How to make a turtle cake topper

turtle cake topper

Who can resist these cute turtle cake toppers? They are very easy to make and you can even scale the size down if you want to use them as a cupcake topper. You can mix the color combination as you like. Cant wait to get started? Here is my tutorial on how to make a turtle cake topper.

This is what I use:
Gum paste
Gel paste color for the turtle + black paste color for the eyes
Tylo glue
Small paint brush
Cocktail stick
Small knife + plastic bag (not showing on the photo)

Step 1:

Color your gum paste in desired colors for the “body”, the shell and the dots. Place the rest of the gum paste in a plastic bag. Take the color that you have chosen for the “body” and roll it into a sausage. Cut 4 pieces in the same size (feets) and save the rest for the head. Take the “feet” parts and roll them into a ball and shape them like a teardrop.
Note: It is possible that you need to adjust the amount of gum paste for the feets and the head.

Step 2:

Glue all 4 feets together with Tylo glue.

Step 3:

Take the gum paste for the shell and roll it into a ball. Form it into a toadstole shape and make it a little hollow at the bottom.

Step 4:

Brush a little tylo glue at the bottom of the shell and place it over the feets.

Step 5:

Take the “head” part and roll it into a little ball. Shape it so that it looks like a “golf club”.

Step 6:

Use the paint brush to make and indentation where the head will be.

Step 7:

Brush a little tylo glue in the indentation.

Step 8:

Attach the head. I have used my cornstarch duster as support for the head while it dries.

Step 9:

Roll very small balls of gum paste. Flatten them slightly and glue them on randomly over the shell.

Step 10:

All you need now is to make the eyes. Do that with a little black gel paste on a cocktail stick. Your cute little turtle cake topper is now ready to be used.

Happy Caking!



  1. A wedding cake is the traditional cake served at wedding receptions following dinner. In some parts of England, the wedding cake is served at a wedding breakfast; the ‘wedding breakfast’ does not mean the meal will be held in the morning, but at a time following the ceremony on the same day.

  2. I am going to try to make these from soap! I make handmade soap and I thought these would look adorable as soap (if I can figure out how to do it). Hoping to do it within the next 30 days. Thanks so much for posting such a great tutorial!

    • I don’t know if you can get where you are, but I make them using disposal foam washing cloths for babies. I fill them with a little cornstarch and tie with a rubber band. It give just the right amount of cornstarch when dusting.

  3. I plan to make these for my daughter’s first birthday, as turtle was her nickname in the womb ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am a little nervous, as I have never done this type of thing…

    You said you can use fondant with water instead of the Tylo glue…are there any other options of things one might have at home or buy for cheap to use for gluing? as the powder is $20, and I won’t be using much, and was not planning to buy fondant…?

    Thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks so much for these directions!! I made 24 of these little guys for cupcake toppers. They came out so cute! Everyone loved them, especially the mom-to-be!

  5. Thank you so much for the tutorial on the turtle I have made it and it turned out so cute go see it I have posted it on my website. I just love your directions, ‘Thank you again

  6. Found your website a few days ago – what an absolute wonderful place!!! Thank you so much for this tutorials. Tried the turtle this afternoon and can’t wait for it to dry. It’s super cool! Your instruction are so clear and easy. (And I’m very new to this whole sugarcraft thing, lol.)

  7. Elny: It guess that plastic icing is the same as rolled fondant icing? How much gum did you add? I have never had any problems with gum and the weather. So I think that you may need to add more gum to your icing.

    You can keep the toppers for a long time. go by the expire date on your icing. Just keep the decorations in a air thight box, not freezer.

    I have never seen any expire date on my tylo, now that I think of it. So I will have to get back to you with this one.

  8. Ooops I meant it does look super cute! Hehe! Apologies for not spell checking. Great website once again. Cheers ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Dear Louise, I just discored your site (I’m new to decorating) & I have to say thank you for the tutorials. They are sooo cute & easy ๐Ÿ™‚ I made my first turtle last night & although it needs work, it dies look super cute ๐Ÿ™‚ thanx so much

  10. I love your tutorials! They are so easy to understand. I would love for you to sell all the printed tutorials in one set. Thanks for all the info

  11. awwwwwwwwwww they are soooooooooooooooo cute i’ve already made them and they were sooooooooo cute!!! and now my kids are making them
    P.S they were cute aswell ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Dear Louise,

    Thanks very for your tutorials.. I learned a lot… if you don’t mind.. I have some questions..

    1. it’s winter now in Aus.. I made some toppers 2 weeks ago from gumpaste which I made
    from plastic icing + Gum Traqacanth…and they are not setting or hard.. is it because the
    weather or something else?

    2. How long can I keep my toppers if they are set and how about it not set like mine ones?
    should I keep them in the freezer?

    3. Is there any expire time for Gum Traqacanth or Tylose powder?

    I’m thanking you in advance for your kindness and answers..



  14. Thanks Louise, I appreciate that. Will definately state that the design is by CakeJournal if I make them to sell ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Caroline: Well if you could include that the design is by CakeJournal I would be happy and you are welcome to sell them ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hi Louise, thanks for posting the tutorial it was very easy to follow. I absolutely love the turtle, it’s so cute!
    I was wondering if there are any copyright issues if I was to make these cake toppers to sell? Thanks.

  17. oh these are so cute i want to rush out now and make them thanks a million for the brilliant cake tips am also new to cake decorating and up to now have mainly being doing very basic stuff now i want to try the more difficult stuff too!

  18. Iroma: When you add tylo to fondant it will over the hours “thicken” and harden untill it is rock solid. Also it is best to color the fondant first and then add the tylo. Take a couple of oz. of fondant and sprinkle your work board with tylo around 1/4 of a tsp and knead the tylo into the fondant. After a few minutes you can feel that it is less soft and hold its shape.

