontal stripes, they should look like they’re tucked under the vertical ones. (I’ll show you the right way in a bit).

But, if we just look at it from above, it looks pretty good. Almost straight, even.

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

I do love the little Hello Kitty topper I made though.

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

It was molded from rolled fondant that was tinted with different icing colors. The whiskers and eyes were drawn with an edible ink pen.

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

Just too cute!

Now, let’s see what the birthday girl thought about my poor piping skills.

Baby's 1st Cake

Hmmm… she’s really thinking about it.


Yay! I don’t think she noticed.

Want to try piping a basketweave?

Make some buttercream frosting (recipe here). Tint it with the icing color you want and get the following:

one decorating bag
one coupler
one decorating Tip #47

Here’s what it all looks like…

Decorating Bag

Don’t be scared. It has teeth, but it won’t bite. Promise.
Decorating Bag
Once your bag is ready, take a look at the diagram below. It’s from Wilton’s Course Book 2: Flowers and Borders.
It’s too bad I didn’t look at this first. Oh well… at least you guys can do a better job.

Basketweave Step 1

  • Basically, you pipe a vertical stripe first.
  • Then pipe horizontal stripes with spacers in between to make sure your widths stay consistent.

Basketweave Step 2

  • Then you draw another vertical stripe covering the ends of the first set of horizontal stripes.
  • Then you pipe another set of horizontal stripes. Start by burying your tip under the first vertical stripe to hide the end.
  • Then you draw another vertical stripe to cover the ends of the second set of horizontal stripes.
  • Take a deep breath. Take your time. Repeat.

That’s the abbreviated version. Hope the pictures help. The The Wilton Course Book gives much better directions.

Good luck!

And if your wondering. I used the same cake and frosting recipe from here.
And rope border was made with decorating tip #21.


These instructions are for your personal use only. To create Hello Kitty products for commercial sale, you must obtain permission from Sanrio. Visit opportunities/.

apparentlyjessy said...

I still think the cake looks beautiful, if you hadn’t pointed it out, no one would’ve noticed!!
I loved the tutorial on how to do basket weave though, I will have to try it out sometime when I am feeling brave!
The hello kitty is adorable…and so is the Birthday girl!

January 4, 2009 07:35 AM
landa said...

It’s still a pretty cake. I stink at basketweave. I hate it. My Wilton instructor from a few years still laughs about the fact that I cant do it.

January 4, 2009 07:39 AM
Rachelle said...

That is darling, and her reaction is priceless!!

I would be so lost on basketweave, heck I’ve never attempted a lattice pie crust either, lol.

-oooh, I forget, have you let us see your photo set up before? I’m curious about your lighting and how you set up, I need something for night time, since my sunlight goes away fast. ;)

January 4, 2009 07:41 AM
LaDue & Crew said...

I love it- so cute! I love doing basket weave! It took me a few tries, but I have it down, and it is my favorite ‘go to’ for an elegant look. So glad to see this post- it means you are back! Missed ya Bakerella- Happy 2009!

January 4, 2009 08:26 AM
Snooky doodle said...

How cute ! i love Hello Kitty ! you re great:) Don’T worry the basketweave is not that bad. and the cake looks adorable. No wonder the little girl was clapping with joy :)

January 4, 2009 08:29 AM
slimnsom said...

Still looks better than anything I would have done!


January 4, 2009 08:41 AM
Michelle Ramsay said...

Never done basketweave. The fact that you did it yourself is special enough. Glad the recipient enjoyed it and the photo certainly says it all.

I love all your creations – you are very talented!!

January 4, 2009 08:45 AM
barbichounette said...

Il est trop mignon ce petit garçon !!
Il faut dire qu’il est gâté avec ce superbe gâteau !!!

January 4, 2009 10:01 AM
chocolatechic said...

I love doing a basket weave.


Because when you mess it up, like you did, you really can’t tell.

