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A Fish Cake - how to make and decorate a fish shaped celebration cake
Why I made a fish cake
It was my husbands fortieth birthday this year and he is a very keen fisherman, so I decided to do him a cake shaped like a fish. It had been several years since I had made such a cake as this and was not sure if I could still do it.
This is how I have iced and decorated the cake, however you may use similar products that have a different name to what I state I have tried to be universal, however it is not easy with so many different names for the same product. Sugar paste icing is also known as rolled fondant icing or ready to roll icing, but I have stated sugar paste icing as that is what I know it to be called. I want to share with you the idea of how to make this cake which you can adapt in anyway you wish.
It had taken me two days to work out how I was going to make this cake. I wanted it to be perfect as it was coming to the restaurant with us and would be seen by many. In my mind I could picture how the cake would look and even if I say so myself it turned out exactly as I had imagined!
I had worked it so that I had to make one square sponge cake and one round sponge cake and this would make the whole fish. I also wanted the scales to be varying shades of green. I bought 1 packet of dark green sugar paste icing so I could add it to white sugar paste icing in different amounts to get different shades of green. Doing it this way works out a lot cheaper than buying different colored icing or lots of different coloring mixes that are also quite expensive. If you make lots of cakes then it is worth buying the coloring mixes.
For the eye I bought an eye that you attach to a teddy bear from the haberdashery, this only cost ten pence as to buy a black coloring mix was almost two pounds. The total cost of the cake including the cake board was approximately twelve pounds.
I used shades of green for the scales but of course you can do it any color you wish. I also covered the whole fish in white sugar paste icing but again you can do it in any color you choose to create a rainbow fish.
The good thing about this cake is that it is so versatile and would suit a boy, girl, man or woman just by choosing certain colors. You could make your fish look male or female by adding eyelashes and fuller lips for a female.
I have given you a recipe for making a sponge cake, however you can use a packet mix to make your sponges or use your own recipe. Listed further down the page are the ingredients for an 8inch square sponge cake. To make the round cake you will need 2 x 7inch sponge pans and the following ingredients:
- 175g or 1 & 1/4 cups of flour
- 175g or 3/4 cups & 2 Table spoons of castor/super fine sugar
- 175g or 3/4 cups of margarine
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda/baking powder
I have given step by step instructions and I have also included photographs with some helpful hints, which I hope will make it easier for you. I have found this harder to write out and explain to you than making the actual cake!
I had great fun making this cake and I hope you enjoy it too.
To convert the measurements click on the link below
Ingredients for the square sponge cake
- 225g or 1 3/4 cups self raising flour, sifted
- 225g or 1 cup & 2 table spoons castor sugar
- 225g or 1 cup soft margarine
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
How to make a sponge cake
- In a bowl beat the sugar and margarine together
- Add a third of the beaten egg and beat the mixture
- Repeat above until all the egg is used
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder to the egg mixture and GENTLY mix in
- Pour into a greased and lined tin and bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven gas mark 5, 190*c, 375*f for 40 minutes
- Place on a cooling rack to cool
How to make your fish
- Place your square cake at an angle, so as you are looking at it, it looks like a diamond.
- Using your round cake as a template, place it just under halfway on the square cake. You will see the shape of the nose of your fish is one corner and the other two corners that you can see makes the fins.
- Cut round the round cake
- The piece of square cake that was under the round cake will make the tail of your fish.
- Cut this into a large triangle
- Using your round cake as a template and cut a curve at the top and bottom of your triangle.
- Sandwich your round cakes together with butter icing and jam.
- Now slot the round cake into the hole you cut into the square cake and using butter icing join on the tail.
- You should now have something that resembles a fish!
- If your round cake has risen considerably then you may need to slice a layer off to make it level.
- Once you have assembled your fish then either brush it with jam or cover in frosting to work as the glue to hold the sugar paste icing in place.
How to decorate the cake
You will need 1 kilo or 2.2 lbs of white sugar paste icing and 250g or 8 oz of green or another color of you choice sugar paste icing for this sized cake. If you are wanting to do a rainbow fish then it would be best just to purchase white icing and an icing coloring kit.
- Roll out your sugar paste icing so it is big enough to cover the whole cake.
- Trim off some of the excess
- You may find it easier to make cuts in the icing so you get a much neater finish around the tail and the fins.
- Using a smoothing tool gently rub to shape the icing around the tail and fins. Dip the tool in water to get a smooth finish. You may find using your fingers easier.
- To make the scales get a pea sized ball of sugar paste icing in the palm of one hand and using your index finger of your other hand make a make a circular motion gently pressing down and a disc shape will develop.
- I made loads of different colored discs first and once I had made quite a few I then applied them to the body of the fish.
- Once you have done the scales you can then make an eye in the same way. Using two different colors make one disc slightly bigger than the other and place one on top of the other to form the eye.
- To make the mouth I added some pink food coloring to some white sugar paste icing and rolled this into a very thin sausage shape. Fold it in half and you will then have a pair of lips.
- Mix up some butter icing and using a piping bag with a star or scalloped nozzle you can go around the fish to give it a neat and professional finish.
- To decorate the fins and tail, using a piping bad with a straight nozzle and put on the markings
- Congratulations you have made a celebration fish cake!
Useful suppliers for all your cake decorating needs
- Cake Decorating Supplies | Icing, Decorations & Equipment
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- Global Sugar Art Rolled Fondant Cake Decorating Supplies and Gumpaste and rolled fondant icing Tools
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