This Decorated Easter Cake is frosted to look like an Easter basket. A simple layer cake with basket weave frosting, grass frost on top and robin eggs for a fun cake idea.
Easter Basket Cake – How To
This is more of an Easter Basket Cake visual tutorial. The icing recipe is below but you will want to make 3 (8″) round cakes using your favorite cake recipe or box cake mix. Once you have your cakes prepared and cooled, come back here to make the frosting and follow the steps for decorating your fun and festive cake.
This cake is great for Easter gatherings, picnics and/or meals. The frosting technique is simple once you get the hang of it and the end result is a show-stopping cake!
This is a rather long post. Please read through all of the instructions and tips carefully. The written instructions are accompanied by visual examples.
First Prep the Cakes:
Trim the tops off of your cake layers to make sure they are level for stacking. To do this, place a serrated knife parallel to the cake layers and at the level of the bottom of the domed top. Slowly slice across the top of the cake, cutting off the dome. If the layers are not level, the cake will look domed and possibly be unstable. Set the cake layers aside.
- Place one layer of the cake with the cut side facing up on the plate or stand that you will serve the cake on, alternatively you can decorate the cake using a rotating cake stand and transfer it later. Place a small spoonful of buttercream between the plate and the cake to prevent it from moving around. Frost the top of the cake layer with about a cup of buttercream. Place a second cake layer with the cut side facing up on top and frost it with about a cup of buttercream. Place the third layer on top with the cut side down. This creates a crisp top edge on the cake. Make sure all of the layers are lined up with one another. If your cake layers are moving around, place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until the frosting has set and the layers no longer move. This will make it easier to frost the outside of the cake.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator to add the crumb coat. If you are concerned about not piping tight lines, I suggest doing this with brown buttercream because it will hide gaps in the basketweave pattern and will look like dirt on the top if any shows through the grass. Using an offset spatula, spread the buttercream on the top of the cake and work your way down to the sides, adding more frosting as needed. It’s ok if you can see the cake in some places because the idea is to seal in crumbs, not to completely frost it. Do not put the offset spatula back into the bowl of frosting without wiping off the crumbs first. At this point, you can put the cake back in the fridge to set, which I recommend if your buttercream is loose or your kitchen is warm.
While the cake is resting, color about 2/3 of the remaining frosting brown and 1/3 green. Fill a disposable piping bag fitting with the basket weave tip halfway with the brown frosting. Fill a disposable piping bag fitted with the multi-opening tip halfway with the green frosting. You will end up refilling these bags, but only having them halfway full makes it easier to pipe. Set these aside.
What is the best way to fill a piping bag?
After fitting the bag with a piping tip, place the bag inside a tall glass and fold the top part of the bag over the rim of the glass to hold it in place. Scoop the frosting into the bag with a rubber spatula. After it is filled about halfway, twist the top of the bag closed and press the frosting down to get out any air.
Can I use liquid food coloring instead of gel?
You can, but the colors will not be as vibrant and it may affect the taste more.
My colors are not very bright. Is there any way to fix this?
If you are not using gel food coloring, start with that. You can also let the colored frosting rest overnight before using it. Sometimes food coloring will deepen over time. You might also just need to add more gel food coloring.
Supplies and Tools Needed For Decorating:
- Offset spatula (optional)
- Cake decorating turntable (optional)
- Basket weave tip (Wilton #47)
- Multi-opening tip (Wilton #233)
- Wide star tip, optional (Wilton #4B)
- 2-3 disposable piping bags
How To Decorate An Easter Cake:
- If you are worried about your basket weave being even, you can use the dull side of a knife to make a small indent in the frosting where you want to put each vertical line, about 1/2 inch apart is a good distance. Using the previously filled basketweave piping bag, pipe a vertical line from the bottom to the top of the cake. You want the piping tip to be slightly off of the cake, not touching it, as you pipe. Make sure the side of the piping tip with the grooves is facing towards you (if it is not, you will end up with a smooth line without any indents).
