This Fish Birthday Cake is a completely gluten-free masterpiece, with the only dairy being butter so suitable for a lactose-free and caesin-free diet too. The design was inspired by some of the other fabulous cakes on this site (particularly cakes #40 & #46) along with a beautiful clipart I stumbled across on the net one day (www.savanna-art.com).
I used 2 packets of "Orgran vanilla cake mix" as a base to which I added about half a cup of stewed chopped apples. I had also made a strawberry custard from some coconut cream and silken tofu the day before so not wanting to waste it I swirled the custard mixture into the cake tin after the batter was poured in. I used a skewer to marble it through and not leave too many large blobs as these don't set when you bake.
I used 2 round spring-form cake tins. One whole round cake formed the bulk of the body, and the other was cut up to create the fins and tail. The small white bubbles were plain vanilla cake mix only in mini muffin cases (these were for a child with even more strict diet than us so I left them very plain).
I chilled one cake to help keep it firm while I cut the pieces out. I then stuck the shapes together on a platter covered in cling wrap (plastic) using some crusting buttercream icing (I learnt this on youtube from the very popular "edna" www.designmeacake.com.
Most of the icing I did in a light fluffy variation of buttercream as I found the traditional icing WAY TOO SWEET. Here's the recipe, I used all gluten-free flours but that's not necessary.
Ingredients for Silky coconut and vanilla butter frosting: 1 cup castor sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/3 cups milk (I used rice milk) 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (can leave this out and use a whole cup of butter instead) 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or any other flavour extract)
Directions: 1. In a saucepan, thoroughly combine sugar and flour. 2. With wire whisk, gradually stir in milk until smooth. 3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened and boils. 4. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 5. Remove from heat and cool completely. 6. In medium bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter until light and fluffy. 7. Gradually beat in milk mixture; beat in vanilla.
I used berry juices for the pink and purple colours, chlorophyll for the green, and only used an artificial dye for the blue.
I used the crusting buttercream in piping bags (also learnt this on youtube) for the lines on the fins and eyes. Strawberries formed the scales and lips, and a blue berry for her eye. I also had some glitter icing tubes (queen brand) which are all natural colours to give sparkly highlights to the design.
I was so pleased with this effort, I didn't want to cut it up! This Fish Birthday Cake was for my daughter's first birthday and she was very excited about the fish (she is quite familiar with fish as we have a large aquarium). I did the processes over 2 days so it wasn't too much hassle - well worth it.