Camping Cake

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I’m a bit geeky about cakes. When I have the time and energy, which isn’t always, I like to go a little over the top with them. At least it’s over the top by the standards of the cakes I got as a child. Anywho, here’s my eldest son’s birthday cake. He had a camping/sleepover themed party. The beauty of this cake is that it didn’t require perfect frosting skills, and he could help me decorate it. When I make a cake that depends on near-perfect frosting, I get a little, okay a lot, crazy. Don’t come near me, or you may lose your head.

I saw a picture like this on Pinterest, so that’s where we got the idea. If you want to create one of these yourself, here’s how:

Supplies: box cake mix, 2 tubs white frosting, green food coloring, blue food coloring, 1 Twinkie/Cloud Cake, 1 Pop-Tart, pretzel rods (large & small), sugar cones, 2 birthday candles, mini marshmallows, Raisinets, green sugar crystals, blue sugar crystals, Tootsie Rolls (optional), toothpicks, snack-size Hershey bar, paper, clear tape


1. Bake cake in 9″x13″ pan according to package directions. Let cool.

2. Tint 1 tub of frosting green for grass and trees. Place 1/3 to 1/2 of frosting from other tub into bowl; tint blue for water.

3. Carefully spread green frosting over cake, leaving an open trail for the river/stream. Try not to get too many crumbs mixed in with your frosting.

4. Carefully spread blue frosting in the area you left clear for the river. Sprinkle blue sugar crystals over blue frosting, being careful not to get it on the grass.

5. Line bank of river with Raisinet rocks.

6 . Cut Pop-Tart in half. Cut that half in half again. Place these on cake to make a tent. Break off one square of Hershey bar and place inside as sleeping bag.

7. Cut scrap of paper to make flag; check proportions against toothpick. Write desired text on paper. Fold around toothpick and tape in place. Stick in ground near tent as flagpole.

8. Break off bottom of cone until it is desired height for tree. Broken edge can be ragged. Break off piece of Twinkie and stuff up into cone. Break off piece of large pretzel rod and shove into Twinkie, making sure some is poking out the bottom. You will hold this while frosting the tree.

9. Frost tree with green icing. Hold over sink while sprinkling on green sugar crystals. Carefully push cone down into cake where desired. Pretzel rod should help hold it in place. You’ll have to push down on the top of the cone; fix frosting at top with knife.

10. Push two candles into cake where you want the fire. Break small pretzel rods into pieces and lean against the candles to look like logs. Surround this with Raisinets as rocks. Place Raisinets/Tootsie Rolls around fire, as stones/logs to sit on.

11. Cut mini marshmallow in quarters. Wrap one of these pieces around end of toothpick to resemble marshmallow on a stick. Prop against sitting rock/log. Repeat as desired.

12. To make marshmallow person, use 1 mini marshmallow as torso. Break toothpick in pieces that match proportions of figure for arms and legs. Take 1/4 piece of mini marshmallow and wrap around toothpick as head. Break off and insert into top of mini marshmallow figure. Place on cake where desired. Make as many of these guys as you want.

I hope you have fun making this–I sure did! I had the idea that maybe you could use this design if you wanted to make a LOTR cake, or something else that takes place in the wilderness. If you had a small character token or figure, you could just set them on a piece of tinfoil, trimmed to fit the figure’s base, and place them on the cake. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about the figure getting wrecked or leaching stuff into the frosting. Just a thought.


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