This Salmon and Shrimp Sandwich Cake is the star of my summer entertaining so far! It is light tasting and delicious and certainly makes an impression at the table!
Sandwich cakes date back to the 60s although I have to admit I had never seen one until a couple of months ago. The elaborate decorations are certainly eye-catching.
Traditional sandwich cakes are very ‘busy’ in my opinion. The American recipes have a layer of ham salad, chicken salad and egg salad. Too much going on there in my opinion!
Traditional toppings can also include HEAPS of smoked salmon, radishes, ham slices rolled up, hard boiled eggs. There can be a full meal just on top of the loaf!
I have streamlined the fillings and the toppings to what I find to be a preferable amount of variation and flavours.
I will confess that I had smoked salmon on hand to decorate the top of this loaf, along with extra capers and red onion. I started to ‘adorn’ it with smoked salmon but quickly changed tacks… it was not very appetizing right off the bat. So… I served the smoked salmon with red onion slices and capers on the side and people could choose to if they wanted some or not. There wasn’t any left so I guess it was a good complement to the dish but I am still glad I didn’t pile it all on top!
You can check out my vegetarian Egg Salad Sandwich Cake for photos of the assembly process. It isn’t hard -it just takes a loaf pan, some plastic wrap and a bit of fiddling. It does need to rest in the fridge at least 4 hours. You can let it rest up to 24 hours if you want to make it ahead.
This loaf is actually about 10 servings. You only need about a 1″ slice per person. I had leftovers that kept well in the fridge for 2 days.
- 18 slices sandwich bread crusts removed
- 8 oz fresh salmon filet skinless
- 1/2 cup citrus herb marinade I used PC brand. See Note 1 below to make your own.
- 2 Tbsps light mayonnaise just enough to hold the salmon together
- 9 oz salad shrimp cooked and defrosted
- 1 celery stalk minced
- 3 Tbsps light mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
Cream Cheese Icing
- 20 oz light cream cheese at room temperature I used Kraft Light Spreadable
- 2 Tbsps light mayonnaise
- 1 juice of 1 lemon Reserve 1 slice from center of the lemon before juicing
- 2 tsps mustard
- 1 red onion for garnish
- capers for garnish
- 1 lemon slice see above
- dill fronds for garnish
- Carefully remove crusts from bread. Try to make slices as square and uniform as possible. On a flat surface lay 3 slices of bed end to end with about 1/4" overlap. Pinch down the overlap to secure the pieces together to make a rectangle about 4" X 9".
- Line a large loaf pan (about 4 1/2 " X 10") with plastic wrap lengthwise, with several inches overhang. Repeat lining width-wise with several inches over hang. You are going to use the overlapping wrap to seal the sandwich cake.
- Add marinade and salmon filet to a sauté pan. Cover and poach over medium/high heat. Timing will vary between 10 and 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your filet. Flip the filet after 5 minutes and check at the 10 minute mark. Salmon will be opaque when done and will flake easily. (You can cut it open to check for doneness because it is going to be shredded to make salmon salad.)
- When salmon is done remove it from the pan along with 1 Tablespoon of cooking liquid. When salmon is cool flake it with a fork. Mix it with the mayonnaise. Salmon mixture may be drier than a typical salmon salad which is okay. There will be cream cheese and mayo in the loaf topping.
- Defrost cooked salad shrimp. Gently squeeze out excess water. This is important to avoid a soggy shrimp layer. Chop dried shrimp roughly.
- Mix the shrimp with the chopped celery, mayonnaise and Old Bay.
- Pinch 3 slices of bread overlapping slightly, end to end. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Place 2 bread rectangles in the bottom of the loaf pan.
- Then spread the salmon salad filling to cover the bread rectangle. Top the salmon filling layer with 2 more layers of bread.
- Spread the shrimp mixture evenly to cover the bread rectangle. Top with 2 more layers of bread.
- Press the loaf lightly but uniformly. Seal the loaf with the plastic wrap overhang.
- Allow loaf to rest at least 4 hour and up to 24 hours. When ready to decorate, remove loaf from fridge and unwrap carefully. Transfer the loaf to a serving plate.
- Beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and lemon juice til smooth.
- Reserve about 3/4 cup of cream cheese mixture and mix it with 2 tsps mustard. Set aside. Spread the remaining cream cheese evenly over the top and sides of the loaf.
- Using a piping bag and tip, take the reserved 3/4 cup of cream cheese mixture and pipe florettes around the upper edge of the loaf. Space florettes around the base of the loaf.
- Center a caper in the florettes at the base of the loaf.
- Thinly slice red onion vertically. Shape onion slices into 4 bulb shapes (see photo). Transfer to corners of the loaf using a pairing knife to support and place. Position a caper and dill fronds to look like leaves at the base of each red onion 'flower'.
- Cut lemon slice half way to the center and twist it. Center in the middle of the loaf.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve cut about a 1" slice at a time. Support the slice with a cake server so it doesn't fall apart when transferring to a plate.