This past Sunday was our son's baptism, and we needed a cake. Being that I enjoy opportunities to be creative, and enjoy making fancy deserts, I wanted to make & decorate the cake. Years ago, I worked for a joint franchise of Subway and TCBY. When we added the TCBY counter, I wanted to learn a bit about cake decorating since we would be selling custom cakes. He paid for me to take classes at Michael's, which was fun. So... this was a chance to try it again.
As I researched and thought of ideas, I started to read up on Fondant, and found lots of how-to videos online with tips on technique. Fondant is basically a cake frosting with a dough-like consistency. It's typically rolled out flat, and then draped over a cake to give it a smooth texture, and is often used on high-end "3D" sculpted cakes. I found a recipe on AllRecipes.com that seemed simple, so I decided I would give it a try.
I decided to make a two-layer 9 by 13 cake (although in hindsight one layer would have sufficed). I cut some cake off of the top layer and used it to sculpt a small turtle, like the ones his nursery is decorated with. I then used canned frosting to stick everything together, and frosted the outside so the fondant would stick.
I made up a batch of about 3 lbs of fondant. This particular recipe seemed a bit greasy to me due to the use of shortening and corn syrup, so if I try this again I might try another recipe. I did add more powdered sugar to try to compensate though. The hardest part was doing the base of the cake, but perhaps if I had the proper supplies it would have been easier. Rolling out a sheet of fondant big enough to cover a 2-layer 9x13 cake and then transferring it to the cake was tough. A smaller round cake would have been easier to manage, but I was able to do it without too many tears or cracks.
I took the fondant that wasn't used on the cake and colored it with some food coloring gel to make blue and brown for the turtle. This worked rather well. I rolled out small sheets and draped them over the turtle and trimmed off the excess. I like how it turned out.
The final piece was lettering. I had plenty of blue fondant left over, so I rolled out a sheet and used a pizza cutter and knife to cut out lettering for the cake. It was very time consuming but it turned out well. To make sure they stayed in place I used some fondant thinned out with water as a kind of glue. The final result was put out on Sunday and everyone was impressed. Best of all it tasted good. I enjoyed a piece of turtle shell myself :-)