Cake by the Ocean {Chocolate Seashells Wedding Cake}

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this cake – and telling the story that goes with it (as is my want)!


I love a good theme and couldn’t help myself with the DNCE song reference – I was going to post a link to a video of that song, but thought I would look up the lyrics for anything dodgey since I can never work out all the words when I hear it on the radio. Well, it turns out that the radio edit is a bit more kosher than all the versions I could find on YouTube. So no song, but there was still cake by the ocean 😉


J & D are good pals of mine. J arrived in Christchurch the same week as me and we became friends soon after. A few years later I was acquainted with D who has been an inspirational icing flower maker and fellow cupcaker ever since. Naturally, I like to take the credit for getting them together by inviting them both to join our Bible study one year. They were dating within a few months and engaged by the end of the year – job well done, I say! 😉

So for the chance to be involved in their wedding, I practically pushed myself and my cakey ideas on them – and they gave me a great wedding cake challenge!


They had their wedding destination picked – the yachting club headquarters at the picturesque seaside town of Akaroa. The club sits right on the shore beneath a lighthouse, a great wedding venue and picture-perfect in the painting at the background of the photo above!


J & D had collected shells from the beach at Akaroa in the hope of having white chocolate versions on their cake along with some dune daisies and wavy buttercream (regular and with lots of icing sugar, at D’s request!) finished with a flick of red and gold sugar for sand.


I was super excited for the chance to make my first chocolate moulds – a good excuse to get my hands on some of Evil Cake Genius’s reuse-a-mold. Below are a few photos of how I created the shell moulds: by filling a container with the melted reuse-a-mold, carefully pressing the shells on top when it was starting to set (leaving shell-shaped cavities in the solidified mould), and lastly filling those cavities with melted chocolate. It’s an amazing product, and when I next need to buy some more I’ll get the medium quantity instead of the small – because once you start, suddenly you need to mould EVERYTHING…!!!

Mmm tasty tasty shells!

The cake itself was made up of a milk chocolate mud cake bottom tier with white chocolate ganache filling and two upper tiers of raspberry creamcheese-filled carrot cake.

The frosting was regular buttercream as I mentioned, which was easy to create the effect of a wave-tousled beach with. I started each tier with a thin crumb coat…


…refrigerated the tier for half an hour then added a thicker, even coat of buttercream…


…which I smoothed using the metal bench scraper in the photo above, so that it looked like the photo below…


…lastly, I used a small palette knife to create the wavy lines by holding it against the cake and turning the turntable slowly while moving the knife in small up-and-down motions. I applied the coloured sugar sand by holding my left hand at a 45 degree angle to the base of the cake (palm facing the cake) and releasing the sugar held in my right hand above it, so that the sugar bounced onto the cake.


J & D were pleased with it – I was pleased to try new cakey techniques – and the eaters seemed pleased, so wins all round 🙂 I loved the boating paraphernalia spread throughout the yachting club; it made for some great photos!


It was a pleasure to be part of this special wedding day – and I hope that ‘Cake by the Ocean’ is now stuck in your head, too!



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