    The will last for years!!!! I still have the turtle from this tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks perfect.

  19. One more thing! How long will one of these little ones last if I make them out of fondant and mix in some tylo?…Months? Years? Thanks!

  20. Louise, this little guy is wonderful! I have just got my hands on some tylo powder and was wondering if I should just go ahead and mix the powder with the rolled fondant? Should I knead it? Can you tell me how its done…I’m very new at cake decorating. Thanks!

  21. elisa: thank you. I have some very old cake toppers saved and some of them are 4 years old. So there should not be problems as long as they are not going to be eaten ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. hey louise, these are soooo cute! i found the cake toppers that lindy smith makes for wedding cakes on her website and was curious as to how she made those. this seems similar enough. this might as well sound stupid but does the topper need to be thrown away eventually if made with a paste that has eggs or crisco on it? it’s too cute to not keep it forever!

  23. MILA: I would say that Tylo and Gum tex are pretty much the same. They work the same when added to the fondant making it more stable, thick and dries faster.
    I think that the result will be the same if you add it to fondant and MMF.

    For your other question… Whenever I see recipes with tartar is because the tartar gives more volume like to royal icing. So I would not use tylo the same way like tartar. Tylo thicken the paste over time not sure I would like that in my cakes, royal icing.

  24. hi!!! Louise i just wanted to know if TYLO powder and Gum tex are the same
    and if i add the same amount to my fondant…. does it make any difference if its ready to use fondant or mm fondant … thanx

  25. Linda: I am so happy to hear that the turtle topper was a hit ๐Ÿ™‚ It is always nice to hear that my tutorial have helped other cake friends.

  26. Hi Louise,

    This tutorial has been very helpful to me. I used this turtle topper on cupcakes for my son’s school bake sale. It was an instant hit and the kids loved it. Great job….thanks a lot.

    i wanted to send you a photo of my version but i don’t know how.

    Thanks again,

  27. Grace: I am glad that you like my tutorials. I try my best to keep them simple for everyone to understand.

    I will see what I can make with a tutorial on hoe to use RI on cakes.

  28. Hi,
    The very good thing about your tutorials are the way you put them. So simple and straight.
    You are also very generous with yo ur suggestions.
    However I have a question, I have read your tutorial on making Royal Icing, can you please make some on using them for decoration on cakes? I find using the icing set a bite difficult.
    Thanks Grace

  29. trishia: Most decorations to be put on cakes and cupcakes are edible. I would not eat large decorations myself but simply take it off. What is meant wiht edible glue is just that you can make a strong glue that can be eaten. Decorations made with Tylopowder will harden more so though it can be eaten it may not be so nice to bite into.

  30. this is going to sound so stupid… but I have to decorate cupcakes for my friends bridal shower with little flowers and would like to use this stuff. but is it edible? or do people take it off before eating the cupcake?

    silly, I know, but I thought for sure it wasn’t edible, but then that page you linked to for recipes said “edible” glue… so now I am confused!


  31. Love all the pics in your tutorial, makes it easy enough for a child to understand… Great blog, love the detailed pictures covering all the steps. Well done…..turtle…turtle (Masters of Disguise reference)

  32. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I tried your idea a few months ago – I was a little off – but it was still a hit. Now, I know for the next time I make them. Your blog is wonderful! Love it!

  33. That is so cute!
    I would LOVE to see more of those easy to follow tutorials about making animal toppers.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  34. MSG142: 225 gr (8 oz) rolled fondant and 1 tsp of tylo powder or you can mix half gumpaste and half rolled fondant.

    I hope all will have fun making the turtle cake topper ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. Thanks a bunch for this tutorial. I have a baby shower that I’m hosting and will try to make these adorable little turtles. How much Tylo Powder to Sugar Paste (Fondant) should I use?

  36. WOW…. looks like many like the little chap ๐Ÿ™‚ so cool. Just to clear things:
    Modelling paste is the same as Gum paste the name various from place to place dont know why really….. ?

    Also when I need modelling paste I simply mix in some TYlo powder (CMC) or Gum Tracanth to my sugar paste/rolled fondant. I dont make it ahead because I then find that it often get to hard and difficult to work with. So I just mix the paste along when I need it.

    For those of you who want to make your own modelling/gum paste here is a link:

    Beverly: Yes its the same.

    Miranda & Lisa Martins: No modelling paste have the ability to dry up hard where fondant mostly will collapse if you are making figures with it.

    To the rest of you HUGE thanks I am really happy!!

  37. I can’t believe my luck! I was just about to start making them today (but was very worried about where to start) and fortuitously you have posted this tutorial. Thank you for sharing. I hope mine turn out half as pretty as yours

  38. Hi Louise
    As per usual, your work just blows me away! Absolutely beautiful!!!
    Question…With the modelling paste, that’s not fondant is it? Do you make your own or buy it pre-done?
    Cheers, keep up the great work and hope to hear back from you.

  39. thanks for this mail on how to model. I will appreciate more of this .modelling is something I still do not really understand.
    thanks for all your good are appreciated.

  40. Hi Louise, thanks a lot for such a fun and easy tutorial. You make it look so easy and I’m sure it is. I’ll try it out soon and let you know the result. Once again thanks for your generosity.

  41. Thanks so much for the tutorialโ€ฆ Iโ€™ve just started working with gumpaste and am learning how to do everything myself. I think itโ€™s better to experiment on my own. This info was so helpful and all your ideas are amazingโ€ฆ thanks so much.


  42. Hi Louise,
    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I can’t wait to make one. Is modeling paste and gum paste the same thing?



  43. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking at those for some time now wanting to attempt them but not sure where to start. You are very generous sharing this tutorial with us!


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