I was asked to make this Scuba Diving Birthday Cake Design for a scuba-diving enthusiast, for her 30th birthday.

The cake is a very large Madeira cake, filled with “crema pasticcera” – a vanilla custard style filling used to fill cakes here in Italy. I then covered the cake in a thin layer of butter icing so the fondant would stick. As the cake was so big (it had to serve 60 people!), I think I used over 2.5 kg of icing! And as I had to roll the fondant icing out so large I did have some trouble with it sticking to my worktop, and it cracked, and ripped a little, ggrrr!

But I think I managed to cover up most of those imperfections with the decorations okay. I got to use some lovely colours to make the coral, and seaweed etc, and the diver was not as difficult as I though he might be. The shark was my only problem…poor old thing, he looks a bit geriatric really, with wrinkly skin (gum tragacanth sugarpaste disforming and wrinkling the skin, under his huge weight and girth!) and the funniest “false teeth” ever! But I was running out of time so I just had to leave them as they were, oh well…I think it made a few people smile. The waves are piped royal icing dragged out with a damp paint brush.

This was lots of fun to make, even if quite time consuming (but what novelty cakes are not?).