Easy Summer cake recipe and tutorial, homemade with simple ingredients. Decorated with chocolate buttercream icing and Kit Kat to look like the beach. Backyard kids Summer party details also included.
*Thank you Häagen-Dazs® for sponsoring today's post. As always, all opinions are mine.*
Throwing parties is just as much fun for me as baking and cake decorating. My son helped me decorate this cake and it turned out beyond cute. It's a very simple design. We served it at our annual backyard party and all the kids had such a blast. This would be great c birthday parties or beach day or even a pool party. For more fun cake inspiration, be sure to check out these Easy Cake Decorating Ideas (Beginners) and these Birthday Cake Ideas. If you enjoy decorating cakes with Kit Kat, then don't miss out on this Treasure Chest Cake (With Kit Kat) and Easy Kit Kat Cake (With Strawberries) as well as this Easy Pig Cake.
Table of contents
Key ingredients for Summer beach birthday cake
- Chocolate raspberry cake- This is a simple, doctored cake mix recipe.
- Raspberry pie filling- There is something about the pairing of raspberry and chocolate that is just magical to the tastebuds.
- Chocolate Buttercream Icing- This is used for the first frosted layer, and although it will not be seen, it will definitely be pleasantly tasted.
- American Buttercream Icing- Colored blue with gel food coloring to make it look like water.
- Kit Kat bars- You will need 20-22 bars, so purchase accordingly.
- Graham crackers- Crush them up well, because this will be used as edible sand.
- Fruit Roll Up- Or a general red fruit strip will do.
- Fish and duck candies- You'll need quite a few of them and make sure they are small.
- Lifesavers- The hard, round kind. You can purchase any colors you desire.
- Mini Teddy Grahams- These really bring the cake some life and animation as the main characters in the beach scene.
- Star sprinkles- That compliment the other beach themed candies.
- Edible pearls- These add such a nice pop of color.
Make a different shape of cake- I baked an oval cake but you can use different sizes of pans to bake a round, rectangle, or square cake. You can even make things really simple and bake a cake in a 9x13 pan and then decorate just the top of it with some basic candy decorations.
Decorate with fondant instead of frosting- Follow the same basic look, but use Marshmallow Fondant or store bought fondant instead of frosting. I don't recommend making homemade black or red fondant, but you can check out my Fondant Coloring Tips for the other colors. You can also use fondant to make the small decorations, like the fish, towels, and ducks. If you want to see an example of a fondant covered cake, look at this New Year’s Cake for help on how to get the best results.
Try different frosting- For chocolate you can use Chocolate Ganache Frosting, Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, or Healthy Coconut Cream Chocolate Frosting. For the white frosting that can be colored blue, use Cream Cheese Frosting, White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, or Marshmallow Frosting.
Change up the type of "sand"- Instead of crushed graham crackers you can use sanding sugar, ground nuts, crushed cookies, brown sugar, or concocted mixtures with malt or oat flour.
Use little toys- Instead of candies. Just make sure you clean them first and remove them before serving the cake to children.
How to make easy Summer cake recipe from scratch with Kit Kat?
- Bake cake and allow it to cool completely- While you prepare the icings and filling.
- Use a sharp serrated knife- To cut the cake in half lengthwise.
- Place one cake on a large cake board- And spread chocolate frosting on top followed by the raspberry filling.
- Place the second cake on top of the filling- Then frost the sides and only half the top of the cake in chocolate icing (Image 1).
- Unwrap all the Kit Kats- And stick them all around the cake (Image 2).
- Spread blue icing- On the unfrosted top area of the cake (Image 3).
- Spread graham cracker crumbs- On top of the chocolate frosted portion of the cake (Image 4).
- Cut a fruit strip into small 2 inch pieces- Then place them on the crushed graham crackers with Teddy Grahams on top (Image 5).
- Push some cocktail umbrellas- Around the fruit strip "towels" then toss some sprinkles and pearls on the "sand" (Image 5).
- Break a few teddy grahams in half- And stick the top portion on a Life Saver using frosting.
- Place these- And the fish and duck candies on the blue icing (Image 5).
- Sprinkle more graham cracker crumbs- On the cake board with more star sprinkles and edible pearls (Image 6).
Tips and Techniques
First frosting layer doesn't have to be smooth- Because it will soon be covered with other decoration.
Don't decorate a warm cake- Because this will cause the frosting to melt and the it will get all muddled.
Icing consistency should be medium to medium-firm- If it's too runny, it will slide off the cake and make a mess.
If you can't find the exact candies and cookies- That I used in this cake, simply improvise and use something similar in shape, size, and color.
When placing the Kit Kats- Be sure that the first layer of frosting is still fresh so that it can work like a glue to hold the candy on. If you wait until the icing dries out, you will have a harder time getting the Kit Kats to stay in place.
Use a spatula- In order to spread the icing smoothly on top of the cake.
Utilize the cake board- To tell and show more of your cake's story. You can find large cake boards online then cover them in grease proof paper. Or I like to use large tiles from Home Depot (after cleaning it, of course).
Yes. If you prefer, you can omit the frosting on the outside of the cake and use store bought or homemade fondant. You can also use fondant instead of candies for the little decorations. See the Variations subheading above for more tips on using fondant.
There are several ways to do this, but I simply crushed up some graham crackers into fine crumbs. You can also use sanding sugar, ground nuts, ground up cookies, brown sugar, or just purchase edible sand for cake decorating online.