Well, I could tell, but it didn’t look bad. Superman works for The Longaberger Co., and they make baskets.

Hand woven baskets always have slight imperfections.

Your cake looks fabulous. I heart pink.

January 4, 2009 11:07 AM
WishTrish said...

What a priceless photo of the birthday girl! Love your cake, and thanks for the instructions!

January 4, 2009 11:16 AM
morgana said...

Beautiful cake but I must say that this little girl is even prettier. I do love your pictures of this little princess.

Happy birthday for the baby and Happy New Year for your.

January 4, 2009 11:34 AM
knittinandnoodlin said...

The cake is beautiful! Your tutorial was awesome, but thinking about actually trying it made my brain hurt!

January 4, 2009 11:38 AM
Tanya said... looks so pretty and to most “untrained” eyes, it looks perfect. Your niece is a doll!

January 4, 2009 12:33 PM
The Sugar Fairy said...

Your Hello Kitty looks so cute. I’ve made a Hello Kitty before and I can say that I stink at that!

January 4, 2009 12:43 PM
15 said...

I think your cake looks perfect – and your niece is too!

January 4, 2009 01:07 PM
vaneblu said...

I think you did a nice job anyways, if you dont point it out I would have not notice at all!!
Love that Hello Kitty has her own cake ;)

January 4, 2009 01:09 PM
Seanna Lea said...

I took the first Wilton course, which didn’t cover the basketweave. It’s good to know that with care it is something I could do (and the correct tip).

You make wonderful fondant items. The Hello Kitty is perfect!

January 4, 2009 01:17 PM
VeggieGirl said...

So freaking adorable!!!

January 4, 2009 01:20 PM
Jeanne S said...

I love the pink & I love the basket weave. Your neice is gorgeous of course, I wonder how long before she becomes Bakerella #3!

January 4, 2009 01:26 PM
Anonymous said...

Well I think it’s ‘stinkin’ cute! Who would’ve noticed had you not pointed it out? The birthday girl obviously thinks it’s perfect.

January 4, 2009 01:27 PM
Dana said...

I just recently took the Wilton 1 cake decorating class. Whew…Couldn’t make a rose because my buttercream was never the right consistantcy! How frustrating! I think basketweave is in the next class–No thanks! Too much pressure!!(Tee Hee) Your niece is adorable!!

January 4, 2009 01:40 PM
Karen said...

it doesn’t need to be perfect in my mind to be beautiful. it’s all that time and love that went into making that cake for that gorgeous little girl.
And I can’t believe that Hello Kitty – you made that? Amazing! I think you did a GREAT job.
the basket weave is way above my skills, I am lucky to get any icing on looking halfway decent, heehee…

January 4, 2009 01:45 PM
crazyladybaker said...

I think it’s adorable! I haven’t tried this basketweave yet but I do plan on it. Thanks for all the tips and I do love that little Hello Kitty on the top!

January 4, 2009 02:02 PM
shelby said...

That cake is gorgeous!!! I love the tips on how to do the basket weave. I’ll probably mess it up and I’m not as skilled in that department but practice makes perfect.

The Hello Kitty on top is so cute! I love it, and looks like the Birthday girl did too =)

January 4, 2009 02:16 PM
Elisa said...

wow! I don’t think I’ll ever venture that far, but this is a GREAT tutorial!
The cake looks beautiful – the birthday girl seems to agree :-)

January 4, 2009 02:19 PM
AmyG said...

I think you did a great job, for your first time! The instructions sound hard… but I do better, hands on. Might give it a try some time.

January 4, 2009 02:23 PM
Katrina said...

Our wedding cake was basket weave, but seriously, I would not know you “did it wrong”! It’s too cute and Hello Kitty takes all the credit, that’s where the eyes look.
Great job!

January 4, 2009 02:26 PM
Baker's Cakes said...

Hello kitty must be popular, I’m making one this week too! Your kitty is adorable, great job! danielle

January 4, 2009 02:44 PM
Tucker, Jess, and Brian said...

