Karen Gray had the same sentiment when she decided to make her daughter Mandy an elaborate sea turtle cake for her birthday.
“I know that Mandy loves sea turtles so I thought I'd attempt to make a turtle cake as a surprise, instead of just another ‘pretty cake’. But I was worried that it wasn't very good and she might think it was corny,” she said.
Rather than making the turtle cake from scratch, Karen used Woolworths' mud cakes, LCM bars, butter cream and fondant to create the masterpiece. Despite it coming together successfully, Karen contemplated throwing the cake out for a store-bought option instead.
“I was honestly a bit embarrassed and thought his flippers looked like a piece of pizza. But in the end, I decided what the heck! I put a lot of effort into it and I was sure she would appreciate that I tried,” says Karen.
Happily, the mother-of-two didn’t have anything to worry about as her daughter was delighted with the artful cake.
“I got the surprise of my life when my mum turned up with a cake for my birthday! I love turtles and I think she pretty well nailed it,” Mandy said.
She posted the cake to the popular Facebook group Kmart Hacks and Decor, where it quickly attracted over 10,000 responses and likes.
“I just wanted to share it as I was so proud and thankful for having such a caring, creative and thoughtful Mum. It was her first attempt at anything of this sort and she hit the ball out of the park!" she said.
Karen says her newfound appreciation for creative baking is set to continue and is planning a Winnie the Pooh cake for her granddaughter.
Want to make the turtle cake yourself? We asked Karen for her step-by-step guide.
You will need
- 5 Woolworths mud cakes (you will need 3 for the body and 2 for the head)
- Woolworths Betty Crocker vanilla buttercream
- LCM bars
- Queen ready-to-roll icing fondant
- Food colouring in red, green, brown and black
- Glucose syrup
- Carve the body and head into a turtle shape and cover with buttercream.
- Use a few LCM rice bars to mould a neck and attach to the head.
- Roll out the ready-made fondant and drape over the whole of the turtle.
- Roll out another piece of fondant and drape over the body for the shell.
- Cut out another piece of fondant in the shape of flippers and imprint them with a few circles using the base of an icing tip.
- Carve shell markings into the fondant.
- To create a curve in the flippers, place a ball of fondant under them to give them shape. Leave to dry for a day. Create a tail with fondant and attach to the body with a toothpick.
- Attach the flippers with glucose syrup.
- Leave to dry for several days.
- Using images of turtles for reference, paint the shell with a combination of red and green food colouring to achieve a shade of brown.
- Use black and brown food colouring for the flippers and head. Keep layering colours until you're happy with the look.