DIY Survivor Birthday Cake!

My best friends little boy had his 7th birthday recently. He's OBSESSED with the show Survivor, and watches religiously every Wednesday night with my girls. They talk about secret idols, hidden immunity tokens (?) and who's going to outsmart who when it comes to tribal councils. 
pssst: I'm sure I just said half, if not all of those things wrong because I'm a first time show watcher LOL... but you get the idea. 

Anyway, when it came around to what kind of cake his mom wanted to surprise him with, we both knew we had to attempted a "Survivor themed" one... and I have to say, we pulled it off pretty dang good!
Kathryn originally pulled a photo from Pinterest that she loved, and worked off of that for a guideline but couldn't find any link source or specific directions, so I thought I'd throw our version into the mix, and let you know how we did it! (and when I say WE, I mean Kathryn, because she was the mastermind behind about 99% of it! LOL)
Although, it was surprisingly simple and went really fast!

First things first... the CAKE. 
Oh man, I'm a stickler for GOOD cake, and I TOTALLY believe you can bake a GREAT cake from a box mix. You just need ONE simple add in. A PUDDING PACKET (and about a tablespoon or so of extra water)! Yup, that's it! It will change your life. You'll see. I add a package of pudding to EVERY cake mix I EVER bake. And it never fails, people will ask "Is this homemade!? It's SO good!"

We used 2 boxed cake mixes for this cake, so we added a large box of pudding. But if you are just making ONE box of cake mix, only add a SMALL package of pudding, but STILL about a tablespoon of water :)

Trust me... and try this next time.

PS: I tend to only use vanilla and chocolate pudding flavor. But I HAVE added vanilla pudding to a chocolate cake mix when I didn't have chocolate pudding on hand, and it still turns out AWESOME! I just don't recommend getting too creative with flavors, or it might distort the taste of whatever cake mix you're using. 

Adding the pudding to your cake mix will make your cake MUCH softer and so DELICIOUS, but make sure before you frost or ESPECIALLY cut out anything, that your cake is completely cooled. 
I'd even opt for throwing it in the fridge or freezer for a bit to let it harden up and firm before messing with it much, if you plan to cut your cake into a shape. 
After freezing both of the cake layers, we frosted the middle portion with whipped chocolate frosting, and then stacked the cakes.
To do the Survivor logo, we simply printed one we found online onto paper, and mounted it to a thin piece of cardboard. Done and Done! Who says everything on a cake has to be edible!? 😁
Then we cut the cake into the oval shape we wanted, and frosted the rest.
Here are a list of the supplies we used to decorate everything!

We found that the whipped frosting just goes on SO much easier, and spreads nicely! The Pirouline cookies can be a bit pricey, but come on... they're so cute as a 'bamboo fence!". And the crushed graham crackers are the perfect "sand". Oh! and the little, edible rock candies, in small and large, were purchased at a party supply store for a few dollars. Or you can snag them on Amazon!
Just line those cute cookies up around the frosting so they stick well, spread the graham cracker sand around and adhere the rock candies to the base of everything with a bit of frosting.
After that, all you really need are a few faux palm trees from your kids toy box or a local craft store... and BOOYAH! Done and Done! Easiest, cutest, most delicious cake ever!
Her adorable 7 year old LOVED it, and was SO surprised by how "real" it looked! He even kept saying... "Mom did you really make that!?"
lol. so cute!
I think it's so fun to surprise kiddos with something special on their birthdays, and it doesn't always have to be a pile of presents. Just a fun, thoughtful cake design can make their whole day!


  1. HI Shelley- I am so HAPPY the logo is a printable. I was thinking, "Dang, what can this girl not do!" This is the cutest cake and it looks like a baker made it. Love the pudding suggestion. My S-In_law gave me a cookie recipe with vanilla pudding and it had the same effect... soft! Can't use the word moist... it just bugs me! ha! Happy Spring! xo from Denver laur

  2. Wow, what a cake,that boy's Mom was one brave talented lady to attempt that cake. So glad it turned out so beautifully. And isn't he a real cutie, watch out in few years Mom, some girls will be after him.
    Cake looks so well done,great ideas decorating it. Smart idea printing out that paper middle. Hope he had super fantastic birthday.

  3. I am a huge Survivor fan as well. I'm trying to figure out the printable logo. Is it printed onto cardstock, or is it edible as well? Gotta know!!


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