If you’re throwing a party inspired by Princess Ariel, no doubt you’ll want to make a big splash. Complete with a candy-topped tail, red frosting tresses, and a pretty pearl necklace, this Little Mermaid cake has you covered.
Little Mermaid Cake
- Cake baked in a 9- by 13-inch pan (removed from the pan and cooled)
- Large serrated kitchen knife for leveling the cake
- Smaller kitchen knife for cutting out the cake shapes
- Wax paper
- Large piece of cardboard
- Cake frosting, red and green
- Food coloring
- Spatula or knife for frosting
- Cake board or large serving tray
- Damp paper towel
- Green Candy Melts or other green candies for Ariel’s mermaid scales
- Glittery green sugar
- Rolling pin
- Medium-size hunk of fondant, tinted a skin tone
- Small hunk of fondant, tinted purple
- Bits of white, blue, and brown fondant for the eyes
- White sugar pearls (found in the baking aisle of the grocery or craft store) and/or other small decorative cake decorating candies for Ariel’s necklace
- Icing rose or other flower (found in the baking aisle of the grocery or craft store) or decorating icing to pipe on one of your own
To keep the sugar pearls in place, you can use the tip of a toothpick to poke small holes in the fondant and then nestle the candies into them.
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 piece of cardboard.
Print the template and cut out the pieces. Use the specified shapes to cut out the upper body and the mermaid tail.
Use the specified shapes to cut out the fin cake parts, as shown.
Spread an initial coat of frosting on the separate cake parts (red for the upper body and green for the mermaid tail and fin), just thick enough to seal in the crumbs. Chill the frosted pieces for 30 minutes to harden the frosting.
Transfer the crumb-sealed cake parts to the cake board or tray, using the wax paper to lift them, and fitting the upper body and fin at opposite ends of the tail. (Note: You’ll probably need to trim the wax paper close to the cake where the pieces come together, but you can leave the rest of it in place for now.) Spread on a second coat of frosting. 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.
Decorate the mermaid tail with green Candy Melts for “scales.” Start at the bottom and work your way up to the waist, slightly overlapping the rows as you go. Sprinkle the tail fin with green sugar.
Roll out the skin tone fondant between sheets of wax paper to about ¼ inch thickness. Do the same with the purple fondant. Use the template pieces to cut out the face, the torso, arms, and bathing suit top from the specified colors. Place the torso and arms atop the cake so that the bottom edges meet the top of the tail. (Cover the seam with a small white fondant waist ruffle, if you like.) Set the face in place with the chin slightly overlapping the neck. Score shallow lines (resembling those on a clamshell) across the bathing suit pieces, and set them in place on the cake.
Use the template pieces as a guide for shaping and layering bits of the specified fondant colors into eyes and a mouth, and then place them on the face. Add bits of rolled brown fondant for eyebrows. For the finishing touches, press an icing rose in Ariel’s red frosting hair, and use white sugar pearls and other cake decorating candies to fashion a necklace.