How To Make The Perfect Moana Birthday Cake

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If you’re throwing a Moana party, you’re going to need Moana cake ideas! This fun Moana birthday cake is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday. Complete with candy waves and edible shells, it’s a cake that any little princess will love!

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Make the perfect Moana birthday cake for your little girl's party.

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Ever since we first saw Disney’s Moana, we’ve been obsessed. The soundtrack all we listen to in the car (and I even catch myself listening when the girls aren’t with me). Yes, it’s THAT good!

Immediately after seeing the movie, my 4 year old started planning her Moana birthday party. It didn’t matter that her birthday was months away…she knew exactly what she wanted. I started by making a cute Moana invitation but of course, we’d need a Moana birthday cake too. That was totally fine by me…a Moana cake was right up my alley. I LOVE making fun birthday cakes!

I didn’t give it much thought until a few weeks ago, when I actually had to start planning. It was important that it be easy, not like these totally over the top Disney princess cakes!

Since I couldn’t possibly recreate a tropical island without seashells and palm trees, I started searching Amazon for supplies. This cute mini seashell mold and palm tree cake toppers were the first things I found. What in the world did people do before Amazon Prime came along? I’m pretty sure my kids would have been getting a lot more birthday cakes from the grocery store.

Start by gathering supplies for your Moana birthday cake

Scroll down to the recipe card to get the full list of everything you’ll need to make this Moana cake.

How To Make The Perfect Moana Birthday Cake

I started by using candy melts to make the seashells. You can easily make solid colored seashells but since candy melts are so fun to play with, I thought it would be prettier to swirl different colors together. Melt each color in a separate bowl so that you can create as many color combinations as you want. When you’re ready, take two colors and just slightly swirl them together with a toothpick or fork.

Swirling candy melts with a toothpick

Don’t swirl too much or the colors will combine into one solid color. Fill the mold, scrape the excess candy off the top and refrigerate.

This is also a good time to start working on the big wave, since it’s one of the most important features. You’ll need blue and white candy melts and a bowl that has a good curve on the bottom. Spray the bowl with a little Pam or rub with vegetable oil to make the wave easier to remove when you’re done.

You can buy different shades of blue and white candy melts available but I used the regular blue (not royal blue) and bright white. It’s easiest to melt the colors separately, then swirl them together once they were completely melted. Again, be sure not to swirl them so much that they form a single color. 

After combining the colors, pour them into the bowl and use your fingers or a spatula to form a wave shape. Be sure to make it long enough since you’ll be pushing it about 1/4 of the way into the Moana cake to make it stand upright.

You'll need a big wave for your Moana cake

Place the bowl in the freezer or refrigerator until the candy sets, then add more melted candy until you have the wave shape that you want. I did this several times until it looked just the way I wanted.

Now it’s time to start on the actual Moana cake. You’ll need two cakes baked in 9×13 cake pans. I recommend having two pans because otherwise you have to bake one cake, let it cool, then bake the second one later that day or the next morning. It takes FOREVER!

You’ll also want to be sure the cakes are completely cooled before you take them out of the pan or they will break apart. If they do break apart a little, you can always use “icing” to glue them back together. Icing fixes everything!

You’ll also need to make an 8″ or 9″ round cake for the mountain that Te Fiti forms in the end of the movie.  Use four boxes of cake mix for the main cake (each 9×13 pan takes two) and one more box for the round cake.

Bake your cakes and let them cool. Use a cake leveler to make them flat on top, then place one cake on top of the other. The cakes are so big that I found it easier to cut the top one in half before trying to move it. Once it’s frosted, no one will ever know the difference…a little icing fixes everything!

You'll need two 9x13 cakes for your Moana birthday cake

Frost about a third of the cake with white icing. That will be your beach.

Cover a third of the Moana cakes with icing to make the beach.

Frost the rest of the cake with blue icing.

