Introduction: 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. :)

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.

Step 5: Make Cattails and Grass Out of Gum Paste

Picture of Make Cattails and Grass Out of Gum Paste

I forgot to take photos of making the cattails and grass but I have a photo of them drying. I hung them off of a light fixture to dry. :)

What I did was wrap heavy wire in green floral tape and then mold the brown part out of gum paste and slide it on. For the grass I cut out a long strip of gum paste, laid the floral wire down and then folded the gum paste strip over the wire.

Once they were dry I painted them with the gel color/vodka mixes.

Step 6: Make the Cake Mix

Picture of Make the Cake Mix

I used a box mix for the cake (strawberry) in a quarter sheet pan. To make the cake a little more dense to hold up to the weight of the fish I used the WASC (white almond sour cream) additions & instructions to make the cake.

They can be found here:

Once the cake was cooled I attached it to my foil-covered board with some buttercream icing.

Next I positioned the fish where I wanted it to be on the cake, marked the area, then removed the fish. I scooped out a little bit of cake in the areas so that the fish parts would be inset of the cake a little. I used thick straws (cut down to the height of the cake) as supports where I was to put the fish parts.

Then I piped some icing in the area and put the fish parts back in place.

The recipe I use for the icing is below:

2 cups Crisco
2 lb bag of powdered sugar
4 tbsp meringue powder
2 tsp clear vanilla extract/flavor
2 tsp clear butter flavor
1 tsp clear almond extract/flavor
1/2 tsp salt

Sift the powdered sugar and meringue powder together into a bowl.

In a small bowl or a measuring cup, put in all the flavorings/extracts and then add to that enough water to make the mix 1/2 cup. Add in the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved.

In the mixer bowl put the Crisco and water/extract mix. Beat on a medium-low speed for about 40 seconds, to just get it started mixing.

Next slowly start adding in your powdered sugar/meringue mix while mixing. Once it's all in there, mix on that same slow speed for about a minute.

Then just color the icing however you want. I used a little green, lots of royal blue and a little black.

Step 7: Pipe in the Water

Picture of Pipe in the Water

I piped in the water with the buttercream icing using petal tip #104. I started up against the fish parts and just kept going around and around and around.

Step 8: Finish the Cake!

Picture of Finish the Cake!

Once the water was all done I added in the cattails and grass, adding some extra piping around them to help stabilize them.

And then it's done! :)

Step 9: Fishing Tackle Cupcakes

Picture of Fishing Tackle Cupcakes

Adding this little part on.

I made some lures, sinkers and bobbers out of gum paste and hand painted them. When I made the cake I made some cupcakes. I piped the icing on them the same way I did the water on the cake, starting with the outer edge of the cupcakes. Then I placed the various fishing tackle on top as decorations.

Just showing a few various photos of the making of the tackle and the finished cupcakes.


Pastromy made it! (author)2016-09-19

This was so much fun! My first cake and for my sons first birthday. I got so many raving compliments and requests to do more cakes. Thank you for your instructable!

MicheleA25 (author)2016-04-20

Also, I'm wondering how the cattails didn't fall over??

MicheleA25 (author)2016-04-17

This tutorial is great! Your cake is awesome! Would you mind telling me the approximate height of the body of the fish and the height of the tail?

tchitwood (author)MicheleA252016-04-17

Hello there! Thank you so much!

I don't remember the exact measurements, but I think around 10" tall for the head half & about 8" tall for the tail half.

MicheleA25 (author)tchitwood2016-04-20

Thank you! Would you mind telling me how you made the fins look so real? Mine are coming out horrible looking!

redwing4670 (author)2016-04-03

This is absolutely incredible! I just recently started cake decorating, you are a remarkable artist.

Evans8313H (author)2015-11-21

How Long did this take you in all?

