I loved this cake! Not only was it right up my ally being pretty simple and yet impressive looking, it tasted fantastic! I'll be the first to admit that I typically go overboard with my son's birthday parties, but I did make an attempt this year to keep myself in check with everything but the cake.
Our decor consisted of a few inexpensive banners and one beach bucket full of snacks, some paper plates and napkins and we were set. We did go in with most of the family and get an inflatable water slide for Alex's birthday present this year. Throw that in with a regular kiddie pool, and the inflatable soccer goal Alex got last year for his birthday, and my backyard became a kids inflatable land dream. :)
Then there was the cake. My brother joined our decorating team this year and made such notable contributions as the teddy graham chicken fight, and the bouy. My sister carefully crafted a kayak, helped with the bouy and served as general managing director of the decorations, and I was the brains behind the surfer, the beach babes, the lifeguard and the tree. All together we got a nifty cake that served the 50 or so people who came with very little leftover.
I used 3 boxes of funfetti cake mix to make the 11 x 15 cake, a thin 8 inch round and two cupcakes so I could test the results before the crowd. :) Once both cakes were cook, I put them in the fridge over night to lock in the moisture. The day before the party I brought them back to room temp, arranged the 8 inch round in pieces to create the beach and added a crumb coat to make frosting it easier. Once the crumb coat had set for a bit I tinted store bough whipped white frosting with orange extract (colorless) and did a white layer over the entire cake. I quickly added finely blended graham crackers (they were powder like consistency) all over the beach by patting them into the icing. Then I tinted another can of whipped white frosting blue for the water and mixed it with the white to create white caps in the water. Then came the fun with the teddy grahams and gummy drops rolled and cut up into shapes. Here see for yourself!