Some cakes you have to begin working on well in advance of their due date simply because of all the fondant elements that will be going on the cake. This cake was certainly an example of this. While the cake was not baked until just before the party, the fondant animals (two of each!) and the fondant rainbow were created in advance, so they would hold their shape.
When you receive an order like this, it can be intimidating due to all the fondant pieces, but this one was super fun to create! We started by creating top portion of the ark, which was constructed using rice cereal treats covered in fondant. We use the wood impression mat on the sides and the brick impression on the roof. Once we had the approximate size of this element, we could create the animals that would be included on the ark. We created fondant balls for the head shapes and mounted them on wooden skewers, which would later be used to insert them into the ark/cake.
The animal heads needed to dry a bit before all the facial features and accents could be added. While those were drying, we created the rainbow. To create the perfect rainbow, we cut a corrugated cake board into the size that we wanted and measured the height of the rainbow. Knowing we needed 6 colors on the rainbow, we divided the height by 6, which gave us the width of each color band. We glued the fondant bands onto the board with piping gel and inserted skewers into the corrugated cardboard, so the rainbow would be able to stand upright.
As the party date approached, we baked the cake, leveled it and began to assemble the cake. We filled and crumb coated the bottom tier and added buttercream ruffles in an ombre pattern on this tier to mimic water and waves.
We then carved the top tier to give the cake a more rounded/boat look. We added a filling and crumb coated this tier and then added fondant pieces to look like wood slats. Once each tier was ready individually, it was time to stack the tiers and assemble the final look. We added the top of the ark, the rainbow and the animals to complete the look. What do you think?