May 20, 2011

Sandcastle Cake Recipe -- A Fun and Easy Summer Classic!

A whimsical, sculpted cake in less than an hour!

Every year my daughters' school has a year-end carnival that includes a Cake Walk. The end of the school year is so impossibly busy  -- Who has time to spend on an elaborate cake?  I love Nordicware bundt pans for their ease of use, consistent results, whimsical designs, and for the way that they can make anyone look like a cake sculpting pro! My favorite Nordicware design is their Castle Bundt Pan.  I've enjoyed using it to make this crowd-pleasing Sandcastle cake, especially when I'm in a pinch for time, but still want to do something special.  The Sandcastle cake is the perfect celebration or donation dessert -- delicious, charming, and easy!

Here's the super short-cut version to making your very own Sandcastle Cake using the Nordicware castle pan:

Castle Bundt Cake
(takes approx. 50 minutes)

1 box yellow or white cake mix
1  3-3/4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
4 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, plus more for coating pan
1 cup water
 (You can make your bundt cake and frosting from scratch as well)

Nordicware Castle Cake Pan ($24-$30)

16 oz. container vanilla frosting (not whipped)
1 sleeve graham crackers, finely crushed
1/2 cup raw sugar
optional:  chocolate graham cracker or wafer cookie

Flags:  1 bamboo skewer, ribbon, tacky glue
Chocolate Seashells -- Wilton candy melts and shell mold

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350.  Use pastry brush to completely coat the inside of the bundt pan with oil.  Lightly dust the inside of bundt pan with flour.  Tap out excess.

Step 3:  With a mixer, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil and water on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour evenly into bundt pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes (until cake springs back to the touch).

Step 4:  Remove cake from oven and invert on a cooling rack.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Flip cake pan back over and, with your fingers, make sure that the sides of the cake are pulling away from the sides of the pan.   Re-invert pan and gently shake cake loose.  Set cake on cooling rack.

Step 5:  Set the cooling rack over a baking sheet.  Open tub of frosting, remove foil seal, and melt in microwave for approx. 30 seconds to liquefy the frosting.  

Step 6: In a small bowl, combine raw sugar and graham cracker crumbs.  To add some dimension and depth to the "sand", I like to crumble in a chocolate graham or chocolate wafer cookie.

Step 7:  Working in small sections at a time (i.e. one side of the castle, brush melted frosting on cake.  Immediately press a handful of "sand" against the frosted section of castle.  Continue until entire castle is covered.  Use remaining "sand" to fill in around the base of the cake and inside the "courtyard" of the castle.


FOR THE FLAGS (5 minutes)

Using sharp scissors or wire cutters, snip the sharp end from a bamboo skewer, then cut the remaining length into four equal pieces.

Cut four equal pieces of ribbon, twice the length of your final flag. Apply a line of Tacky Glue along half of the wrong-side of the ribbon. Place stick in the middle and fold ribbon over on itself.  Pinch to seal. Cut a notch in the end.  Repeat with remaining flags.  Insert in castle turrets.

FOR THE SEASHELLS (15 minutes)

In separate bowls, melt equal parts dark chocolate melts and white chocolate melts. Transfer melted white chocolate to the dark chocolate bowl and give one quick stir. Spoon chocolate mixture into shell mold. Level and tap out air bubbles. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Pop out of mold and decorate cake.

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  1. OK, Jenn...that is amazing! I've never heard of a sandcastle cake before, but you can bet your boots I'll be making one this summer!!! It's wonderful!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

  2. I've read so many mixed reviews about those pans that I've been afraid to buy one. You do make it look pretty nifty though! :)

  3. This is perfect for my cousin's beach-themed bridal shower. It will look cute next to the watermelon whale!

  4. oh my goodness! this is so cute! this will be perfect for my daughter's princess theme birthday party!

  5. What a cute idea! Perfect for summer!

  6. Hi! I'm having a linky party called A Themed Baker's Sunday where this week's theme is cheesecake! I'd love for you to join and link up! If you don't have a cheesecake recipe, I'd love for you to come back for this next weeks theme, which is tomorrow, and it's cakes and cake pops!

  7. This is so cute! Wouldn't it make a neat summer birthday cake?

  8. it looks so ' real '!
    Nice !

  9. You clever woman! I've seen that pan lots of times and never thought about making a sand castle. Now I have to have one!

    I do have a Nordicware bundt pan, but it looks like stacked hearts instead of a castle. I love it, but I have such trouble lifting it when I pop out the cake. It's so slippery on the outside that it's difficult to grip and lift. I never have trouble with the cake sticking, though (I use "Pam For Baking" that's sort of a butter/flour combo).

  10. Such a fun cake!! Nordicware make wonderful cake molds.

  11. Fun! I've never seen that before, I love it.

    :) Jill

  12. Absolutely stunning. I LOVE this cake.


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