No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Vanilla Pecan Sand Castle

Make this cake at least one day ahead since the ice-cream castle needs to freeze overnight.

  • Servings: 12
Vanilla Pecan Sand Castle

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Summer


  • 5 1/2 pints good-quality vanilla ice cream
  • Yellow Butter Cake
  • 30 pecan shortbread cookies
  • 40 pecan halves, for garnish (about 3 ounces)


  1. Mix 2 1/2 pints ice cream in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Quickly spoon ice cream into a 5 1/2 cup (5 1/2-by-5-inch) sand-castle mold, filling completely. Smooth surface. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until set, at least 10 hours (or up to 3 days).

  2. Trim domed top from the chilled yellow butter cake to make it level. Cut cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Mix remaining ice cream with the electric mixer until smooth.Working quickly, spread about 2 1/2 cups ice cream over bottom layer; top with second layer. Spread remaining ice cream over top and sides of assembled cake. Chill in freezer until set, at least 4 hours (or overnight).

  3. Process cookies to form fine crumbs. Mound crumbs on a serving platter, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish. Reserve 16 pecan halves for garnish; break remaining nuts into small pieces.

  4. Transfer assembled square cake to the platter, centering it on top of the crumbs. Dip castle mold into a bowl of lukewarm water for about 15 seconds, being careful not to let water reach the rim. Pat mold dry. Remove plastic wrap; unmold ice cream castle onto the center of cake.

  5. Working quickly, line edges of castle with pecan halves and pieces. Chill cake in freezer at least 1 hour (or up to 5). Just before serving, sprinkle reserved cookie crumbs over castle. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before cutting.

Reviews (4)

  • lizk65 12 Aug, 2009

    I have seen Nilla wafers used as sand.

  • dshorst 12 Aug, 2009

    Has anyone tried to make this cake? How difficult is it? Any tips?

  • dbreitenbach 12 Aug, 2009

    You could use almost any "brown" cookie processed in to crumbs. I would suggest using candy shells to decorate instead of pecans.

  • mclibby2 12 Aug, 2009

    if you have nut allergies, what else could you use for sand?

Related Topics