Basket Cake

I won’t hold my breath or anything but I think Spring has finally sprung. I can remember my Ma making beautiful Basket Cakes full of handmade fondant fruits and vegetables, and painstakingly decorating the sides of the cake with an intricate basket weave with her decadent buttercream frosting. But you all know me, right? Yup, the shortcut girl. No intricate basket weave here, or fondant fruits that take days to make, but good ole-fashioned Robin Sue shortcut heaven. Ready to start? Let’s do this thing…

And you thought this Wilton’s Sweetheart Pan was for Valentine’s Day only? Naw, turn it over and you have the perfect basket pan.

I chose to frost this right in the pan since these make great little Easter, Mother’s Day, Baby Shower, Wedding Shower, or Springtime gifts. Next week my little ones and I will make these for Easter to give to as gifts, but we will use 8′ round foil pans that we will simply shape into hearts. Easy Peasy.

Once you have baked your cake in the pan, frost the pointy half with white buttercream frosting, and the bottom part with lilac colored frosting. To smooth the frosting, dip your angled spatula in milk, shake off, and smooth icing, wiping spatula on the edge of the frosting bowl with each pass.

I always wanted to take basket weaving, not. I am an instant gratification kind of gal and doing the basket weave with the fork is not only simple but fast. Let your icing set up a bit while you flit about getting your decorations ready, this way your fork won’t stick to the icing. Now here is the trick, gently press the fork into the icing on a horizontal and drag it softly in the direction of the handle, then turn the fork vertically and press and drag again. Continue with that technique to cover the entire basket being sure to alternate the pattern on the next row down until it looks like this…

Most normal people would use green colored coconut for the grass but we have a little one with coconut allergies.

Instead I grated Wilton’s green candy melts in my zyllis cheese grater and sprinkled it generously over the center line, pressed it in a bit, then sprinkled some more. If you can use coconut, place it in a ziptop bag with a few drops of green food dye and shake away until it is the desired shade of green.

I went very basic and whimsical on the decorations- jelly beans and a food safe black marker (I like Foodoodlers- I’ve had mine for about 6 years stored in the fridge, they work every time). I love little bumble bees, inchworms, lady bugs, and dragonflies, they remind me so much of my own childhood and how I used to love to watch them.

My children were thrilled with all the little critters to the point that my oldest very animatedly shouted, “Mom you HAVE to sell these cakes for $50, how did you get them to look so professional.” Giggle.

The three of them were so excited that they all ran up to the neighbors and invited them for tea and cake. So cute. Now all that is left is the edging…

I used a simple “s” chain, linking “s’s” all along the edge and across the middle of the basket. I added a few more critters to the edge and declared it a masterpiece. Although now that I look at it, it’s a bit wonky, isn’t it? I think I must have been high on that cup of buttercream I wolfed down.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
3 cups or 12 ounces cake flour
1 1/2 cups or 10.5 ounces sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients and store in a labeled zip top bag with the following instructions for baking the cake.

Directions to Make Basket Cake
One Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
12 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs

In a large bowl and using a mixer on medium speed, mix cake mix with butter until mixture is crumbly. Add vanilla, mix. Alternate mixing in milk and eggs, mix 30 seconds. Then with the mixer on medium, beat the batter for exactly 1 minute, no more! Pour into greased Wilton Sweetheart Cake Pan and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and decorate.
*This pan is for 5 cups of cake batter which this recipe makes.

Buttercream Frosting
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4-6 T. milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 drops Fiori di Sicilia– because it is the true essence of Spring!

In a large bowl using your stand mixer or hand mixer, beat all ingredients together until smooth and spreadable. Do not make it too soft or your frosting will not hold its shape when you pipe it onto your cake. Leave 1 1/2 cups of frosting white and color the rest with about 7 drops of neon purple food coloring. Frost the cake as directed above and using the Wilton 1M tip decorate the edges using an “s” chain pattern as seen in the photos above. Decorate with jellybeans as you like or…

Other Basket Cake Ideas
Easter- All white. “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

Wedding/Bridal- all white cake, frosting, coconut, and 5 white Jordan Nuts for health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity- very Italian.

Baby Shower- Pink or blue basket filled with frosting flowers, animals, or baby things- all made of frosting or candy of course.

Mother’s Day- Her favorite color and filled with her favorite chocolates or if it were for me, chocolate covered strawberries. Hint. Hint.

For more cake ideas, go to my Dessert Page.

Thanks to Wonka Candy for sending me all kinds of candies to fill the Easter Basket. SweeTarts Jelly Beans, Double Yummy Gummies, Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Eggs (my favorite), and a variety pack if individually wrapped classic candies, like Bottlecaps, YUM! I think every kid would love some Wonka Candy in their basket, don’t ya think?

If you make this cake, link me, and I would be happy to share the link to your site so that everyone can see all the variations and creativity out there. I’d love to hear from you!


  1. Kelly
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    Absolutely ADORABLE. I love it – wonky or not. 🙂 Awesome alternative to basketweave piping and using grated candy melts in pure genius. Another BRK home run!

  2. Karen
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    So cute! Love the little 'bugs' 🙂

  3. Natalie
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Wow this is too cute!! I imagine the kids will go crazy over this 🙂

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Robin, Beautiful! I am going to have to do this. So easy. Like the ideas for baby showers, etc. The little animals so cute. Where do you find those pens? Ma

  5. Robin Sue
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Ma- I think I got the pens in Michael's or Walmart in the cake decorating section. I think I have had mine since Hormbeam Place- can you believe it?! Keep in refrigerator.

  6. Acky
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    WOW, it's really cute! I love the green candies-cheese grated 🙂

  7. Miri Leigh
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    This cake is too cute! Can't wait to try it out!

  8. Elena
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    I think is easy to decorate, but your idea is fantastic. I don't have time to cook the Easter cake, but now I don't ever try to find time…

  9. grace
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    that is SO crafty! i love the fork prints and the squirmy wormy–well done!

  10. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    So cute and easy enough for me to do 🙂

  11. BigBearswife
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    What a great idea! Cute Basket Cake!

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