Fish Cupcake Cake!~A Blog Tutorial

Hello everyone! Today I thought I’d show you how to make a fun & simple fish design! It’s the perfect centerpiece for summertime or beach themed parties, and all you need are cupcakes & a round cake layer!

Let me show you how I made her~

First, I started with one fat 6″ layer (about 2″ thick) and 12 cupcakes.  My 6″ layer is on it’s own cardboard cake circle, and I split it into two parts (with one side being a little larger than the other).  I nestled each row of cupcakes into the row next to it, so that the spaces in between the cupcakes could be kept to a minimum.

Here’s the rough idea of Miss Fish.  The part of the 6″ cake that will become the tail is a little larger than the other half (which will be the face).  Both parts of my 6″ cake are on a cake circle cut down to size.  This makes moving them around easier (especially later after they’ve been frosted).

 Using a serrated knife, I cut a little notch from the “tail end” of the cake to give it a better shape.  Doing this exposed a little bit of my cardboard cake circle, which I then snipped away with scissors.

Time to frost our head and tail!  First, the tail.  I frosted it with a crusting buttercream (tinted Lemon Yellow) and then used my small tapered spatula to make ridges.  After frosting, I moved to the refrigerator to chill and firm up (so that moving it to the final board won’t be as difficult later.) Next, I frosted the head with the same yellow buttercream.  I waited a few minutes for the frosting to crust, and then smoothed over it with a Viva brand paper towel (no impressions or quilting).

After chilling the head of the fish, I moved it to my final cake board and began filling in with the cupcake body.  My cupcakes are swirled with buttercream (tinted Americolor Electric Green and Deep Pink) using a 2D large closed star tip.

To secure the head to the cake board, I spread the bottom of the cake cardboard that the head is resting on with a little buttercream.  For the cupcakes, I added a small dot of buttercream to the bottom of the cupcakes that make up the outer edge of the fish, to secure them to the board.

Another option is to frost the entire “cupcake body” all as one large cake.  This is the typical approach to a cupcake cake.  I kind of like the individual swirls though for a change.

Next, I removed the fishy tail from the fridge, spread a bit of buttercream on the bottom of the cake cardboard that the tail is sitting on, and “glued” it to my board right next to the cupcake body.  You can see me pushing it nice and close to the cupcakes in the photo–I’m using my paper towel to prevent fingerprints!

 Now it’s time to bring our fish to life.  First, I made some funny fish lips from fondant (I kneaded in a little tylose to firm it up more quickly).  I wanted to keep it lightweight, but thick enough in the middle for me to insert a lollipop stick anchor.  It dried for about an hour and was ready to go…but to be on the safe side, go ahead and make it a day or two in advance.  If you want to skip the fondant, just pipe on some buttercream lips with a Wilton tip 12 or other medium to large size piping tip.

 My fish is going to be a little bit glamorous with nice, big eyelashes!  I made more than I needed just in case there were any breakage issues :0) — You can see below how I cut a strip of black fondant (I kneaded in a little tylose so that they would firm up more quickly) and fringed with a knife to create the eyelashes.  I dried them over a bubble tea straw, but any number of rounded forms would work.  After about an hour, the eyelashes held their shape nicely…(but again, maybe I was lucky—the more in advance you can work, the better.) —

 I gave her a nice big blue eye using a circle of fondant and a blue food coloring pen.  I also gave it a little sparkle with some white disco dust ;0)

Now, we’re ready to put everything together!  I pushed in the anchor for the lips (and gave them a little sparkle of white disco dust).  Then, I placed on her eye and pushed in the curled eyelashes!

 I added a few final touches to tie everything together.  Using a 2D tip, I added waves of blue buttercream, and I also added fish fins on top and bottom as well as a little fondant fin.    The air bubbles are piped in buttercream with a Wilton tip 12 (medium round tip).  The birthday sign is made from white cardstock and simply wrapped around a lollipop (cookie) stick.

Ta da!  She is swimming to your party right this minute.  Isn’t she sweet? —



Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  If you’d like to see some more fun and beachy ideas for cupcakes, visit our blog post on how to make a school of lollipop fish cupcake toppers or our crabby cupcakes!  You can find them HERE.  See you next time!

CUTE Fish Cupcake-Cake Tutorial by


Category: Animals/Animal Print, Blog Tutorials, Buttercream Techniques, Cupcake, Cake Pop, etc. Methods, Kids, Seasonal & Holiday, Summer, Themes and Occasions


  1. Lynda Walters says: #1

    That is amazing and so simple, my daughter will love this. Thank you for sharing it :)

  2. Stacy Brown says: #2

    This is soooo cute… I love the design. You are such a talent!!! I will definitely be making this!

  3. Apolline says: #3

    This is gorgeous, I love it…thank you!

  4. jill says: #4


  5. Sadia Wasim says: #5

    Too cute!!

  6. Xiomara says: #6

    Awesome…thanks for sharing!!!!

  7. Cherish Cordova says: #7

    I love it! My daughters pre-k class just started a chapter on ocean & beaches to finish up the school year….this is perfect…..I’m making this! Thanks so much!

  8. trisha says: #8

    perfect as always!!! YUM! Love the colors you chose as well.

  9. Nancy Rivera says: #9

    Very very nice!

  10. Bunny Roberts says: #10

    Really Cute cake, and a great idea. Thank You for sharing this.

  11. Dianne Crossley says: #11

    I love it. Thank you :)

  12. fathima says: #12

    It so cute u guys hav lovely ideas

  13. Carla Branco says: #13

    So pretty and easy. Amazing

  14. Mariela says: #14

    It’s beautifull. Congratulation!!!

