Turtle Cake

by Holly Smith
(Santa Rosa, CA)

This Turtle Cake cake is the VERY FIRST 3-D cake I have ever attempted, as well as working with rice krispy treats.

My client requested this sculpted cake for her daughter's 17th Birthday. I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Bake The Cake

I first, baked a yellow cake in a half-dome circle pan.

I always bake my cakes two days before my deadline. I immediately wrap them tightly in foil and put off to the side. I find this lets the cake set up for decorating and won't crumble. I pride myself on very moist cakes, so I don't want to omit from my recipes just to get a sturdy cake for decorating. The cakes stay very moist and actually taste better.

I baked a side 9" round to make up for such a small cake and to look like the turtle's birthday cake in my design. I frosted both cakes in homemade chocolate Hershey buttercream icing.

Legs And Head

I took rice krispy treats and smooshed them up ( a technical bakers term lol to pop the rice so it would be smoother.)I kneaded 4 peg shapes for legs. Then added little thick circles for the feet. I rolled them like a tire on my table to get the flat edge look all around. I then shaped a head into a "turtle shape". I wanted that tear drop shape. I set them aside for two days to let them dry and firm up.


I tinted my fondant the Americolor gel avacado for the legs and head. I wrapped the legs and head smooth after putting a crumb coat of buttercream on. I then let those sit to dry.

Frosting The Cakes

For the 9", I did two layers. Yellow cake and the Hershey's chocolate buttercream as filling and icing, per request. I let it crust, then took lavendar Wilton tint and colored my fondant to cover cake. I like to tint my own fondant to give the color tone and depth I like and sometimes I mix colors to get that effect. I put that aside.

The Turtle Shell

I covered the turtle shell in warm brown mixed with chocolate brown Americolor paste. Then I used the avocado, Americolor teal, and left over lavender to create the dots using Wilton round cutters.

I used a straw to poke some out to make open dots, some I rolled like my flower centers for a 3-d dot and just laid some together. I also made a rope of the brown fondant for the shell ridge.

Turtles Face

I layered her eyes with first an oval of white, then a gray-ish lavender (mixing again) oval layered, then black, then made a comma shape of white. I wanted Precious Moment looking eyes.

I created a daisy flower for her head and used my veining fondant tool to make a mouth. Pink glitter for cheeks and veining tool to poke two nose holes.

I used a paint brush dipped in avocado to make spiral shape on knees and cut pink small circles for her toes and then cut each circle in half and applied pink glitter as well. I applied 3 half circles per foot.

Finishing Touches

I took the legs and put them on a cake board and just laid the turtle shell on the legs with no other securing. It was a nice tight hold thanks to moist cake and the crispy treats. I used a dowel to attach the head to underneath the cake.

For the 9", I just cut out flowers for the top boarder and put green pearl candy in the centers. I did big flowers on the bottom for borders, with purple buttercream squiggles, to fill in the spaces between the fondant flowers.

I used AMericolor paste in mint green. I used my FMM letter cutters in Funky Alphabet for her name and 17, then sprinkled glitter clear flakes for finished look! She LOVED it!!!

Thank You Holly for adding your adorable Turtle cake to the website. And with so much detail too. A wonderful addition to the sharing pages. :-)

Comments for Turtle Cake

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Jan 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much for sharing your pics and great instructions. What a cute project. Way to go!

Jan 07, 2012
turtle cake
by: Colleen

This cake is just adorable; the kind of cake that makes you smile the entire time you are looking at it. Thank you sooooo much for sharing all of your details-very helpful!

Jan 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

Cute! Thank you for instructions how to make it!
Do you mind sharing your yellow moist cake recipe?

Jan 17, 2012
by: joanne

you did an amazing job...love it!!!!

Feb 12, 2012
Turtle legs
by: Kayla

Gorgeous cake, just a bit confused as to what the turtles legs are kneaded out of?.. :)

Feb 13, 2012
Re: Kayla's question of the legs
by: Anonymous

Thank you Kayla! I took rice krispie treats that I bought already made at the store. I took a square and kneaded into the leg shape I wanted........basically a fat sausage shape lol. I mushed it and tried to make smooth and get them "tight" to hold together. I got them smooth and the shape I wanted and set to the side for about an hour or so. Then I took buttercream frosting and made a crumb coat layer and then covered in the fondant and smoothed. The rice krispies gave the texture I wanted to look like turtle skin and did not seem bumpy at all. Hope this helps! Thanks for commenting!

Feb 13, 2012
Thanks...from Kayla
by: Anonymous

Thanks for that. Unfortunately I have no idea what rice crispies are over here... I was thinking similar to our rice bubbles but they alone would not make that leg shape!

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