I'm one of those people that needs to learn how to do everything so this may be a bit eclectic. I am an avid quilter and crocheter. I taught myself how to knit two days ago so that will be an adventure. I like to put my own spin on existing patterns and am hoping to share those and some tips with you!
First some successes....check out this birthday cake from my son's birthday party last year, I was so proud of it and he LOVED it! What's great is that if you don't frost well (and I don't) the "treasure" covers up a lot of mistakes.
To Make This Treasure Chest Cake you need:
- 9x13 cake in your favorite flavor (works best if you use a mix that is not super moist as a very moist cake falls apart)
- chocolate frosting (I used 3 packages of Jiffy brand chocolate frosting mix)
- assorted gold and silver wrapped candies (I used Rolos, Hershey's kisses, and gold chocolate coins)
- candy necklaces and or bracelets, ring pops
- rock candy
- red fruit by the foot
- brown sugar and raw cane sugar (if you can find it)
Take your cooked and cooled cake and cut a 2 inch section out of the middle giving you 3 pieces (two large ends and the 2 inch strip). Set your strip to the side.
Place one of your large pieces on your cake tray (I used foil covered cardboard, cheap and looks good too). Frost the piece you just placed on the tray on the top and sides.
Using a sharp knife or a long piece of waxed floss (works great and is very kid safe) slice your two inch strip on the diagonal, this is going to make a wedge to hold your "lid" open. Lay your first wedge along the back of your frosted first piece with the point facing the back and the taller side of your wedge facing the front, Take your second wedge and lay it directly in front of the other in the same manner. Frost the tops of your wedges and the front edge to act as glue for the candy and lid.
Now here is my trick that sets this apart from other directions out there for the treasure chest cake. Take another piece of foil wrapped cardboard the size same size as the "lid". Put your lid on this and then frost the top and sides of the cake. Without the cardboard it's an absolute bear to put this together and it allows you to take the cake apart easier for slicing.
Place your lid on top of your wedges, secure in the back with toothpicks as much as needed, I made this a day ahead so I used 6-8 toothpicks (don't forget to remove them when you are ready to cut the cake!). If you have an extra set of hands have them support the lid while you do this.
Once your lid is in place frost over the exposed foil on the bottom and sides of the lid.
Now the fun part, decorate away. The gold coins can be stood on end to help support the front of the lid so I recommend adding these first. After that adding the treasure is just a matter of sticking the rest of the foil wrapped candy, jewelery, and rock candy wherever you think looks good. I set a few to the side to have spilling onto the sand.
Take your fruit by the foot and lay down the lid to make straps. Use the M&M's to create studded nail covers on either side of the fruit by the foot. Touch up the frosting and make sure any mistakes are covered.
Finally, we've made it to the sand. Smear whatever frosting you have left on the top of your tray around the decorated cake. Take your brown sugar and raw sugar and mix it together (I like the raw sugar because it gives it a more authentic looking texture). Sprinkle over the frosting around the cake carefully, try not to get too much on the cake itself. I did pile some up on one side of the cake where I accidentally took a chunk of cake out with my frosting knife (oops!). Add your leftover coins and chill until you are ready to party.
This is small cake (we fed 8 guests with it) so if you are having a lot of guests I would recommend having a plain frosted chocolate cake and some extra treasure handy and hidden to serve guests.