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Nine Patch Quilt Cake

Materials/Equipment Needed:

  • Ready-to-go unfrosted 8- or 9-inch square cake
  • Vanilla frosting ingredients or prepared frosting
  • 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


  • 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. Provide decors, frosting, colored sugars, nuts, chips, coconut.

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!

White Layer Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup milk

In large mixing bowl, gradually add sugar to butter, mix until light and fluffy.  Add unbeaten egg whites one at a time; mix well after each addition.  Blend in vanilla. Sift or combine cake flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl.  Gradually add combined dry ingredients alternately with milk to sugar mixture.   Pour batter in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool

  • Bake one, 8, 9-inch or 9x13 cake. (Use White Layer Cake recipe, 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.

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


Dots or blank




Dots or blank


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



 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.