Cake Show – Dino Nest

In April 2013, I entered the National Capital Area Cake Show for the second year in a row. I decided to enter just one category again for my division, Sculpted Cakes. Everything is edible – everything!

This page shows the progression and my creative process. : )

UPDATE: This cake won 1st place in its divisional category, scultped cakes.

These are the beginnings of dinosaur eggs. I densely formed rice krispy treats (RKTs) into the shapes I wanted. They will need to set before I cover them with fondant.
I covered the eggs in fondant. I plan for my dino nest to have a few eggs intact, one completely open and one in the middle of hatching.
I made the leaves from gumpaste that I colored green to start. Each was pressed with leaf molds, cut and shaped and left to set before painting. Now that they are dry, I’m ready to airbrush!
Airbrushing in progress…
The leaves now have all their airbrushing. Aren’t they beautiful?
These are the four airbrush colors I used for the leaves – shown in the order used. First lemon yellow, focused on the center of the leaf, and then yellow sheen. I airbrushed a small strip of leaf green around the edges, followed by green sheen to blend. You have to go slow and wait for each step to dry before applying the next. I painted the backs of the leaves first and then their fronts.
Before & After. On the left is an egg shell that is just pure white fondant. I painted areas of the eggs with grey petal dust and blended well to make it look more dimensional. Then all the eggs got airbrushed with pearl sheen.
Here are all the eggs after their treatment.
Oh boy. I colored close to 10 lbs of fondant for the brown terrain. I blended dark chocolate fondant and white to get the desired result. My arms and hands were sore after this one!
Alrighty! I baked two gigantic batches of my golden sponge cake. Two 12×18 cakes yielded this 9×12 stack. I let it sit stacked for at least 24 hours to ensure everything settled down before carving.
Some carved away.
More carved away.
Here I added some grooves down the sides and a ring of RKTs (Rice Krispy Treats) around the top.
More RKTs around the base of the cake and some for mounds on other parts of the board.
I frosted a bit with buttercream so the fondant would adhere to the cake.
FONDANT! I covered the cake in two very large pieces of fondant. I am elated with the result at this stage. ELATED!
Here I am airbrushing the whole cake with a little bit of brown to give it more character.
I cleaned up my workstation and placed the cake on a larger board so I wouldn’t risk messing up the edges as I move it around to work.
I figured out which eggs I wanted to top the nest and as I placed the leaves, I cemented them with more buttercream.
Dirt! Here I made a rocky dirt using three foods: toasted coconut, malted milk crisp and cocoa krispies.
I added the ‘dirt’, placed broken egg shell pieces in the nest, and a few chocolate rocks. BUT it is NOT done! I still had more to do before the show.
Here is a close-up of the ribbon border I added.
All done!
Close-up of the plant.
Aerial view.
Close-up of the dino.
Close-up of the egg shells.
I dropped my cake off Friday night before the show. Here it is waiting to be viewed by the public and judges.
Hooray! My cake won the blue ribbon in its Divisional Category, Sculpted Cakes. The judges just loved it! A huge THANK YOU to all my friends who came out to support me.
  Another pic of my cake with its blue ribbon at the show.