A Moana birthday cake also needs plenty of blue water

Originally I left the sides alone because I didn’t know how far my island would extend out. Since it didn’t extend all the way out, I ended up covering the remaining parts blue. Now cut the round cake in half…

A small round cake forms Te Fiti's mountain for Moana cakes

…and put it together with icing to form the mountain (this is the mountain that the Te Fiti turns into at the very end of the movie).

The next step in the Moana cake is to cut the round cake, then attach both pieces together with icing.

Use a knife to shape it and place it at the end of the cake opposite the beach.

Put the Moana cakes together to form the mountain.

Using green icing, frost the mountain, then cover it with flowers. You can use icing to make the flowers but these candy flowers make it really easy.

Cover the mountain on your Moana cake with green icing and flowers

Once the island has been covered in frosting, it’s time to get to work on the beach. To create the waves crashing on the shore, make a line of blue frosting and a line of white frosting, then swirl them together. You can check out this beach cake to see how to do this in more detail.

Add waves crashing to the shore to the top of the Moana cake.

Add palm trees, then crush vanilla wafer cookies (the store brand works just fine) and cover your beach with “sand”.

Every tropical island needs sand and palm trees and it's one of my favorite Moana cake ideas

Next add the seashells and some Moana figurines. We used these Moana, Pua and Hei Hei figures that Keira had gotten for Christmas.

The trickiest part of making this Moana cake was adding the wave. At first I tried to stick it straight into the cake but it was a little heavy and I was worried that it would topple over. I ended up making a hole in the cake about 1/2 inch down, filling it with melted candy (the same candy I used to make the wave) and pushed the wave down into it. Once it set after a few minutes, the wave stayed in place without even a wobble. I made a green shell using the shell mold to create the heart of Te Fiti. I shaped it into more of a circle with a small cheese grater, then placed it under the wave.

Add the wave and figurines to your Moana birthday cake
The wave plays an important part in this Moana cake

You can never have too many seashells on a tropical island!

Top your Moana birthday cake with pretty seashells

I also added a few more around the sides of the cake.

You can't have too many shells on this Moana birthday cake

Now we were ready for a birthday party!

I discovered that Moana cakes were a lot of fun to make

I threw in a pineapple fruit bowl because it was fun and tropical.

A fruit bowl makes a perfect side for the Moana birthday cake

Stay tuned to see the goody bags filled with more seashells, Heart Of Te Fiti cookies and chocolate covered pretzels that Tamatoa the “Shiny” crab would go nuts over.

Keira absolutely loved her Moana birthday cake and it looked so pretty surrounded by tropical flowers.

Surround your Moana cake with flowers for a tropical island feel

4.95 from 17 votes

Moana Birthday Cake

Author Lisa O'Driscoll | Fun Money Mom
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 5 hours
If you have a little one that loves the new Disney Princess Moana, you're going to be mommy of the year when you surprise her with this fun Moana birthday cake


  • 4-5 canisters white frosting
  • 5 boxes cake mix any flavor
  • 1 cup crushed vanilla wafers
  • candy melts - blue and white for the wave
  • candy melts - various colors for the seashells
  • blue and green food coloring
  • candy flowers
  • Non food items:
  • Moana figurines
  • Palm trees
  • Seashell candy mold


For the seashells:

  • Melt colored candy melts for seashells, fill mold and refrigerate. To make the heart of Te Fiti, fill one of the round shells with green candy melts and after refrigerating, scrape the sides to make it round.

For the wave:

  • Melt blue and white candy melts separately.
  • Swirl colors together and use the bottom of a bowl to mold into a wave shape (see photos)
  • When set, add more blue and white candy melts until the wave is finished.

