The irony of this Nemo birthday cake is I was making a Nemo cake while the storm Nemo was battering the area. This cake was for a good friend who ordered her son’s first birthday cake from a local bakery who totally blew it. I knew I had to make up for the disappointment. I had a lot of prep work for Nemo.

First I covered 2 cake boards. I wanted to create an under the sea theme. The larger board I covered with tan fondant , the smaller top board I covered with blue fondant. For the coral I rolled out gum paste and fondant in bright colors cut into chunks and indented one end. Then I stuck 3 or 4 pieces together with some water .

Next I rolled out green fondant and gum paste mix and randomly cut pieces to look like seaweed. I laid these over crumpled tin foil to dry with waves and ridges. I cut the fins freehand out of a fondant / gum paste mix. I inserted floral wire in the bottom of these so I could attach them to the cake.

All of these accent pieces dried for 1 week. For the thinner coral I dipped grape stems in colored Wilton candy melts and let them dry.

Cut and stack cakes:

I used a quarter sheet cake pan for these cakes. I made 2 cakes and cut them in 1/2 for 4 layers. Level and fill with butter cream. Stack the 4 layers and freeze or refrigerate before carving. (cold cake is much easier to carve than fluffy , crumbly cake )

 

2 quarter sheet cakes, cut in half and stacked
2 quarter sheet cakes, cut in half and stacked

Carve the cake:

Carve from the top down, shaving off very little at a time. You can always take more off, but you can’t put it back on. Carve out contours for the eyes. Mix some of the cake shavings with some butter cream and mold cheeks for Nemo. Continue shaving and contouring until you have the facial details you would like.

 

Carved
Carved

Cover with butter cream:

Cover the cake with butter cream and smooth. Remember fondant is like spandex, every little bump and bulge will show through so it is important to smooth it out. I use the Viva paper towel method.

Iced and ready for fondant
Iced and ready for fondant

Nemo!
Nemo!

Decorate:

Cover with orange fondant. Add white stripes, cut out some white fondant circles for eyes. Add brown iris, and black pupil. Cut a mouth out of black fondant. I piped some black fondant through my clay extruder to outline Nemo’s stripes. Attach the fins and tail. Attach the seaweed and coral to the cake board using melted white chocolate and cover the bottom board with brown sugar for sand and the top board I sprinkled with blue Wilton candy rocks.

Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me through my blog. I will be happy to help with any steps. We had to stay for this party, even though we hadn’t planned on it because they decided that if I didn’t , no one was going to cut that cake.

I stayed long enough to cut the cake, starting at the tail, and was able to spare Nemo’s face which I imagine is still in their freezer.