The Sweetest Fish Cakes You’ve Ever Seen

Dusty Sinclair works out her home in Texas, fashioning fully edible cakes of fish that are so lifelike they look like they were just caught.

Texas triple cake
Dusty Sinclair with a Texas triple Dusty Sinclair

Dusty Sinclair started her baking business called “Sugerbelle Sweets” in 2014. She began by making cookies and birthday cakes out of her Texas home kitchen. But her real love for the outdoors led her to begin sculpting cakes in the shape of fish and wild game.

“I’ve been a fisher and hunter all my life,” she says. “And I always loved art, and took some classes in school, and even got scholarships for art. In time I wanted to make cakes of fish, game, and now I even do pet replicas, mostly of gun dogs for hunters.”

redfish cake
A sweet-looking redfish Dusty Sinclair

She’s a mom of three kids, and her husband Ryan is a guide for inshore fishing and hunting. But Dusty was making cakes of fish and game before they were wed.

“I just love sculpting cakes of fish and wildlife,” she says. “It gives me a chance to show my love for the outdoors through my work.”

A piece-of-cake sailfish Dusty Sinclair

Her cakes are so lifelike, that she’s known as “The Cake Taxidermist,” which is about as accurate a description as possible for her remarkable baking skills.

lure cake
The allure of a lure Dusty Sinclair

Her cakes aren’t cheap, starting at $750 for a small 2×3-foot fish, such as a redfish, which is her most popular request by clients. But many fish cakes sell for $2,500 and up.

“Seatrout likely are my second most requested cake,” she says. “Followed by probably flounder. But I get orders for about everything from blue marlin and sailfish to tarpon, cobia, roosterfish, red snapper, even alligator gar.”

Marlin cake
Can’t leave marlin out Dusty Sinclair

She makes cake replicas of freshwater fish, too, such as catfish and crappies, and lots of requests for wild animals, such as deer, ducks, doves, even rattlesnakes and wild hogs.

Her biggest order to date was a multi-cake “sculpture”, as she calls it, for $20,000.

She doesn’t ship her cakes. Clients must come and pick them up. But they don’t seem to mind, as most of her cakes are done for birthdays, weddings, special events, and she does fish cake replicas regularly for fishing tournaments.

Fish cake
Just check out the girth Dusty Sinclair

“People come from all over for the specialized cakes,” Dusty explains. “They come from Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, just about everywhere.”

Clients drive in and pick them up, mostly, traveling from throughout much of the U.S. She’s even had folks fly in to pick up their cakes using private airplanes.

Orders well in advance are wise for Dusty’s cakes that are in high demand.

teeth cake
Teeth you can eat Dusty Sinclair

“I had a couple who wanted a wedding sculpted fish cake and I couldn’t do it on the date needed because I was pregnant with one of my kids,” Dusty explains. “They changed the date of the wedding, moving it back six months, so I could do the cake for them.”

Dusty is a one-person business.

“I take all the orders through my website, Facebook and Instagram, and do all the baking, clean up, all of it,” she says lightheartedly. “It’s seven days per week, and I turn out four to five sculpted cakes each week, while being a mom of three. 

flat fish
Flats fantastic Dusty Sinclair

“I drink a lot of coffee to stay awake and run the business, but I love it. It was my dream, and it’s come true.”

She’s proud that all of her cakes are fully edible, made only with butter cream icing, cake, and chocolate. They’re available in a huge variety of flavors, noted on her website.

The cakes are so realistic that many people cringe when it comes time to cut and eat them.

“They don’t freeze well, because the moisture in the icing starts to run, and it ruins the sculptured look of the cake,” she says. “They’re good to eat, and I guess that’s a fitting end to having a cake looking like a good-tasting fish like a redfish or tuna.”

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