Our Editor, Rebekah, shares a wonderful recipe and mini-tutorial for this gorgeous mermaid crown cake, complete with chocolate shells and scales, lashing of coconut-rum buttercream, and a little sparkle!
“This weekend was my friends baby shower, and of course, the trend of the moment is all things mermaid,” notes Rebekah. “I wanted to create a cake that was baby friendly but still grown up and sophisticated enough that my friend and her guests would love it. I made a “virgin” coconut-rum cake in a blue-ombre, and filled and frosted the cake with a coconut-rum buttercream.”
To Make the Chocolate Shells
Melt some turquoise Candy Melts in the microwave for 45 seconds until fully melted.
In a separate bowl melt some white chocolate chips, add a spoonful of the turquoise candy melts and stir slightly to create a marbled effect.
Fill your molds with either the turquoise mixture or the marbled mixture and tap to release air bubbles. Scrape away any excess chocolate and place in the freezer to harden for 5 minutes.
When solid, release from the molds and repeat until you have made 4 sets of each mold.
Rebekah notes: I used the number 9 mold from First Impressions and a starfish mold I found on Amazon.
Add a sheen to the shells by dusting them with either a pearl luster or a copper luster dust.
Rebekah notes: It’s nice to use a variety of pearlized colors, as this adds a lovely variety of color to the shells.
Place the shells on a clean tray and set aside for use later.
To make the larger shells that form the basis for the crown, roll out two logs of gum paste, tapering each to a point. Then twist the two lengths together. Insert a long cocktail stick into the center of each shell and dust liberally with a pearl luster dust before allowing to dry.
Rebekah notes: To speed up the drying time, you can place the gum paste decorations in a very low oven (160f) for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.
To Make the Chocolate Scales
Melt some white candy melts in the microwave for 45 seconds and stir until smooth. Using a clean paintbrush, brush layers of chocolate onto some plastic spoons. Make sure to wipe away any excess on the underside of the spoons.
Add 2-3 layers of chocolate and then place the spoons into the freezer for 5 minutes to set.
Release the chocolate from the spoons using the tip of a sharp knife, they should release easily. Turn upside down.
Paint the “scales” using a little pearl luster dust to give them a nice sheen. Then set aside.
To Decorate the Cake
Torte 3 (6-inch) cakes and then split each layer into two to create 6 layers of cake. Layer the cake with coconut-rum buttercream, crumb coat the cake and then refrigerate before adding a final layer of buttercream. Refrigerate the cake again. Add a little turquoise and purple gel color to some leftover buttercream and add blobs of the colored buttercream to the exterior of the cake, scrape around the cake to create a watercolor effect.
Add some sparkly sprinkles to one side of the cake, attaching with a little water.
To Make the Crown
Using the removed tops from the cakes you leveled and reserved earlier, cut in half to make half circles, and layer the cake with buttercream tapering to a narrow circle at the top. Cover with buttercream and refrigerate until firm. Once firm, place on top of the cake, securing with a dowel. Pipe some blue buttercream shells on the exterior of the cake to create a base to adhere the shells.
Insert the larger shells first, as shown, to create the back of the crown, This will also provide some support for the other shells. Then, begin layering the chocolate shells you created earlier.
Rebekah notes: It’s easier to start with the larger shells first and then fill in the gaps with the smaller shells. You can use a touch of buttercream to glue them in place.
Rebekah notes: I used some pictures of mermaid crowns as inspiration for the design
To add the chocolate scales, start at the top and attach the first scale with a little buttercream, add more scales offsetting them as you add each layer.
Finish the cake by adding some blue, purple, and white Sixlets to any gaps in the crown and some isomalt gems (if you have them). Sprinkle the cake with a touch of the sparkly sprinkles and (if desired) a little “edible” glitter.
The finished design!