I think the cake is beautiful! Fantastic basketweave, especially considering it was your first time. Thanks for posting the tutorial — I have never seen one that spells it out so well. I have done basketweave many times, but have never felt that I was very good at it. I think the tutorial will be very helpful the next time I do it. The Hello Kitty figure is adorable. It’s no wonder that the birthday girl loved her cake! :)

January 4, 2009 02:48 PM
~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Thanks for the tutorial, but your cake looks great too!

January 4, 2009 03:34 PM
Tiffaney said...

I love your fondant figurines, I do not make mine nearly as beautiful as yours are…and that cake recipe rocks!!


January 4, 2009 04:05 PM
maryanne said...

that came out SO pretty!!

January 4, 2009 04:06 PM
jengilmer said...

Just the fact that you’re willing to post your less-than-perfect creations, learn from them and teach us says a lot about you, Bakerella! I think that’s why we all love reading your blog. :) I completely agree that only the pros would know it wasn’t exactly how it was *supposed* to be, that Hello Kitty is so darn cute and your niece is absolutely adorable. Well done!

January 4, 2009 04:15 PM
puglyfeet said...

Looks beautiful to me, Bakerella. :)

January 4, 2009 04:21 PM
cakes_are_fun said...

As a Wilton instructor I have to say GREAT JOB! Not every cake will be perfect but you know how you can tell it is a great cake? Look at the smiling face of the person you gave it to! That makes it PRICEless!

January 4, 2009 04:31 PM
Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

I think it still looks sweet. Also, I’m sure it tasted wonderful.

January 4, 2009 04:38 PM
janet said...

I wouldn’t have noticed! It looks adorable and I love the picture of your niece clapping! I think I one year old is a great judge of what looks good…they are honest! LOL! Wonderful cake!

January 4, 2009 04:44 PM
Heather P. said...

It’s beautiful, and I love her reaction! :) I dunno, maybe I’m just weird, but I think “imperfections” really give character and heart to a creation. Perfect schmerfect… ;)

January 4, 2009 04:48 PM
lfamily5 said...

What a beautiful cake! You really are so talented! I’m hoping to take a cake decorating class someday when my daughter is in school full time and I can practice and bake! You inspire me!

January 4, 2009 05:09 PM
Beth Paulson said...

Your cake turned out awesome and that niece of yours is a cutie pie! The basket weaving lesson makes my brain hurt a little……

January 4, 2009 05:44 PM
Melanie said...

I know everyone is critical of their own work but that really is the cutest cake I’ve seen in a long time. I showed my 7 year old daughter and all she could say was “Awwwh! I wish you could make cakes that good!” LOL

January 4, 2009 05:50 PM
Cake Fixation said...

I stink at basketweave but after seeing your instructions I think I’ll give it another go. The hello kitty is too cute!!! Thanks Bakerella!!

January 4, 2009 05:58 PM
Rick said...

Hello Bakerella, Please forgive my boldness, but I am doing a bit of blog surfing to tell people about my giveaway. There are no gimmicks. This is just my way of celebrating two years of blogging. I hope that you will do me the honor of coming over and taking a look.

January 4, 2009 06:23 PM
Anthonette said...

The Hello Kitty is priceless. The basket weave looks complicated. Your cake still looks awesome!

Thanks for all the great photos and the explanation of how to create a basket weave.

January 4, 2009 07:50 PM
Shannon said...

Hey I think your cake looks amazing. For not doing the basket weave right, it sure looks pretty good. To an un-educated person it would look normal. Good job and super cute!

January 4, 2009 08:02 PM
Tammy said...

The cake is beautiful…and I think your piping is great!
I have seen much worse come out of bakery!

January 4, 2009 08:04 PM
Alva said...

I would not have noticed it had you not pointed it out. I love it!

January 4, 2009 08:12 PM
Angela said...

