It’s been almost a full year since my mum and I made this cake for my son’s 5th birthday. So it’s about time I shared how to make a pirate ship cake!
We used an upturned baking tray as the cake board and covered it in shiny blue wrapping paper to look like water.
Step 1: Bake two cakes. Standard rectangle cake size. Let them cool and refrigerate overnight. Then stick them together with butter-cream icing.
Step 2: Cut some baking paper in the shape of a boat and lay it on top of the cakes.
Step 3: Using the baking paper as a guide, cut off the bits of cake that do not look like the front of a ship.
Knives are sharp. Get an adult to help you. My mum flew all the way from NZ to help me
Step 4: Cut out a bit from the middle. Live dangerously and do this without a paper guide. Put the piece aside as you will need it soon.
Step 5: The front bit is too square, we want a rounded look. Use baking paper again and cut away a crescent out of the front.
Fun fact: the front of a ship is called the bow. Us land lubbers can still call it the front.
Step 5a: Like this.
Step 5b: See? That’s better.
Step 6: That piece you cut out of the middle – stick it on the back of the ship… it’s a bit unsteady, even with butter-cream to glue it together – so shove a wooden skewer through it to hold it in place.
Step 7: Start smearing that butter-cream icing on. We wanted it to look wooden so we went with chocolate butter-cream icing. If you want a blue pirate ship – go ahead and colour your icing blue.
Step 8: We used a cocktail fork to texture the icing to give it a wood grain look.
Step 8a: We used a skewer to make the plank outlines to finish off the wooden look.
Step 9: We used pretzel sticks to make the railings of a balustrade. A kebab skewer with cut out bits of fabric featuring the Jolly Roger, make for a good pirate ship mast. Maltesers placed just so, look like canon balls.Step 10: Licorice strip strung on the pretzel balustrade to make the railing. Stuck on with dabs of butter-cream. This was fiddly and hard and looks a bit shit. Don’t do this. Find some other better way.
Step 11: Licorice strips arranged in circles make portholes and the candles are guns or canons. Number 5 written in icing finishes it off. Figurines of Jake, Izzy and Cubby were found at a toy store.
Step 12: A bit of leftover cake, smeared in butter-cream and covered in brown sugar makes an island.
Step 13: Mum made a treasure chest out of fondant and we put chocolate chips and massacred gummy bears to make “treasure”.
Step 14: Set on fire and place in front of birthday child while everyone sings.