Monday, 19 August 2013

How to make Oscar's Sandcastle Cake

This post about the Nautical baby shower styled by my sister recently reminded me of the last time we did a sea themed party around here. It was my nephew's 1st birthday, and he's nearly three now.
On that occasion my sister also did a great party table. But that's enough about her. This is about my cake. Alright, I mean Oscar's cake!
For Oscar's under the sea party, I made his birthday cake and it was a huge sandcastle. And I must say, even nearly two years on, I look at these photos and I still can't believe I made it. See, I couldn't find one I liked with instructions, so I had to design and make this one completely from scratch. Even the little starfish! And let me tell you, I am not arty or design-y in the least!
So, let me show you how it was done - firstly, just in case the need ever arises for you to make a sandcastle cake and secondly, so I can relive the glory!
Naked cakes, roughly where they will end up. I needed to make another 4 ramekin cakes though.
You can imagine the air was a light shade of blue when that became apparent!
For a large sandcastle cake like this one, which will easily feed 50 people, you'll need to use a cake that is quite dense and sturdy. I used a butter cake from the Australian Womens' Weekly, which was kind of like a pound cake, depending on where you come from.
Here's a list of what you'll need for this exact cake:
  • 2 x square butter or mud cakes of your choice
  • 8 x 1-cup ramekin sized butter or mud cakes of your choice
  • small pudding basin sized butter or mud cake of your choice
  • large bowl of cream/white buttercream icing (or 3-4 tubs of ready made icing)
  • 1 packet plain biscuits, processed into crumbs 
  • 1 large cake board
  • 4 large ice cream cones
  • 4 long lollipop sticks
  • patterned paper and lettering for decoration
  • fondant and edible ink pen for decoration
First, make the four pylons by taking two of the ramekin-sized cakes and piling them on top of each other, sticking them together with icing, and then trimming the edges to make them straight. If you need to, cut them down in size so that they are roughly the same height as the square cakes (if they are a bit shorter, you can build them up with icing if you want to).
Then, cover the sides and top of each with icing and leave aside.You don't need to be too particular with any of the icing on this cake. It's eventually going to be covered with 'sand' and the rougher the better to give it texture. Just make sure it's all covered and no cake is peeking through!

I'm calling these pylons, but I have no idea if that is the right word. You know what I mean!

Next, place one of the square cakes in the centre of your cake board and cover the top with icing, then sandwich the other one on top. Cut off each of the corners in a small circular shape and sit the pylons into each corner of the square cakes. Cover the sides of the square cakes with icing.

Take the cake baked in the small pudding bowl and cut it down to a size you like. Place it on top of the cakes and then cover it and the top of the square cakes with icing.

Then stick the ice cream cones, upside down, on top of the four round cakes and cover them with icing. Process the biscuits and, taking handfuls of crumbs at a time, stick them to the outside of the cake and scatter them around the base as well.

Next, decorate your masterpiece by first, sticking the lettering on the board.

I wanted to give this a sandy look by rubbing the biscuit crumbs into the letters. I think it worked!

Then, make the flags by cutting a strip from the paper, wrapping it around the top of the lollipop stick and gluing the two sides together. Stick the numbers on the flags. With scissors, cut the very top off the cones and slide the lollipop sticks into them.

This is such a weird angle! It looks like a creature holding up 4 flags!!

Finally, make the little starfish by colouring some fondant, rolling it out and cutting a star from each piece, about 1/2cm thick. Slightly bend each of the star's points to make the legs, and using a skewer or toothpick, pierce some holes in each leg to make a pattern. Using an edible ink pen, draw a little smiley face! Place your finished starfish on the cake, wherever you like.

So, have you ever made a cake or held a party, and been completely amazed that you pulled it off? Share some photos on the P11 Facebook page here!

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