Cake Decorating: Hawaiian Island Cake


My Favorite Plum’s Cooking for Children gives me an excuse to brag about this Hawaiian Island Cake. I made it two summers ago for Sadie’s Hawaiian Luau-themed birthday. We rented a small pavilion at Seneca Lake State Park, handed out fabric flower leis, and decorated with a blow-up palm tree (Oriental Trading Company), Shane’s old surfboard, and tropical plates and cups. When the kids weren’t gorging themselves on cake and chips, they ran around in the nearby “Sprayground.”*

The recipe uses a cake mix (although there’s no reason you couldn’t make a batter from scratch) baked in an 8-inch, one quart ovenproof bowl and an 8-inch round cake pan. I used two mixes for a taller cake, resulting in three layers: the rounded top, and two 8-inch layers. I used the extra batter for some cupcakes.

I did make the buttercream from scratch. Separating a quarter of the frosting to tint blue, I used the rest to frost the top and middle layers of the cake. To illustrate water, I used the blue frosting, then added sour gummy fish for more visual appeal. The cake was topped with a crushed graham cracker-beach, the shoreline delineated with blue and green M&Ms. (I wanted to use that sugar candy molded in the shape of rocks, but couldn’t find them.) Everything was finished off with plastic palm trees, hula dancers, paper umbrellas (all found on eBay) and an “Aloha Sadie” written in purple gel icing. Cake slices were accompanied by (what else) Hawaiian Punch.

After all that sugar, we let the kids burn it off by whacking the stuffings out of pinata.

*The very same spraypark that, the following summer, was host to a cryptosporidium outbreak. Whee! Summer fun.

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5 Comments on “Cake Decorating: Hawaiian Island Cake”

  1. May 24, 2006 at 7:52 am #

    That is an adorable cake and I love the theme of the party. How old is Sadie?Did you hear?? Possible 80’s for Memorial weekend! Yay!

  2. May 24, 2006 at 2:14 pm #

    Sadie will be turning 8 this August; I made this cake for her 6th b.d.This year, she’d like to have a party at her martial arts school. I’m thinking (of course, I haven’t told her this because I just thought of it & she hasn’t been here…) that we could turn it into an Asian Celebration party. Chinese take-out boxes as goodie-bags, all filled with fortune cookies, Japanese rice candy, sushi shaped erasers, little paper fans, etc.I have no idea what kind of cake would work. Maybe individual cupcakes with red frosting? Or spell out “Happy Birthday” on a cake in Chinese?I HOPE it will be warm — with the exception of today, it’s been cool and rainy for the past week and a half!

  3. May 25, 2006 at 8:42 am #

    What a cute idea! I once attended an asian themed party where the host rented sumo wrestler costumes and everyone, including the kids, had a chance to put it on and “wrestle” an opponent.. was hysterical. I like the idea of the cupcakes.. what about nestling a fortune cookie in the frosting on top? I look forward to hearing all the details afterwards! 😀

  4. May 25, 2006 at 9:25 am #

    I love that fortune cookie idea — that’s fantastic!

  5. June 12, 2006 at 8:29 am #

    Hi laura, Your recipe is very inspiring.There will be a short vacation break for me.I am also missing your retro.party event…I have picked some of your recipes for must -try.Hope you will not mind.Thanks….

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