Sandcastle Cake — a show-stopping centrepiece

We had a very little birthday party celebration for our two year old, since we had just arrived the night before to our little holiday getaway by the beach. So to keep it very simple, I used some seashells as decorations, and then the seashell necklaces made years before for as accessories for her siblings! But the main focus of the birthday was going to the beach and blowing out candles on her cake, so naturally we thought a Sandcastle Cake would be the perfect way to celebrate!

During her nap time, we took pre-made cakes and frosting, (you can use any of your favourite flavour cakes and icing) and we sculpted the Sandcastle Cake!

It is super easy, and fortunately you do not need to be a baker to make it look great. After all, it is supposed to look like a sandy beachy child-made sculpture!

Here is what you will need:

  • Cake — bake it the night before so it is completely cool, or even buy a pre made one. A Maderia cake, pound cake, or just vanilla cake will be fine! You will need lots of cake so that it can be stacked up on top of itself like bricks, or tiers.
  • Icing — we used a delicious buttercream but use your favourite as long as it is white or chocolate! Coloured icing would show thru the crumbs… more on that!
  • Sand– not actual sand of course, but sand made out of biscuit crumbs. We used Italian Breakfast biscuits / cookies. Just make sure that they are dry, easy to break up, and can be put in either a blender or bashed up in a paper or plastic bag until you have a LOT of fine crumbs. I wish we had used a blender, as the sand would be finer and stick better in that case! But again, we embraced the homemade aspect and went for it!
  • Turrets — use ie cream cones upside down for this! The cone kind are best, and they look great in various layouts.
  • Flags or candles — we used long tall candles to decorate our cake, but stripey straws with paper flags on top (perhaps even with the child’s name etc on them) would be sweet!
  • Seashells — I had my heart set on making white chocolate seashell chocolates and decorating the cake with edible shells, but we had old white chocolate that would not melt correctly so we improvised and used real shells that were real clean! I actually prefer the real shells more. If you wanted to you could also add little fish, dolphins, and bucket / pail and a shovel, etc… I think that this is where personalisation is best!
  • Knife / cutting board etc. — a few kitchen tools and a great serving board, and that is it!

To make the cake:

  1. Cut the cake into large rectangles or squares (or rounds if that is what you have). Imagine you are building height and use icing or if needed long skewers to hold the tiers in place from sliding off. The good news is that the icing does not have to look good — at all!!! My two oldest children loved that they could help make their sister’s birthday cake and it didn’t matter if there were crumbs from the cake in the icing as it was all getting covered with more sand crumbs. It is probably one of the best cakes you could make with young children (mine are 8 and 5).
  2. Break up the biscuits / cookies into sandy crumbs as mentioned above.
  3. Ice the turrets (ice cream cones) and the cake, then sprinkle (or even push / pat on) the sand.
  4. Serve after returning from the beach still in bathing suits with beachy hair are salty toes.
  5. Enjoy with a slice of watermelon! You will truly impress the party with this show stopping cake!

If you are looking for other fun birthday or party ideas this summer, the Watermelon Shark is always a hit too or the Fruit Pizza.

Let us know if you try this cake, it is so fun to make and each one will have a totally different look and personality, just like sandcastles at the beach!






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