Monday, January 24, 2011

Air Jordan Shoe & Basketball Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 11:55 PM
Jenae wanted a really unique for her girlfriend's birthday. When we first talked and she said that she wanted Kristina's favorite shoe in cake form, I remember thinking "wow, how am I going to do this!" There is a specific pair of Jordans that Kristina really loves and so we decided to make that cake along with a Chicago-Bulls-esque jersey and a half basketball. The shoe was a strawberry cake layered with buttercream and the basketball was hand-shaped from vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream.
The shoe and basketball were covered in homemade marshmallow fondant while the jersey itself was marshmallow fondant. In order to make this cake look perfect, I printed out a ton of versions of the shoe from all different angles (I raided my brother's closet to see if he had these but he had several other Jordans.... not this one!). The real shoe has a lot of stitching, grooves, and tiny details and I wanted to make sure that I got all of those elements onto this cake. I spent a few hours shaping, cutting, and sculpting the cake until it fit the right shape (I have to thank Paul for this because he's also a huge Jordan fan and made sure that the shoe looked perfect). Then, I covered it in a nice layer of buttercream. Once the buttercream set up in the fridge, I covered it in homemade marshmallow fondant (it's quite a challenge to cover this shape in one piece of fondant and takes a lot of patience).
Now that it was covered, I had to work fast to get the right grooves and stitches into the cake. I used a pattern tracing wheel found in the fabric department of any store to make the "stitched" look. I had to trace the pattern while the fondant was still soft so that it left an indent into the side of the cake (because that's how the shoe looks). I set a large groove down the shoe to make the lip and then used more marshmallow fondant to mimic shoe laces. After I was happy with the grooves, I painted the red and black coloring on with food coloring. Although you can't see all of the details here, I was so proud with the finished product of the shoe. It really looked identical to the real shoe :)

The basketball was much easier to execute but not as easy as it looks! In order to make it look real, I imprinted a texture into the fondant so that it looked and felt like a real basketball. The biggest challenge with the ball was to get it to look perfectly round. There are pans that make balls easily but I wanted this cake to be larger than those pans so hand sculpting was the only way to go.

Lastly, the jersey was made of marshmallow fondant. I rolled it out, cut it into the right shape, added the name, number, and borders around the side. SO much fun! I have to say that I wish I kept this cake for myself because in the end, it was such a labor of love! Happy Birthday, Kristina!

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