Instructables

How to Make a Bass Fish Cake

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Picture of How to Make a Bass Fish Cake
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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
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First I made a double batch of Rice Krispie treats. I just used the recipe on the box, but you can find it here: http://ricekrispies.com/#/recipes/the-original-treats

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
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Next I made a double batch of marshmallow fondant. The recipe can be found here:
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=137541&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

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
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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.

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_111008 months ago
so cool my brother would love this
tchitwood (author)  BMR_111008 months ago
Thanks! :)
tchitwood (author) 11 months 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!
MonyJacques11 months ago
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.
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MonyJacques11 months ago
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)  MonyJacques11 months 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)  Mfulton7511 months ago
Sweet! Your welcome, and thank YOU! :)
This is incredible.
tchitwood (author)  aweekfromthursday1 year 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...
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tchitwood (author)  slimminstace1 year 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.
jaam811 year 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 top...now 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...
Samicakes1 year 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)  Samicakes1 year 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.
kristyjweh1 year 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)  kristyjweh1 year 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)  kristyjweh1 year 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!
jmitcell331 year ago
Hi there, just a quick question- did u use the large or small batch of marshmallow fondant? Thanks!
tchitwood (author)  jmitcell331 year 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)  jmitcell331 year 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)  jmitcell331 year 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.
rgordon81 year 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)  rgordon81 year ago
Your welcome! That came out great! Keep it up. If you are doing this well at 16, you will only get better!
rgordon81 year ago
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shokamp1 year 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)  shokamp1 year 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!!

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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!
Tami
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!

Cathy
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!!!
THANK YOU! I was asked to make a cake with a fish leaping out of the water for my uncle's surprise 60th birthday (based on a more cartoon like cake photo my mother found online) and I found your post while digging around for help. The rice krispie treat base was exactly what I needed. And I totally copied your cattails, though my reeds were actually mossy green trick candles. So thanks so much for all the instructions you posted.
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ashbegash2 years ago
Wow!! It looks yummy!
tchitwood (author)  ashbegash2 years ago
Thank you, it was! :)
WOw!!! this is awesome. bass rock!!!
Penny E2 years ago
What a great cake, you have done a wonderful job. Thanks so much for all the wonderful instructions. I have a couple question. Could let me know about the size that you made the body and the tail. And how far in advance can I start on the rice krispies for a cake that is on Sat
tchitwood (author)  Penny E2 years ago
Hi there, and thank you! I don't exactly remember the size of the fish, the cake itself was a quarter sheet, abour 9" x 12" if that helps

I just delivered a cake today and I made the Rice Krispie® treats on Tuesday, covered/sealted them well, and then used them to make the sculpture on Friday and covered it with royal icing and fondant, painted it on Saturday, finished it all that night, and delivered the cake today (Sunday.)

Once all covered up with the fondant, they stay pretty fresh, and even last quite a while before covering in fondant; provited they are well covered/sealed.

Last year for That Takes the Cake 2011 I made Hellboy's head out of Rice Krispie® treats covered in royal icing then fondant. I took only his head home after the show and 8 days later cut into it and the treats were still great, and yummy. :) But it was February and still cool out. Not sure they would have been fine in summer here in Texas, so I guess factor in your climate!
jdiaz752 years ago
Where can I find the bass shaped dowel?
tchitwood (author)  jdiaz752 years ago
Hi there! I'm not sure what you mean about a bass-shaped dowel. When I formed the bass out of rice cereal treats I was out of regular wood dowels I usually use for cakes so I used a wooden chop-stick left over from Chinese take-out. A regular wooden dowel would work fine too :)
This cake is simply awesome, your instructions are wonderful also. I am going to try my hand at this cake for a 12yr old who also loves to fish, he goes with his father often. I am starting this cake tomorrow, it has to be ready by Saturday. Wish me luck.
tchitwood (author)  cunlimitedme2 years ago
Thank you!

That's awesome! I'm sure he will LOVE it. Good luck!