Oh, my… that was a beautiful cake (and what a sweet reaction from your niece!). You are great at piping – just think how good you would be with a little practice! Much… much better than me! I am thinking that the consistency of that frosting has something to do with how good the cake looked! I am defiantly trying that!

Btw, have you tried marshmallow fondant? My kids don’t like the taste of the regular stuff, so I just do marshmallow…. the consistency is the same to work with and it turns out great!
Let me know if you would like the recipe.

Hope your Holiday was lovely!

January 4, 2009 08:30 PM
Jen said...

Dear Bakerella-

When I grow up I want to be you. I think the cake looks great regardless of straight lines.

January 4, 2009 08:50 PM
Karen said...

The cake looks beautiful – Hello Kitty is perfect and your niece is adorable. Looks like she approved from the pic of her clapping :)

January 4, 2009 09:29 PM
Dolce Deb's Designs said...

Ok me thinks you are being just a little to critical of your basket weave. I mean for your first time come on…lol. And your Hello Kitty figure ROCKED!!!! Thank you so much for sharing pictures of the birthday girl what a cutie pie.

Hope you have all the best in 2009 and thanks for bringing us such a great blog.

January 4, 2009 09:32 PM
Myrnie said...

Alright, even Wonder Daddy is laughing at how ADORABLE that little girl is! Great photos :)

January 4, 2009 09:44 PM
J.Danger said...

looks way better than my Basketweave ever has! That picture is so adorable! Get outta town- she is adorable!

Your cake looks great too!

January 4, 2009 10:21 PM
Binta said...

I think hello kitty is so cute. This is an awesome cake. I would have never known you stink until you admitted your shortfall. Icing is one of those things for me I do not care about design I still love the taste every time.

January 4, 2009 10:27 PM
Jessica said...

the cake is adorable!!!! Piping is hard stuff and I think you didn’t a better job than I have ever done! I cheat and decorate with stars!

January 4, 2009 10:51 PM
C4S - cake for sure said...

I loved it!!!!!! Super sweet!!!! What a blessed baby!!!! Cute, cute, cute!!!!

January 4, 2009 11:01 PM
Setting the Mood said...

Are you kidding me…this is adorable! Your photographs are amazing too!!

January 5, 2009 12:13 AM
Susie said...

That cake is adorable and almost as cute as that precious baby!

January 5, 2009 12:21 AM
My Sweet & Saucy said...

You are way too hard on yourself (I always do that too though) The cake turned out adorable though…I love the colors and the topper!

January 5, 2009 12:33 AM
Nicole said...

I LOVE the cake! Gorgeous. I think the basket weaving looks fine.

January 5, 2009 12:34 AM
wildthayn said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve always wondered how to do that. It turned out adorable. Of course, all of your stuff is adorable!!

January 5, 2009 01:18 AM
Kitchen Scrapbook said...

Beautiful! That topper is just the cutest thing!

I’ve never tried the basketweave. So, thanks alot for the tips! :)

January 5, 2009 01:20 AM
AnniKae said...

Your cake impressed me. I wouldn’t have even noticed whatever it was that was wrong…
You have an amazing talent!

January 5, 2009 01:28 AM
Elizabeth Parsons said...

what a perfect picture of joy!
I love her clapping…thanks for sharing…


January 5, 2009 01:45 AM
Tammy said...

The cake turned out great! I love the color of pink you used. Your tutorial is great and the pictures are wonderful (as usual). TFS!

January 5, 2009 02:02 AM
Marisa said...

Wow–if that’s what it looks like when you say you can’t do it–I am amazed :-)!!! You are awesome! Thanks for the tutorial!

January 5, 2009 02:19 AM
Kelly said...

The cake is very pretty. I learn with each new cake, each new birthday and look forward to trying the basket weave. I love the Hello Kitty – nice work. ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

January 5, 2009 05:01 AM
Michele S said...

You should be Very Proud of your cake. It is beautiful!!! You did a great job!! Your work is outstanding!!!

