How to Make Fondant Basketballs

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A fondant basketball works well as the finishing touch for sports-themed cakes, whether you're celebrating a sports fanatic's birthday or hosting a party for a championship basketball game. Rolled fondant works best for making a basketball because it is pliable and easy to mold like clay. Basketball colors range from bright orange to a darker brownish-orange, which you can achieve by kneading orange and brown gel food coloring into white fondant. The most important aspect of making a realistic fondant basketball is achieving the dimpled texture on the fondant.

Things You'll Need

  • Dot impression mat or similar object
  • Fondant roller
  • Rotary cutting tool
  • Small paintbrush
  • Food coloring markers
  • Roll colored fondant in the palms of your hand to form a smooth ball -- the amount of fondant depends on the desired size for the basketball.

  • Press a dot impression mat firmly into the fondant on all sides of the ball to create the dimpled texture. You can also try using a textured paper towel, a microplane or purchase a new basketball to use just for this purpose. Remove the air from the ball and cut out a strip of the textured material.

  • Allow the cake to rest for a few hours or until the fondant hardens.

  • Roll a ball of black fondant to about 1/4 inch thick and equal in length to the circumference of the basketball. Cut out 1/4 inch wide strips with a fondant rotary cutting tool or a pizza cutter.

  • Dip a small brush in water and shake off the excess so it's damp but not wet. Brush one side of each black strip with the damp brush to make the fondant tacky. Work with one strip at a time.

  • Wrap two of the black strips around the equator and prime meridian of the sphere, dividing the ball into hemispheres. Press the fondant strip gently to ensure good contact with the orange fondant so the black stripe sticks. The other two black strips are curved slightly so they fall at the center of each hemisphere. You don't need to wrap the fondant under the ball, just cut the strip and tuck it under the ball to hide the ends. This is a tricky step, so you might prefer to use a black food coloring marker to make the lines.

  • Write a message on the ball with food coloring markers, if desired. You might write "Happy Birthday," or the name of a popular basketball brand.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want a ball bigger than about 4 inches in diameter, it's best to use fondant to cover a base because a large ball made entirely of fondant is likely to crumble. You can cover a foam ball, bake a spherical cake or mold a sphere from marshmallow crispy rice treats. Roll out fondant to about 1/4 inch thick in a circle with a diameter of roughly 2-1/2 times the ball's diameter. Lay the fondant over the ball and slowly smooth out the fondant. The fondant doesn't need to cover the bottom because it's not visible when on the cake or cake plate.

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