How To Make A Knitted Winter Hat Cake
When the snow start to fall, the winter hats come out and in keeping with that theme, there's no better way to surprise your guests than with this nubby winter hat cake. A small and easy cake, this knitted buttercream hat will make the perfect centerpiece for your Christmas or Holiday party table. A cake pan creates the shape, so there's no sculpting involved and simple buttercream piping adds that nubby texture that's the signature of every cozy winter hat. Fondant pom poms and dancing deer are simple finishing touches to give that realistic winter hat appeal.
Recipe Notes: Because this cake is piped in buttercream, you will need a good piping recipe. You can use our Brenda's Bakery Buttercream recipe, which is our go to recipe. You will need to make the 1 1/2 batch recipe so that you have enough buttercream to make the hat very nubby.You can freeze any leftover buttercream in a snap lid container for up to a month.
You can use a box mix for the cake itself or check out our Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe if you prefer to make it from scratch.
STEP 1: ONE DAY AHEAD, BAKE CAKE AND MAKE ICING
Coat the inside of the doll pan with a generous coating of shortening and then flour well. Prepare the batter according to the box directions or recipe and place the pan on a sheet tray to balance it in the oven. (The baking time will be longer because of the shape of the pan so continually check the cake until there's no more unbaked batter in the center). Cool for 15 minutes and flip it out of the pan to cool completely. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place the cake back in the pan and put it in the fridge to chill overnight. This will help it keep it's shape and make it much easier to ice with buttercream when ready.
Make your buttercream and cover the surface with plastic wrap. You can leave this at room temperature.
STEP 2: SLICE, FILL AND CRUMBCOAT CAKE
Remove the cake from the fridge and unwrap and place on your platter. Slice the cake in three parts and spread buttercream between the layers. Stack the cake back up and then ice with a thin layer of buttercream to seal in the crumbs. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for 1/2 hour.
STEP 3: PIPE TEXTURE IN BUTTERCREAM
Divide your remaining buttercream in two parts and tint one portion light blue. Place both colors in piping bags fitted with #6 piping tips.
Use a toothpick to draw a guide for piping so you know where to start and stop. Make the band approximately 3" wide so that the cut out reindeer pieces fit
Pipe horizontal lines of loopty loops in blue buttercream. (We've added a close up)
Once you hit your line, switch to the white buttercream and pipe dots in horizontal rows. Try and pipe them as close together as possible so that you don't see any cake underneath. When you finish the white section, continue with blue all the way to the bottom. Fill in the top with piping too.
STEP 4: FINISH WITH FONDANT DETAILS
On a surface coated with powdered sugar, roll out 2 oz. of fondant and cut out 8 dancing reindeer. (Use a toothpick to gently push the reindeer legs and antlers from the cutter if they don't come out immediately). Place them on the cake.
Once all the reindeer are on. Use another 2 oz. of fondant and any left over from the reindeer for the pom pom. Roll the fondant into a ball and using small scissors, make downward cuts into the fondant until the entire ball is covered with cuts. Place the ball on the cake.
Roll out the remaining fondant into a rope about 12" long. Cut the rope in half and then roll each piece with a rolling pin, lengthening and flattening the piece as you roll it. Make indentations with a toothpick to mimic a hat band.
Place the band around the bottom of the hat, pressing it into the base of the cake to adhere, but leaving the top edge of the band loose. Complete the band with the second piece, trimming if necessary.