Tag Archives: mermaid cake ideas

Mermaid Tail Cupcakes

Building on the mermaid cake trend, I wanted to make some mermaid cupcakes! They’re the first cupcake of a cupcakes series I’m starting on YouTube, and I wanted to kick things off with something colorful! I used my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, which is a slightly modified version of Life Love and Sugar’s Vanilla Cupcake Recipe.

I swapped out the regular milk and used buttermilk (my personal preference!), and made it all in one bowl! I hate making extra dishes, and always try to simplify recipes when baking.

I always frost my cupcakes with a half batch of my American buttercream, and usually use a Wilton 1m tip (open star).

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup (162g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (212g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water

Vanilla American Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Additional Items:

  • white fondant
  • tylose powder (optional; accelerates the drying of the fondant)
  • rolling pin
  • pastry cutter
  • purple, sky blue, and green food coloring
  • mermaid colored sprinkles (I used these from Neon Yolk Shop!)

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 17 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and place cupcake liners in baking pans.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and gently mix. Add the buttermilk, and gently stir until just combined. Next, add in the water, vanilla, and  vegetable oil, and mix until the batter comes together. Mix in the egg until well combined.

Divide the batter evenly between 3 bowls, and color one a light purple, one a light blue, and one green. Alternate spooning the different colored batters into the cupcake liners, to created a layered look.

MVI_8795_Moment (2)

Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 way full, and bake for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

While the cupcakes bake and cool, make the mermaid tails. Color 1/2 cup white fondant light purple, 1/2 cup light blue, and 1/2 cup light green using gel food coloring. Knead the color into the fondant, twisting and pulling until the color is evenly spread throughout the fondant. Add 1/2 tsp of tylose powder to each color, to accelerate the firming process. If the fondant gets sticky, let is rest for a few minutes, then resume kneading. Combine the three colors into one long log, and twist the colors together. Roll this out, the fold one more time repeat to blend the colors together.


Cut out a 2 inch mermaid tail from cardboard, and use this a template to cut out 12 mermaid tails. Use the wide end of a round frosting tip to make a webbed patter at the end of the tail. Flip the frosting tip over, and use the smaller opening to make the scales on the tail. Use a fondant tool of knife to score the tail. Place on parchment paper and set aside for at least 2 hours to harden.

MVI_8800_Moment (2)

Next, prepare the vanilla frosting. Beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the heavy cream half way through. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Divide the frosting between 2 bowls, and color one light purple, and the other light blue using a drip of gel food coloring. Place the light purple into a frosting bag with a round opening ( I just cut my piping bag to have a 2 cm opening). Place the light blue frosting a separate bag with an open star tip (Wilton 1M).

Once  the cupcakes are fully cooled, add a swirl of purple buttercream. Pour mermaid sprinkles into a small bowl, and dunk the cupcake into the sprinkles to cover the frosting entirely.

MVI_8824_Moment (2)

Pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake, and then gently insert the fondant mermaid tail into the center of the swirl.

IMG_8844 (2)

MVI_8852_Moment (2)



Pastel Mermaid Tail Cake

Mermaids are definitely a big cake trend right now, and the Food Network asked me to make one! I tested the design out over the weekend, and also livestreamed this cake (you can watch it here)! While there are a lot of different ways to make a mermaid cake, I think a mermaid tail is the most playful! Conveniently, it’s also the easiest!! You can see the full tutorial on how to make this cake below:


My version of this cake was eight layers tall, but you could definitely scale this down to fewer layers. The recipes used can be found below:


  • light turquoise fondant
  • light blue fondant
  • light purple fondant
  • wooden skewers
  • tylose powder


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line 2 8″ pans, 2 7′ pans, 2 6″ pans, and 2 4″ pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds. Evenly divide that batter between three bowls, and color one light blue, one a light purple, and one light green.

Add drops of the different colored batter into each pan, until all the pans are filled an even height. Swirl the colors together using a knife or offset spatula. I filled my cake pans about 1 inch full of batter. You can learn how to make swirled cake layers below:

If you don’t have cake pans in those sizes, you can always make extra batter, and trim more cake away to get to the desired shape. For example, you could bake four 7 inch cake layers for the top of the cake, and trim away the top more.

Bake cake layers for 25-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. My 4 inch cake pans baked in about 25 minutes, and my 6 inch and 7 inch cake layers baked in about 36 minutes, and my 8 inch cake layer baked for about 35 minutes. it all comes down to how much batter you place into each pan. Try to make each layer the same height, to ensure uniform layers for stacking. Allow cake layers to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling, and then chill in the freezer until firm to the touch (at least one hour). This will make it easier to carve them.

While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting! Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time). You can see a full tutorial on how to make this frosting here.

Assemble the cake layers largest to smallest, to build a cylindrical pyramid. Apply a thin layer of frosting between each layer with an offset spatula. Once all the cake layers are stacked, insert a tall wooden dowel into the cake layers. Place cake in freezer for about 5 minutes, to allow the cake to firm. Using a serrated knife, trim cake layers into the shape of a tail.

IMG_0469 (2)

Apply a crumb coat of white frosting, and then chill the cake in the freezer for another five minutes. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, color the remaining frosting a light shade of turquoise. Apply a second layer of frosting, and smooth with a flexible smoother (bowl scraper or acetate sheet).

MVI_0416_Moment (2)

Twist together the colored fondants, and mix in tylose powder. This will help the thick tail to dry more quickly. Make the tail the night before, to allow it to fully harden before adding to the cake. Once the fondants have been twisted together, roll out to about 1/3″ thickness, to create a marbled effect. Use a pastry cutter to trim into the shape of a tail, then insert wooden skewers into the tail. Use remaining fondant to make the scales. Use a 1.5 inch circle cookie cutter, and cut out several circles from all three colors of fondant. Once the tail is firm, insert it on top of the cake.

Cover the cake in the circle scales, alternating all three colors, and working from top to bottom. Spread some blue fondant around the base, to look like waves.

IMG_0487 (2)

This cake requires a bit of work, but it’s totally worth it! It’s perfect for any mermaid fanatic, a kid’s birthday party, or if you just love pastels 🙂

IMG_0496 (2)