A Whale of A Cake

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

A little boy sitting at a table with a birthday cake, blowing out the candles.

FishBoy7 has a newfound interest in fish. I suppose it could be considered a natural interest, considering our last name. But, ever since the research that went into this post, he’s been reading, and drawing and talking about fish. He has learned a ton about the undersea world in his independent reading. And he requested an orca cake for his birthday.

Just so you know, an orca is a dolphin, not really a whale, though it is called a killer whale. It’s different. Just so you know.

In case you have a desire for a Shamu cake at your house, here’s how we made ours.

Ingredients for whale cake on kitchen counter top.

Here are all the ingredients I used, plus eggs, buttermilk, milk and oil.

Start with a layer cake and frost it blue. I made my own buttercream this time instead of opening a can. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.

(whisper) I didn’t even measure. I just whipped 1/2 cup softened butter with powdered sugar and then added in some milk and blue paste coloring until it seemed the right texture and color. It was really yummy, too.

I’m finding that for theme cakes like this it doesn’t matter if the frosting is smooth. It’s about pleasing the birthday kid. So, I let him go to town on the frosting. It helped my sense of propriety that we were putting on “water” so it could look ruffled and still look “right.”

boy decorating layer cake with blue frosting.

I don’t have a picture of the orca in process. Bad FishMama. That’s because I didn’t really know what I was doing until I had already done it. I used a Sara Lee pound cake and carved it in the shape of a whale. Then I covered it with black fondant. You can make your own, or so I’ve heard, and you can dye store-bought white fondant whatever color you like. But visions of black food dye all over my kitchen prompted me to buy pre-made, ready-to-go black fondant.

Fondant is wacky stuff. It’s basically sugar playdough. I rolled it super thin and then laid it over the lightly frosted, orca-shaped poundcake. I liked using the Sara Lee pound cake for carving because it is super firm and not very crumbly. Perfect for a carved cake. Plus, that was one less thing to bake.

After I placed the orca on the “water”, I used a spray can of green frosting to draw seaweed on the sides of the cake. I let the kids place candy rocks and chocolate pebbles around the base. They loved it! Thankfully, the girls were asleep. Three helpers was all I could handle.

Finished whale cake on platter.

I placed white buttercream in a ziploc bag and snipped the corner. Then I piped white seafoam around the orca. That helped to hide some of its imperfections in the fondant. Roughing it up with the blue frosting helped make it look a little more realistic.

Close up of green sea weed and rocks on cake.

Thar she blows!

Whale cake on platter on table.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. This is great! My oldest has aspirations of being a marine biologist when she grows up. One year her requested birthday gift was to adopt a whale, which we did. She would love this!

  2. You guys are sweet. Thanks. (Welcome, Nancy!) It really wasn't hard. I promise. I am very not-gifted in this area. But, it looks good enough to be festive and the kid is happy.

    I bought two packs of fondant. Found white at Walmart, but then went to Michaels for the black. It was part of a neutral colored sampler. I think Bakerella.com has lots of links to cool supplies.

  3. I'm a relatively new reader (~ a month) and sooo appreciate your blog! I love your "real mom limits" (i.e. "we're not taking a chance with black food coloring all over this kitchen!") and frugality combined with creativity and concern for your family's nutrition. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us!

  4. Wow! This cake came out amazing! Do you have any suggestions on where to purchase the fondant?

  5. I love that you encourage your kids' interests through their themed cakes. It shows them that you care about what they care about.

    So, where do you get your fondant? I've looked casually at the grocery store, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I'm assuming it's with the icing, but I've never seen it.

  6. How cool this is a wonderful idea. You are so creative and I like to see the kids helping.

  7. Love it! I take such pleasure in making birthday cakes for my daughters, they look forward to it too. Very creative and unique!

  8. You totally rock at making cakes! I love seeing what you creatively come up with 🙂

  9. Wow. You are amazing! I wish I was as creative. Your kids are so lucky!