My nephews’ preschool has the delightful tradition of having the pre-K kids perform a little skit based on one of their favorite books as part of the end-of-the-year graduation ceremony. Three years ago, Nathan’s class performed Dr. Suess’s The Sneetches, so I made him a Sneetch cake. This year, Sam’s class chose Dem Bones as their book so, of course, I made him a Dem Bones cake.
Ever since I saw this video, I’ve been wanting to try to make a zoetrope cake, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, I don’t actually know anything about constructing a zoetrope, so it didn’t totally work. Next time I’ll have to do my research a little better.
In order to make the sixteen skeletons around the sides of the cake, I sculpted one skeleton and then made a mold using food-safe silicon.
I could then make the skeletons by pushing pieces of white fondant into the mold and sticking them onto the cake. The skeletons are holding letters that morph from the letter “S” to the letter “A” to the letter “M” to spell “Sam.”
The turntable I built for the cake worked perfectly, but I never got it synchronized with the strobe light or viewing slit well enough for the zoetrope illusion to really work. It sort of works if I animate all these photos together like this, though.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter whether or not the zoetrope effect worked, since Sam absolutely loved the cake.
He especially loved the skeleton heads and by the end of the party he had eaten the heads off of all the remaining skeletons on the cake.