I made this Ariel the Little Mermaid birthday cake back in 2012. It was for a 4 year old girl. The mom had also separately ordered a castle cake for school celebration (click here to see how I made the castle cake) and this cake was meant for celebration at home with family.
The cake was fairly easy to decorate. Ariel on the cake was a toy figurine, and the only other 3D fondant decoration on the cake were Sebastian and an octopus. The cake itself was covered in butter icing and I used fondant accents to decorate the cake.
How I Made the Little Mermaid Birthday Cake
These were the main supplies I used in decorating this Little Mermaid birthday cake:
Cake - this was a single layer cake, baked in a 6.5 inches by 10 inches rectangle cake pan. I used half the measurement of my butter pound cake recipe calculated an eight inch square cake.
Butter icing - Since the cake was only single layer (with a height of about 2 inches), I did not layer and fill it further. I only covered the cake with butter icing. Butter icing is a much stiffer version of buttercream (click here for my butter icing recipe).
Fondant - I used fondant for the accents as well as to make the fondant sea animals - Sebastian and the octopus. This was homemade fondant and you can find the recipe here.
Food color - I used Wilton gel colors in red, yellow, green, black and purple.
Star cutters - I used star shaped fondant cutouts on the cake board to place the birthday girl's name.
Ariel the Little Mermaid toy topper - This was provided by the customer. She requested for the toy topper to be used instead of fondant topper so that her daughter could keep the topper.
Brown sugar - I used brown sugar to decorate the cake board, to give it a beach feel.
And this was how I assembled the little mermaid birthday cake:
I prepared fondant Sebastian and the octopus ahead of time. They were both made out of fondant ( I used my homemade fondant which dries hard, so there is no need to add any tylose or CMC to it. But if commercially made fondant is to be used, tylose or CMC is recommended).
Next was the cake. I baked a single layer cake (hence it is not filled with any buttercream) and covered it with butter icing. As I mentioned earlier, butter icing is a much stiffer version of buttercream. It is stiff enough to be taken with hand and formed into shapes. Since it is stiff, I could not use piping bags to pipe it out. All I did was take a little of the icing at a time in my hands and flatten it directly onto the cake. And since this was a sea themed cake, I purposely left the finishing rough so that it looked like sea waves on the cake (I simply used my finger tips to press on the icing and make the waves on the cake).
The cake itself was placed on a large square cake board and I purposely placed the cake on one side of the board so that there is ample space at the front for me to place the birthday girl's name.
Next, I made the fondant stone for Ariel to sit on. To make the stones, I added some black coloring into white fondant and kneaded it by twisting the fondant until the white and black were only just mixed. I formed rough balls with the fondant and stacked them on one another. I then placed Ariel on the fondant stones while they were still soft so that the stones could be adjusted to hold Ariel in place.
For sides of the cake, I used Wilton Pattern Press Set to imprint scrolls all around the cake.
And then, I cut out sea grass out of fondant (I cut these freehand using my pizza cutter) and attached them randomly to the sides of the cake as well as the fondant stones earlier. And since I was attaching the fondant to butter icing, no glue was required. The fondant had no trouble sticking to the butter icing.
Once the main deco on the cake was done, I placed Sebastian and the octopus on the cake and sprinkled brown sugar on the cake board.
Next, I did the wording on the cake. The wordings "Happy Birthday" were cut out of fondant and placed on the cake itself, while the birthday girl's name was placed on star fondant cut outs, on the cake board. And I cut out a 3D number "4" for the girl's age, poked a toothpick to it, inserted it near one of the octopus's tentacles, as it the octopus was holding it.
And that was it! An easy to make Little Mermaid birthday cake.
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