Sunday, August 5, 2012

How to make a sushi cake

One of my other fun projects the other week was to make a sushi cake for a little boy, who loves to eat, sushi! 

His mother sent me 3 photos of his favourite types of sushi, and then I had to turn it into a cake design.

So, we decided to go with the usual side kicks of sushi - soy sauce, chopsticks, wasabi dollop, and sliced pickled ginger.

It turned out really cute, I must say. The sushi was so fun to make, that I had to take a few photos to show you a step by step process.

Unfortunately my camera was AWOL the day I was making the sushi, so I had to use my Iphone to snap the pics. Apologies for the poor quality.

First step. Make the rice. I had to make ikura gunkan-maki (salmon roe), salmon nigiri, and tamago sushi (egg sushi). So, knead a small amount of white gumpaste into a pliable consistency. Then roll it out into thin, long strips about 1/2cm thickness. Try to get it even, then cut away 1/4 cm pieces (or smaller), with a small paring knife, until the entire strip is used up.

Then, to shape the rice, you will need lots of patience here. Take each piece, place in the palm of your hand. With your fingertip, roll the end bit of the piece into a tapered shape, with a backward and forward movement. Repeat on the other side, until you are satisfied that it resembles a grain of rice.

To the right, the original bits of icing I started out with. To the left, the rice grains.

 So, when you think you have enough. Start again, and make some more. Whenever I make fiddly, tiny things like filler flowers, or buds for flowers, I always keep going and going, until I can go no more. You always need more than anticipated.

Sorry. With the rice grains. This is a rule of thumb here. Make as many as you can, then leave them to dry for 30 minutes or so.

Next step. Making the sushi centres. The 3 different kinds of sushi have similar shapes. So instead of packing a whole bunch of fondant rice together to form the shape of the sushi, I formed a ball of white fondant into an oval shape. This acts as the "bulk" of the sushi rice. Do this for all 3 types. Then, use sugar glue to stick the "rice grains" all over the ball of fondant. This creates the illusion that it really is a ball of rice.

The egg omellette was made from pale yellow fondant, then rolling it out quite thick. Cut it into a rectangle shape, round of the corners, then use a sharp knife to create lines all over it. Stick it onto the "rice" with sugar glue, and let it curve over the sides a little.

The salmon nigiri was made with a thick piece of orange fondant, rolled out. Then cut out into a rectangle shape, and on one end, I cut it into an arrow-like shape. Secure it on the rice, and again, let it drape over the sides. It was then painted over with a deep, red, coral colour to add depth. Then, the bits of "fat marbling" on the salmon was painted on again, with white food colouring. 

Now onto the last sushi, the salmon roe. With a deep, orange fondant, make tiny balls, enough to cover the top of the final sushi. Let it dry. Then, it's time to make the nori sheets.

To get that deep green, almost black colour, I started off with a dark grey fondant, then added leaf green and black fondant, while mixing it to the colour I wanted.

Then roll it out thin. I mean, really THIN. Then use a clean teatowel, and roll over with a rolling pin, to create a textured finish.

The nori sheet. You can see it's so thin, you can clearly see the shapes of palm of my hand and fingers.
Then cut out a thick strip and measure around the final ball of fondant for size. It should wrap around the ball to fit perfectly. Use a leaf cutter with a jagged edge to "texturise" the strips of nori on the edges.

Then secure it around the ball of fondant. Use more sugar glue to attach more rice grains to the top of the sushi, then glue on the salmon roe balls on top. Make sure you cover the entire top.

With the remaining strips of nori sheet, cut out a thin strip, and using the same method for jagged edges, cut out a small piece to wrap around the egg tamago sushi.

The finished sushi decorations, let ot dry.

The rest of the elements were all made with fondant and gumpaste, including the chopsticks, plate, and soy sauce dish.

Here's the finished cake.

What do you think?


  1. Fantastic job - nicely chronicled. Just beautiful. I'll bet he was amazed!

    1. Hi there, thanks for the comments. Yes, Stuart was a 4 year old who was well chuffed with his cake! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Beautiful cake! How did you make the soya sauce?