Sushi cupcakes?
April 4, 2011 10:44 PM   Subscribe

My 11-year-old nephew loves to make (mostly cucumber) sushi, and he also loves cupcakes. While goofing around with him about the Sunday we'll spend together - his parents and sister are excluded from this, it's strictly us - I foolishly said, well, we'll make sushi cupcakes! And I'm being held to it. My execution is not up to my imagination. Please help me realize this!
posted by goofyfoot to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I was thinking swiss rolls would be fun and could be sushi-like. But they are not cupcakes.

BUT look what I found. If you Google "sushi cupcakes" you will find a surprising amount and wonderful pictures. Have fun with your nephew!!
posted by wandering_not_lost at 10:52 PM on April 4, 2011

You are not the first person to come up with the idea of sushi cupcakes. Google the phrase. There are some really cute and tasty-looking things that other people have concocted out of cupcakes, frosting, and candy. Generally the aim seems to be to make cupcakes that look like sushi rolls. If you're looking to combine the rolling method that your nephew enjoys with cupcakes, you might have to do something more like cake pops (??). Or, on preview, a jelly roll.
posted by Orinda at 10:53 PM on April 4, 2011

At Starbucks, I had this delicious cream cheese cupcake, where the cream cheese went all the way through the cupcake from top to (almost) bottom. I found an imitation recipe here, and I imagine this could be modified to use a frozen block of jam. But the jam might need some sort of thickener (gelatin?) in order to keep from bleeding into the cupcake.
posted by lesli212 at 10:55 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'd go the other way, and shape the rice into cupcake shapes, in those paper cup thingies, and put other sushi-type stuff on top.
posted by pompomtom at 11:00 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was interpreting this like you were after making savory cupcakes. If this is the case, go buy some mini muffin tins. Spray them with cooking spray. Make sushi rice, and cover the bottom of the tins with it. Chop your filling of choice (cucumbers, carrots, fish...) and put a little pile of it in the center of the rice. Cover the ingredients with more rice, mounding the top to resemble a cupcake. Decorate the top with sesame seeds, roe, thin cucumber slices... Let the "cupcakes" cool a bit in the tray, and then gently coax them out, either by tilting the pan or by slipping a spoon in there. Wrap nori around the bottom of them to imitate a cupcake paper. Tada! Sushi cupcake.
posted by MeghanC at 11:01 PM on April 4, 2011 [8 favorites]

Not Martha, which is great for this kind of thing, has a wrap-up of various kind of candy and cake sushi thingies. Some of those links seem to be dead, though.
posted by craichead at 11:02 PM on April 4, 2011

Also, it could be fun to flip this around some more and make candy sushi--rice krispie treats, dried mango, green fruit roll-ups...
posted by MeghanC at 11:03 PM on April 4, 2011

Jelly roll rolling method. Suggestion for making it more sushi-like (note, I've never tried this or even made a traditional jelly roll):
  1. Bake the cake batter (it may need to be a special kind of cake) in a jelly roll pan as usual.
  2. Cut the resulting sheet of cake in half lengthwise. This will make a shorter spiral. Pre-roll the cake with a towel while it cools, as instructed above.
  3. Spread the top of the cake with jelly or frosting of some kind for stickiness. White frosting might pass for "rice." Or you could do white frosting + mini marshmallows.
  4. Before you start the final roll, lay down a line of candies or whatever to represent "cucumber" or other fillings. You might want to position this line near the edge where you start the roll.
  5. Roll it up.
  6. Cut into thick slices and stand on end, in cupcake papers if desired.
If you want to go with the cupcake-like sushi interpretation (rather than the sushi-like cupcakes), as suggested by pompomtom and MeghanC, you might want to look up instructions for making rice balls (onigiri). The round rice ball with sprinkles (?) depicted on that page already looks a little cupcake-like!
posted by Orinda at 11:07 PM on April 4, 2011

Do you want sushi that tastes like cupcakes, or cupcakes that taste like sushi?

