Running Sneaker Shoe Cake

Sneaker Running Shoe Cake

One of my favorite cakes.  I have wanted to make a shoe cake for a while and jumped at the opportunity to create this one for a friend.  The shoe measures at about 11″ L x 5″ H x 4.5″ W and is carved entirely out of cake and covered in MMF.  It’s modeled after the New Balance MR817 men’s running shoe.

I baked the cake in a 10×10 square pan, cut it in half and stacked it to create a rectangular block to carve the shoe out of.  With the shoes footprint, I used it as a template to carve out the sides of the cake and eyeballed the rest of it.

Covered it over in vanilla buttercream and let it rest overnight at room temperature to set and crust nicely.

I was so nervous with starting on the details and must have spent at least an hour trying to figure out how to piece everything together and where to start.  In the meantime, I put the cake in the fridge for an hour to firm up making it easier to decorate over with the MMF.

Tip:  I find it easier to decorate a cold cake.  You don’t have to keep it in the fridge overnight, only an hour is needed to harden the BC (I use a 50/50 mix of Hi Ratio Shortening and Butter – recipe can be found here by Edna at Design Me a Cake).  I then used pieces of parchment paper lightly pressed over each individual section to sketch the shape I needed over it, put the cake back into the fridge to stay chilled, prepped the MMF to the size I sketched onto the parchment paper, removed the cake from the fridge and lay the MMF piece over it to double-check the fit, removed the MMF if needed to trim it some more (as long as the BC is cold hard, no dents or smudges will be left behind), then once you have the perfectly sized piece, place and smooth the MMF into place.  Repeat a couple dozen times =)

Once I got the first couple of pieces on there,  the shoe took shape and everything else came together slowly and perfectly.

Total time spent on carving and decorating it…12 hours (not counting the baking, making the MMF, and covering the board) but well worth every minute of it!

For the fabric/mesh print on the shoe, I used a piece of a plastic/silicone drawer liner that had the perfect pattern on it as an impression mat – thank goodness!  I spent a couple of days trying to figure out how I was going to recreate the mesh pattern.  I used the same mesh pattern on the name, “Bino!”.  The entire shoe is put together using 4 colors of MMF:  White, light grey, dark grey, and orange.  The light grey panels were dusted in white pearl dust to look shiny and “reflective”.  The stitches were made with a sewing stitching wheel.  I also used the stitching wheel along the “50th”.  A piece of tulle was used to make the fabric print on the orange part along the inside of the shoe.  For the shoe laces, I used a veining tool to score the various thread marks on it – I love bringing out all those little details =)

Sneaker Running Shoe Cake (back)

The cake board was covered to look like a track field floor.  I used a dish cloth as an impression mat against the board to create the little bumps that you find on a track floor.  I was going to dust it over with some brown petal dust to add some scuff marks but it looked a bit more like dirt and opted to not do it – although you can see my sample patch in the photo above).

Sneaker Running Shoe Cake (Top)

I just wanted to slip my foot into it and go for a run.  Can’t wait to tackle another sneaker cake again – I really enjoyed creating this one!


  1. Christine says:

    hi there Angela, would you have a template for the fondant pieces ? I have a running shoe to do and don’t know the first thing about doing it …. any help would be wonderful ….I can only make things with templates

    • Angela says:

      Hi Christine, I don’t have the actual template for this. Like I mentioned in my tutorial, I lay pieces of parchment paper over the cake and traced out each piece I needed by eyeballing it. Once I cut out the fondant piece, I would make adjustments to it, trimming it to size, etc. so that it looked right. Sorry.

  2. Sandra says:

    your cakde is amazing ! so perfect !
    Bravo as we would say here in Belgium.
    I have to make a football shoes cake next month and will for sure use your tutorial as a working basis.
    Which kind of cake recipe you choose?
    sponge cake or something other?
    Thanks in advance for your support and again congratulation !

    • Angela says:

      Thank you Sandra. I have several cake recipes I use ranging from a basic cake recipe to a chiffon. Haven’t tried a sponge cake under fondant yet. Anything that is stable, not too soft, and able to hold up the weight of the buttercream and fondant should work fine.

