As a cake decorator, do you have a theme that you dread? You know… one that makes your whole body cringe involuntarily upon being asked to incorporate it into a design?

I do.  and I don’t even know why, but when someone says “beach” theme, I die a tiny little death.

What on EARTH is wrong with me, I’m not sure.  (<–NOT a word.)  I mean, I LOVE the beach!  Like, REALLY REALLY LOVE the beach!!  So why the pain and suffering?

sand and floral wreath

I think it’s ’cause I’ve seen SO many beach cakes.  And while there are SO many that I’ve loved, I think that my tiny little brain feels like it has to work overtime to come up with something new when it comes to this beloved sand and waves motif.

For me, it seems, “brain” & “overtime” in the same sentence evoke all kinds of pain and suffering.  Hence the cringing.

wafer waves 1

BUT, my cousin’s gettin’ MAAAAAAARIED.  And I love my cousin (and, incidentally, I LURVE his bride as well) so when his big sis (my big cousin whom I ALSO love VURY much… lots of love flowin’ ’round over here, I know) mentioned how fun it would be to incorporate the beach into the design of the shower cake, I decided to NOT let my brain have her intended little hissy fit.

And I agreed to give it a go (after I told said, melodramatic brain to suck it up and at least ACT like the artist it pretends to be.)

sand & wafer waves tall 1

So I gave it the go I promised… tried to spin the theme with a li’l McGreevy twist (whatever the heck THAT means) and entered my cousin’s bride’s bridal shower with one, beach themed cake.

sand & wafer waves side 1

And then I told my brain to take a li’l vacation… ’cause I was tired of dealing with her and her incessant drama.

So forgive me if I seem slightly… erm… brainless for the time being.  Just know that I am at peace. Xx

sand & wafer waves wide 1

Some cake notes…

airbrushing equipment

My airbrush “stuff”.  I keep it all stored in the hope chest I’ve got under the windows in my dining area that’s part of my kitchen.  Easy access.

A Chest filled with hope.

airbrushed wafer paper

Airbrushed wafer paper.  All light and pastely-like.


Cut out some circles, steamed them to give them some bend and attached them together with piping gel.


Cut some wafer paper into thin li’l strips and swiped them in front of the steamer while fashioning them into little bows.

See my free wafer paper bow video tutorial, HERE.


Covered my cake with shortening, being careful to make sure that EVERY SINGLE SPOT was covered, as the brown sugar sand will only stick to the shortening and not the plain fondant.

You could just skip the fondant and coat the cake with buttercream instead if you’d rather, but I  wanted to make sure it didn’t get too messy, in the next step.


Laid out a pan filled with light brown sugar and carefully rolled my cake along it.  I used my hands to gather the sugar and press it onto spots that didn’t quite get covered.


I attached the flowers and ribbon using royal icing.  BUUUUT, it ENTIRELY freaked me out ’cause I was afraid they wouldn’t stick due to the sugar.

I was determined to make it work though, and rubbed any excess sugar off where the flowers would be placed, first.

Then, I used toothpicks to help keep the white modeling chocolate roses from falling off, and while a few of the wafer flower/bows did fall off overnight, I added more royal, attached them again, prayed my little heart out…

and they all stayed put during transit, and at the party as well.

Hallelujah, Amen.


To make the waves, I used my ruler and cut wavy lines at about 1″ intervals.


I attached the strips onto the bottom tier using shortening, as well.


And alternated colors.


wafer waves full 1

Waves.  (Wull, artsy waves, maybe.)

sand and wafer waves square 1

I decided, after placing the top tier onto the bottom, that in needed a little something more.

So I added some different sized sugar pearls (using shortening) to maybe kindo’ sorto’ represent bubbles rising up through the waves.

And THEN I sent my brain on its extended, forced vacation. Xx

You can find…

the wafer paper I use, HERE,

the cutting mat I use and LURVE, HERE,

the airbrush I use and LURVE, HERE,

and the blossom punch I use, HERE.



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