This is the other Ariel (Little Mermaid) themed cake that I made for Cara's 7th birthday. I also made some little fish cookies and starfish cookies for the goodie bags. (See the Under the Sea... Under the Sea... post for information and more pictures of the other cake I made for her party.)
I saw a version of a treasure chest cake on the Family Fun website and although it would usually be at a pirate party I thought it would also go nice with Cara's Little Mermaid theme (you know all the treasures Ariel collects). So, I took some ideas from that cake and changed it some to make it the look I wanted.
I used a loaf pan to make the treasure chest; then I sliced the top half off to use for the lid. I iced the bottom half of the treasure chest with buttercream icing. I got the wood grain look by running a fork lightly through the icing. All of the treasure is just some of Cara's pretend jewelry, jewels, and gold coins, so that part, of course, was not eaten. I washed it off and filled the treasure chest, and then we just took it all out before we cut the cake so no one would find any 'surprises' in their cake. :) (Some treasure chest cakes fill them with candy necklaces, ring pops, etc. so that's a way you could do it and be able to eat the treasure, but I decided to go this route this time.) After filling the chest I put the top half back on and iced it the same way as the bottom. The straps are strips of red fruit roll-up and the studs are brown mini M&M's. The sand is extra cake that I crumbled around the base of the treasure chest.