Boobookitty81 (author)2015-08-19

Hello I'd like to know what did you use to paint it a paint brush? Technically how hard is this to make

kt9887 (author)2015-07-23

That looks so awesome! I'm going to have to try it. Wow.

tchitwood (author)kt98872015-07-26

Thank you! :) If you have any questions that aren't in the Instructable, please feel free to send me a message!

kt9887 (author)tchitwood2015-07-28


Leone815 made it! (author)2015-06-22

This was my first cake like this. It was a grooms cake for my son. Thank you for the excellent tutorial.

tchitwood (author)Leone8152015-07-26

That's awesome! Thank you for sharing! :)

WhitneyJ1 (author)2015-06-26

Hey, are they any way I can talk to and ask questions to the person who made this cake and guide?

tchitwood (author)WhitneyJ12015-06-27

Hello there!

Yes, you sure can. :) I will send you a private message.

laura.siversonbrewer made it! (author)2015-04-12

Thank you so much for your tutorial!! Here is mine! :)

I love it! Love the water and the addition of the rocks. Thank you so much for sharing!!! I love seeing the cakes! :)

heather.moreau.9 made it! (author)2015-03-31

I made this cake for my son's 5th birthday and he loved it!!! I used those tall firecracker candles for the grass so that was fun! It was pretty hard to make the fins but it was hot out so I think that's why. Very fun though and a big hit!

Sweet! Thank you for sharing the pics! I love to see them. :) That's a really good idea to use the tall firecracker candles for grass! Save some time for sure, lol.

heather.moreau.9 made it! (author)2015-03-31

I made this cake for my son's 5th birthday and he loved it!!! I used those tall firecracker candles for the grass so that was fun! It was pretty hard to make the fins but it was hot out so I think that's why. Very fun though and a big hit!

heather.moreau.9 made it! (author)2015-03-31

I made this cake for my son's 5th birthday and he loved it!!! I used those tall firecracker candles for the grass so that was fun! It was pretty hard to make the fins but it was hot out so I think that's why. Very fun though and a big hit!

heather.moreau.9 made it! (author)2015-03-31

I made this cake for my son's 5th birthday and he loved it!!! I used those tall firecracker candles for the grass so that was fun! It was pretty hard to make the fins but it was hot out so I think that's why. Very fun though and a big hit!

heather.moreau.9 made it! (author)2015-03-31

Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! I made it for my son's 5th birthday and he LOVED it! He also was "born to fish" :) The fins and painting were hard but it was pretty hot out. I used those firecracker candles for the grass so that was fun. All in all lots of fun!

sevanscooper (author)2015-03-22

what tip did you use to pipe the buttercream?

tchitwood (author)sevanscooper2015-03-22

Hello there!

I used a Wilton #104 petal tip, with the wider end of the tip pointed upward and the skinnier end downward.

I hope that makes sense! :)

Many thanks,

Sweet Baby Cakes made it! (author)2014-07-15

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.

LauraSimpson (author)2014-03-25

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

Sweet Baby Cakes (author)2014-03-12

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_11100 (author)2013-08-01

so cool my brother would love this

tchitwood (author)BMR_111002013-08-01

Thanks! :)

tchitwood (author)2013-05-08

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!

MonyJacques (author)2013-05-07

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.

MonyJacques (author)2013-05-03

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)MonyJacques2013-05-03

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!!!

Mfulton75 (author)2013-04-08

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing cake.
i tried it this weekend, and loved it. thank you again.

tchitwood (author)Mfulton752013-05-03

Sweet! Your welcome, and thank YOU! :)

aweekfromthursday (author)2012-12-07

This is incredible.

Thank you so much! :)

slimminstace (author)2012-09-04

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)slimminstace2012-09-04

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.

jaam81 (author)2012-07-07

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...

Samicakes (author)2012-06-16

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)Samicakes2012-06-16

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.

kristyjweh (author)2012-05-23

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)kristyjweh2012-05-23

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!

kristyjweh (author)tchitwood2012-05-23

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)kristyjweh2012-05-23

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!

jmitcell33 (author)2012-05-14

Hi there, just a quick question- did u use the large or small batch of marshmallow fondant? Thanks!

tchitwood (author)jmitcell332012-05-14

Hey there! I used the small batch recipe but made a triple batch.

jmitcell33 (author)tchitwood2012-05-14

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!!!!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello! I am an artist who has decided to try cake decorating after a close friend suggested it. I have been making cakes since August ... More »
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