I made this Ninja Turtle cake for my little boy’s 4th birthday after he developed a sudden love for these ‘heroes in a half shell’! I made the turtle heads, the drain cover, and the name in advance which made things much easier when it came round to actually baking and constructing the cake – always handy when you’ve got the rest of the party to organise!
To make the turtles, I started with four balls of green sugar paste. I bought the sugar paste ready coloured to ensure I got the intense bright green as my green gel colour is quite pale. Shape each ball into a head shape using my pictures for guidance, then mark a large mouth – I used a plastic cutting tool and then a small ball tool at the corners of the mouth.
I rolled four thin strips of sugar paste in blue, yellow, red and purple and attached these around each head, shaping the top edge of the mask with a small indent in the centre (between where the eyes will go). I used tiny balls of white and black sugar paste to make eyes which I stuck directly on top of the masks.
To make the drain cover, I used a thin 6″ cake board which I covered in light grey sugar paste and then used the end of a spoon handle to make the pattern on the drain cover. I then gave it a dusting with silver food dust, and a little black dust in places, to give it a dirty metallic look. I then left this, and the turtle heads, to dry on greaseproof paper sprinkled with icing sugar.
To make the name, I rolled out some green sugar paste and cut out the letters freehand. I wanted the name to have a cartoon feel and to be similar to the Ninja Turtles style writing, so didn’t want to use cutters. I then rolled out a piece of black sugar paste and stuck down the letters with a little water. I attached them in a curve so that they would fit on the cake board properly. I held the actual cake board over the letters to make sure they were at the right angle. I then cut around the letters leaving a small black border.
When the sugar paste letters were dry, I used a black edible pen to add the markings.
All of these decorations were then left (in a safe place!) for about a week, until it was time to bake the cake which was an 8″ round chocolate sponge cake with chocolate buttercream. I positioned this towards the back of a 12″ round cake board.
I rolled out some grey sugar paste and covered the top of the cake. I used a brick pattern impression mat to create the brickwork on the sides of the cake. I used the impression mat on the sugar paste before I attached it to the cake. I had tried to buy brownish red sugar paste for this, but I’d left it too late and could only get bright red so when the red sugar paste was attached to the cake, I dusted it with some brown edible dust which toned down the brightness, gave it a more realistic look and also highlighted the brick pattern.
I covered the cake board with grey sugar paste and then attached the name. You could cover the board first and sit the cake on top but I tend to cover just the visible area of the board once the cake is in place.
I added a few bits of rough grass using green coloured buttercream (you could also use royal icing) and a grass piping nozzle. If you have any cracks or marks on the sugar paste, this is a good way to hide them!
Next I attached the turtles to the cake as shown. I just used a small amount of water, or you can use edible glue. Attach the heads so they are all looking outwards.
In order to hold up the drain cover and also to help attach it securely to the cake, I inserted a wooden dowel into the centre of the cake. I then covered this with some grey sugar paste. I also made a small wedge from grey sugar paste and attached this on the top of the cake at the back, again to help hold the drain cover in place and so that I had something to stick it to.
And there you have it! Cowabunga! (Do they still say that?!)
If you have any questions please comment below!
I’d also love to see any of your own awesome TMNT cakes! ♥