Damie Checkered Sushi Cake For Mother's Day

Damie Checkered Sushi Cake For Mother's Day

I challenged myself to make a sushi cake version of the checkerboard cake called Saint Sebastian. It's decorated with a cute ribbon and flowers. (Translator's note: the "Damie" in the title refers to a checkered pattern used by Louis Vuitton!)

Ingredients: 1 15cm diameter cake, 5-6 servings

Sushi rice
810 g
Sakura denbu (sweetened pink-colored fish flakes)
as needed (enough to color the rice a very dark pink. If it's too light colored the check pattern won't show properly)
Ham or fish sausage
5-6 slices or 1 sausage
Smoked salmon
4-5 slices
Shiso leaves etc.
as needed
Pasta (dried)
as needed
Equipment required:
Empty milk carton
1 1/2
as needed
Plastic wrap
as needed


1. Make the patterns and molds Cut the milk cartons into 4.5cm wide strips.
2. Form the Step 1 strips into circles, and fix them with staples to make 15, 10 and 5 cm diameter circular molds.
3. Wrap the part with the staple in plastic wrap.
4. Make the base Mix 440 g of sushi rice with with the sakura denbu. Divide into two 30 g portions, one 100g portion, and two 140 g portions.
5. Divide the remaining white uncolored rice in to one 30 g portion, two 100 g portions and one 140 g portion. Moisten the circular molds quickly with water.
6. Place the 5 cm mold in the center of a plate, fill with 30 g of pink sushi rice and press down evenly.
7. Add 30 g of white sushi rice on top of Step 6, and press down evenly. Add another 30 g layer of pink sushi rice and press down evenly. Remove the mold.
8. Place the 10 cm circular mold around the Step 7 rice.
9. Fill with 100 g of white sushi rice and press down evenly. Add 100 g of pink rice, then 100 g of white rice, pressing down evenly each time. Remove the mold.
10. Place the 15 cm mold around the Step 9 rice.
11. Add 140 g of pink rice, 140 g of white rice and 140 g of pink rice in that order, pressing down evenly each time. Remove the mold.
12. When removing the mold, hold down the edges of the sushi rice with a spoon or your hands, and lift the mold up gently from the bottom little by little.
13. Make and add the decorations. Crush the hanpen in a food processor.
14. Coat the Step 11 rice base all over with the crumbled hanpen from Step 11.
15. Cut the ham (or if using fish sausage, use a vegetable peeler to slice it) into strips, form a ribbon, and secure on top of the Step 14 cake with a short piece of pasta.
16. Wrap the smoked salmon slices to form roses. Fix on top of the cake with shiso leaves, next to the Step 15 ribbon.
17. Slice the cake Moisten your knife before slicing. The cake is quite thick, so you will need to insert your knife 4-5 times per slice. Moisten the blade each time.
18. It's difficult and time consuming to slice the cake nicely, so I recommend slicing it first and bringing it to the table already sliced.

Story Behind this Recipe

I wanted to make a San Sebastian checkerboard cake with sushi rice. It's difficult to slice or mold sushi rice like a cake, so it took a lot of effort to come up with this method.