With a beach sand cake, you can bring the beach indoors even if you're landlocked and it's cold. This design turns a basic layer cake into a beach theme, complete with surfboards and beach towels -- all edible. Add sparkler candles to turn this into a birthday cake featuring a miniature fireworks display. For a beach-themed wedding cake, stick the feet of a bride and groom topper in the sand. For a children's party, top the cake with plastic shovels and let your guests dig into the cake.
Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions and bake it in the pan. Let the cake cool. Remove the cake from the pan and centre it on the cake board.
Spread the frosting on the top and sides of the cake, using a spatula. Put the frosted cake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the frosting. Remove the cake from the freezer.
Spread the whipped topping over the top of the frosted cake.
Divide the flaked coconut into four to six piles. Squeeze each pile into a mound. Place the coconut mounds on the whipped topping in no particular order.
Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the whipped topping and coconut mounds; the mounds will appear as sand dunes. Dust the graham cracker "sand" with lustre dust.
Stick the paper umbrellas in the "sand." Cut the fruit leather into 1-by-3-inch rectangular "towels." Position the "towels" underneath the umbrellas.
Trim three to six strips of striped fruit-flavoured gum into long ovals that resemble surfboards. Place the boards around the umbrellas. Add three to six ring-shaped candies, such as LifeSavers, next to the surfboards. Sprinkle rock candy randomly over the sand cake.
Use a cake board that has scalloped edges to give your finished cake a more polished appearance. For a tropical touch, stick four to six plastic palm trees in the cake sand.
Do not decorate this cake more than a couple of hours before you serve it, as the whipped topping will begin to dissolve and make the cake soggy.