Birthdays are a time for celebration, so having a special birthday cake is a must. The idea of creating a shark-shaped birthday cake may sound daunting, but it is a task that is manageable. Obtain the correct ingredients, sharpen your sculpting skills and start baking.
Find a colour photograph to use as a reference during the baking process. Choose a photo of the type of shark you would like to make. The colour photograph will help you determine the appropriate colour to make the cake.
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Bake three sheet cakes in a 14-inch by 10-inch baking pan for 30 minutes. The cakes will only be 1 inch high, which is ideal for creating the shark shape. Allow to cool. Work with one cake at a time and freeze the other two cakes that you are not working with by placing waxed paper between them. Loosely wrap the cakes in waxed paper and place in the freezer.
Cut the remaining cake in half. Apply buttercream frosting to the cake with a spatula and stack the two pieces together. Repeat this step with the other two cakes, and place all halves of the cakes on top of one another, with a layer of buttercream frosting in between. Wrap in waxed paper and freeze so that the icing will set, which will prevent the cake from collapsing.
Look at your photo of the shark. Cut the cakes in the shape of the body of the shark with the serrated knife. Save the discarded pieces to use as the shark's fins later on. Create the mouth by carving out a narrow section of cake. Work slowly so that the cake does not become squished, collapsed or altered in any way.
Ice the cake with the spatula and the two remaining tubs of buttercream icing. Completely cover each of the pieces so that no cake is showing. When finished, loosely wrap the pieces in waxed paper and freeze for three hours or until the icing has become hardened. Save some of the frosting to fix mistakes that may come up later.
Remove one piece of cake from the freezer at a time. Roll out the fondant with a rolling pin. Cover the pieces of cake with the fondant. Smooth the fondant with the spatula. Wrap the piece of cake and refreeze. Continue until all pieces of cake have been covered in fondant.
Attach the pieces of cake together to form the body of the shark. Use craft sticks to attach the fins and tail.
Paint the inside of the shark's mouth red with the leftover icing. Add a couple of drops of red food colouring until you get the desired redness for the mouth. Cut white fondant into teeth shapes and place these in the shark's mouth.
Finish the shark by making gills. Use your photograph to locate where the gills should be. Cut slits in the side of the cake for the gills and smooth the fondant with your finger. Add the shark's eyes by using small dark pieces of candy, such as brown M&Ms or dark Skittles. Freeze the cake until you are ready to serve it. Place it on a blue plate to make it seem as if it is in water.
Loosely wrap the cake in waxed paper and freeze it any time you need to take a break. (See References 1) The shark cake can be created over a period of several days if the cake is frozen after each step. (See References 1)