Monday, March 11, 2013

Pirate Ship Cakes

Ok. When I ended the post about the horse cake, I stated that I would give you all a look at my pirate cakes. I made these cakes back in 2010 for my twins' 1st Birthday. I believe Pirates of the Caribbean was pretty popular then. Anyhow, the sight that I had used for my cake is no longer out there. Lucky for me I had printed it out. However,  I did find one almost exactly the same for all of you. When I first thought about making a Pirate ship cake, I found this photo and saved it.
So, the first step was to figure out how to build the cake. So, I went to They usually have a ton of how-to instructions for fun things like cakes. Like I said though, the cake link I used is no longer available. But,, had this similar cake.

How to Make a Pirate Ship Birthday Cake

Budding seafarers old and young will enjoy the look and flavor of a chocolate-laden ship as it sails on the high seas. Cater to their tastes with a simple pirate ship birthday cake that can serve as the centerpiece of any pirate party. Complement the cake with pirate costumes, rum or root beer and perhaps some sword fighting for a truly memorable event. Does this Spark an idea?

Things You'll Need

  • Two baked 9-inch or 10-inch round cakes
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Knife
  • Four Hershey's chocolate bars
  • Seven 10 inch long wooden skewers
  • 12-16 Rollo candies
  • 6-8 candles
  • Pirate flags
  • Tape
  • Malted milk balls
  • Reese's Pieces
  • Large serving platter
  • Blue frosting
  • Gummy sharks and other sea life
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Pirate figurines

    • 1
      Cut the two round cakes in half. Frost each half with a thin layer of chocolate frosting and stack them together. The frosting works like an adhesive to keep the cakes together. Place them on a flat surface with the rounded side facing upward.
    • 2
      Trim the rounded portion of the cakes with a knife to create a flat surface. Flip the cakes over.
    • 3
      Cover the cakes with chocolate frosting. Chill the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow frosting to harden.
    • 4
      Press Hershey's chocolate squares into the sides of the ship to create the illusion of wooden planks.
    • 5
      Cut three or four skewers in half. Attach two Rollo candies to the end of each half and move them down the skewer ¼ inch. Attach a candle to the end of the skewer. Press the skewer into the cake to create cannons.
    • 6
      Attach pirate flags to three skewers with tape. Insert these into the tops of the cake.
    • 7
      Decorate with malted milk ball cannon balls and piles "gold" booty (orange and yellow Reese's pieces).
    • 8
      Frost a large serving platter with blue frosting. Decorate with gummy sharks and other gummy sea life. Create an island out of graham cracker crumb "sand." Place the decorated pirate ship onto the platter
    • 9
      Add plastic pirate figurines to the ship and island.

Read more: How to Make a Pirate Ship Birthday Cake |

After finding all the information I needed to shape the cake, I needed to find out how to make fondant. Duff brand in several colors was not available yet, and Wilton wasn't offering a large enough amount. Also, I knew that my group of friends were not crazy about the fondant taste. What I did find was how to make marshmallow fondant. That sounded so good. actually had/has the instructions on making your own marshmallow fondant. So, they know cake, so why not use theirs? For you, here it is.


  • 1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
  • 2-5 tablespoons water
  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening


About 2 pounds marshmallow fondant.


Step 1

To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

Step 2

Place 3/4 of the confectioners' sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners' sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn't stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

Step 3

It's best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

Step 4

When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.

