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Sandcastle Cake Recipe

End the night on a sweet note with your very own sandcastle cake recipe! We've got the fun and delicious how-to.

Any well seasoned hostess knows the best way to go out with a bang at your party is with a jaw-dropping cake to really wow guests.

Here’s how to make a stunning Sandcastle Cake for your beach bridal shower – or any beach party!


For the cake:

2 boxes cake mix (including ingredients needed to make batter)

2 cups shredded coconut

1 wrapped package graham crackers

Buttercream frosting

8 ounces white candy melts

For the buttercream frosting:

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

3 pounds confectioner’s sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla

4 tablespoons milk

Other supplies needed:

2 9-inch cake pans

1 6-inch cake pan

Mini muffin pan


To make the buttercream frosting:

Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and milk and beat. If your frosting is not thin enough to spread at this point, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it is the right consistency. If you add too much liquid and the frosting is too thin, just add more sugar to stiffen the frosting.

Beat for an additional 2 minutes until the frosting is fluffy. Set aside or refrigerate for later use.

Making the cakes:

This cake isn’t made out of a mold - it’s just a few cake pans cleverly put together and frosted to look like a sandcastle. Make the cake batter according to the directions on the box. Grease and flour all of your pans (2 9-inch cake pans, 1 6-inch cake pan, Mini muffin pan) before filling them with batter. In the end, you’ll need one tall 6-inch cake, two 9-inch layers and 11 mini cupcakes.

Frosting and assembling the cakes:

Stack the two 9-inch cake layers on your cake stand or serving tray. Place the 6-inch cake layer on top. Put a thin crumb-coat all over the cake.

Multi-layer cakes need a little bit of structure to keep the cake together. You don’t need any specialized cake pieces to accomplish this - a couple of plastic straws placed into the top work just fine. Press the straws down until they hit the cake plate and then snip the tops off so the straw is flush with the top of the cake.

Place five of the mini cupcakes upside down on the top layer of the cake, and six on the bottom layer of the cake. Spread the frosting over the entire cake - mini cupcakes and all. Put the sand on the castle while the frosting is still wet.

To make the sand:

To make the “sand” that coats the sandcastle, spread the coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. It should be a nice light sandy brown color when it’s done. Place the toasted coconut and package of the graham crackers into a food processor and pulse until the mixture creates fine grains.

Gently press the “sand” mixture into the sides of the frosted cake with a spoon, starting with the top of the cake and working your way down. You’ll have to do a little dusting of the sand to make sure there is definition to the cake.

To add the seashells:

Melt the candy melts in the microwave according to directions. Place melted candy into a disposable plastic pastry bag and snip the tip. Pipe the melted candy into a seashell mold. Tap the mold on a hard surface to release any bubbles that may be in the seashells. Place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to harden. Turn mold upside down and twist to release from mold.

Press seashells into the sides of the cake for a finishing touch.

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