Inspired by Ariel’s colorful little sidekick, this playful Flounder cake features sugar-striped cookie fins that are fun for young helpers to cut out and decorate. It’s the perfect size for a small gathering of Little Mermaid fans.
- Wax paper
- Batch of sugar cookie dough (homemade or store bought), tinted blue
- Blue glittery sugar
- Small tube of cookie decorating frosting
- Pound cake
- Large serrated kitchen knife for leveling the top of the cake
- Smaller kitchen knife for cutting out the cake shapes
- Cutting board
- Yellow cake frosting
- Spatula or knife for frosting
- Cake board or large serving tray
- Damp paper towel
- Fondant, blue for the dorsal stripes and a bit of white for eyes
- Rolling pin
- 2 chocolate chips for eye pupils
- Small pink candy
Note: If the store-bought brand of dough you use is too soft to hold the cookie shapes while baking, you can knead in a little extra flour to stiffen it before rolling it out. Homemade frosting or decorating frosting works best for this cake. Most readymade creamy varieties will not harden and therefore aren’t effective in sealing in the crumbs along the cut edges of the cake. If you prefer readymade frosting, you can try stirring in some confectioners sugar to stiffen it up.
Heat the oven. Meanwhile, print the template and cut out the pieces. Working on a flour-dusted sheet of wax paper, roll out the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out two of each fin shape from the dough. Decorate the cookie cutouts with colored sugar stripes. Then bake the cookie fins according to the recipe directions, and let them cool completely.
Use cookie-decorating frosting to stick the two tail fins together back-to-back, as shown, creating a sandwich cookie, so to speak. Do the same with the two large dorsal fins, but leave the side fins separate. Set the cookies aside for now.
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.
Use the fish body template to carve the cake shape, as shown. Spread an initial coat of yellow frosting on the carved cake, just thick enough to seal in the crumbs. Chill the cake for 30 minutes to harden the frosting.
Transfer the crumb-sealed cake to the cake board or tray, using the wax paper to lift it.
Leave the wax paper in place, and spread a second coat of frosting on the cake.
Use a damp paper towel to carefully wipe any excess frosting and crumbs from the wax paper around the perimeter of the cake. Then you can trim the paper close to the cake edge, if you like.
Set the dorsal fin in place atop the fish and gently, but firmly, push down to secure the base in the frosting. Gently press the tail fin and side fins in place as well.
Roll out the blue fondant between sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use the template pieces to cut out two sets of dorsal stripes.
Drape the stripes over the top of the cake on both sides, as shown.
Roll out the white fondant and cut out two eyes. Press a chocolate chip, tip down, into the center of each one. Gently press the assembled eyes onto the front of the cake. Then use the tip of a toothpick to etch eyebrows and a grin in the frosting. Press a small pink candy into the mouth opening for Flounder’s tongue.