First, you need to make edible sand, as described above. Next, use small candies, cookies, sprinkles, fondant, fruit rolls and other such edible items to turn into your beachscape. For example, I used Life Savers and Teddy Grahams to make it look like little teddy bears floating in water.
- Make ahead- You can make a fully decorated cake in a sealed container up to 3 days before serving. Or place the cake and frostings in separated sealed containers for up to 1 month. When you are ready, thaw in the fridge and decorate per instructions.
- Room temperature- This should not be left out for more than a few hours because of the raspberry filling. Also, if it's a warm day, which will likely be the case when serving this cake, you don't want the icing to melt and ruin the decorations.
- Refrigerate- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze- The unfrosted cake and frostings can be stored in separate sealed containers for up to 1 month. (Don't freeze a frosted cake). Thaw, decorate as desired, and serve.
More easy decorated cakes
- Easy Teddy Bear Cake (And Party)
- Pink Ombre Mother’s Day Cake (And Party)
- Easy Tie Dye Cake (Shirt Cake)
- Easy Baby Cake
- Homemade Wedding Cake
- Easy Camping Cake
Party setup details
For this backyard party, I started off by setting up two tables. One table had all the food and the other one had all the bubble stuff. I also filled up a bucket with water and tossed some floating water toys. There was also a wheelbarrow with water balloons and some other Summer toys I found around the house. My little one insisted on having his red chair in the party. I swear he's obsessed with it and takes it everywhere. I set up that chair on one end of the table and the yellow bucket on the other end. The set up looked very symmetrical this way (Yes! I am such a nerd! lol).
Now, let's talk about all the food. I served quite a few things, starting with these vanilla cupcakes (that had rock candy pieces baked into them). Next time, I will probably make these Easy Fondant Daisies (Daisy Cupcakes) or these Bee Cupcakes (Bumblebee or Honeybee) or Ladybug Cupcakes or even these Flower Cupcakes (Fondant Pansy). I also served some peanut butter cookies and pretzels, of course. Kiddo also made a special request for his favorite colorful trail mix of popcorn and cereal. We also had some fresh fruits and lots of candies. Not pictured on the table is the cake you saw above in this post. I brought that out later in the party. Some other cake ideas can be this Bumblebee Cake (Spring Cake) or this Flower Basket Cake (Basketweave).
Obviously we had ice cream because it was such a hot day. We had Häagen-Dazs® strawberry, coffee and dulce de leche caramel flavors. The coffee one was for me and the strawberry flavor was an instant hit with my kiddo. These ice creams are all so creamy and rich. They are made with the finest ingredients and are super refreshing on warm days. Some other ice-cream inspired desserts you can consider serving include: Ice Cream Float and Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes (With Cake Mix) and Ice Cream Cake and Ice Cream Sandwiches.
I set up a water sprinkler and even a butterfly pinata. There was also a bubble station, big colorful balls and a water bucket of floating toys. When I throw these themed parties, I get to see how excited he is and how much fun he is having and that makes me so happy. I am able to relax and enjoy the outdoors, enjoy some ice cream while hearing his laughter and giggles. That truly makes my heart flutter with happiness and it becomes a moment for me to cherish and remember forever and ever! When he's happy, I am happy and those are my special "ME MOMENTS"! It's truly incredible how motherhood changes our perspective in life.
Easy Summer Cake (With Kit Kat)
- 1 Chocolate raspberry cake Oval, 11x8x3
- 1 cup Raspberry pie filling
- 3 cups Chocolate buttercream icing
- 1 cup American buttercream frosting Colored blue with gel food coloring
- 20-22 bars Kit Kats I used the mini packets with 2 segments in each. You can use the regular ones with 4 segments if you like.
- 2 cups Crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 1 Fruit roll up Or red fruit strip
- 10-12 cup Small fish and duck candies
- 10 Round lifesavers
- 10 Mini teddy graham crackers
- 1-2 tablespoon Star sprinkles and colorful edible pearls
- Bake cake and allow it to cool completely.
- While the cake is baking and cooling, prepare the chocolate icing, blue icing and raspberry filling.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the cake in half lengthwise.
- Place one cake on a large cake board.
- Spread chocolate frosting on top with a spatula, followed by the raspberry filling.
- Place the second cake on top of the filling and press gently until it secures into place.
- Frost the sides and only half the top of the cake in chocolate icing. It does not have to be smooth.
- Unwrap all the Kit Kats and stick them around the iced cake. The icing works like "glue."
- Use a spatula to spread blue icing on top of the cake. Ice only the unfrosted area. This will be the pool/ water.
- Spread crushed graham cracker crumbs on top of the chocolate portion of the cake. This will be sandy beach.
- Cut a fruit strip into small 2 inch pieces. Place them on the graham cracker "sand." These will be beach towels. Lay down the teddy bear grahams on them. Push some cocktail umbrellas around the "towels." Toss some star sprinkles and edible pearls on the sand.
- Break a few teddy grahams in half and stick the top portion on round life saver candies with frosting. Place these on the blue icing. Now, these look like teddies swimming in the pool. Also stick some fish and duck candies in the blue "water."
- To complete the story, sprinkle some more graham cracker crumbs on the cake board and toss some star sprinkles and edible pearls randomly. Enjoy.
- Don't decorate a warm cake.
- Icing consistency should be medium to medium-firm. If it's too runny, it will slide off the cake and make a mess.
- If you can't find the exact candies and cookies I used in this cake, improvise and use something similar in shape, size and color.
- I baked an oval cake but you can bake a round or square cake.
- Read additional tips and variations above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.