- At the top of the cake, pipe a horizontal line about an inch long over the vertical line. Directly below it, pipe a dot the same width as the horizontal line to ensure that there is enough space between the lines. Pipe another horizontal line directly underneath that dot. Repeat this process until you have reached the bottom of the cake.
- Pipe another vertical line right over the end of the horizontal lines or at the indent previously created. Starting directly next to the first vertical line, fill in the empty spaces in between the horizontal lines by piping a horizontal line about an inch long that extends over the second vertical line. These lines should almost look like they are coming from behind the first vertical line. They will be at the same level as the dots piped in the previous step. It will start to look like a woven pattern with every other horizontal line on top of or behind the vertical lines
- Repeat step 9 until the entire outside of the cake is covered. If your frosting starts to feel softer or does not have as much definition when piped, put the piping bag in the fridge to firm up for about 5-10 minutes.
- Optionally, you can add a border on the top of the cake with the brown buttercream. If this is your first time attempting a border, you can practice on a piece of parchment paper and transfer the frosting back to the piping bag when you are done. Switch to a round star tip and hold your piping bag straight up and down on the edge of the top of the cake. Squeeze a small amount of frosting out and move your piping bag along the edge of the cake without squeezing anymore out. A small amount of frosting will continue to come out as you move the tip, which will create a tapered tail. Place the piping tip directly next to the domed part that you just piped (this will be on top of the tail). Repeat the process of squeezing a dot and moving the bag away. Continue this around the top of the cake.
- Next, pipe the grass. Place the piping tip right above the surface of the cake so it is almost touching and start to squeeze. Move the piping tip away from the surface as the frosting starts to fill up the space. Stop squeezing and pull the piping bag away when you get to the desired length. Repeat this process until you have completely covered the top of the cake. Do not be afraid to overlap some of the grass you have already piped. It is meant to look natural so it will look best if it is not all uniform and if there are some differences in length and direction. Because American buttercream forms a crust, the holes in your piping bag may become clogged. When this happens, run the tip under hot water and rub the top to get off the stuck buttercream. Squeeze out a small amount of buttercream to discard until you see some that does not look wet or darker in color.
- Place the mini chocolate eggs around the top of the cake. Try not to make it symmetrical. I varied the colors that were grouped together and how many were in each cluster. After setting up all of the eggs, pipe grass around the edges of a few of them to make it look like they are surrounded by grass.
How can I fix a piping mistake?
First, I would recommend practicing the piping techniques on a piece of parchment paper before doing it on the cake because it is much easier than trying to fix a mistake on the cake and can build confidence. If you do mess up on the cake, you can scrape it off and try again. This is easier if the cake has been chilled because the underlying crumb coat will be firm enough to stay on the cake when you scrape off the top layer of piping. Be careful when redoing the basketweave because a lot of parts overlap, which will make it harder to redo things. You can always put the mess up in the back! If it is near the bottom of the cake, I would also recommend piping some grass on the cake stand in front of the mistake and putting an egg nearby. This will look like a cute little patch of grass and cover up anything you want to hide!
More Sweet Easter Recipes
- 3 8” cake rounds (box mix or homemade)
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 cups (2 lbs) powdered sugar
- 2 to 4 tbsp heavy cream or milk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Green gel food coloring
- Brown gel food coloring
- Cadbury mini eggs
- Beat the unsalted butter and powdered sugar on low speed in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until it is completely mixed. After the powdered sugar has been incorporated, increase the mixer to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add 2 tbsp of heavy cream or milk, vanilla extract and salt to the mixture. Beat it until just combined. If the consistency is too thick, add more heavy cream or milk. If the consistency is too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar. If you want a very smooth frosting, use a rubber spatula to mix the frosting and press it against the sides of the bowl to remove any air bubbles that may affect the look of the decorations.
- Reference post tutorial for cake decorating instructions.
American buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months in an airtight container.
The frosted cake can be stored at room temperature for up to three days. The buttercream will seal in the cakes moisture, but if it is cut into, you need to make sure to cover it to prevent the exposed cake from drying out.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 391Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 77mgSodium 379mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 0gSugar 36gProtein 4g
Nutritional information on WonkyWonderful is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.