:)
speedycakes2 years ago
Iv made it not as good as you bass cake , Tami have you done a darth vaider cake yet. Im haveing problems working around this site lol. Also i up loaded my cake pic but lord knows where it went lol. ty speedycakes
tchitwood (author)  speedycakes2 years ago
I haven't done a Darth Vader cake yet but I do hope to make more Star Wars cakes in the future so it's on my list! I think to upload a photo you need to go to your Instructables home page (the "You" link at the top right of the site) and once there click on the Instructables tab, then click on "Unpublished (0)" and once there, at the end of the 2nd paragraph, right above the big orange button that says "click to Start an Instructable." will be a link in the text to upload a photo or a video. I hope that helps!
lol well i think i have the bass pic posted now i guess just go to my libray or my profile to funny in still trying to get around this site. Iv come up with an ideal to make darth vader ill try and remember to take pics as i go along . My best bet if you want i have fb or we can email each other lol because i really never thought about posting pic as you go along makeing the cakes. what a great ideal. I also took some courses in cake decorating but im learning everyday new things and its nice to know there is a place to go where cake decorators take the time to post the how 2 s ty so much you can reach me at berlyndastachel@hotmail.com. I think im gonna lean alot from you as i said before you should teach this art of cake makeing . Speedycakes
speedycakes2 years ago
TY I'll post it for you to see and i do want your honest opinon i cant learn if im not told. Going to start it tonight and hope im not out of line but i am looking at you as a teacher your tuatorials are great. Speedycakes
tchitwood (author)  speedycakes2 years ago
Your welcome! I might not be the greatest teacher but I'd love to help in any way I can. :)
speedycakes2 years ago
Hello im still in aw with your cakes you should teach , your instructions are so wonderful. Do you mind if i try your bass cake i was asked for a bass cake and you are so clear on how to do it ty speedy.
tchitwood (author)  speedycakes2 years ago
Thank you! I don't mind at all!
speedycakes2 years ago
Hello i am new to here as well im fairly new to cake decorating and i have to say the bass cake is amazing. I also decided to take up bakeing as a job at home drove school bus for 17yrs was time for a change, so i hope you dont mind me asking the odd ? here to you , you do beautiful work, Speedycakes.
tchitwood (author)  speedycakes2 years ago
Hi there and thank you! I don't mind questions at all. I will answer them as best as I can, as I'm still learning, too. :) And welcome to Instructables! I just love this site.

Tami :)
m4l1n2 years ago
This isn't cooking/baking - it's art! Beautiful!
tchitwood (author)  m4l1n2 years ago
Thank you!!!
1Mrsmock2 years ago
This cake is amazing!!! Going to try and make it..do you have a template for the fins that you are willing to share?
tchitwood (author)  1Mrsmock2 years ago
Hey there! Thank you and that's awesome! I didn't have a template, just eyed it and cut them freehand, I'm sorry!
tgray-smith2 years ago
Wow! you did an awesome job!!!! I am going to try to do this for my fathers birthday. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I would definitely pay for this cake, great work!
tchitwood (author)  tgray-smith2 years ago
Thank you! :)
Ok then, you have a big baking tin then! :)
quiltina23 years ago
AWESOME!!!!!!! how creative!
tchitwood (author)  quiltina22 years ago
Thank you! :)
Wow, you must have a very big oven and a big tin! It i great though!
tchitwood (author)  Michaelgoode2 years ago
I actually only have a single over, regular sized. The cake part itself isn't that large, although it looks bigger than it is. :) The cake part is only 13 inches by 9 inches. Then made the fish out of rice cereal marshmallow treats. :)
beck57132 years ago
This is awesome!!!!! I am making it for my boyfriend's birthday next week!!!
happyjo3 years ago
This has so much texture that makes it so... WOW!
tchitwood (author)  happyjo3 years ago
Thank you! :)
lmoses13 years ago
This is beautiful!!! I am going to make an attempt to try this, husbands BD very soon. Thanks for the instructions...very clear to follow.
tchitwood (author)  lmoses13 years ago
Thank you! I hope he loves it!
slapout3 years ago
Thank you so much for sharing this. I have a grooms cake to do and i'm going to use your fish. I do have one question! How far in advance did you make the fish?
tchitwood (author)  slapout3 years ago
Thank you too! I bet the groom will love it! I made the fish 2 days in advance and kept it on a cookie sheet covered with some plastic wrap and it was fine. The next day I made the rest of the cake, with the exception of the gum paste cattails, which were done the week before.
Thanks so very much,,, ! I used your cake model as a grooms cake and it turned out great!! Great directions and pictures :D
tchitwood (author)  Oldcreamerycakes3 years ago
Wow! That's awesome! I'm glad it worked out. :)
cole13633 years ago
I made this cake today, I followed your directions and my cake came out awesome! Thank you for a great idea and cake.
tchitwood (author)  cole13633 years ago
Very cool!

