Fish Cake


One of the many joys of living in India is that you get to celebrate your birthday twice!

I am not sure about the Northern parts of India, but here in the South, most states follow a regional calendar as well. When a child is born, the star under which the baby is born and the month is noted as per calendar. In the subsequent years, the day in which the star falls on that particular month is celebrated as star birthday.

So that means in addition to the English calendar birthday, you get one more chance to celebrate your birthday.

And that automatically means….one more cake!


My MIL had told my son when his star birthday was coming and the kid was doing a count down for the same. Being the forgetful and the non-traditional person that I am, I totally forgot about it!

And can you guess how guilty you feel when the child tells you,”Mommy, do you know what day it is?”

And you go,”It’s Monday, sweetie”

And he replies,”Yes, but it’s my Birthday as well!!”

I am still living with the guilt, but the cake did make things easy a bit :)…


Recipe Source: Snack Cake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Baking Book  


  • Boiling water                         :     3/4 cup
  • Cocoa powder                       :    1/2 cup
  • Vegetable Oil                         :    1/3 cup (I used sunflower oil)
  • Egg                                             :     1
  • Vanilla Extract                     :     1 tsp
  • All purpose flour                 :     1.5 cups
  • Sugar                                         :    1 cup
  • Baking powder                      :   1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda                             :    1/2 tsp
  • Instant coffee pwd               :     1/2 tsp(optional)
  • Salt                                              :      a pinch
  • Butter cream                           :    1/2 cup (add colour of your choice)
  • Gems/M&M (colourful chocolate candies), as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line an 8″ square pan (I used a round pan instead).
  2. Boil 1 cup water. Remove from heat and measure out 3/4 cup in a bowl. Whisk the cocoa into it and let the mix cool a bit.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking pwd, baking soda, salt and instant coffee powder.
  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk oil, vanilla essence, egg and the cooled cocoa mix.
  5. Stir the oil mix into the flour mix and whisk/mix until smooth.
  6. Pour this batter into the greased pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle.
  7. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, for about 1-2 hours.
  8. For decorating, ensure that the cake is completely cool. Once its cool, cut out a small ‘V’ shape for the fish’s mouth from one side and attach it at the opposite end, using a little bit of butter cream, to get the tail.
  9. I decorated the top and sides with butter cream and arranged the colourful candies as in the picture to get a ‘fish’ look!

Note: I decorated the cake before it was completely cool and so the butter cream melted a bit. So it would be a good idea to make the cake ahead and then frost once its totally cool.

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One thought on “Fish Cake

  1. fish cake luks choo cuttee…my baby would luv ths..i can imagine her expression nw..& u r rite,it wud’ve been nyc,if u get to celebrate ur b’day twice..some does,bt we don’t …hw sad :(


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