My creative brief for this cake was a frost dragon from Dungeons and Dragons. As far as I was able to discover, there is not actually a canonical frost dragon in D&D, but I found a photo of this figurine and my nephew deemed it acceptable so I set about transforming it into cake.
The interior support structure of the dragon is made of foam core and 1/8” brass rod.
The landscape around the dragon is rice krispie treats covered with royal icing, which I applied with an offset spatula then textured with a damp paper towel.
The underbelly of the dragon is also made of rice krispie treats, as a result of which I was reminded of a valuable lesson – rice krispie treats don’t stick very well to foam core, at least not well enough to be used upside down, supporting the weight of a layer of fondant. The rice krispie treats began to separate from foam core, resulting in some big cracks on the dragon’s belly.
Before it got any worse, I added a few more rock formations to support the belly and patched the cracks with royal icing.
About 2/3 of the tail is also rice krispie treats and the rest of the tail and body in chocolate cake, covered with fondant. The legs are a 50-50 mix of fondant and gum paste. I did all the scale texture with a highly sophisticated tool that I made by cutting a v-shaped notch into a piece of foam core.
Before I attached the head, a 2-year-old friend who was hanging around our house told me that it looked like a dolphin. She’s not entirely wrong.
The wings are also gum paste, over top of a structure made of wire. The wings were the part I was most nervous about attaching, but they turned out to not be a problem at all.
The treasure chest and the coins are also made of gum paste, with royal icing accents on the chest.
Because no dragon is complete without a miasma of ominous fog, I ran a PVC tube under the cake board and up into the treasure chest. I hooked this up to a home-made dry ice fogger, which consisted of a 5-gallon bucket with 3 little fans I had lying around glued into a hole I cut in the side of the bucket and – voila! The fog didn’t last too long, because there was no heating element in the fogger, but it was cool while it lasted.