My Moana cake – it was way easier than it looks. Here’s how it all came together.
I am by no means a talented cake maker. I simply have that motherly urge to make the birthday cake for my kids each year, much to the dismay of my husband. He’s not crazy about the mess I make in the kitchen, but mostly he knows that it stresses me out. Yes, I am a perfectionist. I promised him this year would be different. I explained what I wanted to achieve and semi-convinced him that it would be super simple. And it really was…
No big shock here – I spent a good couple of weeks trolling through Pinterest looking for inspiration. I can never find the perfect cake so usually end up taking on a bit of a hybrid approach – the best of the best. And definitely nothing with fondant – that stuff scares me.
I do this nice and early. I am always paranoid that if I leave it to the last minute, I won’t be able to find what I am looking for. With my Moana cake, it was the flowers that I struggled with. I must have searched more than 20 cake decorating websites to find what I was looking for and had no luck. Etsy also didn’t deliver. I even asked a professional cake maker if they could source me some but they also couldn’t. In the end (at the very last minute) I found a listing hidden deep within eBay that actually turned out perfectly. Here they are if you need them!
Other ingredients I used for this cake:
❤ 2 x 8 inch cakes and 2 x 10 inch cakes
❤ Rondoletti wafer biscuits
❤ meringue icing (coloured blue for the waterfall)
❤ buttercream icing (coloured green for the grass)
❤ brown sugar (for the sand)
❤ Moana cake toppers
I baked all of the cakes and made all of the icing the day before the party. Bake all 4 cakes as per your favourite cake recipe (packet mixes work just as well!!). I chose to bake 2 x chocolate and 2 x vanilla but it is really just up to your personal likes. I then decided to go with meringue icing as it gives off a bit of a smooth, shiny look which was perfect for the waterfall. Here’s the recipe I followed:
4 x egg whites
2 x cups castor sugar
Place eggwhites, sugar and 1/4 cup cold water in a large heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Using an electric hand mixer, beat eggwhite mixture for 15 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove bowl from heat. Beat until cooled.
The trick is to keep beating even when you want to give up – otherwise it can be grainy. I made 1.5 quantity as I wanted the waterfall to be nice and full. Meringue icing does take a bit of work though, so you could replace with buttercream if you wanted. I used buttercream for the grass as its better for holding its form through piping. Buttercream recipe here.
The morning of the party I put it all together. Place the two smaller cakes on top of the two larger cakes. I positioned these towards the back to help shape the flow of the waterfall. And then cover the whole thing in the blue meringue icing. Don’t worry if it’s rough around the sides and back – it will be covered with the wafers anyway. Add more icing to the front section to create the waterfall, and use a small spatula (or even just a butter knife) to achieve a ‘downward ripple’ effect.
Once you are happy with the blue icing (water), add the wafer biscuits. You will need to cut these to achieve a height you are happy with. Start with the top tier and then move onto the base, leaving the front open for the waterfall of course.
Add the finishing touches. I sprinkled the brown sugar (sand) behind the wafer biscuits on the base level. Then added it to the top tier to create the beach. Use a piping tool with a grass nozzle to add the grass, then simply choose your flower placement and add the Moana figurines.
There is nothing more to it than that, but for some reason it comes out looking pretty great if I do say so myself. And Miss 5 was super happy with her Moana cake too.
Check out our Kids Cake board on Pinterest to start your cake making journey.