Two Words: Catfish Cake


Cake Design / Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Catfish cake 1

Last year, I was at a total loss for what to give Jeff for his birthday. My brother-in-law, Taylor, had just scored a new-in-the-box PlayStation 3 from a police auction, and he gave it to me to give to Jeff. G-a-v-e. I paid him back the money he’d spent, but he never asked for it.

How much did Jeff like the gift? When I gave him the PlayStation, we were dating. Now, we’re married.

So, when my sister asked me to make a birthday cake for Taylor–a neapolitan cake topped with a huge catfish–I was all about it. Never mind that I’d never actually seen a catfish. Not without hushpuppies and tartar sauce.

Thank God for Google Image Search.

I started with three 9-inch cakes–one vanilla, one chocolate, and one strawberry–split and filled with vanilla buttercream, chocolate buttercream, and vanilla buttercream swirled with fresh strawberries. Then I crumb-coated the cake with vanilla buttercream and covered it in blue fondant.

While I baked the cakes and made buttercream, Jeff molded the catfish out of Rice Krispies treats. We let the “body” dry overnight, and then I wrapped it in chocolate fondant and sculpted the whiskers, gills, and fins the next day.

I held the cake on my lap while Jeff drove to Jenn and Taylor’s house. Rush hour traffic. Forty-five minutes. On the interstate.

I’ve never been so relieved to have something out of my car.

But the looks on their faces were worth it. Taylor was surprised. Jenn was beaming. My nephew, Logan, wanted the fish head, and his younger brother, Jackson, was pulling off the fondant and eating it by itself.

So, neapolitan? Check. Catfish? Check. A 200 proof sugar rush for the 3-year-old? Check.

My work there was done.

Happy birthday, Taylor!

27 thoughts on “Two Words: Catfish Cake

  1. And let me say, single handedly MADE the birthday. Husband called everyone to spout your genius and thinks your living will be made making cakes for such greats as the Bass Masters Pro. He even called HIS MOMMA. Who didn’t even make him a cake. Aim shoot score we win.

  2. Can I just say omigosh!? That is WAY too awesome for words. Please make me a birthday cake next year too! Seriously though, that’s awesome.

  3. THE neatest thing to ever come down the ‘pike’. No Dad, it’s a catfish.
    PIKE! CATFISH! I’m just sayin’, Mama never did one like that. You go girl!
    looking for cake invester?

  4. oh my gosh…i come here looking for a strawberry tart and i get the fish cake!!! it’s so awesome though, fab job…! and lol to whoever referenced the bleedin’ armadilla cake from SM!

  5. […] if you thought my baking week couldn’t get any weirder than the catfish cake, you would have been right. Until yesterday. That’s when I spent the day on a cake designed […]

  6. Hey Bec – your momma wasn’t kidding when she said to go look at this cake! OMG! You are a literary, culinary genius!!! What do you suggest I make for book club next week? Something with mosaic theme – we’re reading Stephanie Kallos’ “Broken for You” – great read! ;) Keep on creating – glad to see you online!!

  7. Wow – that cake is a thing of beauty! You are so very creative and talented in the art of cake!…very inspiring!! :)

  8. Wow, I can’t get over how realistic the skin looks on the catfish. Very leathery (in a good way).

    An amazing cake!!

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