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This article was taken from our November 2019 Issue Buy this issue now

Cable Knit Christmas Cake Tutorial – Renshaw Christmas Cake Competition Finalist

Tanya is a cake designer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and is owner of Cake Heart. She often turns to fashion, nature and textile for sources of inspiration and challenges herself to try something different with each new design. Cake Heart’s tutorials and designs have been featured in numerous international publications and various online blogs.


Equipment Required:

  • Cake tiers: 6×4”, 8×8”, 10×3”
  • Renshaw royal icing
  • Rainbow Dust ProGels: Navy, Chestnut
  • Rainbow Dust White Edible Glitter
  • Edible glue
  • Floral tape
  • Skewers
  • Toothpick
  • 28 gauge wire
  • Extruder and discs
  • Craft scissors
  • PME snowflake plunger cutters
  • 12mm/5” round cutter
  • Brushes: fine, soft, hard
  • Paring knife
  • White gum paste
  • Renshaw fondant: white, pink, red
  • Crystal Colors petal dusts: Cinnamon, Chocolate, Cherry For Katie
  • NY Cake Dove Grey petal dust
  • Roxy & Rich Hybrid Petal Dusts: Midnight Black, Sage
  • Rosemary
  • First Impressions bead mould
  • Marvelous Molds Classic Knit Simpress
  • Marvelous Molds Ribbed Knit Border Mold
  • Marvelous Molds Braided Knit Border Mold
  • Rolling pin/smoother
  • Glaze spray
  • Pizza wheel
  • Wilton candy melts
  • Crisco
  • Ruler/straight edge
  • Measuring tape
  • Paper towel
  • Americolor airbrush paints: white, black (AmeriColor) (not shown)
  • Cornstarch
  • Needle nose pliers

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Candy Cane - 1.

Roll out a 10" log of white gum paste. Extrude two thin strips of red and two strips of pink fondant a little longer than the log. Extrude two medium strips of red.


Apply water to the top of the log.


Lay a medium red strip on the water line and repeat on the opposite side of the log.


Apply water beside the red strip and add a pink strip. Repeat on the opposite side of the log.


Add the remaining thin red strips on both sides.


Hold both ends of the log and twist.


Roll onto your work surface until all extruded strips are secure.


Dip a skewer into edible glue and insert into the candy cane. Trim to the desired length. Curve the top of the candy cane to create a hook. Allow to dry overnight.

Mug Cosy - 9.

Brush water around the top edge of the 6” tier. Using a large disc, extrude white fondant long enough to cover the circumference of the tier.


Cover the tier in white fondant.


Roll out a 5” circle of dark brown fondant (white fondant with Chestnut ProGel).


Apply Crisco or water to the top of the tier and place the circle on top. Pull the edges to give the appearance the hot cocoa is on the brim of the mug.


Dust the ribbed knit border mould with cornstarch and fill with white fondant. Press with your finger tips and roll with the rolling pin or smoother. Turn over and press down once again to ensure to pick up all the little detail. Remove the border.


Using the pizza wheel, cut in half.


Apply Crisco or water to the tier and attach the border to the bottom. Repeat until the border is all the way around.


Roll out ice blue fondant (white fondant with a small amount of Navy ProGel and a touch of red fondant) to the same thickness as the cable knit mould. Dust the mould with cornstarch, place the fondant and press just enough to see the impression.


Cut out one large and two medium snowflakes. Position and attach to ice blue fondant with water.


Using the large disc, extrude enough white fondant to position and attach.


Press the cable knit mould down onto the snowflake pattern.


Apply the panels all around the tier. Leave a 1” gap on the side of mug where the handle will be.


Insert the candy cane at an angle into the cocoa.

Marshmallows - 22.

Roll out a log of white fondant and cut 0.5” pieces. Gently and briefly roll the piece in your palm to soften the edges. Allow to dry.


Once dry, cut away fondant at an angle from a few of the ‘marshmallows’.


Apply glue to the marshmallows.


Attach to the top of the cake. Cut two small pieces of ice blue cable knit and attach above and under the handle.

Wooden Planks -26.

Cover the barrel tier in a thin layer of ice blue fondant. Measure and mark the centre top, middle and bottom.


Measure 3” from the centre middle on both sides.


Use the ruler or straight edge to mark a diamond joining all points.


Roll out tan gum paste (white gum paste with Chestnut ProGel). Using pressure and a hard brush; make long one directional brush strokes.


Brush white paint onto tan fondant. Wipe away excess with paper towel. Allow to dry for a few minutes then cut 1x8” strips. Cut an extra strip for skis.


Load a brush with grey paint. Remove most of the paint from the brush with paper towel. Paint over a few areas of the strips.


Attach one at a time with water to the tier beginning with the centre of the diamond. Trim away excess using the diamond as a guide.

Ornamental Skis - 33.

Cut a wooden plank in half. Trim to 5” long.


Trim an end of each ski to a point.


Prop the pointed end up against a flat surface and allow to dry.


Dust in layers with cinnamon, brown, grey and black dusts.

Border - 37.

Dust the cable knit mould with cornstarch and fill with ice blue fondant. Roll with the rolling pin or smoother. Excess will cut off with the mould’s blade. Flip over and press down with the smoother or your palm. Gently press in the sides of the mould as this will help give a seamless appearance.


Cover the tier in water or Crisco. Apply a panel at a time starting at one side of the wooden planks.


Using the diamond as a guide, remove any cable knit which overlaps the wooden planks.


When adding pieces of cable knit, cut away a small amount of fondant at an angle around the edges. This will also help with hiding seams.


Dust the cable knit border mould with cornstarch.


Brush water along the cable knit edge of the diamond.


Apply the border and cut away at all points of the diamond. Side points will be cut horizontally, top and bottom points will be cut vertically.


Blend the border at points with a toothpick.

Bow - 45.

Dust your work surface with cornstarch. Roll out red fondant and cut two 2x3” rectangles.


Gather and pinch each end.


Fold over and pinch the two gathered ends together.


Roll out red fondant and cut two 1x2” rectangles. Make a triangle cut from one end of each.


Gather the ends of the ‘ribbon' and allow all bow pieces to dry. Dust with red.


Cut a 1x2” rectangle of red fondant and gather at both ends. This is the centre of the bow. Add with a touch of water once the bow is assembled.

Berries - 51.

Dust the bead mould with cornstarch. Fill with red fondant. Roll with a pin and remove excess with the paring knife.


Remove fondant and separate each bead. Roll gently in your palm.


Cut wire into 2” and 3” lengths. Using the pliers, create a hook at one end. Dip into edible glue and insert into the berry.


Place berries in a former to dry.


Dust with red and steam.


Spray with edible glaze.


Stretch a piece of floral tape. Group a few berries at different lengths and tape to a skewer. Add another cluster until you reach your desired fullness.