Michele S

January 5, 2009 05:05 AM
Marie @ Make and Takes said...

Never really thought that I could accomplish something like that. You’ve now shown me I can! Thanks!

January 5, 2009 06:29 AM
sharyl said...

it didnt look bad at all! and your niece is sooooooo adorable i wanna bite her cheeks! hehee

January 5, 2009 07:52 AM
Helana said...

Totally didn’t notice!

January 5, 2009 12:58 PM
mccoy5 said...

great tutorial! and I am pretty sure the birthday girl didn’t notice at all – she looked thrilled beyond belief!!! Happy 2009!

January 5, 2009 01:06 PM
My First Kitchen said...

The cake is fabulous, and the colors are so girly and sweet! If you’d taken my picture upon seeing the cake, I’d have a toothy grin, too… complete with lots of clapping.

January 5, 2009 01:42 PM
tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

I would have never even noticed – your cake is beautiful!! As is your photography – very nicely done!

January 5, 2009 02:51 PM
MC said...

I wish I had the patience and dexterity to do that. I love to back and I love to ice, but after a while of icing, I just want to collapse!

January 5, 2009 03:06 PM
Gordostyle said...

OMG! I love it! I think you did a GREAT job! I didn’t even notice the stuff you think you did wrong!

It’s amazing — Seriously!


January 5, 2009 03:40 PM
El Cad said...

We all have different talents. My basketweave is fine but the hand modeling of the adorable kitty is beyond me. I really appreciate you explaining what you were trying and why you are happy/not happy with the results. We can all learn something. I often try ambitious things or last minute jobs for family/friends & get shy about posting them when they don't turn out perfect. (El Cad)

January 5, 2009 04:25 PM
Isa said...

OMG, the cake is so freaking adorable! And don’t be so hard with yourself. The basketweave looks pretty good to me… and hey, your nice – soo cute btw – seems to like it too!

January 5, 2009 04:34 PM
Calm In The Kitchen said...

I think your cake looks beautiful and I love the hello kitty on top! I especially love the birthday girl’s reaction. That is priceless. Once again you rock my world!

Thank you for going a step further and showing how to do the basketweave. Definitely inspiring!

January 5, 2009 05:14 PM
Jaime said...

Thanks for posting the cake! First, it looked really good; I didn’t even notice the basketweave until you pointed it out. Secondly, that photo of your niece clapping with delight is amazing! I appreciate you posting this tutorial. I think I might have to try it sometime.

January 5, 2009 05:56 PM
Cassi said...

I, too, hate the basket weave! I think yours looks fine. The Hello Kitty is absolutely adorable! Super cute as always. :)

January 5, 2009 06:23 PM
Cheryl Wray said...

I think it looks FABULOUS!!

I tried your buttercream frosting recipe for cupcakes I made for New Year’s Eve and it was DELICIOUS!!! So delicious that I ate all the leftover straight from the bowl. Thanks!!!

January 5, 2009 06:37 PM
kimag99 said...

That cake is absolutely precious! I LOVE Hello Kitty & I'm 40! My daughter even got me a Hello Kitty cake for my 40th birthday. Wasn't nearly as adorable as your cake. I've never attempted basketweave, but I can assure you your first attempt would be considered perfect compared to what I could do.

January 5, 2009 07:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Just wondering how you set up your always perfect backdrops?

January 5, 2009 08:03 PM
midnightmoonradiance said...

i love it!! such a beautiful cake :)
if I have enough time, I might consider attempting this for my roommate’s 21st birthday cake!

January 5, 2009 09:40 PM
Dawn in CA said...

Seriously? That cake is lovely! And your niece’s reaction – priceless. Thanks for sharing, and for the basketweave tutorial.

January 5, 2009 10:36 PM
Lynds said...

Great tutorial, and the cake looks amazing!!!

January 5, 2009 10:54 PM
bon-bon-bun said...

