How to Make a Bass Fish Cake

Picture of How to Make a Bass Fish Cake
I made my 2nd sculpted/3D cake and I'm so happy with it! This was made for my nephew who's turning 12 and loves to fish and said that he "was put on this earth to fish." He also just joined a junior bass fishing club. The fish itself is rice krispie treats and then covered in the MMF and then detailed and hand painted. The cake is strawberry, his favorite, with buttercream. I made the cattails from gum paste. I also made some lures, sinkers and bobbers and put them on cupcakes as decoration.

This is an instructable on how I made it. :)
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Step 1: Mold the Rice Krispie Treats

Picture of Mold the Rice Krispie Treats
First I made a double batch of Rice Krispie treats. I just used the recipe on the box, but you can find it here:

With a light coating of Crisco on my hands I molded the treats around dowels in the shapes of the 2 parts of the fish.

Step 2: Covering the pieces with fondant

Picture of Covering the pieces with fondant
Next I made a double batch of marshmallow fondant. The recipe can be found here:

Then I rolled out the fondant and covered the treat shapes with it.

I then used my fingers and some plastic clay tools to do all the detailing and sculpting.

Step 3: Making the fins

Picture of Making the fins
I made then made the fins out of some of the fondant and textured them using the tools. I draped some of the pieces over or up against rolled up paper so that they would dry in the shapes/curves that I wanted.

Step 4: Painting the fish

Picture of Painting the fish

I painted the large fish parts and the fins separate and then attached the fins with a little bit of water and the help of some toothpicks.

I used Wilton gel colors mixed with vodka for the painting. I layered it up in several steps. First was a light greenish brown, then a couple light washes of a green with a little brown mixed in. Then I added the darker geen "spots" and finally a little light pink with a touch of gray in and around the mouth.

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Sweet Baby Cakes made it!7 months ago

Thanks to you, I created this lovely masterpiece for a Groom's cake...fully edible! Bride and Groom were both thrilled! Thanks again for taking the time to share your expertise.

Bass fish cake 2.jpgBass Fish back.jpgBass Fish side.jpg
LauraSimpson11 months ago

Hi, it looks amazing!! was it Wilton icing colour gel you used to paint it? and why did you mix it with vodka? Thankyou!!

Thank you SO MUCH! I have been trying to figure out how to do a bass fish for a similar cake. This helped a great deal...the close up photos, especially. I'll upload a pic when I'm finished. I appreciate your help! Your cake looks terrific!

BMR_111001 year ago
so cool my brother would love this
tchitwood (author)  BMR_111001 year ago
Thanks! :)
tchitwood (author) 1 year ago
That is awesome! It really is all that matters. I just did a cake that I really wasn't happy with and I beat myself up all day over it and in the end the recipients loved it so much and it made everything about it right. The painting definitely is forgiving and it helps hide the flaws I've found. Of course the texture helps too, hurray for texture! I'm not the greatest at getting things smooth. I'm so glad the instructions helped! I know I've been pouring over Instructables and tutorials like mad. Making the wedding and groom's cake for my sister's wedding. I'm not going to have any problems with the groom's cake but ohhh the wedding cake. I'm so nervous! Practiceland for me!
Here is the picture as promised. In retrospect I could have positioned it a bit better but I was happy with the overall result. The guest of honour loved it so that's all that matters in the end. The painting was very forgiving for any fondant seams etc.... If I ever have to make another fish cake, I have learned a lot from your instructions.
I am making this cake for a party this weekend! I molded the fish out of rice crispies last night and made all the fins etc...and tonight is the big night for covering and painting. I'll post a pic when it's all done. This instructable is fantastic, thank you so much for posting it.
tchitwood (author)  MonyJacques1 year ago
Awesome! I'm just so flattered people like it enough to want to make one like it. I'm still learning and figuring things out when it comes to cakes. Especially non-sculpted cakes, but getting a little better with each one.