For sushi that tastes like cupcakes, either make jelly roll cake to roll up, or if you want easy, make thin square pancakes as the nori, and spread them with icing and coconut. Roll them up, slice them, and dip them in thinned chocolate sauce instead of soy.

For cupcakes that taste like sushi, just make cute rice balls and put them in cupcake papers. "Ice" them with shredded nori, slivers of cucumber, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
posted by iconomy at 11:13 PM on April 4, 2011

Response by poster: I swear, it didn't occur to me to google something so outlandish and silly as sushi cupcakes. Aunt fail!
posted by goofyfoot at 11:22 PM on April 4, 2011

Try googling "candy sushi" as well, or "dessert sushi". These won't be quite "cupcakes" per se, but maybe your nephew will be blown away by how awesome they turn out anyway?
Fruit roll-ups for the nori
Already-baked cake or rice crispy treat for the rice (it appears the internet has had great success with sliced twinkies and ho-hos.)
Swedish fish, sour straws, gummi worms and sliced fruits for the parts which would be fish or cucumber, etc.
Sprinkles for sesame seeds or fish roe
Chocolate syrup for soy sauce, green frosting for wasabi
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:23 PM on April 4, 2011

I've made sushi-looking cupcakes before by trimming mini-cupcakes down to a cylinder and frosting them with coconut icing. Green Fruit Rollups work really well as the nori, and you can chop up bits of different candies and dried fruit to arrange in the middle as the fish/cucumbers/etc. (Think dried papaya, Starburst, gummies, basically anything fruity that comes in an applicable color.)

If you serve these on an actual sushi plate, it makes them ten times better. Bonus points for wasabi made from green Pixy Stix mixed with a wee bit of water.

Have fun!
posted by corey flood at 11:25 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think that, for the purposes of this project, as long as you put it in a paper/foil cupcake cup it counts as a cupcake.
posted by contraption at 12:16 AM on April 5, 2011

Dude, I just saw some sushi-esque cupcakes on a food Network show (can't remember what and Google isn't helping, unfortunately). I think they made a ginger cupcake with maybe very lightly wasabi-flavored icing, and carrot or radish garnish. Sesame seeds would be good.
posted by nakedmolerats at 4:57 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]
Check out this sushi cake! Good luck with your cupcakes.
posted by mermayd at 5:20 AM on April 5, 2011

How about chocolate cupcakes topped with fruit sushi?
posted by hydrophonic at 5:49 AM on April 5, 2011

I would also suggest you spend some time pondering the reverse: cupcake sushi. Now THAT would be awesome!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:19 AM on April 5, 2011

I made sushi cupcakes several years ago by using Clare Crespo's recipe. They were absolutely adorable and a huge hit.

If you wrap the cupcakes in fruit rollup "nori" do not let them sit overnight. I did, and there were bright puddles of goo surrounding each cupcake where the fruit rollups had melted.
posted by pinky at 9:04 AM on April 5, 2011

There are plenty of recipes for putting zucchini into cake. I think you could make some sweetened rice (rice + coconut milk + sugar) and use some tinted coconut, red licorice strings, jelly beans, and fruit rollups to make some sweet sushi to slice and put atop cupcakes. The candy sushi from NotMartha is adorable.
posted by theora55 at 10:04 AM on April 5, 2011

I would avoid wasabi-frosting, unless you make a batch and it seems awesome. Had some awhile back, and despite loving frosting and loving wasabi... it wasn't a great combo.
posted by ldthomps at 10:31 AM on April 5, 2011

Response by poster: Nephew and I had a great day making sushi to (actually) eat, and then making candy sushi of rice krispie treats (as rice) and gummi things (as fish) and fruit leather (as nori), with a small dish of chocolate sauce as soy and a small dish of green sugar crystals as wasabi. Very pretty to look at, hideous to eat (from a grown-up's point of view), fabulous to my lovely nephew.

His sister was jealous. So she and I are getting together to do the jelly-roll method mentioned upthread.

Thank you!
posted by goofyfoot at 10:33 PM on April 19, 2011

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