decorating tutorials

It was my friend’s 30th birthday and to surprise him I thought would make him a retro Nike Air Jordan basketball shoe cake. He is a big fan of basketball – plays it, watches it and also has a keen interest in collecting Air Jordans.

I have to say this cake has been my hardest cake that I have made to date. It was also my first attempt at cake carving, a scary fete in itself. I couldn’t find many tutorials on how to make a basketball shoe cake (hence why I decided to post this tutorial), however I did watch a lot of cake carving tutorials on YouTube. This was one of those cakes that gave me  recurring nightmares, where someone breaks into my house doesn’t steal anything just goes into my fridge and destroys my cakes!! I wake up and the first thing I do is run to the fridge to see if it is still in one piece!

To make this cake, I based the proportions against one of my husband’s basketball shoes. I started by baking a large square (13″ by 9″ deep pan) mud cake then cut it in half length ways and stacked the pieces on top of each other. I used a buttercream mixture flavoured with chocolate paste and hazelnut flavouring between each layer of cake to make it “stick” together. I made a template of the sole of the shoe by tracing around my husband’s shoe onto paper then transferred this template onto some baking paper. I then proceeded to carve the cake using a carving knife. The left over chocolate pieces were used to increase the height of the ankle part of the shoe. Once stacked I placed the cake into the freezer for 15 minutes, this made it easier to carve. Using my husbands shoe as a guide I carved the cake to resemble the basketball shoe. I exaggerated the carving as I knew I would be next ganaching then placing on the fondant, so carving details of the slight grooves and cuts would be lost if I didn’t do so. Once I was happy with the shape iced the cake with ganache and hot knifed it.

To decorate the shoe cake I covered it firstly with white fondant. Once the cake was covered I added the tongue of the shoe and the parts where the laces thread through. I placed paper towel underneath them to lift them up and allowed them to dry. Using a printed picture of the Retro Air Jordan shoe I cut out hand drawn templates of each part of the shoe and used these to shapes to cut out colored fondant and attached them to the shoe using sugar glue. To make the laces I used a clay extruder which I purchased at a craft shop. Its quite a useful tool and I would highly recommend you get one as you can pipe out long even strands of the same shape.  Before using it though, I recommend that you heat the fondant you want to use for about 5 seconds in the microwave to soften it a little. It makes squeezing out the fondant a lot easier! decorating tutorials To finish off the cake and make it look like a shoe I used my quilting tool along the edges of my cut out fondant to resemble stitching. I also painted some parts of the shoe with alcohol to make it look glossy. On my list of purchases is a garment steamer. You can use it to set your fondant color, it makes the color more vibrant, as well as sets it, and leaves a glossy finish to your cake.

Check out the video below to see what I did.


I was pretty happy with the result in the end and so was my friend that night.

Hope you liked this tutorial! Happy Baking !! xoxo


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2 Comments to “How to Make a Nike Shoe Cake”

  • would u be able to share the hand drawn templates of the pieces you used?

  • Hi there sorry I didn’t reply to your question earlier but I threw those templates out a while ago. Sorry!

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