I would love to see the pic! Your welcome, and thank you!!!
Mfulton751 year ago
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing cake.
i tried it this weekend, and loved it. thank you again.
tchitwood (author)  Mfulton751 year ago
Sweet! Your welcome, and thank YOU! :)
This is incredible.
tchitwood (author)  aweekfromthursday2 years ago
Thank you so much! :)
I found this great cake and wanted to do it for my dads bday this year. I had a few problems, one being that my cake was too small. Thought you would like to see how it turned out though. Thanks for all the step by step instructions it helped a great deal! this is the only pic I had available at this time to download
it has my 18 year old daughter with her cake too...
tchitwood (author)  slimminstace2 years ago
Hi there!

Thank you for posting your cake photo, that's awesome! I'm glad my steps helped. Sometimes I'm not sure I show enough, but when I'm caking and my hands are all dirty, I forget to take photos.

Thank you!
Tami C.
jaam812 years ago
the fish cakes here are absolutely amazing! I am in awe with the talent. i am looking for help!!! I am not an expert caker by any means...I don't use fondant and am not an artist...I was aksed to make a cake for 2 people (bday) one person is a dairy farmer and on the sheet cake I am going to put a cow. the other 1/2 I was to make a walleye. it started out in my head with just cutting the shape of the fish and laying it on I have the "fish" baked in 2 potica pans (longer narrow pans)...I read yo can squish cake to a desired form...any suggestions out there are welcomed...
Samicakes2 years ago
Awesome cake!! I have a customer who wants something similar to this. I have my drawn out idea but I was wondering if you could tell me how you did the eyes. Your help is much appreciated!! And great cake once again!!
tchitwood (author)  Samicakes2 years ago
Thank you!

I just used to wide end (not the tip) of a piping tip and pushed it into the fondant to make the circle. THen painted the whole eye with a light greenish wash, then painted in the pupil with a greenish dull black. And last, I painted, with a fine tip brush, inside the crease of that circular indention I made, with a green-brown color.

And thank you again!!! I've got no cake orders until August so thinking about taking this time to make some cakes I've been wanting to try to make.
kristyjweh2 years ago
your cakes are great! I have a couple of questions for you... On the coloring.. the greenish brown (the first layer) did you purcahse it that way or did you make the shade yourself? Also how long did it take you to let the fins dry prior to painting? the same with the cat tails.. how long did it take to dry? Also on molding the rice krispies how long before they set before you couldn't mold them anymore.. Is it a short working window? Do you have to mold them pretty fast? I am going to try and attempt to make this cake for this weekend for my fiancee's 40th b-day and it is also the first time I am trying to sculpt and work with fondant... Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
tchitwood (author)  kristyjweh2 years ago
Hi there! Thank you!

I mixed the greenish brown shade myself, using the leaf green and brown colors.

I'd let the fins dry for about 2-3 hours before I applied them and painted them. The cat tails were made out of gum paste, not fondant, so they dried pretty fast, about an hour or less.

I made the rice krispies ahead of time and kept them covered until i was ready to use them. They stayed pliable for quite a long time so there was no rush to mold them and it didn't take too long to mold them into the fish halves.

As far as tips go, uh, I'm not sure, lol. When sculpting the fish I just tried to look at the basic shape of the fish without the fins, and try to sculpt what I see. I did an online image search and found pics of bass from several different angles. when I'm carving cake I start with the cake and trim off cake to eventually get the shape i want but with the rice krispies I had to build up. Makes it a lot easier to handle the rice krispies if your hands are coated with a light layer of crisco or butter, to keep your hands from sticking to them.

For the fondant, it's always easier to me if i have a good non-stick surface to work it on, like a large silicone mat or the vinyl mat that I use. Can usually find some at fabric stores and have it cut to whatever size you need. I've use Wilton's fondant rolling and cutting mat before and hated it. Everything stuck to it so bad. With the vinyl mat I use i usually coat my working area with a very thin coating of crisco just to help things not stick. I also do this and use this mat when I'm making the fondant, for the kneading part. You will want to work quickly when rolling out the fondant and covering your pieces so that the fondan't doesn't dry out and crack. I also don't roll it too thin, to help avoid tearing or cracking when I'm smoothing it over sculpted pieces. I guess I usually roll it somewhere around 1/8" thick. For large pieces of rolled out fondant I roll it up on my rolling pin to make transferring it to the piece easier. Then just un roll it over the piece you want it on then start smoothing it down from the top then down.

