Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 19, 2006 01:07 AM

A cake that looks like sushi...

I'm having another creative fiasco.

My friend's birthday is coming up and he's into Japanese stuff so I want to make him a birthday cake shaped like a huge piece of sushi. We have some ideas so far but I'm hoping some of you can help me refine this concept:

For the cake itself, I'm planning just a plain pound cake, hollowed out down the middle. Over the top, as icing, I was thinking of mixing shredded coconut into vanilla frosting, to look like rice from above. Around the edge, I was thinking of using dark chocolate frosting to look like seaweed... granted it isn't green, but I thought maybe if it's dark enough it will look similar?

For a filling, I'm thinking of fruit salad but I am open to suggestions.

We're definitely planning wasabi and ginger on the side... for the wasabi, I'm thinking of making a cheesecake, letting it harden, and then mashing green food coloring into it with a fork, and rolling it into a ball with my hands.

For ginger, the best thing we've got so far is making light pink crepes.

Please help me improve up on this idea in any way.
Thanks in advance!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cute! So you're saying from above the cake would look like a piece of California roll, right?

    If you want to get complicated, you could make several different color cakes and fill the middle so it looks like avocado, fake crab, etc.

    I wonder if you added a lot of green food coloring it would tinge the chocolate, like a red velvet cake turns red from copious red frosting. Consider making a sheet of chocolate instead of frosting.

    I would add the food coloring to the cheesecake before baking. Mix it in with the cream cheese.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      I was thinking about several (six) smaller cakes as well. If you know how to work with and color fondant, you may want to make that as the nori part to wrap around the cakes. You could use kiwi to replicate avocado and coconut tinted with orange dye mixed with undyed coconut to replicate crab.

      1. re: Pei

        Thanks, Pei, I love the idea of using several different cakes as filling. I'm thinking of maybe doing one column of deep red gelatin as the fish, possible some tall strips of pineapple to look like the pickled yellow vegetable, and I could make a couple of differently colored and flavored cakes to look like different elements... maybe a yellow cake for tamago and a green, green-tea-flavored cake for avocado...

        I think everyone is right about using a sheet of frosting or fondant for the nori, but I'm not completely sure how to make fondant so I'll have to look at some recipes and see if I think I can handle it :) If anyone has an easy recipe for that, please let me know!

        I like the idea of doing 6, Tracy L, to look like a proper tray of sushi, but I don't have the appropriate pans and I also am hoping to have it all in one piece because it has to survive my driving on New Orleans roads for a fair distance. Of course making just one big cake at normal birthday cake size is sortof a limiting factor in what kinds of fillings I can use because theoretically they would vertically span the cake.

        I promise to take pictures and send a link, Pamela. But his birthday is August 31st so it will take some time :)

      2. That is so creative! Can't add anything else to this. Be sure to take photos and post them on here!

        1. You could also make a large jelly roll and wrap it sushi-style around whatever you use as a filling. The wasabi could be stiff green frosting; for the ginger, you could slice paper-thin slices of apple and dye them pink with food colouring.

          1. This sounds fun...I think the challenge is to make it cute and look like sushi but also make sure it tastes good!

            A few thoughts:

            1. I'm not sure how you'd fill the center w/ fruit salad since that would make the cake soggy, no?

            2. While your cheesecake wasabi idea sounds like it may look like wasabi, I'm not sure how it will taste or whether it really meshes w/ the rest of the dessert. It also sounds rather complicated for a "garnish." My thought was to make green-colored whipped cream so that it would actually complement the cake.

            3. For the ginger, I'm thinking along the lines of choosing some sort of fresh fruit that could be made to look like ginger. For instance, big shavings of canteloupe.

            4. For the cake, I like piccola's jelly roll idea. I would make a chocolate jelly roll (to mimic nori) and fill w/ some sort of mousse-like filling that could be studded w/ kiwi, strawberries, etc. to look like a crab salad. This part seems the most challenging to come up with...

            5. I like the coconut idea for rice around the outside. You could also use chocolate shavings to mimic sesame seeds.

            Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

            1. I'd probably make a standard round two layer cake. I'd frost the top with white frosting and sprinkle it with coconut, as you suggested.

              I'd use green fruit roll ups as the nori on the outside--the fruit roll ups are gross tasting, but they do look right, and you can take them off easily enough when it's time to eat if you don't like them.

              For the fillings, I'd look for candies--sliced up gummis and gumdrops get surprisingly close to the translucent look of real raw fish. Dried mango or papaya would probably work too.