Make a Splash at Your Next Party With This DIY Pool Cake
Believe it or not, I had no idea what a swimming pool cake was until about two months ago, and ever since my glorious discovery, I’ve been obsessed with them. Is it possible to rewind back to my childhood and request this cake every year for my birthday? Summer 2016: I’m spreading the gospel of the swimming pool cake. To be honest, I’m still not sure what makes a *true* swimming pool cake, but I figured I’d do what I do best: Take a stab at doing it myself! This is the perfect dish to bring to a pool party or Fourth of July potluck, so add it to your short list of easy summer DIYs!
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, yellow cake and blue raspberry jello seem like a formidable combination. But hear me out: The classic jello dessert alternative is jello salad (gross), so the novelty of this cake alone will make it a hit at your next party.
Make sure you pay attention to the scale of miniature people vs. beach accessories. Otherwise, you’ll end up with golf cart-sized beach balls. Oops.
— whipped cream
— boxed cake mix
— blue raspberry jello
— cupcake tin
— 9 x 9-inch glass dish
— cake stand or serving plate
— mini spatula
— miniature beach scene figurines
Grab your materials and let’s get this pool party started!
Follow the directions on the jello box and pour the jello into the glass dish. Pro tip: lightly spray the bottom of the dish with cooking spray for an easier release.
Follow the instructions listed on your cake mix and bake the batter into cupcakes. Don’t worry about the cupcakes being perfect, you’ll be cutting them up :)
Okay, folks, this is BY FAR the trickiest part of making a swimming pool cake. THE RELEASE. Take it from me, the fail queen of jello cakes (three attempts and counting), that this tip is crucial. When your jello sets and you’re ready to release it onto the cake stand, be sure to dip the dish into warm water for three seconds. This will help loosen the edges of the jello and allow for a seamless transfer. Center your cake stand on top of the jello and flip both the stand and dish upside down.
Boom! Your jello should slide right out of its dish.
Pop the cupcakes out and cut them in half to make the sand dunes. Use the whipped cream as glue to attach the cupcake dunes to the blue jello.
We chose to line the entire perimeter of the pool with cupcake sand dunes, but feel free to get creative! This jello pool world is your oyster.
Cover up any large gaps between the cupcake sand dunes with more whipped cream. You can sweep the knife in an upward motion to create waves.
Create the illusion of breaking waves by carefully sweeping whipped cream directly onto the jello, then start building your beach scene!
Maybe your beach guests are tanning, or visiting for their honeymoon.
“This cake is so pitted, man.”
I definitely had a little too much fun making this one.
What other summer treats are you baking up? Show us your projects by tagging us on Instagram + using the hashtag #iamcreative!
Production and Styling: Marianne Koo
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.