mermaid cake tutorial

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This mermaid cake is one of my very favorite designs to do. The process is fun, and the result is show stopping!!

watch this video for full instructions:

make the tail

you’ll need:

Roll a ball of modeling chocolate (recipe here) into a fat teardrop, flatten the thicker end and make a cut to divide it into two. Rough out the shape of the fins, and smooth.

Draw lines in the fin with a dresden tool, smoothing the ridges and accentuating them as much as you like. Mark scales on the base with a small circle cutter.

Add petal dust with a soft brush. Paint the base with gold lustre dust mixed with everclear.

cover the cake in scales

you’ll need:

Color your fondant to make light-medium-dark in purple and turquoise, six variations in total. Cut circles from each color. I do more of the lightest blue, since the darker colors stand out more.

For the first row, cut several circles from each color in half, and lay them along the bottom, cut side down.

Working upwards in rows, apply the circles, overlapping the row below as shown. If the cake has come from the fridge, condensation will be enough for things to stick. If not, moisten the cake with a bit of water, corn syrup or piping gel.

Airbrush with pearlescent sheen, or you can use this spray. I used cake crumb sand here (I’ll get a post on that up soon), but graham cracker crumbs work too- just coat the board with piping gel to stick them. Place the tail in front using melted candy melts. Or, you can insert a lollipop stick into the tail and use that to place it on top of the cake.

There you have it! Sit back and admire the result 🤗

Happy baking!!


  1. This is incredible, Robyn! You are such an artist! I would like to mention you in an upcoming post and link to your blog. Hope that’s ok! Have a great week 😀

  2. This is gorgeous, Robyn! I want this cake for my next birthday 😂 ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Jamie Hughes

    Hello, what a beautiful cake! I’m going to attempt to make this for my daughters birthday! Just a quick question, what kind of icing do you use on the prior to putting on the fondant circles! Thanks in advance!

    • Thanks so much Jamie! I’d recommend ganache just so you don’t have to worry about the buttercream going soft while you’re working- if it’s really hot out you can even put a layer of fondant under the scales. Just put extra buttercream between your cake layers so people who don’t care for fondant can eat around it!
      Please let me know if you have any other questions and I’d looooove to see how yours turns out!

  4. My mother in law loved her cake!!!! Thank you for making her day extra special and delicious!

  5. Hi Robyn!

    I’m making this cake for a 4 year old birthday party. Which colors did you use from the Americolor gel set to create your scales? I love the color scheme you selected!

    • The dark purple is straight from the purple Satin ice tub. The turquoise is different shades of americolor turquoise mixed into white fondant, and the pinky-purple ones are just that, a mix of pink and purple 🤗

  6. Hello, how soon in advance could I put the fondant scales on the cake and leave it at room temperature? I baked the cake and frosted it with buttercream today (Thursday). I was hoping to also do all the scales today and let the finished cake sit at room temp until the party (Saturday morning). Would that work? Also, would you recommend putting shimmer spray on the day of party or right after decorating? Thanks for any help! Beautiful cake. Hope it turns out for my daughter’s second birthday! 🙂

    • Hmm, I’m afraid I can’t give advice on that- I always refrigerate since I don’t trust fondant to not sag at room temp. The scales may work better though, I’m not sure! I’d refrigerate if you can. The shimmer spray you can do any time. Hope it turns out perfectly!!

  7. Hi I love this idea for a mermaid cake. You mentioned you frosted with ganache first. Do you have a recipe for it or one you recommend?

    • I haven’t done a post on that yet but it’s different ratios for each type of chocolate. Sugar Geek Show has a very comprehensive article about it.

  8. Pingback: 28 Best Mermaid Cake Ideas - Good Party Ideas

  9. Thank you so much for this tutorial! Followed your instructions quite closely and it was such fun to make. I’ve never worked with this much fondant before and felt intimidated- couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

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