Kylyssa is an artist who works in a wide variety of media that has included fondant since 2008. She enjoys creating and sharing sweet tips.
Make Your Next Cake a Star with Fondant Starfish
Fondant or gum paste starfish and sea stars are fun to add to any beach, aquarium or ocean themed cake. Small versions are also fun for decorating cupcakes or other desserts. With a little flavoring, they can even stand alone as place settings or candy favors.
There are many types of starfish but I'm going to stick with the most commonly seen three types of sea stars for this project.
Asterina stars, Linckiia stars, and serpent stars have three distinct body types and come in many different colors so these three types should give you a good base to work with when you want to make edible starfish for any purpose.
All photos on this page by Kylyssa Shay unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved.
Asterina Sea Stars
Asterina stars are one of the most commonly recognized starfish. Many of them look like children's drawings of stars with five, six or seven arms. In nature, they are often seen in off-white, red, orange, light blue, gray, mottled brown, or lavender. However, there are literally thousands of colors so you can't go wrong with most fondant colors when making them. Real asterina starfish can be any size from an eighth of an inch to several feet across so any size you make can be realistic.
Materials And Ingredients You Will Need
*Fondant in the desired colors
*A sharp knife or a craft knife
*Toothpicks or bamboo skewers
*Non-stick cooking spray
*Star shaped cookie cutters (optional)
Cut and Shape the Asterina Star from Rolled Fondant
There are several ways to make asterina stars from fondant or gumpaste. The easiest is to cut a five or six-sided star from thickly rolled out fondant then shape it with your well-greased fingertips. Cut out the basic shape with a five or six sided star cookie cutter or with a sharp knife.
Gently push the fondant on the edges of the shape towards the center of each arm and towards the center. Each arm is higher along the center of its length in a ridge and these ridges all meet in the center of the starfish.
In some starfish the ridge is pronounced but in others it is softened so the whole starfish is somewhat pillow-like. The variations found in nature leave a lot of room for creativity while maintaining a realistic appearance.
Detailing the Asterina
Insert a toothpick into the end of each arm of the starfish to poke a small hole or slit and bend the tip of the arm up gently.
You can either call your starfish done at that point or you can add texture. One way to do that is to moisten a paper towel and wring out the excess moisture then spray it with non-stick cooking spray before gently pressing it against the top of the fondant. Another is to use a moistened toothpick or bamboo skewer (sharp or blunt end, your choice) to prick tiny dents all over the surface of it.
How to Make Fondant Linckia Starfish
Linckia stars have a small central body that blends into legs that look kind of like thin sausages. The linckia starfish most commonly seen in the aquarium trade have five legs. They usually come in rather vivid colors such as bright purple, bright blue, light blue, orange and tomato red. They are usually seen in sizes ranging from an inch across to more than a foot across.
Shaping The Body Parts
Start with a round ball of fondant or gumpaste in your chosen color. You can roll it out like clay between the palms of your well-greased hands. Gently flatten the ball so it forms a slightly mounded disk. Poke the disk around its edge with your fingertips, making five evenly spaced dents.
Then make five thick "snakes," again molding them like clay with your hands.
Press the arms into the five dents in the starfish body, smoothing them into the fondant using dampened fingers.
You can give your finished linckia texture by gently pressing it with a damp paper towel or by pricking it with a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or fork.
Fondant Serpent Stars / Brittle Stars
Serpent starfish have a distinct central body with thin, whip-like legs. They usually have five legs and come in green, brown, red, sandy brown, black, or mixed colors. They often have banded colors on the legs or amazing patterns on their entire bodies. You can find serpent stars from less than a quarter inch across to several feet across.
Making The Arms
Roll out five skinny "snakes" of fondant to serve as arms.
Lay out the arms with all five touching in the center as pictured.
Finishing the Serpent Star
Roll out a small round ball of fondant between your well-oiled palms and flatten in into a disk.
Then press the edges of the disk onto a flat, slick surface to give it five flat sides.
Lay the flattened pentagon on top of junction of the legs.
They can be textured the same way as the other types of stars but use great care when using a damp paper towel on them to avoid having the whole thing stick to it due to the thinness of the arms. A toothpick, blunt knife or bamboo skewer can be used to draw bands on the long arms.
Seeing Sea Stars Yet?
KaneshiaKelly on November 09, 2011:
Not seeing sea stars yet, but I love this sea cake ideas. I am going to attempt to make one, maybe I will create a lens and post them.lol
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on June 05, 2011:
These are really cool, you make it look so easy. I came, I enjoyed, I left a blessing behind.
anonymous on May 29, 2011:
Another fondant masterpiece, I love how you take it step by step. I would guess it takes a while to get them to look like your starfish though, practice makes perfect!
Indigo Janson from UK on September 09, 2010:
You are so clever with fondant, Kylyssa. Your instructions and pictures make it look easy but now I know how long that pizza cake took (and saw the amazing end result) I am sure it takes a lot of skill and practice. Sitll, I might have a go at a fondant starfish. If it goes wrong I can always eat it! :)
puterfreak on August 10, 2009:
Awesome lens! You're very creative. :) 5 stars!
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on July 16, 2009:
Since the the kitchen is not my favorite room I did not know what fondant was. No reason to not to find out, though. If something sounds different I will check it out. I can appreciated your how to layout. Good work. Cake sculptures. I do paper sculptures. Good luck with your Squiddoo adventures.