And thank you!
sadiecoons3 years ago
That is too cool!!!!!
User13 years ago
WOW!!!

Fantastic work! Whoever gets this cake will never, ever forget this special gift. It's a piece of ART!!
soletti3 years ago
Stunning cake! Well done! :)
kas3 years ago
Dang... that is a serious cake.
evamen883 years ago
You have a gift! Curious, how many hours did it take (including the cupcakes)?
tchitwood (author)  evamen883 years ago
Thank you!

Everything, with the exception of the gum paste lures, sinkers and bobbers, took about 9 hours. The gum paste stuff took about 4 hours. I'm trying to get faster with the more sculpted/3-D cakes I make. This was my second one and with the gum paste stuff included it took longer than when I made the Yoda head cake! Just going to keep making stuff and hopefully I will get faster. :)
HollyHarken3 years ago
Amazing job!!!
I usually use the snow white butter cream recipe from Wilton. That recipe uses less Crisco. It makes 7 cups of icing. How much icing does your icing recipe make?
tchitwood (author)  HollyHarken3 years ago
Hi there! Thank you!

I've just been using the recipe from the cake classes I'm taking. I'm not sure how many cups it makes, it's listed as the 2 lb recipe in our packet. The recipe calls for anywhere from 1.5 to 2 cups of Crisco and I've just been using 2 cups but I'm thinking of trying to use less. Does using less make it thicker or stand up better in heat? I'm in Texas and anything that helps it stand up to heat better is my friend!
funkypam3 years ago
AWESOME. Makes me want to make a fish cake...and I don't even fish.... :)
canida3 years ago
Wow, this is incredible!
You do fantastic work, and I love the idea of molding with rice krispie treats.
Fujo3 years ago
Fantastic! You should make these for a living
I'll say! You could probably bank over $100 easily if you included the cupcakes.
The cool part is that everything is edible! (although fondant tastes nasty) Awesome job!
Thank you! I hope to start making cakes for pay soon. :)

I actually used marshmallow fondant, which actually tastes very good! It's a really easy recipe to make (uses only marshmallows, powdered sugar and a little bit of water) and it's nice to use fondant that tastes good instead of the nasty tasting store-bought stuff.
hhhttt3 years ago
no offense, but it looks like you copied this off of cake boss of ace of cakes. looks really good though =)
tchitwood (author)  hhhttt3 years ago
None taken! :) And thank you! I didn't make a copycat cake, didn't even think about it. Just wanted to make him a bass fish cake since he loves to fish and joined a bass fishing club. I used reference pics of real bass fish when making the fish. There are plenty of fish cake pics over the internet though, most of them similar in many ways, being that they usually have blue icing for water and usually have the fish coming out of the water.

Although I don't watch Cake Boss, I have been watching Ace of Cakes for about 8 months and I love it!!! I haven't seen this cake from them. I saw a photo of the one where they had the bass flat on the board with the tackle box next to it, which can be seen on their site in the gallery. I'd like to see what specific cake you are talking about though! Be interesting to see how close I came to it without seeing it or knowing it existed!
you have a really good talent good job
Fujo3 years ago
Ha vodka for a 12 year old's cake ;)
tchitwood (author)  Fujo3 years ago
Hee hee, I know! It evaporates but it still makes me laugh :)
this is RIDUCULOUSLY amazing. seriously, cake boss and acr of cakes got nothing on you!! lucky cousin you have
noko3 years ago
CementTruck3 years ago
AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! oh yeah, and AWESOME!
BrittLiv3 years ago
This is amazing, I'm seriously considering to buy a microwave, to make the fondant
Kaiven3 years ago
Very cool! I almost wouldn't want to eat the fish hooks, looks great!
zascecs3 years ago
Ok, good. At first I thought this cake was actually made of fish...

But anyways, nice Instructable. Very detailed design too.
ChrysN3 years ago
It looks amazing and the cupcakes are a nice touch!
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