Finding Nemo Cake
Here’s a real find for Nemo fans — a cake that’s just as fun and colorful as the little lost clownfish. Baking and decorating it makes a great family activity for a rainy day. Kids will particularly get a kick out of helping to cut out and place the fondant stripes and fins.
prep time 30 mins
cook time 30 mins
total time 60 mins
Using the serrated kitchen knife (a bread knife works well for this), level the cake by carefully slicing off the domed portion of the top. Then place the cake, cut side down, onto a wax paper-covered cake board or serving tray.
Print the template and cut out all the pieces. Use the Nemo template piece specified for the cake (on the first page) and a kitchen knife to carve the cake into a fish shape. Sweep away any loose cake crumbs from the edge of the cake with a pastry brush.
Lightly frost the top and sides of the cake. Frosting the sides can be a little tricky, but don’t worry about doing a perfect job since the cake will be covered with fondant when you’re done decorating it.
Knead orange food coloring into two-thirds of the fondant. (Note: Be sure to keep the remaining fondant tightly wrapped in plastic.) Then roll the tinted fondant out on a sheet of confectioners sugar-dusted waxed paper so that it is very thin (no more than ¼ inch thick).
Tape the head and tail Nemo fondant template pieces together along the straight edge, as specified. Then use it to cut out a fish shape from the orange fondant. Also use the other four specified template pieces to cut out orange fondant fins. Cover the cutouts with plastic for now to keep them from drying out until you’re ready to place them.
Next, measure the height of your cake. Re-roll the leftover orange fondant into a long, thin rectangle and then cut it into strips that are the same width as the measurement you took. Use the strips to cover the sides of the cake, pressing them against the frosting and trimming the ends as needed to fit. Tip: You can spread additional dabs of leftover frosting on the underside of the fondant strips to hold them in place if/where necessary.
Now cover the cake top with the orange fondant fish shape. Smooth it with your hands so that it lies flat and slightly overlaps the tops of the fondant side strips with the exception of the pointed mouth area.
Slice the remaining white fondant into two halves. Tint one half black and leave the other white. Working with each of the colors separately, roll out the fondant and use the designated template pieces to cut out the rest of the fin, stripe, and eye shapes.
Stack the white stripe pieces atop the matching black ones. Tip: You can lightly moisten the undersides of the white pieces with a few drops of water when required to help stick them in place.
Stack the orange fondant fin pieces atop the corresponding black ones and then use the tip of a knife to score the tops, as shown.
Place the stripes, the eye (assembled as shown with an added small dot of white fondant on top), and all the dorsal and tail fins in place atop the cake, as depicted. Again lightly moistening the undersides to make them stick if needed. (Note: The front strip should drape slightly over the edges of the cake top.) Use the tip of a knife to etch an arched eyebrow in the fondant above the eye.
Finally, stick the pectoral fin in place so that it overlaps the bottom of the middle stripe. Then use the knife tip to score additional fin lines in the fondant just behind the pectoral fin and below the tail stripe, as shown. Now trim the wax paper close to the cake edge, and the cake is ready to serve — although, you might want to admire your handiwork for a while before slicing into it.