Dot Klerck's lifelike elephant-and-calf cake is a colossal beauty, and it won her a Best Showpiece award at the international 2017 Cake Master Awards in Birmingham, U.K., over the weekend.
"Winning the award was unbelievable. It is one of the highest accolades you can get in [the cake-decorating] industry," the Cape Town cake artist told HuffPost on Wednesday.
The aim of her project was to raise awareness of the ongoing brutal killing of elephants, and to give people the opportunity to get a feeling of how majestic the animals are.
"Not too many people can gaze on an elephant in their lives. The life-size sculpture was an opportunity for them to see their beauty up close," she said.
Previously, Klerck was featured in the September 2013 issue of the British Cake Masters magazine, which has a worldwide readership of more than 1-million people.
She is also one of four top Cape Town cake designers chosen to vie for the title of "Who's the Cape Cake Boss?" at the 2012 Good Food and Wine Expo, judged by television celebrity "Cake Boss", Buddy Valastro.
She also owns a successful baking company called, "Eat, Cake, Party".
The 1.2-ton cake took her two weeks to make, with the help of her two assistants and her four children. Klerck used 1,200 eggs, 120kg of chocolate and 160kg of edible fondant.
"[The children] like it; it is exciting. When I do big projects, they make chocolate and clean-up." she told HuffPost.
She initially made a rhino cake that turned heads for a client, and led to an invitation to showcase her Elephant Cake at the 2017 Good Food and Wine show in Cape Town.
All funds raised as a result of the enormous baking effort were donated to IFAW, which is the beneficiary organisation chosen by The Elephant Project SA.
Her 2018 projects will include a life-size cake depicting a pride of lions, with a lioness, a lion and cubs.
"Many international visitors are also ignorant about the impact of canned lion hunting on the conservation of lions and the environment. Until we make the world aware, it will go on," Klerck explained.