I hope any of that helped! Sometime I will have to do a video because I'm not great at trying to explain these things, lol!
Thank you soooo much, it was all very helpful!! Im going to start making it tomorrow for the party on Sunday.. Thank you again.. I have OCD and I am stressing because I want to make it perfect.. He's a huge fisherman and I have a few "trophy" fish that I think will help on guides, plus referencing back and forth with your pictures.. I read on the MMF blog that she bought a piece of vinyl from wal mart so I think I will go purchase that today... And you are great at explaining things!! I agree with the other people that replied that you are very helpful and a great teacher!! Thanks again for replying! I hope you have a wonderful day :)
tchitwood (author)  kristyjweh2 years ago
Thank YOU so much! I have OCD as well and I used to always stress myself out wanting to make stuff perfectly. Yoga has helped a lot! I still stress over it sometimes but not as much as I used to. :)

I had gotten my vinyl from a cake shop (still pretty inexpensive at $6) but I saw our local Walmart had some (in the fabric department) so I'd say there's a good chance they have it at yours!

Good luck with the cake!!! Feel free to ask more questions! Have a wonderful night and day!
jmitcell332 years ago
Hi there, just a quick question- did u use the large or small batch of marshmallow fondant? Thanks!
tchitwood (author)  jmitcell332 years ago
Hey there! I used the small batch recipe but made a triple batch.
Oh ok....i thought it said a double batch and couldnt decide if it was large or small. Thanks so much. Im going to ATTEMPT to make this cake for my bf. Im wanting to try to make it twice. Once early in the week to make sure i can, then again at the end of the week to take to the party. Wish me luck!!!!
tchitwood (author)  jmitcell332 years ago
Good luck!!! It might have been 2 small batches... it was almost 2 years ago and I have a horrible memory!
I'm so sorry to keep asking questions, I'm just really nervous about this project, lol. Did you ice the krispies before putting on the fondant?
tchitwood (author)  jmitcell332 years ago
No worries! I did ice the krispies before putting on the fondant, with a thin layer of icing just to help fill in any gaps between krispies and to give the fondant something to stick to.
rgordon82 years ago
Thank you so much for this instructable! Had to make a fish cake for my boyfriend's birthday and was stuck for ideas... This helped so much!
Here's how mine turned out... Thought it went pretty well being as I'm only 16 haha
tchitwood (author)  rgordon82 years ago
Your welcome! That came out great! Keep it up. If you are doing this well at 16, you will only get better!
rgordon82 years ago
shokamp2 years ago
This cake is awsome!!!! My husband's niece called and asked if I could do a bass cake and I told her I would have to research it. I found this and will be trying it. Wish me luck!!!!
tchitwood (author)  shokamp2 years ago
Thank you! That is awesome! God luck with it! I'm still an amateur but if have any questions i might be able to help with, feel free to ask me!
chegwood2 years ago
Well I did it!!! the catfish was a hit! I would probably make changes next time but overall was pretty satisfied with the way it turned out and everyone loved it!!! I couldn't never have done this without your instructable. Thanks again!!

tchitwood (author)  chegwood2 years ago
That is awesome! I love all the hooks and line, too. And thank you and your welcome! :)
willow12582 years ago
How exactly did you roll out the fondant. I guess I mean what shape did you roll it into. Did you make a large circle and put over the top and shape around the sides or did you do a more of a rectangle shape and wrap it around. I can't picture in my head exactly how you covered it. Thanks.
tchitwood (author)  willow12582 years ago
Hi there!

I actually rolled it into a big circle and covered the fish from over the top, allowing enough slack/extra fondant to go into the mouth so I could use my fingers to smooth it out inside the mouth after I finished covering it.

I hope that makes sense!

Thank you!
Thanks so much! I have it almost sculpted and will get the fondant on soon.

You are so helpful, I really appreciate that so much!

willow12582 years ago
This is absolutely amazing and just what I have been looking for. We are giving my step-dad a big 80th birthday party in a couple of weeks. He is a HUGE catfish-erman!! I am going to attempt your cake with a catfish instead of a bass. Please wish me luck! And, thank you so much for posting your step by step instructions!! You are an angel!!
tchitwood (author)  willow12582 years ago
You are very welcome!!! Catfish cake sounds awesome, good luck!!!
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