It’s summer time fun time!! The best way to spend summer is to hang by the beach and soak up some rays, am I right?! Welllll…. I don’t usually get to hang by the beach, so instead, I’m making a beach-inspired cake (which might even be better than hanging by the beach, in my opinion). This cake is made with layers of vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream, and decorated with graham crumb/brown sugar “sand”, fondant shells, and surf boards.
COOL FONDANT FACT: If you’re out of gumpaste (which is similar to fondant but dries rock hard), you can use fondant, but just knead in an ample amount of cornstarch in order to make the fondant dry faster/harder. I recommend using a silicone mould for the seashells, I used this one by Wilton, but any will do just fine. The key is to marble your coloured fondant in order to create that realistic look. This cake was super fun to make, and super easy as well, feel free to check out the video tutorial below!
I coloured a portion of my buttercream light blue and dark blue, but make sure you keep some buttercream uncoloured for the splashes in the waves. I also coloured my fondant peach, black, and grey for the shells, green for the leaves, but I mostly used white for the surfboards, and number toppers.
Anyways, here are the ingredients and amounts:
This recipe makes 2 x 8″ round cakes
250g (1 cup) soft butter
440g (2-1/4 cup) sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
385g (1-2/3 cup) flour
15g (1 tbsp) baking powder
5g (1 tsp) salt
5mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- Grease your cake pans with butter and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream your butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
- Add in your eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom of the bowl between mixing. Beat on high speed until pale and fluffy.
- Sift and whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Combine milk and vanilla.
- Add in half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until some of the flour is absorbed into the butter (about 15 seconds)
- Add in all the wet ingredients, and mix on low speed for another 15 seconds.
- Add in all the remaining dry ingredients, first mixing on low speed until most of the dry ingredients have absorbed most of the wet ingredients. Turn your mixer on high speed for 15 seconds to quickly incorporate all the ingredients and create a smooth batter.
- Take the bowl off the stand mixer and hand-fold any remaining bits of butter at the bottom of the bowl.
- Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans and bake for 35-45 or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Decorate using Swiss Meringue buttercream (recipe below) and enjoy!!!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
7 large egg whites
336g (1-1/4 cups) sugar
454g (2 cups) butter
10mL (2 tsp) vanilla
- Heat the egg whites and sugar in a bowl on top of small saucepan with an inch of simmering water (a water bath or “bain marie”), whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved completely (check this by rubbing a little bit between your fingers) and the mixture feels slightly hot to the touch.
- Transfer to a stand mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form or the meringue is cooled to the touch.
- Add in soft butter in small chunks until full incorporated. It may start to curdle at first, but keep whipping until the meringue and the butter come together.
- Add in vanilla extract or flavouring of your choice.
Note: this recipe is very similar to making an Italian meringue buttercream, but without the hot sugar syrup. For more details and troubleshooting tips feel free to check out my blog post on Italian Meringue buttercream.
FOR THE SAND:
85g (1 cup) graham crumbs
100g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
Stir and place directly onto the cake.
ENJOY & HAVE A SAFE AND FUN SUMMER EVERYONE!