Monday, April 30, 2012

Pirate Birthday Cake DIY

Well every year this time I get out my baking hat…not I do not have a baking hat, but I might look into it, anyway I get out my baking hat to make my dear ‘nephew’ Grant Andrew his birthday cake. Not for sure how this got started, but I know my friend Mary now knows the ropes…have Grant call me and ask me for the cake. This year when he called me and said he wanted a pirate cake my mind went back to the pirate cake we saw in the case at Hy-Vee last year and thought oh no, he isn’t serious…but oh yes he was. Grant was wanting a pirate SHIP cake, 3-D. Now for those of you who have followed the blog you know I have made a 3-D cake before, it was no surprise for Grant and it was about the death of me [see Handy Manny cake] so I took to my new inspiration Pinterest and found a lot of pirate ship cakes that even I could recreate without major pain.

Here is how it went down…

I started by baking off two 9x13 chocolate cakes. I put waxed paper in the bottom so they came out easy and let them cool thoroughly. If I had my choice I would have made them the day before and let the set overnight but I didn’t have that luxury.

I wrapped a cutting board in aluminum foil and placed one cake face down in the middle of the board, the other cake I had on a cutting board nearby so I could cut tiers out of them for the front and back of the ship. Using some of the canned frosting I made small layers of frosting to keep the cake together and cut slivers for the front and back of the ship.

After stacking I started carving using a serrated knife. Then starting with the tops of the front and back and the inside or hull of the ship frost using the canned frosting in a finished layer.

Once the tops and hull were frosted I unwrapped all the fun sized Twix bars so they were easy to access and put on the sides of the cake. Frost in a thin layer one side at a time and add the Twix bars up the side, cutting in the ends when needed. I then frosted the front and back smooth.

On top of the cake I used pretzel rods and made a rail around the perimeter of the ship. Then I created a treasure chest by cutting approximately quarter inch off the Rice Krispy Treat and Ho-Ho. I frosted the entire Rice Krispy treat and the cut end of the Ho-Ho and wrapped a piece of the pull and peel Twizzler around the Ho-Ho and secured with frosting and placed them in the hull of the ship. I used the gold M&M’s and sprinkled them around the treasure chest to show the gold spilling out.

Using the fudge strip cookies and a pretzel rod I created a cannon (yes I realize that my cannon is shooting back over the ship) and stacked gob stoppers up as cannon balls. I then took additional pretzel rods and reduced one down and adhered it with frosting and then wrapped them with a Twizzler piece and secure again with some frosting.

A couple finishing touches are the gummie lifesavers in the front and back of the cake, my cross looking mast (at least it was close to Easter), tying knots in the Twizzlers and hanging them over the edge of the ship, added some pirate men that I bought at Toy’s R Us and putting blue cotton candy around the edge of the ship. Warning if you do this the night before and it is humid the moisture will be sucked out of the cotton candy and it will look a little lifeless. Still pretty neat looking but just not as cool as the full-fledged waves I had in mind.

I will say this wasn’t super easy to cut, you will have to disassemble it to some degree by removing the pretzel rods but get a big knife and start slicing away.

I'll make the same statement I made last year...cupcakes from here on out, but we'll see what kind of pushover I will be come next year.

Happy 4th Birthday Captain Grant Andrew!


  1. I Really enjoyed your creativity
    Thanks for this tutorial

  2. Thanks for the guidance! I will try this and no doubt be sorry I did!

  3. I love this idea great im going to attempt this on my son 3 rd bday this year