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Hawaiian luau cake submitted by Angel P. from Burien, WA
I made this cake for my niece's 9th birthday. She had a Hawaiian theme.
I used orange cake mix, vanilla pudding, orange juice, homemade frosting, homemade fondant, and various tools. It was fairly simple to make, and just takes a little patience.
Step 1: Make the fondant. I usually prepare the mixture of fondant the night before use. It needs time to settle. I found this recipe online and it is delicious as well as easy to use.
What you need is:
Melt marshmallows and 2 Tbsp of water in a microwave or double boiler.
Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, remove and stir again, and continue doing this until melted.
It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.
Now grease your hands generously with the Crisco, then heavily grease the counter you will be using. Dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle.
Start kneading as you would bread dough. Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking.
If the mix is tearing easily - it is too dry, so add water (about 1/2 Tbsp at a time, and then knead it in).
It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball, so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake. It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight.
Prepare the fondant icing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening. Wrap in a plastic-type wrap product, and then put it in a Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
Step 2: Mix cake batter as directed on the box. Add half of a packet of vanilla pudding (to make cake moist) and 2 Tbsp vanilla extract. It takes two boxes of mix prepared separately and made in two different 9" round pans.
Preset oven to 325°F. I use a non-stick Cake Release by Wilton on the pans. (I have found it is more efficient than oil and flour, and the product works great.) Put the pans with cake in the oven and set timer for 18 minutes.
Step 3: Mix together a full packet of vanilla pudding with one cup orange juice and 2 tsp water. Mix until there are no visible clumps, then set mixture to the side.
Step 4: Set out a cooling rack on a large clean surface, and place cakes to cool.
Step 5: I use a thin layer of buttercream frosting on the cakes before applying fondant. I personally make my icing.
Here is the recipe:
In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Step 6: Take cake off cooling racks. Make both cakes level with a cake evener. Then take one cake and put freshly cut side up (toward ceiling).
Apply the orange juice mixture made in step three evenly over the top of the cake. Then take the other cake and put the freshly cut side down to face the coated cake.
Apply a layer of frosting about 1/4 inch thick over the whole cake. Then let sit. (I generally put it in the fridge so the frosting can slightly harden.)
Step 7: Remove fondant mixture from the fridge. Pour about 2 cups of powdered sugar and about 1/4 cup of water in a bowl. Set next to work area. Next, you need to sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on your counter to help prevent sticking (rub it in).
Give the fondant icing a little kneading to incorporate the Crisco coating. It will be pretty stiff when you try to knead it again, but it can be microwaved for 10 to 20 seconds, if necessary.
Start off with 10 seconds (please be careful as items that have high sugar contents can get hot in the microwave very quickly). The fondant icing will soften right up and be perfect for rolling out and playing with.
You want the temperature to be close to your body temperature. I then tear the large bulk of fondant in half. Take one half and set to side. The other half is going to be your cake cover.
Sprinkle the surface with more powdered sugar, and then roll fondant icing out to desired shape. I use a large-sized Roul-Pat Mat (31 x 23 inches).
I roll the fondant about 1/8 inch thick, and measure out 15" round circle on the mat. Take your cake out of the fridge and set it next to your mat of rolled out fondant.
Step 8: Carefully place the edge of the mat and the fondant next to the edge of the butter-creamed cake, and flip the fondant over the cake.
What was the top of the fondant (that you rolled out) is now touching the buttercream, and what was the bottom side is now the topside that you see.
Now smooth the fondant into place using a fondant smoother or the flat side of your hands. Cut the excess fondant. Firmly press the fondant until it sticks to the cake at the bottom leaving a clean line.
Step 9: Take the other half of fondant and tear into 4 equal parts. This is the fondant you are going to color. (I bought neon food color in orange, purple, pink and blue.)
Add your food coloring, a little at a time, and knead it in to each piece. You can always go darker, but it is difficult to go lighter. So be careful.
Sprinkle the counter with more powdered sugar, and roll out as the white fondant you prepared earlier.
I bought flower shaped cookie cutters, and cut several different sizes out of the orange, pink, and purple. Make sure they are well powdered (to assure they will not stick), and set aside on a plate in the fridge.
Now roll out the blue, and make letters of the name. You can attach these directly to the cake: take a small paintbrush and apply a thin coat of frosting, and then stick it onto the cake.
Step 10: Cut green Twizzlers into half lengthwise. Apply them to the bottom of the cake with small dabs of frosting.
Now get a small glass of water and a clean paintbrush. Take the flowers out of the fridge, dab with water and apply each one to make a layered effect.
Place larger flowers on the top left of the cake. Then again brush frosting onto flowers, and place them around the sides of the cake.
Hawaiian luau cake submitted by Lorraine R. from Durban, South Africa
I baked two beer box size sponge cakes. Cut one in half, and placed on top of the other with buttercream icing in between to form the cabana.
I then made green and yellow buttercream icing for the outside, dividing the two colors with chocolate logs in the middle as well as on the sides.
For the roof, I've placed 2 cupcakes in a line. Squeezed little rows of icing to form thatched roof with another log on top using chocolate buttercream and a thin nozzle.
Then I placed the remaining beer box size cake next to the cabana. Covered it with white buttercream icing and biscuit crumbs for beach sand, and blue buttercream icing for the ocean.
I printed and laminated hula girls and trees. Then placed them on the cake.