basket weave [bas-kit-weev] noun
A popular design used in cake decorating that creates a 3-D effect resembling a woven basket, usually on the sides or tops of cakes. Plain ribbon, ridged ribbon or round tips are typically used.
To create a basket weave design using a round tip as shown in the photo, follow these directions:
Your cake tiers should be thickly crumb-coated, with the same buttercream that you are using to create the basket weave, and chilled. We like to use Italian meringue buttercream. Fit an Ateco #10 tip on your pastry bag with coupler. You will use this tip for both vertical and horizontal lines forming the weave pattern.
To begin, pipe a vertical line going from the bottom of the tier to the top. Then pipe horizontal lines, each approximately one inch long, across the vertical line. The number will depend on the height of the tier. Space them so that additional horizontal lines will just fit in between and that all of them will cover the side of the tier. Make the first horizontal line along the top edge of the cake. The next line will be one line’s width down from it, and so on, until you reach the bottom of the tier. Pipe second vertical line to the right of the horizontal lines, slightly overlapping the edges of the horizontal ones. Then pipe more horizontal lines across this vertical line, filling in the spaces formed by the previous horizontal lines. This set of horizontal lines will be started just to the left of the second vertical line and go for an inch toward the right. Repeat this pattern, working all around the cake. (If you are a lefty, you can work toward the left). As you approach the end, space it so that the last set of horizontal lines complements the first set. They should dovetail and fit together neatly.
Creating a basket weave does take a while and your hands can overly warm up the buttercream in the pastry bag, so fill it only partially at any given time. If the buttercream becomes too warm, the nice round shape of the lines will soften and become less distinct. Chill the tier and buttercream at any time, if necessary, then resume. Refrigerate cake to set the design, but bring to room temperature before serving. Video to come.