So by now you all know how much I love making movie based food and cakes! So when I got invited to attend an early showing of Moana with my kids I couldn’t WAIT! it meant I’d be able make a cake based on SEEING the movie – not just previews! AND I’M SO GLAD!!! Tamatoa turned out WAY more awesome cause I saw the movie – now only if I could get invited to more prescreenings!
Before seeing the movie I was planning on making a cute pig cake – he’s adorable and I used to have a pig collection and even a pet pig so right up my alley! BUT alas – he’s not a very big character after the first few mins! So there I was – watching the movie, hoping for inspiration and BAM! this this larger than life (literally 50 ft tall) crab covered in gold and jewels rockin Bowie inspired song!!! LOOOOOVE! seriously I knew I found my cake…
I mean look at that smile! (his teeth are my favorite part) Tamatoa is a GREAT character!
of course real life hit (the week before Thanksgiving) and with multiple starts and stops it took much longer than normal to get this cake done – it had lots of components that needed to dry! the structure – legs – took a few tries to get something that worked – but at the end of the day it all comes down to a good internal structure and base for carved cakes –
for the base I used –
- 1/2 inch 3’x3′ press board (should have used wood for drilling into)for the body base and claws)
- 1/4 inch rods – cut and bent
- 1/4 inch pipe holding thing-a-ma-gigs
- and finally liquid welding to keep the legs from rotating!
As for his treasure – I didn’t count but I made hundreds of fondant shells, make some “bones”, boats, totems, and small candy confetti (for money) – and covered his back shell! then painted it with my favorite gold powder – Rokem gold – and added gold and silver and pearl beads, sixlets and gold sugar crystals for texture/filler! Don’t forget Maui’s white bone hook right on top!
So his body and head are all cake – and the top half of his abdomen (aka bottom) the BOTTOM half of his abdomen is rice krispy treat – as are the claws. So carve the shape, cover it with ganache and then fondant! the decorating is last and always the most fun! the full video has so many details! I hope you love him as much as I do!
This angle is the most spider like -I’m FREAKED out by spiders, even itty bitty ones – so to have a 3-4 foot “spider like” creature in my kitchen for over a week was creepy – as long as I didn’t look for too long I was okay – from the front it’s not creepy at all… but I watched too many coconut crab videos on youtube and **shudder** I had to stop – totally got my creepy vibe going.
The Cake Decorating Supplies used to make this carved structured cake
- Fondant (lots of blue, a little orange, white and black)
- Long, Sharp, Strong serrated knife (I like the Cutco Santoku-Style 10″ Slicer)
- small frosting spatula
- tapered spatula
- Fondant/gumpaste extruder (or a clay extruder you ONLY use for cake decorating)
- Fondant/gumpaste tools (I like these tools or these tools)
- 18 gauge wire
- Scriber Needle
- Gel color (ivory for teeth)
- Airbrush gun
- Airbrush paint
- Rolkem Super Gold
- gold sugar crystals
- shell silicon molds , more shell silicon molds
- edible confetti “sequins”
- silver edible balls
- gold edible balls
- pearl sixlets
- white edible balls
SOOOO what do you think!!! love him? love the movie? gonna make him (I recommend going smaller – this was a beast!)
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This is the cutest ever! I showed it to my 5 year old but secretly I want it for me lol
with as much work as cakes are they are as much for the adults to enjoy as the kids for sure!
O M G !!! amazing !!! I can’t believe you did this is a Beautiful Cake!!!
thank you so very much! he was a labor of love that’s for sure!
This is insane! I love it so much! My boys and I are obsessed with this character and his song!
agreed! we love him and his song!
This is incredible!! It came out perfect, and I loved all the details and colors. I’m so impressed with this gorgeous cake!!!
AMAZING!!!!! My son wants me to make this for his birthday. I am too a self taught baker (newly) last year I made a 3 tier avengers cake with a 3D edible hulk fist on top, which turned and amazed people due to the detail…. Now I’ve got to top that this year … HOW DID YOU MAKE THIS!!!! A mission… A big one
Do you also do cakes and mail them in pieces my son’s first birthday is in November and I love love this cakes it’s amazing.
This is so incredibly amazing!!! You did such an amazing job on him!!! I’m going to be making this for my daughters 5th birthday. We have only seen Moana at least 40 times and we’ve only had the movie a week and a half!! Tamatoa is my absolute favorite seen!!
I want to make the cake for my daughter as big as the one you made. I have a large island that he’ll fit nicely on for the party and can’t wait to make him!!
How did you make the template for the base board? Is your template something your willing to share?
I just hand sketched the body, just eyeballed it.
How much fondant did you end up using for the entire cake? My girls have a Moana party in a couple weeks, and I have been searching for good cake ideas and just cant settle on a sheet cake. Ive spent a few years making custom cakes so I am pretty familiar with everything except the airbrushing, but can you give me any extra tips on how far in advance you made some of the details? Since I am one person, I found it so much easier to bake and then freeze the cakes until ready to assemble. The ganache is a great idea and yummy!
It would be hard to freeze a cake this size, but you can make all the shells ahead of time of course. I honestly don’t keep track of how much fondant I use, sorry, probably around 6 lbs
What kind of fondant did you use?
I like satin ice fondant
The work on this cake and the detail is absolutely phenomenal! Thank you for sharing your techniques and expertise. Greatly appreciated.
you are so welcome!
I love the coconut crab Tamatoa. Do u have a template for the claws and body? My 5 year old grandson wants this for his birthday cake on june 17th. And so far i have done all his cakes. Can u please help with his.
no template, I just hand sketched it
My daughter wants me to make this cake for her birthday in a couple weeks, so I’m going to give it a try! I do have some experience making cakes in the past but I haven’t worked with edible dusts. I’m having trouble trying to figure out how much gold dust I need to buy. How much did you use on this project? Also, I don’t have access to an airbrush, do you think dusting dry purple would create a similar effect? Thanks!
the gold dust I bought is just 50gr and it’s lasted for every cake I’ve made for the past 4 years, and it’s still not empty. It lasts longer than you think, a little goes a long way. And I used a pink air brush, it just looks purple over the blue, and yes brushing a dust over the fondant will give a similar effect
I did it!!! Thanks so much for the inspirational video. It was the trickiest cake I’ve ever tried but oh how I love him! Thank goodness for my tradie husband, who stuck the cake board together for me. I made mine smaller and I don’t have an air brush so I used some rose petal dust for the detail and it worked out pretty good! My son is smitten with his birthday cake
perfect! so glad you did it and I bet your son was the happiest birthday boy!
THanks this helped me allot to make a Tamatoa pumpkin for the Childrens hospital. I wish I could upload a pic of my finish project.
just tag me in social media, FB or Instagram or Twitter!
I was wondering what you would charge for this exact Tamatoa cake? I was asked to make it and I work on my own. I just want to get an ides and see if I am overcharging.
Thank you, Cindy
I quit doing client cakes because in UT people are so dang cheap and I can’t charge what my time is worth. Pricing is hard to compare because so much depends on the area you live in. I’d charge $900 where I live, but in a larger city I’d charge much more
This cake is amazing my grand son wants this for his 5th birthday . He was going to go with Super Mario but scrolling through you tube and came across this and now that is what he wants. We have tried to get him to change his mind but no luck lol. So I have to try and do this for him. Just 1 question how long in advance can you make the shells and how to store them tell you are ready for them .