I have decorated a lot of kids cakes over the years but haven't attempted a pirate ship. That is until my 3 year old decided that he would like one for his 4th birthday. I googled a few images and came up with one I loved and thought I could do. I had neither the time or patience to replicate it exactly so I improvised and ended up with this:
My kids loved it as did all the kids who came to the party. It was actually pretty easy to decorate and took approx 2 hrs.
I admit that I didn't actually bake the cake... I know, I know but I feel that if I am spending 2 hrs decorating it, that is enough time spent for me. I cheat a little with my kids cakes and buy a half slab cake from the Woolworths bakery. At the time of writing this, half a slab of sponge cake (with no icing) is $20. You can get it in chocolate or vanilla sponge cake. You can also get a mud cake with no ganache on it for just a little extra ($28).
What you need:
- Half slab cake or equivalent home baked cakes (you might need approx 4 square cakes).
- Lots of butter cream or icing that you prefer. I used 200g butter, 4 cups icing sugar (sifted), 3 tsp vanilla & 2 Tbspn milk. Add enough cocoa to make the icing dark chocolate. You will also need blue food colouring.
- 4 x Curly wurley chocolate bars
- Chocolate bullets
- Licorice strap
- 2 Oreo biscuits (or anything you have in your cupboard)
- Chocolate coins
- Black cardboard
- Wooden skewers
Step 2 - Cut out a rectangle with a pointed end out of the cake. This will be the base of the ship. See picture below. Ensure you cut it from the edge of the cake to leave enough room to cut out another shape the same size. You can vary the size of the ship depending on the amount of people you have coming to your party.
Step 3 - Cut out another shape, identical to the one above and place it on top of the bottom shape - to make 2 layers.
Step 4 - Using the left over cake, cut out a rectangle and a triangle to make the 3rd layer as shown below.
Step 5 - Cover the entire cake with chocolate icing. I used a chocolate cake with chocolate icing so if pieces of cake get mixed through the icing, it wasn't too noticeable.
Step 6 - Decorate the cake. I used the curly wurley bars as railings of the ship. I trimmed the bottom off so they didn't stand up too high and fall over in the heat but you can do whatever you like.
I also used licorice strap cut into small slices and stuck to the side of the cake to look like some rope. The licorice is already curled because of the way it is stored in the package so cut off a thin slice and it is perfect on the side of the ship.
I used Oreo biscuits (halved) for the port holes and chocolate bullets to look like a ladder.
I rummaged through the cupboard and came up with a few marshmallows and some chocolate coins which I also added for decoration. You can use whatever you like but the chocolate coins fit perfectly with the theme.
My son had some pirate toys which I used on the cake such as a small chest & pirate figures. Use your imagination and whatever you have lying around. You do not need to spend lots of money, just try and use what you have.
Once you are happy with the cake, tint the white icing with blue colouring and pipe around the bottom of the cake. To save time you can swipe it around the bottom of the cake with a knife to give a crashing wave effect.
Step 7 - Make the sails of the ship. I searched Google Images for skull and crossbones and came up with the following image. I copied it into Microsoft word and resized it a few times. Then I printed it out and picked the one that was best sized for the pirate ship.