This was by far the best cake I have ever made. I had fun doing it, the kids had fun making the sea shells, and the party guests had a really fun time eating it. There’s still a plate of graham cracker crumbs down in the kitchen with a spoon on it, since the kids keep asking me if they can have one more bite of sand.
In a nutshell, here’s what I did. I mixed up 2 cake mixes from the box, adding in a small box of instant pudding to each. 3/4 c oil, 3/4 c milk, and 4 eggs plus a mixer gets you a nice thick pudding like batter. That’s per mix, not total. I put one mix in the big round cake pan I have from my days of taking the Wilton class back in FL. The other mix went into these mini bundt cake pans that either my sister or my brother got me years ago for Christmas. I use them quite often, as it’s rather neat to make a cake, but have each person get their own little cake.
Here’s another view. Hubby majorly humored me and took about 5 or 6 pictures from all angles. So, the mini bundt things have straight edges. I have another pan that has the mini bundts with the fluted edges, but a sand castle calls for plain, I think. I had originally thought of cupcakes, but when I turned the cupcake pan upside down on the cake pan to get an idea of how it’d fit together, it just looked too small. I thought of perhaps using 2 cupcakes, but I thought that’d just look too lanky. Then I remembered the mini bundts, and it looked great.
For the top, I bought sugar cones, and my oldest son carefully and patiently make teeny flags with tabs and taped them onto toothpicks. He even wrote Happy Birthday on them, and make them out of orange construction paper to be Patrick’s favorite color.
As for the construction and frosting and decoration, I found that piping the frosting on and then spreading it a little with the spreader was way easier than attempting to apply the frosting directly with the spreader. I put on the big star tip, and tinted the frosting with a little bit of brown, in case some of it showed through. After cutting off the rounded tops of the bundts, I marked where they’d be on the cake with toothpicks, then removed them so I could pipe the frosting in the center of the cake and in between where the bundts would be. Way easier to do that then to try to squeeze the frosting bag in between them being already on there.
After the frosting was on there, I started grinding up the graham crackers. I just bought plain ones, the 6 pack, and ended up using 4 packets. I just put them in the food processor, which I think I haven’t used in about 4 years. I can’t believe I found all the parts. I put some of the crumbs in a big bowl, then used a drinking cup with the lid from a sour cream container as a stand. I put one mini bundt on there, and slowly turned it as I piped the frosting on, starting at the bottom. The good think was, I sure didn’t have to worry about being too neat, as I was not only going to be smoothing it out a bit, but also covering it up with crumbs. After I got the outside all covered up, I took the spreader and smoothed it, then got a fork and poked it into the top, which was a little awkward, and carefully lifted it off the lid and turned it sideways and rolled it in the crumbs, and then let it gently plop onto the cake where I had marked out for it to go. Repeated that 3 more times.
I then frosted the tops of them all, then did the sides of the cake, and let the older boy spoon on the crumbs. Can’t really mess that up. By the time we got to it, the sides of the cake were starting to dry, and the crumbs weren’t sticking that well, so I ground up even more, and we literally pushed them into the frosting by cupping our hand around some. The cones were the messiest part. I had to frost them with a finger, then roll them in the crumbs, then gently apply the toothpick flag by sticking it in the frosting and smushing it on there.
The boys then make more shells, I put toothpicks into each one before popping them in the fridge for 10 minutes, then we popped them out and I let each kid do 6 or 7. I put the toothpicks in there so that we’d be able to apply the shells to the sides as well. I figured they wouldn’t stick so well with the crumbs and all.
And voila, I give you the sand castle cake. Ta da!
Here’s a couple more shots of the boy having fun with his friends and opening up presents.
That’s them playing outside.
That’s them working on their sea shell creatures. Other view below.
And one last one…Patrick opening up one gift from a friend that he’s obviously thrilled about. Big brother has one of these, and loves it, and now Patrick has one too. Yay Patrick.
Knitting content will resume tomorrow, since late last night I finished up one sleeve of that super bulky yarn jacket. Steve caught a glimpse of it and dubbed it my “Coat of Many Colors”. I might be able to finish up the other sleeve today and then put a few rows of seed stitch on the bottom and weave in the ends. Hoo yah.