Coral Reef Cake Decorating and Baking Tutorial

Tutorial Preview

Now Playing

Bite sized

Watch Paul make his Coral Reef cake in just one minute!

Now Playing


Highlights from the Coral Reef cake course.

Now Playing

1. Carving the cake

In lesson Paul takes you through the stages to get the basic shape of the coral reef and ganache the cake off camera for the next lesson.

Now Playing

2. Ganaching

Off camera Paul applied 2 thin coats of ganache to the cake. In this lesson we finish covering the cake and board with ganache then smooth it all off.

Now Playing

3. Creating the chocolate coral

Time to get creative as Paul shares his cool technique to making the coral using ice and ganache!

Now Playing

4. Texturing the cake

To give the coral some time to set Paul adds texture to the cake to give it a rocky effect.

Now Playing

5. Adding the chocolate coral

The coral has now set and is ready to be placed on the cake.

Now Playing

6. Airbrushing

Paul brings out the airbrush and begins to add some colour to the coral.

Now Playing

7. making the gravel

In this lesson Paul uses a very interesting technique to make the gravel for the coral reef. Make sure to have a blender handy!

Now Playing

8. Making soft coral

Paul uses modelling paste to add more variations of the coral to the cake.

Now Playing

9. Making the fish

Paul shows you how to make different types of fish for the coral reef including the famous clown fish.

Now Playing

10. Airbrushing the coral

Time to bring out the airbrush as we begin to give colour to the coral.

Now Playing

11. Painting the fish

In this lesson Paul uses paint to bring the fish to life. You’ll be shown how to paint the clown fish, zebra fish and Paul’s very own fantasy fish!

Now Playing

12. Bringing it all together

All the hard work has finally paid off as it’s time to bring this magnificent cake together.

Now Playing

13. Other ideas

Some more ideas for the Coral Reef cake.

Now Playing

14. Pro Lesson

Everything a Pro needs to know about making and distributing a cake like this.

Coral Reef Cake Tutorial

Learn how to make this coral reef cake with the multi-award winning Paul Bradford. With lots of cool skills and techniques to learn, this is one cake tutorial that will take your cake decorating to new depths.

Inspired by a trip to the coral reef in Australia, this cake is perfect for fans of the sea.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to:

  • Carve cakes
  • Make a coral from chocolate
  • Create a sugar paste coral
  • gravel & airbrush
  • And much, much more

Don’t forget to share your interpretations of this wonderful cake with Paul and the rest of the CakeFlix community on our Facebook group.

View hundreds of more world-class tutorials only at

Coral Reef Wedding Cake downloadable tools and ingredients

Grams to lbs

Inches to cm or vice versa

Other US to metric and Metric to US


  • 8” square chocolate cake
  • 6” square chocolate cake
  • 6” round chocolate cake


Cake Drum


  • 14” round




  • 1.4kg white chocolate ganache



  • 150g Ivory
  • 500g White
  • 50g beige
  • 50g pink
  • 50g bottle green
  • 50g brown
  • 50g blue
  • 50g purple


Modelling Paste

  • 1kg


Luster Dust Colours

  • Sugar Flare; Royal Gold, Gold Rush, Antique Gold
  • Fractal Colors Sparkling Gold


Petal dust colours

  • Rainbow dust black magic
  • Rainbow dust lemon tart
  • Rainbow dust snow drift
  • The sugarmill orangeade
  • The sugarmill sherbet lemon
  • Sunflower sugar art orange
  • Fractal colours lagoon blue


Airbrush Colours

  • Skin tone pallet – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Peach Melba – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Red – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Sky blue – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Lavender – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Hot Pink – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Orange – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Turquoise – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Latte – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Mint green – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Light blush – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Sage green – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow
  • Smokey blue – ethanol based – Spectrum Flow



  • 28% minimum cocoa
  • 2kg white chocolate



  • Palette knife (large and small)
  • Sharp cutting knife
  • Serrated knife (large)


Modelling Tools

  • PME set


Paint brushes

  • Large fan brush
  • #6 paintbrush
  • #3 paintbrush
  • #1 paintbrush


Cakey Tools

  • Plastic cake smoothers
  • Rolling pin
  • Acetate smoothers



  • Airbrush
  • 96% alcohol
  • 26 gauge white florist wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 1 wooden bamboo dowel
  • Cocktail sticks
  • 3 bags of cocktail ice
  • Blender
  • 2 large deep baking trays
Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford´s mission is to ‘Empower people to achieve their cake decorating dreams’ by providing a range of cake decorating courses and online tutorials through their website, which currently teaches 195,000+ students.  


  1. loveitcakes

    Loved this tutorial Paul, made me giggle when you was telling the story of the both of you going snorkeling (you wanted other people in front of you so if there’s sharks they’ll get eaten first ? also you laughed at David ?
    I have a returning customer contact me as she wants me to make her wedding cake next year, she is getting married in Antigua but wants a party at home so I’m hoping I can persuade her to have this or similar, as I so want to make it. Im even contemplating making it for an ornament ? such a joy to watch, thank you xx

  2. Ana

    Loooove this tutorial, especially for the joy it gives you to make it!!
    Thank you, I learned a lot!!

  3. TeenyWeenyWoo76

    Loved this one! Was very pleased with my end result and that’s all down to your excellent tutorial!


Add a Comment

7 Day FREE Trial