Waves Cake Tutorial


I received many requests from fellow sugar crafters on the technique I used to make the waves on my dolphin cake so here goes. Apologies for the rushed and not so polished quality of this tutorial, I was aiming to get this out as some of the inquiries were from people who wanted to see the technique so they could replicate it over the weekend. As with many of the effects out there, I was messing around looking for different ways of doing waves and came up with this idea by chance. Hope you all have fun replicating it for your projects.

List of Materials

  • Sugar paste/fondant, Royal Icing, Sugar Glue, Comb modelling tool, comb, brush


Colour some white sugar paste/fondant with smudges of ice blue paste colouring but don’t blend in fully. Use any method you normally adopt for a marbling effect and cover your cake with the marbled fondant.


Roll out a small sausage of the marbled paste /fondant taking care not to completely blend in the colours and using the fleshy part of your palm, flatten the paste.


Using a comb or comb modelling tool drag the flattened part of the fondant towards you in irregular lines so that the edge isn’t even but take care to keep the edge fairly firm as it needs to stay up when placed on the cake.


With a sharp knife cut a strip of the textured paste and slip the knife under the flattened/textured paste to lift it off without breaking the edges or creasing it too much.


Using some sugar glue (CMC added to a little hot water will make a nice glue that can be used for all sugar work) on the straight part of the textured piece attach the piece to the cake. Set this piece on the cake teasing the edges to replicate movement and let this dry a little. This should be dry by time you have completed the rest of the cake.


Using the comb/comb tool drag the icing from the join so the pattern continues on to the cake and makes the join appear seamless. This isn’t absolutely essential but looks neat.


Next mix up a little Royal Icing that is at a stiff peak consistency and pipe the icing on to the tips of the waves in an irregular fashion. You can also pipe some of the icing directly on to the join of the wave and one the cake itself so it appears like foam.


Using a damp medium round tipped brush drag the piping from the tips downwards as you would for brush embroidery.


Pipe some of the royal icing on the cake and again using the brush embroidery method drag the lines inward to create the foamy effect. Repeat the waves and the brush work around the entire cake. You can use the same waves to conceal any fondant supports you use for your figures on the top of the cake. Good luck and happy wave making :-)


Comments (47)


Thank you, your instructions came just in time for a mermaid cake I am in the middle of putting together. I have awakened at night pondering how I was going to construct the wave effect I wanted, and this looks like it will be perfect. Thanks for allowing me to get some sleep tonight. (My best ideas seem to come to me when I'm awakened in the middle of a deep sleep. Caking = insomnia!)


Well ...holy cow...you have done a wonderful technique and your tutorial is clear and easy to follow. THANKS for posting this. It is very helpful and most generous of you.


carol i found u on central. browsing through central i recognised the cake. wow! that is the most beautiful cake.iona


The waves are truly awesome! Could you do a tutorial also on how you got such great looking dolphins? Please?


Very nicely done!! CMC = carboxymethyl cellulose. It is an ingredient used in the making of gumpaste (in our world. It's in ice cream, toothpaste also). You've seen it under different brand names, but more likely as Tylose.


a picture is worth a thousand words. your technique came across like a light bulb going off. Great job. I see where I can use this in many applications. Thanks a million!! keep up the good work.


Thank You!! You did a great job explaining how to make those beautiful waves. Can't wait to try to make some waves.lol


Such a great tutorial!! Can't wait to use this on my Noah's ark baby shower cake. The mother asked for dolphins since that's her favorite so we are putting two near the ark and wanted to make some waves.