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Second Grade Activity
Explore shapes and colors as you make this unique cake.
Nine Patch Quilt Cake
Materials/Equipment Needed:
  • Ready-to-go unfrosted 8- or 9-inch square cake
  • Vanilla frosting ingredients or prepared frosting
  • Option 1: DecoEdible paper or rice paper (available at local craft or cake decorating store)
  • Option 2: Colored frosting for piping in tubes, decors, licorice string, coconut, chips, nuts, colored sugar
  • Recommended book for children about quilts
  • Quilt book with easy nine-patch pattern examples using triangles and squares.
  • A square blank paper divided into 9 squares

  • 2 ½ cups all -purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 8 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 medium cooking apples
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkling


  • Read together a recommended children’s book about quilts. Show a picture of nine-patch quilt pattern.
  • Provide paper nine-patch patterns. Have child imagine which squares will be patterned and which will be blank to make a pattern. What do they want to design on the patterned squares? They may want to simply color triangles and squares to make a pattern.
  • Spread a thin layer of vanilla frosting over each square cake’s surface.
  • Using decorator icing or string licorice, divide into nine equal squares.
  • Use the paper plan to begin their quilt cake design. A child should be able to design or color two or three squares of DecoEdible paper OR decorate the squares as planned on the cake.
  • Provide decors, frosting, colored sugars, nuts, chips, coconut. Attach the decorated edible paper with a fresh thin coat of icing.

BAKING ACTIVITY: Nine Patch Quilt Cake
Many people begin quilting with the nine-patch quilt. There’s room for many different combinations of patterned and plain squares and triangles.

Let’s create a quilt on cake for starters!

  • Bake one, 8- or 9-inch square cake. (Use a favorite recipe or mix.)
  • Frost the surface of the cooled cake with a thin layer of frosting.
  • Divide the cake with piped frosting or licorice string into nine even squares.
  • Create a Nine Patch Quilt pattern on the surface of the cake.
Option 1: Cut one sheet DecoEdible* paper into nine, 2 ½-inch squares. Using edible paints or markers, create pictures and designs on the squares.
OR Cut some of the squares into triangles and color these solid colors. Arrange them in a geometric pattern (see quilt book for ideas)
Attach the edible paper pieces onto the cake with a fresh thin layer of frosting.
Option 2: Use frosting, food-colored coconut, decors and other edible pieces, to create patterns and decorate the squares of your own nine-patch quilt!

Example: Simple Nine Patch Pattern

Dots or blank Three
Dots or blank
Star Three
Dots or blank Three
Dots or blank
Creamy Vanilla Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla flavoring
About 2 tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter or
margarine. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth and spreading consistency. Divide and color for decorating, as desired.

Makes 1 1/8 cup (1 lb.) frosting

Source: Betty Crocker’s 40th Edition cookbook, 1991.

  • Discover the art medium of quilts as part of American folk art.
  • Develop a sense of creativity with shapes and color.
  • Explore using shapes and colors to make variations of a quilt cake.
  • Check out a book at the library on quilts such as The Quilter’s Handbook. Edited by Rosemary Wilkinson.
  • Visit a local craft store or local quilt guild to learn more about quilts.
  • Check out other great decorating tips at www.baking911.com



the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty


cause to exist; originate

Books for Reading Together

Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt. Lisa Campbell Ernst.
The Quiltmaker’s Gift. Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken.
Tar Beach. Faith Ringgold.