  15. Imane says: #15

    Very beautiful, nice way to wake up…. Thank you for sharing. Yummmmmm.

  16. Angelica Alvarez says: #16

    So cute! I cant wait to try this when we take our beach vacation in July!

  17. Lisa says: #17

    This is adorable!!

  18. Brenda says: #18

    I love the creativity … combining cupcakes and a cake!

  19. Rachel says: #19

    Adorable – I have a few people who love to fish and can see myself making this!

  20. Carmen Santana says: #20

    this is so beatiful, thank.

  21. Anita Barron says: #21

    I love this idea; you have so much talent!!!!

  22. How cute is this!?! Love the lips:)

  23. Paula Timmons says: #23

    Another great idea!

  24. CakesOnTheLane says: #24

    Melissa, you’ve done it again! This is too cute for words. –Kathy

  25. Dani Lerner says: #25

    Your site is amazing!!!

    Kisses from Brazil!!!


  26. Susan says: #26

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent, I made this cute little fish for my daughters 2nd birthday. It was easy and cute.

  27. tammy says: #27

    FAB !!! and you make it look so easy and the outcome over the top.
    Do you have a favourite crumb coating (buttercream) recipe that you could share? again thanks for the lesson, cant wait to make fish of my own =)

  28. Kellie says: #28

    Wonderful Tutorial! Love the Fish!

  29. acerola says: #29

    So cuuuuuuute!

  30. MrsAB says: #30

    Thank your for this wonderful tutorial. I can appreciate the individually iced cupcakes instead of the entire lot of cuppies at once. It has a totally different look. The finished product is awesome!

  31. Pepper says: #31

    AMAZING work!!! You are so talented… thanks for sharing.

  32. Cherish Cordova says: #32

    I made this & the crab cupcakes last night, and my buttercream kept sticking to the viva paper towel….I tried letting it sit longer…..I also tried putting it in the fridge, and then doing it…..nothing helped. What did I do wrong? I live in GA so it’s warm here & I did use the all butter recipe. Should I use a different recipe next time Thanks! :)

  33. BeBe says: #33

    Hi Cherish, your cake needs to be at room temperature for your buttercream to crust properly. When it isn’t at room temp it will take forever to crust. Could this have been the problem? It typically should take only a short time to crust, maybe 10 min. depending on your humidity.

  34. RosemarieL says: #34

    This is the first cake I have made since joining this wonderful site. The cake/cupcakes came out GREAT-because the instructions are GREAT! My big problem was that I need to cake board was toooo small…made a last minute change..not perfect-but my co-worker will love this cake for her birthday…thanks

  35. Melissa Diamond says: #35

    Hi Rosemarie–Hooray! Yes, nothing like those last minute changes of plan with board, etc …but so glad to hear that it came out great!

  36. Karen Strutz says: #36

    This is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!! I have a cake to make for my step-granddaughter for her birthday…THIS will be the one! She is going to be thrilled.
    Thank you for sharing it !

  37. Pingback: How to Make a Fish Cupcake Cake | Best Friends For Frosting

  38. Peggy Fisher says: #38

    Love this! Made it for my nephew’s first birthday! Thank you so much :-)

  39. paola says: #39

    siete bravissimi

  40. Erika says: #40

    I want to use this idea for my son’s birthday. Do you think it would look as good if I used larger round and increased the number of cupcakes for the body? I will have about 40 people. I was thinking about using a 9″ round. Thoughts?

  41. Melissa Diamond says: #41

    Hi Erika–That sounds like a good plan to me! ;0) Let us know how it goes. I’m happy you’re making it!

  42. caleigh says: #42

    wow! so going to try this!!

  43. jessica says: #43

    Hi! This is super cute! In order to make a 6 inch round, what are you using for a recipe?? Im not sure how much batter it takes for a 6 inch. Equivalent to the twelve cupcakes? Thank u!

  44. Joan says: #44

    Thanks for sharing. I will make it for my granddaughters. They are going to love it!

  45. Kristen says: #45

    I just made these and I found this to be super easy! I pinned this under my kid friendly ideas but I am making this tonight for a friend of mine as she loves the ocean so I figured this would be perfect! Thanks for this awesome and easy idea!

  46. jenny beltran says: #46

    very cute & unique …..

  47. Lilli Oliver says: #47

    What did you put the fish on? What is the blue background made of? Can you double this fish to make it bigger?

  48. BeBe says: #48

    Hi Lilli, we used two or three cardboard cake boards taped together and covered with a blue plastic tablecloth ( we found ours at Party City). You could also use foam core or plywood cut to the size you need. The plastic tablecloth was cut and pulled tight to eliminate wrinkles and taped or stapled onto the cakeboard ( to staple is faster ) If you staple, just make sure the staples are all the way in so they won’t scratch a tabletop. For a bigger fish you could use an 8 inch layer instead of the 6 inch and enough cupcakes to make the fish body in proportion to the head and tail.

  49. Pingback: Fish Cupcake Cake - Amazing Foods

  50. Wendys wonders says: #50

    Brilliant can’t wait to make one for the grandkids when they come for tea it’s bright an novel love it thanks for sharing

  51. Tracy Bua Smith says: #51

    We were so excited to see this cake idea for my 2 year old’s birthday party since we were having her party at our local beach! The tutorial was easy to follow and I added “bubbles” to my fish and made the mouth out of a cardboard heart shape and iced the mouth with pink icing. Check it out here on my blog: link to

    Thank you!

Leave a Comment