For the cake:

  • Use the cake mix to bake two 9x13 cakes (2 boxes per cake) and one 8" or 9" cake. Let cool.
  • Start with the 9x13 cakes and level both.
  • Frost one cake with white icing, then place the second on top
  • Cover 1/3 of the cake with white icing, then the remainder with blue icing
  • Cut the round cake in half and use frosting to put them together back to back in the shape of a mountain (see pictures)
  • Carve the top to make it look more like Te Fiti turning into the mountain
  • Frost with green icing and cover with candy flowers
  • One the opposide side, make a line across the cake of blue icing and another line of white icing
  • Swirl together to create the effect of waves crashing on the beach
  • Add palm trees to the edge of the beach
  • Sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers over the white frosting to look like sand
  • At the water's edge, gently push the bottom of the wave into the cake. Using a small spoon or knife, dig about 1/2 inch of the cake out to make a spot strong enough to hold the wave. Fill the hold with melted candy and add the wave, securing in place to keep it from toppling over.
  • Place the green heart of Te Fiti candy under the wave and put the Moana figurines on the beach in front of it.
  • Place the seashells around the cake
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 816mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Share it with me on Instagram @funmoneymom and follow on Pinterest @funmoneymom for more!

To make it easier for you, these are all the things I used to create this cake:

You can choose from a variety of different candy melt colors to make your seashells.

If you’re looking for more party food, these Heart Of Te-Fiti cookies were a big hit!

YouTube video

You can find all of my Disney princess ideas here, including a printable Disney Princess List

Disney Princess ideas feature

If you’re having a Moana party, you’ll want to check these out…

Moana birthday party

31 Amazing Ideas For The Best Ever Moana Party

Free printable invitations featuring Moana

Moana Birthday Party: Free Printable Invitations

Get Moana activities and coloring sheets here:


Moana Movie Review & Free Printables

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Does your child love Moana? If so, you're going to get the mommy of the year award when you make this Moana birthday cake for her next party!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Oh I wish I would have seen your post yesterday. I ordered my toddler a Moana cake from a local bakery for her birthday next week. I was feeling a little intimidated by the other Moana cake ideas I found, but yours looks super easy!

    1. Thanks so much…it really was easy! I’m sure the bakery will make a beautiful cake and I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This is BRILLIANT!!! I am really impressed! Five stars from me, LOL. 🙂 So creative!

    1. Thank you!!! I really love making birthday cakes…so much fun! 🙂

    2. Belinda Lingle says:

      Hello so my lil ones bday coming up and the wave idea is brilliant i’m just having trouble trying to do the way did you did any ideas exactly what kind of melts some pointers how to do it
      Greatly appreciated
      Directly please

    3. Hi Belinda! Hang in there! I will e-mail you when I get home in a couple hours 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Just left a comment (with picture!) on the pinterest post but I thought I’d come leave one here too!
    Did this for my daughter’s birthday party yesterday! Used a costco cake, blank, and went from there! I had some leftover cake and cupcakes from her actual birthday and I really didn’t want to make a new cake (or consume the leftovers), so I mashed it up, cake pop style, and molded it into a mountain for the island of Te Fiti. I used candy melts for the water (wanted to use them up!), and the only issue is that it cracked in transport to the party. Had a little trouble with the wave, but it wouldn’t have been a problem if Moana figure was smaller (we ordered it and it didn’t arrive til late Saturday!). So I tried to lengthen the wave and it broke. It all worked out in the end and everyone loved it, especially my little “Moana.” It was a hit! Side note: It is also the first cake I made that I followed through with copying the overall design/layout. Usually I get lots of inspiration by checking out different cakes for the theme, but creating my own as I go (working in the moment, improvising, haha)! Thank you for making it simple, even if I didn’t follow the method completely!

    1. I am so glad that it worked out so well for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to share and I hope your daughter had an amazing birthday! 🙂

  4. How did you remove the wave from the bowl after it was set? Mine is stuck lol

    1. Oh no…hat didn’t happen with mine. Maybe it depends on what kind of bowl you use, I’m not sure. Try again but spray the bowl with a little Pam or vegetable spray and see if that helps. Thanks so much for letting me know…I’ll add that tip in the recipe.

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