The pirate ship was made from one large Sarah Lee pound cake and one regular size Sarah Lee pound cake.
Candy was used for decorations as well as toys from "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" pirate ship. I prepared this cake the day before the party, but the royal icing was made several days earlier to dry completely.
I made railings, windows with port-holes (chocolate covered pretzel circles), a seahorse for the front of the ship, swirls, ladders, and nets.
Allow cakes to cool slightly, then run a knife around the sides and flip onto a cooking rack. You don't need to be exactly perfect as this cut surface is going to be the bottom of each of the layers. Using McQueen as a guide, cut a second piece of cake out of the 12x12 to the same shape (works best if you freeze the cakes first). Canons: used icing to mold together the Snickers mini square with the Grasshopper wheels, the Pirouette canon, and the exploding fire roasted peanut.
Crow's nest: slid a Fudge Stripe down the large craft dowel, and secured rounded railings with leftover chocolate icing.
For the flags, I just printed small jolly rogers from clip art online, and cut the white parts out. To get a hole through the truffle for the skewer: I heated a large needle, and slowly melted a hole through the chocolate. When you put the truffle onto the skewer, you may need a little melted chocolate or paraffin at the bottom to hold it up. I made this directly on the Jell-O, but if you're concerned about making a mess you can easily make it on a cake board.
I recommend cutting out a place for the ship to sit directly on the pan, or to place the ship on the pan before pouring the Jell-O.
For the sails, I printed out pirate ship's off the computer and attached them to wooden bamboo skewers (or you could use chop sticks). Once cakes are baked, flip them out of the pan onto aluminum foil and place your heaviest pot on top of them for about 15 min. Once the cakes are cool enough to frost, with chocolate frosting glue together the 8x8 square cakes.
To make sure the cake was stable, I used praline cookies as support, that way it was still edible. Line the front of the ship and back of the ship up with the center, and start to cut out the shape you want your ship to be. After the ship was assembled I put it back in the freezer till it was ready to be decorated (I decorated mine the day before the party). For those of you who were around for my son’s birthday last April, dinosaurs were all the rage in Fordeville.
Erica, let me assure you that you were either drunk or I used an ingenious camera angle to make you think that stegosaurus cake looked good! I'm Kim -- a suburban mom fueled by a little snark, a lot of caffeine (this is often code for wine), a healthy fear of craft stores and years of pent-up Manhattan road rage.


To make the pirate adventure more authentic and escape the cold February weather the party was held at a local indoor pool. I used a large sheet pan for the cake itself cutting it into the general shape of the ship. The mast was from a wooden dowel and I downloaded the Jolly Roger from the internet and printed it out to make the sails. I used this website to get some ideas of a pirate ship birthday cake but I only had a square tin.
Using jam stuck the two triangles to the front of the biggest third to make the front point of the ship. I threw a Pirate Party for my son's fifth birthday so of course I had to make a pirate ship birthday cake. The sheet cake was made from a Duncan Hines cake mix and the icing is a cream cheese butter cream icing. I did at 325°F for about 35 minutes, but consult the cake mix for your specific type of pan and make sure that the cake is done using a toothpick. BBQ flavored rings made nice portholes, and grate shaped pretzels made nice windows at the stern. Frosted the two halves with chocolate frosting, and then frosted the rest of the cake in chocolate. I frosted the frozen cake with chocolate frosting, and to make it look like wood I just made wavy lines with a fork. Although I've never done cakes before, I'm retired so I had the time to take on the project.
The parts of cake that were removed were used to build up and shape the fore and aft castle parts of the ship.
I put a few Rolos along the side whoppers for cannons and pralines lined the perimeter of the ship. All ingredients were premixed in the bag, just water and golden yellow coloring added during blending. A bit may be left over as you don't want to overfill the pan and cause spillage in the oven. Once the cakes are significantly cool, take a large knife and level the cakes, cutting off the raised centers. Then you can freeze to decorate later, or just allow it to set well before you decorate the cake.
To make the sails look authentic, take copy paper and crumple it up, then "paint" it with very strong tea and let dry.
I found all kinds of interesting candies and pretzels at the bulk food store, and let my creativity go. I used chocolate covered malt balls for cannon balls, netting found at a craft store along the sides of the ship. Some things are best left for professionals…pick up the phone and make the problem go away. After cutting out the shape of the ship you will need to crumb coat it and return it to the freezer.


For the lookout, I used a rubber cupcake holder and attached a pirate, telescope and pirate flag. I used half a Kit-Kat for the plank, Rollos for Powder barrels, chocolate malt balls as cannon balls and cereal straws for cannons. After applying the icing to the ship I used a brush to give it a wood grain sort of texture. Then chopped a small square off the end of the smallest piece of cake and cut it half diagonally to make two triangles.
All the rest is self explanory really (rails, curly whirl's, cannons, Rolos cannon balls aero balls).
I cut one round cake in half to make the front triangle shape in the front and stacked them.
I also used blue food coloring to tint some white frosting for the ocean and brown sugar crystals for the sand.
I glued them on with chocolate frosting and on this part I did need to use toothpicks to hold them in place.
The brass decorations along the edge of the ship are fancy thumb tacks I found at a craft store. I usually make a cream cheese butter cream icing for all my cakes but for this one, I used Wilton’s chocolate butter cream icing. I then used one loaf as the main ship base and the other for making the bow and the back of the ship in double layer. After looking at a lot of different cakes I put together my own version of a pirate ship birthday cake.
The cannons on and below deck were from Pepperidge farm pirouette cookies which were colored grey with food coloring. Gold icing was used to apply a little more decoration and make parts of the ship stand out better. Then cut the other round cake in half and stacked them to achieve the rounded end part of the boat. I found a few pirate toys like a parrot, treasure pirates and palm trees from Target and used those pieces to decorate the ship with.
After decorating the cake with icing I used a pop cycle stick to draw on the shape of the boards.
The on deck cannon supports were made of chocolate wafer cookies and cannon balls were gum balls painted black with food coloring. I also used two kebab sticks for sails and got the great pirate candles from eBay along with the play Mobil characters. If you really want to save time you can use a couple of pound cakes from the freezer section of your grocery store. The shark fins were made of a royal icing and all the pirate figures came from the toy section of a local store.



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