  3. Susan Turner says:

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you, as I was searching the web on generally how to make a running shoe for a friends husband 50th birthday (07/01/2014) , the had it 05/01/2014 for family gathering. I had said I would have a go at making a cake for her as she said she couldn’t afford to have one made that was really special, so why not I had made my kids and they taste real nice (so they say), and decorate though not professionally and thats fine as its only kids and family. I suggested a running shoe argghhh is what I thought after, I am OCD too, anyway your blog was so helpful and I am very gratefully I dropped by it. though my cake looks not as great as yours, she was most pleased and very surprised as I was though over christmas school hols I worked through 2 nights to complete and half a day to finish off complete so not to miss anytime with kids. Incredibly hard and rewarding and fun. I am slow and new to it but you made it much easier to understand on your tips so thank you. Happy New Year to you and your family for 2014!!!!

    • Angela says:

      Thank you Susan and I’m so glad that you find my tutorials helpful and that you were able to accomplish a super cake. Happy New Year to you and your family too!

  4. Vanessa says:

    One more question–you used the shoe to carve the sides first, after stacking the two halves of the 10X10? Or did you start by using the bottom of the shoe and carving the sides and top after? Thank you!

    • Angela Tran says:

      I carved the cake from the top view first to get the general outline of it using the sole since that would be the widest the cake would be then I carved the sides off second. Once the general outline of the shoe was done, you can start carving the rest of the shoe into shape. I’m OCD and very “precise” when I do things. In the photo of the real shoe, I measure out every section of the shoe with a ruler then scale it up for the cake so that proportionally, it’s correct. For example, in the printed picture of the real shoe, if the shoe is measuring 10″ long and 4″ high from the back heal up to the ankle opening and my cake is 11″ long, how high do I need my cake to be? I do cross multiplication to figure out the height (4×11 = 44/10 = 4.4 inches high). I do this for all the features – how wide and long is the ankle opening, how high is the front of the shoe, how long do I need to make the orange sole? – it’s all math calculations (LOL!) Hope that makes sense.

  5. Vanessa says:

    Your cake is amazing! I love all the details. I’m very new to baking even newer to decorating but would like to attempt a running shoe for my running group’s upcoming potluck. Can you tell me what tool(s) you use to get the crumb coat so smooth, especially around the edges? Also, I noticed that your tennis sneakers were done in IMBC but you used a shortening/butter recipe for the running shoes. What type works better? Thank you!

    • Angela Tran says:

      Thank you Vanessa. Either IMBC or BC – it really depends on the cake flavor, who’s eating it, the weather and the mood I’m in – I switch between IMBC and BC all the time. As long as you keep the cake cold while your work on it, either one will work – that way you can lay the pieces of parchment paper against it to trace out the templates and not lift off any of the BC. To smooth it out, I use an offset spatula. With the BC, I used a paper towel and smoothed it out more. With the IMBC one, I smoothed it out as much as I could with the spatula, let it chill then carved off any major bumps with the edge of the offset spatula (with the 2nd shoe, I figured it didn’t need to look really smooth since you’re piecing the fondant on it and the tiny little bumps or ridges isn’t noticeable and adds to the character).

  6. Jane Stevens says:

    I have been looking for a tutorial on how to do a running shoe for the anniversary of the running club that I am a member of as they asked me to make a cake for the raffle so thank you very very much for sharing this. It has helped me immensely and I have bookmarked your blog so will definitely be back. Great work and so neat and tidy – hope I can do it justice :o)

  7. obesa says:

    OMG! Your cake is so detailed and SO perfect! I’d like to try to make this cake for my grandson’s birthday – with your tutorials it may be possible. Of course it won’t come close to yours amazing creation but I’ll give it a try. Are the shoe strings pieced on each side of the eyelets? They look so real! Thank you!

    • Angela Tran says:

      Thanks Odesa =) For the shoe strings, I pinched the ends and shoved them into the eyelets so that they’ll look like they’re going completely through. Good luck with your grandson’s cake =D

  8. Jackie's Creations says:

    This is amazing! Perfectly executed. You’ve truly inspired me to take on a sneaker cake. I have made one this year, but will be tackling another one this week. I stumbled upon your work on CC, and thought ‘wow, those look sooo real!!’

    Well done xo

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