Fondant Under The Sea Decorations! Help Me Please!

Decorating By VixieLaa Updated 29 Sep 2015 , 7:21pm by Shockolata

VixieLaa Posted 25 Sep 2015 , 7:37pm
post #1 of 16

Hi I'm a newbie and am after some advice please! It's a week until my little boys 3rd birthday (2nd October) and I'm going to make some fondant under the sea decorations for his cake. I'm super new to all this so am rather nervous I'm going to mess it up! I'm going to make an octopus, a crab, fish, some seaweed, couple of star fish, that kind of thing. Nothing toooooo complicated I hope! I've got some fondant icing all ready to go. Can I just ask how far in advance should I make the decorations? Do they need time to dry? If so how do I attach the dried decorations to the cake? Or do I make them on his birthday and put them straight on the cake? Sorry for really stupid questions!! Thank you so much for any advice :)

15 replies
-K8memphis Posted 25 Sep 2015 , 10:44pm
post #2 of 16

make them in advance any time now -- yes they need to dry -- some people add tylose powder to fondant it so it will dry better and hold the shape -- i use cornstarch -- for a handful of fondant I'd knead in anywhere from a quarter cup to a cup of cs -- and i use store bought fondant --

my second and third attempts almost always look better than my first so when i model i plan to make at least two -- sometimes i hit it the first time --

best to you

kakeladi Posted 25 Sep 2015 , 11:05pm
post #3 of 16

Weelllllll..........can't say I agrree w/K8 :)  I have never used cornstarch but have added a bit of tylose powder or Wilton's dry gumpaste mix powder.  It sounds to me like an awful lot of cornstarch being added when one only needs about 1 teaspoon tylose or a bit more dry gp powder to a good sized handfull of fondant.  I do understand that cornstarch is much more readily available than gp and tylose can be a problem to obtain for some soooooo maybe it will work o.k. :)

I  agree that it might take more than one attempt to model your decorations.  It sounds like you will attempt 3D figures so yes, they should be made ahead and allowed to air dry some.   I have even made many figures using straight fondant airdried (w/o any added tylose or gp powder).  That way it does take longer to dry but it will dry rather solid after several days.  Just store in a dust free, dry place out of sun or light.  If you items are 3D all you need to attach them to the cake is a bit of b'cream icing or melted chocolate (white is best).  If your cake is iced in b'cream and hasn't dried to the touch probably nothing is needed.  If fondant, a tiny bit of water - just a light spray or brushing -  will also help hold it in place.  So there you go - 3 choices for attaching them:)

We look forward to your posting a picture of your finished work :)

julia1812 Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 4:39am
post #4 of 16

Lol,  just doing a mermaid/ under the sea themed cake too for this afternoon. But all the fondant decoration and topper I've made in advance. If you like to I can send you a link to the how to video once it's done and uploaded...

Shockolata Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 11:01am
post #5 of 16

It is much easier than you think. Just freehand cut the seaweed and sea life from fondant but do not make the mistake to assume how many legs a crab has because you will be surprised! LOL I used plain fondant and had troubles with my mermaid but as you are not making a mermaid, you are good to go, nothing else needed. Make the shapes and stick them to the covered cake and then you can hand paint them using a bit of water and edible dust colours or for more shine use water and paste colours (but be careful because if you pass the same spot again the paint will lift off the previous paint.) This is the cheapest way to do things, if you want to spend more money, buy coloured fondant. Good luck!

PS: I made this cake years ago without much knowledge of the technical side of things or preparation. If I were to do it again, it would be much better looking and I would not have put edible glaze over my fondant (what was I thinking!) which gave it a yellowish tint.



-K8memphis Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 11:20am
post #6 of 16

lynne, would be a boring place if we agreed on everything -- but just depends on what quantity 'a handful' of fondant is and how fast you need it to set up -- i haven't done the math exactly but i'd bet it's cheaper to use cornstarch even though you can use more -- a pound of cornstarch is only about a buck or two -- whereas two ounces of tylose is about five dollars

i've had great success with cornstarch in my decorating -- adjusting icings and fondant alike -- i have two 2-ounce jars of tylose that i've never even finished -- cs was easier/faster/cheaper for me


VixieLaa Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 3:53pm
post #7 of 16

Ahhh thank you all so much for your great advice!!

went to pick up the cake today, a blue two tiered one, but it had been damaged!! Boooooo!

so ended up with just a round white cake. No problems though as can still add my stuff, once I've made it. Will be having a trial run this evening

julia1812 Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 4:15pm
post #8 of 16

Just finished the cake and delivered it. Here's a picture. Sorry your cake got damaged! Maybe you can add some blue icing around the sides and top?


Apti Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 4:59pm
post #9 of 16

VixieLa ~~ A great source of under the sea fondant molds is to go to a craft store or specialty cake store and look for candy molds/chocolate molds.  There are LOTS of molds for starfish, fish, shells, etc.  All you have to do is color your fondant and put it in the mold. 


-K8memphis Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 5:08pm
post #10 of 16

so you already have the cake and you are decorating it for next week's birthday?

if i have that correct i have a question -- how are you storing the cake in the meantime? 

VixieLaa Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 6:29pm
post #11 of 16

Hi yes I bought the cake today. At the moment it's still in the box it came in. I am planning on making the decorations myself, or attempting to at least ! Haha

-K8memphis Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 6:58pm
post #12 of 16

so if the party is on his birthday next friday the cake needs to be well sealed and frozen or something to ensure it's still fresh unless it is a fruit cake or something with a great long shelf life -- don't you think

julia1812 Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 7:03pm
post #13 of 16

Good point  ^^^

Didn't check the date! I would definitely freeze it. You can't keep it in that box for a week.... But not a big deal, wrap it up and pop it in the freezer. The morning of take it out and let it come to room temperature before you remove the plastic wrap, pit on your decoration - done.

kakeladi Posted 26 Sep 2015 , 8:19pm
post #14 of 16

AAhhhhhh yes K8 - life would be much more boring than it is already if we all agreed all the time :)

And you are so right re the cost!  And I think I already pointed out the tylose is not the easiest to obtain.

bakernoob Posted 27 Sep 2015 , 8:10pm
post #15 of 16

I too am curious about having the cake ready a week before the party. 

Shockolata Posted 29 Sep 2015 , 7:21pm
post #16 of 16

If it is a shop bought cake, as in supermarket cake, they have a long life span due to different additives. I don't think it is a cause of worry. I assume it is a sponge cake with buttercream filling and fondant icing outside that is already hard and protects it. 

@-K8memphis  love your mermaid cake!

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