Wednesday, February 17

Mermaid Birthday Cake

Yay, Birthday Girl and guests loved the cake. Below, read about how I made it…


For the rock and mermaid head/torso, I used the pan and doll pick from the  Wilton Wonder Mold Kit, same as I used for the princess cake. But you could also bake the cake in a couple 8” rounds plus an ovenproof bowl for the top, stack them to make a domed shape, then stick a doll in the middle. (Just make sure the stack is tall enough to fit her leg length.)  Here’s a Betty Crocker video of that method.

My cakes always have a domed surface on the top after baking, which I usually cut off and pop into eager mouths. But in this case, I used the scrap piece to make more rocks. I cut it into a crescent shape to fit alongside the large cake, then laid the leftover pieces on the crescent or elsewhere around the large cake. Below you can see the cake before and after frosting. (Note: the chunk in the bottom right corner of the before photo was moved to the bottom left in the after…)


The mermaid’s tail is one big hunk of marshmallow fondant, as is her top and belt and her friendly sea creatures around her. I just treated it all like play dough, rolling and pinching and pulling and forming. In fact, we happened to have the perfect toy for the marine life shapes: the Play-Doh Octopus Set.


Sophie enjoyed sticking the bits of colored fondant into the indentations, sprayed previously with cooking spray.


But forming them by hand is possible too.


The tail was REALLY heavy. Squashed the frosting down – I was afraid it would slide right off the rock! And the tail itself sorta flattened out after I placed it – poor mermaid has a serious case of Bubble Butt. The end of the tail wouldn’t stay upright either, or wavy like I wanted; fixed both issues with some well-placed toothpicks.


Idea for “o-FISH-ally five” sentiment came from these invitations (by Megan at Ducks in a Row) that are perfect for a sea-themed party. Too bad I found them too late (and am also not organized enough to send out invitations; phone calls to parents is how I roll so far…).

Tip for lettering (other than looking at fonts online for inspiration) – practice somewhere other than the cake first. Counter works well, especially if sweet-toothed licker-uppers are nearby.


The “water” is buttercream frosting, slathered on roughly with a knife. I’d tried to only partially mix the blue, so there would be gradients of color, but by the time I fluffed around with it, it was all pretty evenly colored. So then I mixed up some more, almost white, and added it to some of the peaks.


And lastly, I brushed some water onto the fondant which makes it shiny, or in this case, like Miss Mermaid just pulled herself out of the water to sun herself dry on the rock. Apparently her hair dries much faster than do her scales.

If you’re curious about anything else that I missed, let me know. I will add one last thing: I felt a little funny chopping up her tail…


Fresh Chilean Mermaid, anyone?



  1. Of-fish-ally five! Chilean mermaid! You crack me up! How did the crowns work out? Did the gems do what you wanted them to do? Your lettering is gorgeous as always. Congrats on a successful birthday!

  2. Brilliant! Loved two things especially:
    1 The modesty blouse Ms Mermaid was wearing in the before-tail pic
    2 You cutting up the tail. Reminded me of slicing fish in Singapore where we cooked with fish a lot. Mmmm. But none of it was bright green that I remember, though.

    Agree with Chris - gorgeous lettering!

    Now the wheels are turning - how to use this mold for a rapunzel cake?

  3. Beautiful as expected! :) You are great, K!

  4. Hee hee, Chris! It's reciprocal! BTW, the crowns/gems/glue/etc worked out great. Have a post started but not sure I'll get it published before I leave for a weekend away!

    Mmm, LiEr, you'll have to eat some fish for me while you're there soon!

    Oh, and I got to thinking about your question about a rapunzel cake... Idea of using the mold was quickly thrown out in favor of a small board with a 2-3' (30-50cm) dowel attached to the middle of it, sticking straight up. Then cupcakes poked down onto the dowel to form the tower. Perhaps near the top, some slightly larger diameter cakes so tower tapers outward to form a room at the top. Then stuck into the side of that room, a fondant princes, with fondant braids that reach all the way to the ground. And to serve, you'd just have to lift off the room and maybe cut that up smaller, then lift off each cupcake...

    Thanks, Jenny. Let me know when the McCutcheon family wants their next cake. : ) And if Monica is helping (or doing!) the photoshoot, tell her she gets one too, if she wants...

  5. Lovely cake! How did you make the scale indentations on her tail?

  6. Thanks, Anon. I used the tube from the Wonder Mold Kit (inserted in the cake pan to help it bake in the middle) because it was handy. But anything with a small diameter would work, perhaps a 1/2 or 1/4 tsp measuring spoon for example.

    I started at the bottom and made a row of half-circles, then did the next row where I offset each half-circle, like if you were laying bricks.

    As I handled the tail to put it on the cake, it stretched and "softened" the indentations I'd made.

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