How to Make a Sandy Beach Cake
Learn to Make a Cake that Looks like the Sea on a Platter
A beach cake decorated with fondant seashells and starfish can bring a bit of summer holiday or tropical paradise to your party. It's simple to make and pre-made beach-themed candies can be substituted for the gumpaste or fondant decorations to make it quicker and easier to assemble.
Follow the step-by-step instructions and photos in the tutorial below to make your own sweet piece of the seaside that you can enjoy any time of the year.
All photos on this page taken by Kylyssa Shay unless otherwise noted.
What You Will Need
*A large platter
*A sharp knife
*A nine by thirteen cake, your choice of flavor
*Buttercream frosting, your choice of flavor - canned frosting works just fine
*Raw sugar OR Demerara cane sugar OR about one pound or one box of crushed graham crackers
*Assorted fondant or gumpaste starfish
*Assorted edible seashells
Pre-made chocolate or candy seashells and starfish can be substituted for fondant, making for a much easier project.
Instructions for Making Seashells and Starfish to Top the Cake
- How to Make Fondant Starfish
Learn how to make three different kinds of starfish from fondant or gumpaste. These sea stars are easy to make and make wonderful cake decorations.
- How to Make Fondant Seashells
Learn how to make fondant or gum paste seashells of an assortment of types using this step-by-step tutorial with photos and text instructions.
1. Plate the Cake
Plate the Cake on a Sturdy Platter
Set the cooled nine by thirteen cake in your choice of flavor on the platter. A dab of frosting underneath will keep it in place if it seems like it would slide off.
2. Make The Mound
Cut the Cake to Make a Mound
Using a bread knife, trim off the squared edges at an angle and put the cut off pieces along the sides of the cake. Use them to create a mounded surface as shown in the photo above.
3. Apply Lots Of Icing
Use as Much Frosting as You Need
Generously slather frosting onto the cake, covering it as best you can. The frosting glues down crushed graham crackers or sugar crystals so it's easier to get good coverage.
4. Bring On The Sand
Apply "Sand" Until It Looks Natural
Then, dust the raw sugar or Demerara cane sugar or crushed graham crackers evenly over the frosting so the whole thing looks like a sandy mound of beach.
If you use the sugar crystals, it's good to make the layer as thin as possible to avoid too much crunchiness in the finished dessert. The graham crackers can be layered more thickly, if desired.
5. Apply The Sea Creatures And It's Done!
Finish It With Seashells and Starfish
Scatter fondant starfish and fondant seashells atop the sugar or graham cracker sand.
I've made this cake several times now. I made it for a housewarming party, a birthday, and a get together with friends. The demerara cane sugar is kind of crunchy but guests seemed to like the combination of textures involved. I made it one of those times with crushed graham crackers. I thought it would have had a better texture but it didn't go over as well as the sugar crystals version went over with those who ate it.
Pre-made Edible Seashells and Starfish
The use of pre-made starfish and seashells makes this project easy to make and an excellent activity for children to assist with.
They can often be found in your grocery store's gourmet chocolates section or at a cake decorating supply store though the least expensive ones I've found have been online.
These shells come in a nice assortment and they are good tasting in my opinion.
Molds Make It Easier
Edible starfish and seashells can also be made with the use of the appropriate candy molds. This creates an easy, quick, and uniform result. The molds can be used with chocolate, colored candy melts, gum paste, or fondant. Excellent sea life candy molds can be found at craft stores like Michaels, cake decorating supply stores, and online.
You can pour melted chocolate or candy melts into this mold to make four kinds of seashells and one kind of starfish.
© 2009 Kylyssa Shay