Sand Pail Birthday Cakes


You may have thought I jumped ship on finishing the Luau party for the kids’ family birthday party.  But here we are, back to it today.  As I mentioned in the last post, we host a family party (our immediate families) for both of the kids’ birthdays.  With birthdays a month apart, it is just easier that way.  Last year, I made the ultra, giant cupcakes and I liked how each kid got to blow out the candles on their own cake.  I think that factor and the cuteness of these cakes is what captured my attention on the sand pails.


The idea comes from Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse, one of my favorite books for cakes, cupcakes and frosting recipes.  I made their Caramel Cake, Kid’s Buttercream Icing with Dulce de Leche filling.  It was very yummy.  But because I make my cakes a day before the party, this particular recipe tasted dry for the party (bummer!).  I never have any problem with boxed cake mix being dry on day two, which is one of the reasons I like boxed mixes!



But at least the cakes made up for it in looks!  That and the filling and icing were delicious.   The original recipe called for inverting cakes and shaving them to create a slanted bucket side . . . too much work.  A cake has to be easy enough to make so you can enjoy the process.  I deviated from the book’s recipe and constructed the cakes to fit my party needs, capabilities and numbers.


Here is how I did it (2 Sand Pails):


* Bake six 6″ round cakes.  (Yes, six.  It would have helped if I had more than two 6″ pans.)


* Slice off the rounded tops and then slice each cake in half so you have two flat layers.  *Reserve two rounded tops for the top of your buckets.  I use a Cake Slicer with Adjustable Wire and find it to be so helpful in a good cut.  If you’re more experienced, you probably just use a serrated knife.


* Each bucket is divided into two halves and separated by a 6-Inch Cake Circle (piece of cardboard for support and ease of cutting).  Each half contains three layers of the sliced cake.  So when you look at the singular bucket, three layers are above the cake circle and three layers are below.


* I used the Dulce de Leche filling between the layers and as a crumb coat over the entire cake.  (I’ll share that recipe soon.)


* I assembled the cake of six layers (icing in sections as I built up) and added my reserved rounded tops for each dome.  On the top half of the cake, I inserted three straws for support.


* After icing the cake, I added the piping around the rim of the sand pail.


* We pulverized graham crackers to create the sand and used white chocolate for the handle.



Sand pail cakes for a Luau Party bring it back to the fact that this is a party to celebrate children’s birthdays.  Pineapple-coconut smoothies, leis, hibiscus hair clips . . . that could be for an adult party.  But the pails were the element that drew our minds to the young, fun kids we were celebrating.


And what’s great is that you could make these sand pail cakes for a variety of party themes:  beach party, swimming party, surfing party, first/second birthday parties . . . you could even make one to announce to your kids about an upcoming beach vacation.  Give them clues and bring out the sand pail as the last clue.   Then enjoy the cake!


Happy Birthday to my sweet kids!

Related Post:  Our Luau Birthday Celebration (Part One)

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