How To Make a Fish Cake

by Linette

My dad loves all things fishing, and since he was celebrating his 70th birthday recently I decided to make him a fish cake. Last year I made him some fish cupcakes for his birthday, so I had to come up with something to top them this year!

I think this would be a fun birthday cake for a kid’s birthday party too (or for people who are just big kids at heart). The fish cake wasn’t difficult at all to make, so I thought I’d share the instructions here for anyone planning a fishing party.

I used a Wilton Football Pan to make the fishes body, but only because I have one in my cupboard. You could also use a medium oval pan to make the fish, it just won’t be as 3D.

How to Make a Fish Cake


  • 2 cake mixes and the ingredients to make those two cakes
  • 2 recipes of butter cream icing
  • Blue food color
  • Green food color
  • Wilton Football Pan (or medium size oval pan)
  • 8 inch square cake pan
  • 3 inch round cookie cutter (optional for bubbles)
  • Serrated knife
  • Offset Spatula ( or a small regular spatula)
  • Small brown melting chocolate, or round chocolate candy for eye
  • Paper towel or parchment paper to smooth icing
  • Large piece of cardboard or a large cookie sheet covered with decorator foil


1. Bake the cakes according to the package or recipe directions, then set them aside to cool to room temperature.

2. While the cakes are cooling mix up two recipes of butter cream icing. My favorite recipe is here: Butter Cream Icing.

3. Color one batch with a few drops of the blue food color, and color the second batch with a couple drops of the green food color and a drop or two of the blue food color, just to give it a bluish green tint.

4. Once the cakes are cooled, level both cakes by cutting the top off level with a serrated knife.

5. Put a small dollop of blue icing on the cake board where you want to put the fish’s body. Spread the icing into a thin layer. Put the oval cake in place over the icing, cut side down.

6. Use the serrated knife to trim a couple inches off the back end of your fish (see photo below).

7. Cut the square cake in half, corner to corner so you have two equal triangles. Cut the end off of one of the triangles to match the amount you cut off the end of the oval (football shaped) cake. This will be the fishes tale.

8. Use the tip of the cake you cut off to make the fish’s fins (see photo below), and the end of the body to make a top fin. Here’s how it looked when it was all laid out:

I also shaved a little off the bottom of the tail where it meets the body. I just trimmed a little off with the serrated knife until the tail and body met up in height.

9. Use a 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut out a couple bubbles from the other half of the square cake. If you don’t have a round cookie cutter you can carefully use the bottom of a glass and cut around it with a serrated knife. Or skip this step completely! I was worried about having enough cake, so I wanted to add this little bit extra.

10. I iced the whole thing (including the bubbles) with a base layer of blue icing, then set it aside to dry for a few minutes.

11. After the icing has had a few minutes to dry, use a paper towel or a piece of parchment paper to smooth the icing. Lay the parchment paper over the icing and smooth it lightly with your hands.

12. Use the blue green icing to make scales on the fish’s body. Put some icing on the offset spatula, then apply it in small swirls all over the body to make the scales.

13. I put a little blue green icing in the center of each bubble too.

14. I also used a coffee filter to make the lines on the tail and fins. I just rolled the new coffee filter slowly over the fins and tail pushing lightly to make grooves where the pleats were.

15. Finish the cake off by wiping the extra icing off the board, and add a chocolate candy for the eye.

If you give the fish cake a try, let me know how it turns out!

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Diana April 14, 2011 - 9:00 pm

I like the before football cake that turns into a fish. Pretty cute.

Cyndi L April 15, 2011 - 9:12 am

A football pan! You are brilliant! Now I’m wondering how many other shapes could be made with that same pan by shaping it a bit…

kim April 15, 2011 - 9:37 am

this is adorable! I never knew the trick of putting the parchment paper on the icing to smooth it out- how smart! Thank you!!! It’s just me and my hubby so I don’t bake a cake that often (because I end up eating most of it!) but this is cute to store and show to my Sis with kids- it would even be a cool project to do with the niece and nephew when I am visiting! I bet your Dad loved it 🙂

ACreativeDream April 16, 2011 - 8:28 am

Love it! It turned out just perfectly… gonna have to give it a go myself!

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