Well hello there! We’ve had some excitement around the bakery lately, namely that a photoshoot we got to work on was featured on Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan AND Buzzfeed! And today is your chance to learn how the cake that was designed for that photoshoot was made, so you can have your very own mermaid cake! For context, we were asked to work with Your Cloud Parade on a photoshoot involving Traci Hines, AKA Hipster Little Mermaid. Kaytee took the task upon her and came up with a few designs based on a color palette and some photos. Once a design was decided upon, Kaytee went to work.
Here’s the finished product.
Kaytee: So first things first, this was a dummy cake, so the time constraints on it were basically nonexistent. I say that to let you know that it was all styrofoam cake, and I worked on this over several weeks, so the regular timeline one would expect for making decorations, etc… was very flexible, as opposed to if you are working with a real cake.
Here are the sketches I drew that Melody decided to go with. She liked the idea of the tail wrapping around, but wanting to incorporate the shells, I mashed the two together.Once the design was figured out, I started off by cutting out a ton of circles of that beautiful shade of green fondant, wrapping them and putting them in the fridge, allowing them to maintain their flexibility.
Then once I had all the tiers covered in white fondant and stacked, I began applying the circles, overlapping them so they give the look of scales (staggered in half increments).When I was ready to start working on the cake itself, I covered the top of the top tier in a circle of green fondant. Because I wanted to have the effect where it looks like scales were coming out of the white fondant, I cut into it. I then cut the tops of the circles (because the white fondant was hard and wasn’t allowing me to play with it) to fit into it, so it would appear to be coming from within the cake. If you were to repeat this with a real cake, you would theoretically have freshly applied fondant, which you would then be able to lift and tuck under as needed.
I then began placing the scales along the bottom, creating the end of the tail. I made sure to make it thin, and cut the sides of the circles accordingly. Here are progress shots. I went up the second tier, widening the tail as I went. Then I joined it with the top tier.
Then I rolled out a lighter shade of green and cut out the shape of a tail fin, attaching it to the cake using melted white chocolate and freeze-sprayed to hold immediately. I deepened the grooves of the fin using a small ball tool.Annnnnnnd here’s the moment when I show you that though we are exceptional human beings, we cake decorators sometimes make mistakes, and a lot of our job involves MacGuyvering our ways into something beautiful. So, for this cake, I thought I would use a gold strip doodad for the lines, which had worked very well for a semi-rustic marbled cake a while ago. While that machine worked for that cake, the results were too imprecise for what I wanted for this cake. So you see below, that is pre-fixing gold striping. Also, those are the shells I cut out of coral fondant and placed on the cake. I began with white painting in the crevices, later deciding gold was more appropriate.
This is the gold having been touched up with gold powder paint.After painting the gold, I applied pearl shine to the scales with pearl dust and vodka.
Here is the gold in the shells. Much better choice, isn’t it?And here you are! These are the pictures of the cake used in the photoshoot, and I couldn’t be more proud! The pictures are gorgeous, as are the models. Everything was beautiful and I feel so fortunate to have been part of it.
Until next time!