That actually looks pretty good for a first attempt =] I’ve taken all the Cake Decorating Courses offered by Wilton, my basket weave looked hideous =[

I love the colour combo. And the Hello Kitty figurine is fab! Whenever I try to make figurines, the face turns out fine but not the body.

January 5, 2009 10:54 PM
creativecarryout said...

Your photos are so amazing. You’ve inspired me to try my hand at food photography on my own blog –
link to

I’m still working at it though, but having fun!

January 5, 2009 11:58 PM
Anonymous said...

I think the cake looks fantastic and as for the wonky basket weave…a blind man would be happy to see it!

January 6, 2009 12:08 AM
Anonymous said...

such a pretty cake!

January 6, 2009 01:45 AM
Little Town Big Life said...

You do NOT suck at the basketweave—and who would know exactly what a “perfect” weave would look like if you hadn’t shown us.

I, too, took all the Wilton courses, and basket weave is left to the interpretation of the “weaver”.

You rock with that cake gal!!

January 6, 2009 02:02 AM
Bakerella said...

Anonymous – I hope she does.

My Sweet & Saucy – Isn't it fun.

Chinouk – thanks!

reilly – If you don't mind a mess, let them start early. She can help you hold dump sugar or flour.

Female Farmer – Yes, and bright.

Red Geranium Cottage – I think so, too.

Callie Grayson – that was her idea.

Teresa R – Def get the book.

Lauryn – Sounds fun, but I'm no expert.

Bridget – thank you

khala – merci

Crissy – Thanks

Seanna Lea – $10 … that's crazy. They must be elaborate.

Paula – Have a great 09 right back at you!

Meegan – yes. And a perfectionist.

MC – She picked it right up. I was surprised.

cottage farm villa (aka cottagecharm) – go right ahead Cheryl

Reese – Organizing or eating sprinkles?

Cindy – Thanks for the kudos.

Tabitha (From Single to Married) – she loves taste-testing more.

Anonymous – thank you

Wanda – what a wonderful compliment. Thank you. I'm glad you are doing well and wish you many sweet moments in the kitchen.

Anonymous – Thanks. I must rush to Kroger.

Shawnee – Major thanks!

Y – Happy New Year.

Susan – You would have fun!

hollyc – thanks

My First Kitchen – I like the one where she's starting to get bored, too.

Joy the Baker – I'll have to watch my back don't ya think.

Ann (Miss Sweetstory) – I'm sure you will.

Katie – I'll have her give you some tips.

Kelli – thank you.

LaDue & Crew – I did take some time, but, I'm back now.

Helana – thanks

Kelsie – they were yummy. Especially the ones with snowflake sprinkles.

* TONYA * – thanks!

Spectacular Splatter – Congrats on the blog.

The Ibrahims – thank you!

jacquisbakingsomething – Happy New Year to you, too!

January 6, 2009 02:42 AM
Nancy W said...

I think the cake is perfect! I guess we are always our worst critic. I’m so glad to have found your blog and will be a follower without fail! Happy New Year!

January 6, 2009 03:22 AM
Bryna said...

You are so funny! I think you did a GREAT job silly!

January 6, 2009 05:14 AM
Maggie said...

I really love the piping at the top. They look like their intertwined. Beautiful!

January 6, 2009 06:06 AM
peewee said...

I just found your blog and am officially obsessed! i am ready to bake a cake tomorrow! i don’t know who for, but who cares! GREAT blog!

January 6, 2009 06:12 AM
Lilla huset på prärien said...

Actually Bakerella – I think your cake looks absolutely fabulous!

January 6, 2009 12:11 PM
HethRandSeth said...

Once again, you are so talented!!! Super cute cake!!

January 6, 2009 07:10 PM
Priscilla said...

Hi Bakerella, could you tell me how when you post winners from your contest…you are able to get their picture on the blog and the random integer page too? I would really appreicate this!

January 6, 2009 08:15 PM
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