Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whale Cake

Because I’m ambitious, I decided I wanted to try something new for Veronica’s birthday cake this year. Last year I made cupcakes because they are easy, and I knew she would care less about what they looked like and more about how they tasted. But this year I thought she would be able to appreciate it more if I did something fun. Something new. Something like…fondant.

I’ll admit that seeing the Threadcakes contest entries may also have influenced my decision. There are some awesome cakes! And some not-so-awesome ones. And some are just plain scary. But some are definitely awesome!

Anyway, I found a recipe for marshmallow fondant and decided to go for it.


Cake 2

Here are the ingredients. Plus a little water. Tip: don’t assume all bags of mini-marshmallows are 16 ounces. Because they’re not. I don’t know how I know that, I just do.


Cake 1

Melt the marshmallows in the microwave with a little water. I nuked them for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until they were completely melted.


Cake 3

Add some powdered sugar and mix it a bit.


Cake 5

Then plop it down on a well-dusted surface. I actually used Crisco to grease my counter as was recommended on another website, but I think next time I will try just dusting with powdered sugar.


Cake 6

Knead away!


Cake 7

I wanted a blue cake, so I pulled out the Cornflower Blue Wilton icing color that has been languishing in my pantry. I added this much and kneaded it in. Then I added this much again. And again. And then I added A LOT. It took more than I thought it would to get the color I was looking for.


Cake 8

I didn’t get a good picture of the just-colored fondant. I got distracted. But I wrapped it up and bagged it, then put it in the refrigerator since it was still several days before the party.


Cake 9

Onto the cake! I chose chocolate, and kind of mixed a couple different recipes to get what I wanted.

I like using a whisk to mix my dry ingredients. Just thought you should know.


Cake 11

Once the batter was ready, I divided it into this 8-inch pan…


Cake 10

…this large Pyrex bowl…


Cake 12

…and this loaf pan.


Cake 13

The cake in the bowl looks a little funny on top, but it actually baked fine. Just took a bit longer than the other two, since it was thicker.


Cake 14

I flipped the bowl cake upside down and put it on top of the 8-inch round cake to make a dome.


Cake 15

Then my wonderful husband helped me cut up the loaf cake to shape a tail. He is the best! I made mint buttercream frosting to go with the chocolate cake. Yum! I will definitely do that again.


Cake 16

Here’s where it got tricky. The fondant was cold from being in the fridge, so I microwaved it a little to warm it up. But rolling it out still took FOREVER. Even Paul took a turn because I was getting so tired. Not really sure why that happened. Was it because I used to Crisco to grease the counter when I kneaded it? Or because I colored it before refrigerating it? Or because I just don’t know what I’m doing?

Additionally, even though I had greased the counter, the fondant stuck to it pretty badly. I had to carefully roll it onto my rolling pin while detaching it from the counter with a spatula. Not fun!


Cake 17

As you can see, the resulting fondant was not exactly smooth. There were some tears and almost-tears that made it a little rough-looking. But it was surprisingly easy to shape and cut once it was on the cake. I even pinched the tips of the tail to make it look more whale-like.


Cake 18

Then I colored the rest of the buttercream for decorating.

Though it didn’t turn out exactly perfect, it was fun to put together and rewarding to see the finished product. And of course Veronica loved it. The marshmallow fondant was actually tasty, but I think I’d like to try working with the other types as well, just to see what the differences are. Hopefully next time I can keep it from sticking so badly!


Cake 19

Definitely doing this again. Baking is fun!


  1. I love the way it turned out!

  2. Your whale cake is just adorable! I usually grease the counter and dust it with a healthy amount of powdered sugar when I roll it out. I also dust the rolling pin and it all seems to work pretty well. I also just let the fondant sit out on the counter for a bit to take the chill off and maybe warm it up in my hands to get it to roll. It does take some muscle to get it smooth though.
    Hope that helps! What a super cute idea!!

  3. Thanks Heather, I'll keep your tips in mind for next time!