My second Valentine’s Day mini cake is a design I’ve been dreaming up for a while now. When I’m not working, making cakes, or writing, I’m often knitting, and I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate that knitted look into a cake. I love how the stockinette stitch kind of looks like little hearts, and I wanted to expand on that idea. I purchased some knitting themed silicone molds last year, fully intending to use those, but never got around to it. I generally only use touches of fondant decorations on my cakes and I didn’t want to cover a whole cake with fondant knitting.
Then, last month, I saw The Flour Girl on Instagram using a 1M piping tip to give a lovely knitted sweater vibe to one of her cakes, by simply piping diagonal slashes to represent the stitches. I thought her idea was genius, and I used it as the jumping off point to create what I’m calling my Knit with Love cake. I originally intended to make this a white and red cake, but as I mentioned in my last post, I had a bit of a struggle with the red food coloring, and decided to go pink instead. I think it gives the cake a much more sweet and charming look, so I didn’t mind the change.
The inside of this cake is Liv for Cake’s vanilla cake, filled with Cake Paper Party’s Swiss meringue buttercream and a passion fruit curd.I used a stiffer American buttercream from Life, Love and Sugar for the piping because I thought it would hold up a little better. The passion fruit curd gives a nice tart freshness to the warm flavor of the vanilla cake that I just love. Plus Valentine’s Day…Passion fruit…get where I’m going with this? Wink wink. You can find my passion fruit curd recipe down below. You can also switch this out to mango for something a little different.
So to make my version of the knitted buttercream cake you need a 1M tip and then 2 small open star piping tips. Mine did not have sizes on them, so unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what they are. They are part of a cheaper plastic tip set that I bought on a whim on sale. I’ve only used the larger size tips from the set prior to this, and haven’t noticed any issues, but I did find with the smaller sizes that the outcome was a bit disappointing. The plastic tips just didn’t give the same sharp lines as the metal tips so some of the definition was lost.
I had one piping bag of white buttercream with the 1M tip and one piping bag of white buttercream with the smaller open star tip. And then one piping bag of pink frosting, with a small open star tip. I started with piping a column of larger knit. Starting at the top, you want to pipe a diagonal line from left to right, dragging towards the cake at the end, while releasing pressure. Then you’re going to start from the right and pipe to the left, using the same technique, but crossing over the flattened bottom of your first stroke. Then you move just underneath your first stroke, and start your second stitch in the same way. Forgive my photographs. I took a bunch but somehow didn’t end up with any that went in order.
Once you get to the bottom, pick up your smaller tipped white bag, and start at the top, next to your first column. You want to use the same technique to pipe your smaller column, but once you do your first two strokes (one left to right, and one right to left), you are going to switch to your pink bag to do the next two strokes, and back to the white bag for the next two strokes, and so on. Then repeat, alternating, bigger and smaller columns, until you get back around to the beginning. You can also click here to see a video of how The Flour Girl did hers on Instagram. (And check out her other cakes, she’s amazing!)
I didn’t put my columns close enough together so I ended up with some gaps. I chose to fill them in with little stars of white.
If I make this one again, I’ll make sure not to leave any gaps, because I think it takes away from the pattern a little. I would also probably start the lines closer to the top of the cake.
To finish it off, I piped a little heart on top using the same technique.
I love giving these little mini sized cakes away as gifts. The four inch size is perfect for a couple or a small family. Or even for one if you’re feeling especially hungry. 🙂 No judgement here.
Passion fruit curd
(I halved the recipe for a 4 inch, 3 layer cake and still had leftovers)
½ c passion fruit puree (can be found in the frozen food section, let thaw before using)
1 c sugar
4 tbsp lime juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
6 egg yolks
- In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine yolks and passion fruit puree with sugar and lime juice and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.
- Add butter and whisk over low heat until butter is melted.
- Keep whisking until thickened, about 8 more minutes.
- When curd coats the back of a wooden spoon, strain into a bowl through a mesh sieve.
- Press plastic wrap onto the top of the curd to seal it and prevent a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate until well chilled.