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Faith’s Finding Nemo First Birthday Cake

By Sharon | Specialty Cakes

Mar 04

In October of 2009 we flew from Hawai’i, where we then lived, to Dallas to celebrate our friend’s First Birthday.  Just a month earlier Faith became very ill and had to be fed on a feeding tube.  After loads of process and elimination her parents discovered she had a soy allergy.  Not just the easy to eliminate soy products but even the soy lecithin used in a huge amount of processed food products. It is used as an emulsifier and preservative, extending the shelf life of products.  There is a portion of the population that is highly allergic to the soy lecithin.

So, the theme for Faith’s 1st birthday party was Finding Nemo and her mom couldn’t find any bakery that made and decorated a cake that was free of all soy products. Since I could bake and have always been a little creative when it came to kids parties we volunteered to put a cake together.

I am going to give all the credit for the design work on this one to my husband Ken.  He is very creative and has a huge engineering streak in him so when I need help figuring out how to construct something we spend hours on ideas and plans.

This was a simple carrot cake recipe and a cream cheese frosting.  We purchased a pack of the already colored fondant from the Wilton line.  It’s soy free, so safe for Faith.  And we got a set of the Finding Nemo Figurines at the Disney Store.  I’m sorry I don’t have all the assembly pictures but I can give you some ideas of the tools and techniques we used to create the scene.

  • I made a carrot cake with a large round and a small round to set on the top.
  • We frosted it with blue colored food coloring. The idea was to make it look like a part of the sea.
  • The sand around the edges are brown sugar.
  • The creatures are from a set of plastic Disney figurines.

The fondant was rolled flat for all of the construction projects.

  • For the flat coral pieces we used a couple of different size straws to punch out the holes.
  • The rolled up pieces are just strips rolled up like a jelly roll.
  • The sea greenery was just cut into a long triangle strip and bent and curved.
  • There are little balls of fondant flattened and detailed by pressing into them with a knife.

This cake is mostly a look closely at the picture to see the details and make sea looking shapes out of the fondant.  I made this cake before I went to the all natural food coloring and baking methods but the same could be done with homemade fondant and natural colors.

This is the first in my series of Specialty Cakes so for more ideas sign up for my blog posts your favorite way; RSS, Facebook, email or Twitter.

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