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+ servings
A small sushi cake. Layers of rice and fish in the form of a birthday cake.
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4.50 from 8 votes

Sushi Cake

TIred of the same old birthday cake? When you really want something different, this DIY Sushi Birthday Cake may fit the bill!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: main
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4
Author: Marie Porter
Cost: $30


Small Springform Pan


  • Prepared sushi type rice either seasoned (to be served immediately) or unseasoned (if cake will be chilled)
  • Nori
  • Sashimi grade fish of choice
  • Mayo & Sriracha if you want to make Spicy filling
  • Masago and/or tobiko of choice optional
  • Vegetables and/or fruit of choice We used avocados, cucumbers, and mango
  • Sesame seeds
  • Wasabi - ideally in powdered form
  • Rice Vinegar optional


  • - First, prepare your ingredients. We chopped (and promptly refrigerated!) the tuna, and thinly sliced the cucumbers and mango. We chopped the avocado and tossed it with a bit of rice vinegar to prevent oxidization.
  • - Decide what you'll be using as your cake mold, and line it well with plastic wrap. Be sure to leave the ends of each piece of plastic hanging over the edges. Not only will you need to fold these over the cake when pressing it, they will help you unmold the cake!
  • (For reference, we used a 4" springform cheesecake pan, and it made probably 3 servings worth of sushi.)
  • - Have a bit of a design in mind before you start placing your items. For our part, we wanted the cucumbers to look like "swags" on a birthday cake.
    Because this would be an outermost part of the design, we placed them first, in a ring around the bottom of the pan (which becomes the top when the cake is inverted!).
    You could also place a design of vegetables, fruit, sesame seeds, or fish on the bottom of the pan.. creating a build-in design when the cake is inverted. You know, like a sushi upside down cake!
  • Once the cucumber border was in place, we pressed a layer of plain white sushi rice into the bottom of the pan, to be a clear, perfect cake "top". This also helped hold the cucumbers in place.
  • To make the "sprinkled" side of the cake, I mixed a generous amount of masago in with some white sushi rice, and firmly pressed it evenly along the side of the pan.
  • Once the sides were pressed in, we started layering the ingredients. The first layer was a round I cut from a nori sheet, followed by mango slices.
  • Anyway, we continued layering ingredients until the pan was almost full, pressing down firmly and evenly whenever we could. We ended with a final layer of rice, to make it easier to handle.
  • Once the pan is full, fold the ends of the plastic wrap in and over the cake, and press down FIRMLY and evenly to compact the cake. We happened to have a small plate that fit perfectly inside the springform pan, so we used that to press it all down.
  • If you're going to chill it, chill it now.
  • To serve, peel back all of the plastic wrap and carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate.
  • Once the cake is inverted, feel free to decorate it further. We decided to mix up some wasabi to pipe "Happy Birthday" on top, and a little bead border along the bottom edge.
    I just used a regular pastry bag... and if we'd had more wasabi powder on hand, I would have made more wasabi, thicker, and piped a rose from it! (If you do this, freeze the rose for a few minutes after piping to make it easier to transfer to the cake)
  • To serve, slice with a VERY clean, very sharp knife - I rinse with cold water between each slice. Serve with soy sauce, and eat with a fork and knife.


In addition to wasabi "frosting", there are so many ways you can decorate a sushi cake:
Sprinkles: Use sesame seeds (plain, toasted, and or black!), tobiko or masago (in various colors/flavours!), or nori as "sprinkles". Nori can be cut into really thing slices, and then chopped to make rectangular sprinkles.
More vegetables and fruit: Slices of veggies can be cut up to look like flowers, etc (Like cucumbers or thinly sliced carrots!)
Pickled Ginger: Cut into shapes, or drape to form "roses". Pickled ginger roses with piped wasabi leaves would be super cute!
Sashimi can also be thinly sliced and formed into roses.
Nori shapes: Nori is easily cut into shapes.. hearts, flowers, geometric shapes... have some fun with it! To adhere designs to the cake, damped one side of the nori shape slightly with water, and just stick it to the cake.