Kids Cake Decorating: Under the Sea
Harry has been playing with cake decorating again! I think he gets quite jealous of me creating in sugar paste so quite often he will ask if he can have a go. I have a 2 tier pre-iced cake, so asked him if he had a theme in mind. He instantly jumped into my stash of moulds and picked out 2 that grabbed his attention (Harry loves the sea!). They were the Wilton nautical and fern moulds, so the underwater theme began! Because he had more than one cake to play with, he wanted to make the bottom tier underwater and then the top tier above the waves. — Cassie Brown
Harry has come up with some fab ideas that I wish I had thought of, so don’t be shy about getting the kids involved. Their imagination is amazing and sometimes we are too close to see the obvious!
Materials You’ll Need:
- 2 Tier Pre-Iced Cake on a Cake Board
- Wilton Nautical Mould
- Wilton Measuring Mat
- Cornflour in Wilton Dust-N-Store
- Wilton Fern Mould
- Wilton Gum Paste
- Wilton 10-Piece Fondant and Gum Paste Tool Set
- Wilton Icing Colours: Blue, Orange, Black, Brown & Red
- Kitchen Paper
- Wilton 5-Piece Decorating Brush Set
- Wilton Pearl Dust: Blue & Black
We used the Wilton Measuring Mat to cover our worksurface so I don’t have to worry about the icing getting stuck on the counter. Harry has seen me create lots of cakes over the years so he knows the first thing you do is make sure the cake is covered well and the join between the cakes is sealed. He decided to create waves around the bottom of the top tier using the nautical mould with light blue dyed gum paste. Dust the mould with cornflour and then turn the mould upside down to get rid of any excess cornflour. You need to do this to stop moulds sticking.
Roll a sausage shape of paste and then push the paste into the mould, making sure it’s not spilling over the edges. This will give you a neat edge. Work the paste all the way to the end, then remove any excess paste. Turn the mould upside down and the paste should gently start to fall out of the mould as you bend it. You will need 3 lengths of these for your cake. Place them on kitchen paper.
Harry decided that he wanted to add a little sparkle to the top of the waves so he gently dusted the blue pearl dust over the top of each wave. He then turned the waves over and used the waterbrush to gently brush a little water onto the back of the waves. Carefully pick the waves up and place around the bottom of the top cake. Gently rub your finger over the join to help it disappear.
Use the long, thin shape in the fern mould to create the rope-like effect for the bottom tier. Now its time to be creative! Harry wanted a boat above the water and simply used the brown dyed gum paste to make two boats. He then used white paste to make one pair of sails and brown paste to create the second pair of sails. Stick the brown boat on top of the waves and then add the sails. I always use water to stick the paste on the cake so Harry does too.
Turn your attention to the second boat, which is at the bottom of the sea. This is why Harry chose brown sails. He also dusted a little black pearl dust onto the boat and sails. He then used the small palette knife (which is in the Wilton Tool Set) and cut out little holes in the boat and sails. Stick them to the bottom of the cake as if they have just floated down from the top of the sea. He struggled to make the black anchor so I did this using the nautical mould. He then attached this to the top of his sunken boat.
Harry struggles a little using the fern mould as it’s quite detailed and fine, so I made these for him. Push the green dyed paste over the mould and press down firmly. Then, using the small palette knife, cut over the top of the mould and remove any excess paste. Push a small amount of green paste back into the mould, then turn the mould upside down to release the fern. Harry and I both think this looks like seaweed and underwater plants; he then stuck them around the bottom cake in random places. He wasn’t bothered about the green paste breaking because, as he pointed out to me, it’s under the sea so it looks fine!
I showed Harry how to get some black food colouring on the end of a cocktail stick and add it to the white gum paste and mix. A great tip is to not mix all of the colour in because you’ll get this marvellous marble effect. Roll into stone shapes. Harry placed them around the bottom of the cake like stones at the bottom of the sea. He also pushed the shell-like tool into the stones so they look like fossils. (Yes, we do spend a lot of time at the beach!). I wish I had thought of this as I think it’s a fab idea.
He wanted two colourful fish on the bottom cake so we both created these freehand using the tools from the Wilton Tool Set. The pointed end of the umbrella tool was our favourite as it made lovely lines. Harry wanted to incorporate a compass, so he attached this to the top tier. He didn’t know what to put on the top tier so went to bed and slept on this decision! I always recommend leaving cakes and coming back with fresh eyes to make thing a little clearer.
Harry decided to use the nautical mould to make a rope and then make a circle on top of the cake. Then he made three lifebuoys and placed them on top of the rope, using water to stick them down.
We had a fab time creating this cake and Harry loved bossing me around, but we had quality time together which is precious to us. Take time out to let them be the boss — you never know, you might learn something! — Cassie Brown