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.

Rice Krispies Sea Turtle Covered with Fondant

Rice Krispies Sea Turtle Covered with Fondant

I trimmed up the fondant and pressed down the edges. I made them two different sizes to make them more interesting.

Rice Krispies Sea Turtles Wrapped in Fondant

Rice Krispies Sea Turtles Wrapped in Fondant

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.

Sea Turtles with Fondant Shells

Sea Turtles with Fondant Shells

I used a black Wilton edible marker to draw on eyes.

Fondant Sea Turtles with Black Eyes

Fondant Sea Turtles with Black 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.

Painted Fondant Sea Turtle

Painted Fondant Sea Turtle

I also gave each turtle a little smile.

Sea Turtle Smiling

Sea Turtle Smiling

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.

Sea Turtle with Green Accents

Sea Turtle with Green Accents

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.

First Coat of Coloring and Fondant Waves

First Coat of Coloring and Fondant Waves

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.

Graham Cracker Beach in Process

Graham Cracker Beach in Process

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.

Pearl Dusting on Waves

Pearl Dusting on Waves

Sea turtles come on land to lay their eggs, so we created a little nest on the beach. The eggs are candy.

Candy Sea Turtle Eggs

Candy Sea Turtle Eggs

Finally, we cut out a congratulatory message from fondant. I used vodka to make the letters stick.

Fondant Letters

Fondant Letters

Here are some shots of the completed cake!

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