How to Make an Ombre Wave Shark Cake

This fun piping technique creates ruffles that mimic the ocean.

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Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Making Waves

Sharks might be circling at the top of this cake, but it's so pretty how could you be scared of it? Recreate this towering beauty (with a little bite!) for your Shark Week celebration. Here's how to do it.

Get the Recipe: Ombre Wave Shark Cake

Swirl the Layers

This cake begins with a classic white cake batter. A small portion of the batter is divided and tinted blue and teal with food color. The white batter is layered into cake pans and then the colors are swirled into each other using a knife or skewer. Bake the cakes until they are lightly golden and cool them before leveling them. Find details on the ingredients and instructions for baking the cake layers in the full recipe.

Get the Recipe: Ombre Wave Shark Cake

Make the Frosting

This cake requires a big batch of Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, we recommend using stand mixer for its capacity and muscle. You’ll also need 10 egg whites for this recipe (find the full instructions here), so stock up!

Fill and Frost

Use some of the white buttercream frosting to fill and frost the cake. This is a tall cake with five layers, so consider inserting a cake dowel through the center to anchor the layers together. This is optional, but adds extra stability. Smooth the icing evenly using a cake smoother or a bench scraper. Chill the froste cake while you tint the remaining buttercream.

Turn Blue

Divide frosting between six different bowls and tint each of five bowls with food color. You can achieve all the necessary hues with a navy blue, a true blue, and a teal. Tint the first bowl dark navy blue, the second bowl medium blue, the third bowl dark teal, the fourth bowl light teal, the fifth bowl light blue, and leave one bowl untinted. Keep in mind that frosting colors will intensify as they stand. Carefully add a little color at a time — lighter hues require just a few drops of color. Transfer each of the colors to separate piping bags, each fitted with a #104 decorator piping tip.

Prep Some Guidelines

Use the back of a butter knife, score lines around the cake and divide it into 6 sections; the seconds should be about 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. This will give you a guide for piping on the frosting colors in even portions.

Pipe Away

Make waves! Begin piping frosting at the bottom of the cake using the navy blue buttercream. Hold the piping bag so that the smaller end of the #104 petal decorator tip is positioned away from the cake — this technique results in pretty ruffles.

Keep Going

Pipe lines of buttercream close together, traveling toward the top of the cake to the first score line. Repeat the process using the remaining colors in this order: dark blue, dark teal, light teal, light blue and the untinted white (which creates the "foam" on the waves!). If there are gaps in the icing that show the white buttercream base coat, chill the cake until firm (about 20 minutes) then use the leftover buttercream in the piping bags to pipe frosting into the gaps. Store the cake in the refrigerator while you complete the remaining components.

Make Marshmallow Fondant

Marshmallow fondant is delicious and easy to make! Begin with a microwave-safe bowl filled with marshmallows (about 8 oz.) and add a tablespoon of water. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute at 100% power, or until the marshmallows puff out of shape.

Add Sugar

Stir the marshmallows briefly, until they lose their shape and mostly deflate. Add confectioners’ sugar (see the recipe for ingredient amounts) and stir well.

Knead Until Smooth

Keep adding confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is too stiff to stir. When this happens, abandon the spoon and knead with your hands until a smooth pliable ball forms. Gloves make this task less messy, but they are not required.

Tint It

Add a drop of black food color and a drop of blue food color to the fondant and knead until a dark blue-gray shark fin color is achieved. (Again, gloves are a good idea here, but optional.)

Cut Fins

Circle cookie cutters make easy work of creating the shark fins. First, roll the fondant flat on a work surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Stamp two 3 1/2-inch circles from the fondant using a pastry ring or cookie cutter. Cut each circle into quarters using a knife. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to trim away 1/8-inch curve from a flat side from each piece, creating a shark fin shape.

Dry The Fins

The shark fins need to dry thoroughly so they will stand upright on the cake. Place them on a baking sheet, uncovered, and let them dry for 1-2 hours. Flip them over midway through drying so both sides will be set.

Finish It Off!

Use an offset spatula to apply leftover dark blue frosting to the top of the cake, creating swirls that mimic choppy ocean water. Insert the fondant shark fins around the top edge of the cake in a circle. Add a final flourish of nonpareils and sugar pearls to create a bubbly appearance. Sprinkle on the tiny nonpareils and allow them to fall where they may. Place the larger sugar pearls around fins and on top of the cake using a set of kitchen-dedicated tweezers, if you have them.