How to make a Pirate Ship Cake for Your Lovely Kid

By | June 3, 2019

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!

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 to make a pirate ship cake

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.

Pirate Ship Cake


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 landlubbers 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.

Pirate Ship Cake


Step 8: We used a cocktail fork to texture the icing to give it a wood grain look.

Pirate Ship Cake

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 cannonballs.

Step 10: Licorice strip strung on the pretzel balustrade to make the railing and stuck on with dabs of butter-cream. This was fiddly and hard and looked 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. how to make a pirate ship cake

Step 13: Mum made a treasure chest out of fondant, and we put chocolate chips and massacred gummy bears to make “treasure”.

14: Set on fire and place in front of birthday child while everyone sings.

(Toushka Lee)

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