This weekend was my sister’s college graduation. As a present, my mother and I made her a cake. Her degree is in biology and she volunteers at the local sea turtle hospital, so it seemed fitting to make her a sea turtle themed graduation cake. The pictures below show a little bit of how I pieced it all together.
I started out by molding two sea turtles out of Rice Krispies. I then colored white fondant with copper Wilton gel icing coloring. I rolled it out until it was 1/8″ thick and covered each sea turtle.
I trimmed up the fondant and pressed down the edges. I made them two different sizes to make them more interesting.
Next, I colored white fondant with brown Wilton gel icing coloring and cut out two shells. I also added a little tail underneath the back of the shell.
I used a black Wilton edible marker to draw on eyes.
The shells needed their iconic patterns, so I mixed up some “paint”. I combined vodka and the same brown I used to dye the fondant for the shells. The alcohol evaporates as it dries, so no need to worry about anyone being affected. I used a clean paintbrush to add the lines and starburst pattern to the shell, as well as the markings on the turtle’s skin.
I also gave each turtle a little smile.
I used kelly green Wilton gel icing coloring to add some green accent coloring to the shell. I also used the black marker again to added nostrils.
I covered the cake in white fondant (there’s a layer of buttercream icing between the cake and fondant) and my mother painted a little over half of it it with teal Wilton gel coloring mixed with vodka.
The fondant waves are made with the same teal coloring. To get the wave affect, the edges are pressed with a rounded edge. There’s a good video explaining how to do this here. If you don’t have a ball tool to use, a spoon works fine.
My mom covered a corner of the top of the cake with buttercream icing, leaving some on the edge to create sea foam. Then, she sprinkled graham cracker crumbs over the top to make sand.
She brushed Wilton pearl dust on the sea foam and waves to add some sparkle. She wet down the waves with vodka to make the dust stick.
Sea turtles come on land to lay their eggs, so we created a little nest on the beach. The eggs are candy.
Finally, we cut out a congratulatory message from fondant. I used vodka to make the letters stick.
Here are some shots of the completed cake!