My son loves sharks, so it was no surprise when he asked for a shark birthday party.
Of course he wanted a shark cake and fun shark party games to celebrate.
I searched everywhere to find just the right cake, but they all included miniature toys sharks or were just round cakes with a toothy shark grin. He wanted one that was 3-dimensional.
It took a bit of tinkering, but eventually I figured out how to make a shark cake.
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This fun cake is perfect for a shark party or to do as a shark week activity.
How to Make a Shark Cake
To make our shark cake, I used 2 boxed cake mixes, baking them together in a 16 inch round cake pan. (Definitely the biggest cake I’ve ever made!)
Once the cake was completely cooled, I cut it into a yin-yang shape (or 2 paisleys side by side).
One paisley shape became the base of the shark.
I cut the circular end off the second paisley and used icing to attach it on top to create the shark’s head.
I cut the end off the second paisley and then cut it in half horizontally to create the shark’s fins.
Finally, I cut a triangular piece from what was left to make the shark’s tail and another to be its dorsal fin. (Tip: Use a serrated knife to tapper the sides of your triangles so they are thinner on top. Definitely helps them stand up better!)
I used icing to stick the various fins and tail onto the shark’s base. Then I covered the shark with blue icing. (The birthday boy’s color of choice.)
The eyes were created by slices of marshmallows and a raisin stuck together with a toothpick.
The teeth are marshmallows that I cut into triangles with a pair of kitchen shears.
The tail was a bit of a problem at first. That’s how I first discovered that tapering the triangle is crucial, making it thinner at the top.
Since I made the cake the day before the party, I used a marshmallow on both sides of the tail as well to keep it up overnight. A bit of icing easily covered the marshmallows. If I did it again I would just save the tail piece and some icing and add the tail right before guests came to the party.
In all, I used 2 1/2 cans of icing for our cake. If you use a 14 inch circular pan instead you might be able to go with just 2 cans of icing. (It always helps to have extra on hand if needed.)
Tips for Making a DIY Shark Cake:
- Pound cakes are much easier to shape. However, my son wanted a moist chocolate cake. I have found that freezing the cake for one hour before you try to cut it helps reduce the crumbling.
- A fondant icing leaves a clean, smooth look and can really cover mistakes in the cake. This is what most professionals would use. But, my son doesn’t like foundant, so we used regular cake frosting.
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