A Rainbow Fish Birthday Cake

The deal was that Arabella would wake early in the morning, make the icing, form the cakes into a fish and decorate it.

I left the house well before she woke to have a swim at the local pool where for 60 minutes I could be under the water and not be bothered.  I came home to find the house in almost total silence except for Alfie sitting up in my bed with the two dogs beside him and playing on his i-phone touch.

I ventured further down the hall and found Arabella lying under her doona in an intense coma.

‘Arabella!’ I screamed, ‘What is happening with the cake?’

In a dazed state where I could tell her eyes weren’t even focusing she replied, ‘I got up early but no one was here to help me so I went back to bed’.

‘Honestly; I’ve got half an hour.  What time does the cake have to be there?’

‘In about an hour.’

‘One hour and you haven’t even started?’

‘It’s a double period, mum, I could just get there late’.

‘Oh, get into your uniform and I’ll start making the icing.’

Rainbow Fish

Somehow the cake was made.  Given we had no pattern or design I thought it turned out really well.  As the class had been studying the Great Barrier Reef, she wanted to make something that you could see up there and I do believe this rainbow fish is typical of the tropical waters of Far North Queensland.

For those wanting to replicate this original design it’s packet chocolate cake mix cut into the shape of a fish then covered in vienna cream (250g butter, 4 cups icing sugar, 4 tbspns milk,) coloured blue, then decorated with marshmallows halved with the sticky side dipped into different coloured jelly crystals to make scales, a cut-up jube for the mouth, a chocolate button for an eye, a blob of edible gel for the eye-ball and edible glitter on the tail.

The geography teacher felt very honoured that one of his students cared enough to create something memorable and topical for their final lesson.  Well done to Arabella!

The rest of the day was spent organising spray tans, canceling doctor’s appointments, (who’s got the time), booking in for hair and make-up, sorting out shoes and accessories for the ‘other’ formal, purchasing a few birthday presents, taking Alfie to swimming lessons, putting a pasta on the table for dinner and gently letting Arabella know that airline tickets for a holiday in the US will not form part of her birthday packages.


  1. hehe. I’m very impressed that you pulled that together so quickly! very cute!

  2. Sigh. It’s Tuesday, Charlie. Just a few more days to go before this week is done and dusted. Hang in there. 😉 xxx

  3. SO adorable. You do so much for your kids! You’ll have to teach me how to be a mom someday. 😉

  4. You crack me up Charlie!!! hahahahaaa!! With a Mom like you looking after everything, I would dive for the bed too ;p I USED to actually….a lot! You are just adorable. And mark my words, one day you will be surprised how responsible that girl of yours going to be, when she does the same for her kids….hang in there.

  5. yummychunklet says:

    What a great way to decorate! And, such a great mom to get it all done in such a short amount of time.

  6. Aw, this came out great!

  7. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    Cute, cute cake that Arabella created. 🙂 My mom always created animal shaped cakes for our birthdays when we were growing up. There was no money for gifts, so the cake was our gift. Funny how I still remember those cakes but would have long forgotten any gifts had we received them.

  8. Aaaah! It’s adorable!! And the last part made me giggle – oh how it would’ve been nice for airline tickets for a birthday present! Alas, every single overseas trip I’ve taken, I’ve had to finance myself. I like to pretend it makes getting here more feel more valuable 😛

  9. For a last minute cake, that is pretty fantastic! I love the idea of replicating the Great Barrier Reef, so creative! 🙂 Great team workwork, Hugs, Terra

  10. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    It turned out really cute! Years ago I made a fish cake for daughter’s birthday party and used colored Necco wafers for the scales.

  11. Great job with the cake!! It looks beautiful and I am sure everyone at school really enjoyed it. As a mother of two teens and another one almost a teen, I know about having to do EVERYTHING yourself. My daughters will also just go back to bed if no one ie me, is there to help. I feel your pain xx

  12. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    Wow, super mom! This cake turned out really awesome 🙂

  13. justonecookbook says:

    Wow what a wonderful job on the cake! If my kids see this cake, they’d be so thrilled! To me, even shaping the cake to fish shape seems challenging enough – never thought of even decorating it. 😉

  14. As always you manage the situation perfectly 😀
    What a gorgeous looking cake!

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. oh yum! it’s really pretty too! the scales!


  16. GourmetGetaway says:

    Well done Charlie, gorgeous cake!! Laughed at the US tickets… I don’t think I would have been so conciliatory. :0 seriously I was 600km from home supporting myself and doing uni… I got a phone call a week after my birthday to tell me my birthday present would be under the Christmas tree when I came home…

  17. It;s a beautiful cake for kids Charlie, and I;m sure it tastes good.
    You should make that lesson a two hours lesson

  18. If the report cards had already been written, then I think I would have written off the cake too Charlie. This little fishy is certainly worth an ‘A’ !
    Hmmmm…. Money spent on tickets to US vs less demands on time/sanity…… Perhaps money well spent? 🙂

  19. Wow that’s an amazing cake Charlie 😀 looks great ~ I’m not sure if i have the skill to carve a fish out of a cake, but very clever of you to use marshmallows hope the week settles down for you soon and that Arabella has an amazing 18th birthday 😀

  20. This is adorable!! 😀

  21. What a clever cake. It’s Wednesday and you’re still holding up fine. I’m impressed. 🙂

  22. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    What a gorgeous cake and even more impressive that you whipped it up so quickly!

  23. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Great cake, Charlie! Such fun. I particularly like the mouth…I can’t believe you pulled it together so quickly0–I’m in awe.

  24. What an awesome cake! I love the colour of the icing. And well done in getting it all done and dusted in an hour (not to mention photographed!)

  25. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Aww it’s so cute! She deserves an A++++ based on that alone!! 😀

  26. The cake turned out great! I love the scales! 🙂

  27. Nicely done Charlie! That cake is fantastic. 🙂

  28. I can not see myself replicating this cake but I am most impressed with your cake-designing skills.

  29. Caitlin @livelovenyc says:

    oh my! what an awesome cake. you two should be so proud of yourself.
    i love the bright colors!

  30. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    When you are ready for a bit of R & R, our door is open.
    🙂 Mandy

  31. Juliet Batten says:

    Yea! you got there, AND had a good swim, AND the cake looks fabulous, almost ready to swim away.

  32. tania@mykitchenstories.com.au says:

    Well done Charlie pulling that together and fitting in a swim!

  33. thelifeofclare says:

    You are seriously fantastic! I’m so glad you had 60 mins of peace and quiet first!

  34. I love the cake! I must try to replicate that. One of our favorite children’s stories is Rainbow Fish, so my granddaughters would love to help decorate this one! I’m glad you find time to swim, Charlie. That must be the most glorious part of your busy day! I love your comment that you next had to organize the spray tans. That’s a sentence I haven’t had to say once in my life! Ha!

  35. I just…don’t know…how you…do it all! Great cake!

  36. Haha, cute cake 😀 I’ve got a question though! It must be one of those Aussie things, but what’s a “doona”? 😀

  37. Gretchen O'Donnell says:

    Very cute!!

  38. You, Charlie, are definitely THE master cake baker. This is quite a cake and a miracle you were able to put it together in so little time. Well done, once again!

  39. I love the rainbow fish 🙂


  1. […] the odd occasion when she’d be overly ambitious and suddenly announce she was going to make a sculptured cake for a friend’s […]

Speak Your Mind