Step 5

To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners' sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.
Make note though. This fondant is super sticky, leaves a shine look on the cake and is hard to cut. Also, I rubbed part of my finger off with it once. That's another story. ;)
I didn't like the squat look of my cake and had extra cake, so I added a bow. All I did was cut four pieces like the base only into a point, then applied frosting and stuck it to the front of my cake. Placing it all in the refridgerator gave the glue "frosting" time to harden and set. Then, I set about making the different colors of marshmallow fondant I would need.
The problem with marshmallow fondant is, that it's white, and making white into brown is somewhat difficult. Now that they have those chocolate marshmallows out there, I suggest using those for black or brown fondants. For mine, I made it as dark as I could, then after applying, painted on another coat of brown food coloring. Yes, this will make your guests' teeth red and orange. Hee hee.
Applying the fondant is not easy. The best thing with marshmallow fondant, is to roll out to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Lay it over your cake and stretch where need be. If you roll it too thin, it will fall apart when you try to apply it to your cake. A nice sharp knife or rolling cutter will clean away any excess. Then, shape it with you hands around the cake and follow with a toothpick or fondant molding tool to add woodgrain. I used a toothpick. I wasn't really into cake enough to purchase all the fancy cake tools yet.
I used bamboo skewers and wax paper for the sails. There's toothpicks wrapped in fondant for the railing. Marshmallow fondant is very heavy and will not stand on it's own. The canon balls are Whoppers and the gold bricks are Hershey's minis. I used can frosting for the water with blue food coloring and added Gummy Fish. All of these candies are at your local Dollar Tree. I found some little plastic sword picks and placed them on as well. Unfortunately, there were a lot of sharp objects in this cake. So, I served.
I was so happy with this cake, which I look at now and do not really like, that I decided I needed to make a treasure chest cake too. Two kids, two cakes, right?
So, back to the internet I went. My first stop again, However, this link is not available anymore. This is a photo of the cake that was on that link.

I did find a link for all of you on how to make this cake at htttp:// Also, I have put all the instructions on here for you as well.

1   box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
1   cup water                                   
     Vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box                                     
     Tray, 24x20 inches, covered with wrapping paper and plastic food wrap or foil                                           
     Yellow and orange paste food colors
1    container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting
      Red pull-and-peel licorice
      Gold foil-covered chocolate coins
      Candy necklaces
      Round hard candies
      Gummy ring, halved                                           
  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan--except use 1 cup water, the oil and eggs. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 2 From center of cake, cut one 3-inch crosswise strip (see diagram). Cut the strip diagonally in half to make two 9-inch triangular wedges. (Discard 1 cake wedge or reserve for another use.)
  • 3 On tray, place a 9x5-inch cake piece. Stir food colors into frosting to make golden yellow. Spread 1 tablespoon of frosting on 1 edge of triangular wedge of cake. Attach wedge, frosting side down, to 9x5-inch cake piece on tray, placing wedge along top edge of larger cake piece. Freeze all cake pieces 1 hour.
  • 4 Spread 1 tablespoon of frosting on top edge of triangular wedge of cake. Attach remaining 9x5-inch cake piece to cake wedge to look like partially opened treasure chest. To seal crumbs, frost cake with a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate or freeze 30 to 60 minutes to set frosting. Spread remaining frosting evenly over entire cake. Pull fork through frosting to look like wood grain.
  • 5 Use pull-and-peel licorice to make handles and straps. Fill chest with chocolate coins, candy necklaces, and other hard candies. Add gummy ring half for clasp. Store loosely covered.

Here is what mine looked like.

Apply the marshmallow fondant to both top and bottom of the cake as I instructed above, before placing the top of the chest on the cake.

Now, I used Fruit by the Foot for the straps and then frosted them. I also gave the top of my cake a rounded top too by carving the top layer. I used two layers for both the top and bottom of the trunk. I placed a small foil covered piece of cardboard under the bottom of the top piece to keep it from falling apart. That is one thing about boxed mixes. They are moist, but tend to break or fall apart when constructing a shaped cake. I now use my own cake mix as much as possible. The gold coins are chocolate coins. There's candy necklaces, rings and the Hershey's gold nuggets. This cake was a lot of fun as it was not as intricately put together as the pirate ship. The Fruit by the Foot really held the back of the cake together. Again, all these candies came from The Dollar Tree.

I used 4 bags of mini marshmallows, two cans of chocolate frosting, and four boxes of cake mix for these cakes. Oh, and two boxes of food coloring. Darned white marshmallows. They were a hit with everyone though. This treasure chest is an easy make. This is something that can also be turned into a jewelry box for a little girl. Now, you can try it.

Next time, I'll show you how to make baby butt cake. Don't worry, it won't involve any real babies or their bottoms. Have fun. Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome cake!My sister likes different types of cakes Like Pirate Ship Cakes is very different.Next week i have arrange a small party on her birthday.i would like to give a surprise on birthday party.i hope she will like it!!