Pirate Ship Cake

by TerriRexson

Instructions for making a pirate ship cake with template, pictures and recipe. Quite easy to make but looks very impressive.

Instructions and Templates to Make this Pirate Ship Cake

See below
Pirate Ship Cake
Pirate Ship Cake

Make this Pirate Ship Birthday Cake

This pirate ship cake is made from two round sponge cakes. I used a 10" round cake pan, but you could adjust the amounts to make a larger or smaller cake. 

The cake was made for my son's 3rd birthday. He had a joint party with his cousin, also 3. The cake is designed so that the spare pieces from the Pirate Ship Cake can be used to make a Pirate Island Cake. If you don't want to make the Pirate Island Cake as well then I recommend that you freeze the extra cake for later use. 

Cake Pan and Board

If you want to bake both cakes at the same time, you'll need two cake pans
Wilton 19-by-13-Inch Cake Board, 6-Pack
$19.99  $10.99
Wilton Recipe Right 10 Inch Springfor...
$18.81  $12.29
Orka 10 Inch Round Cake Pan, Raspberry
Only $14.75

Step 1: Bake two round sponge cakes

Do this in advance!

First you're going to bake two round sponge cakes. You want the cakes to be pretty solid so choose a recipe that will give you fairly solid cakes. 

For each cake I used this 4 egg sponge cake recipe. I used the whole recipe in one 10" round cake pan and baked until a skewer inserted in the center came out clean (around 30 mins). Make sure the cakes are well cooked - you want them nice and solid. 

So for the Pirate Ship Cake and Pirate Island Cake I used 8 eggs in total. 

You want the cakes to be as flat as possible. I used the trick of spinning the cake pans so that there's more mixture at the edge of the pan than the center. It worked well. But don't worry too much, you can always slice the top off a domed cake. 

Once the cakes have cooled, refrigerate them for at least a couple of hours - I left them overnight. This makes the cakes nice and solid to work with when you need to cut them. 

Round Sponge Cake

You need two of these
Round Sponge Cake
Round Sponge Cake

Using the Template

You can either print and scale the cake templates, or you can just use them as a guide. The key is to make sure that you have sufficient cake to make the triangle for the bottom layer of the cake. 

Pirate Ship Cake Assembled into Layers

Pirate Ship Cake Assembled into Layers
Pirate Ship Cake Assembled into Layers

Step 2: Cut and Assemble Pirate Ship Cake Base Layer

Now cut the first round cake as shown in Template 1. You are making the bottom layer of the ship and placing it onto the cake board as in the picture above. 

Add some jelly to the end of the large piece that comes from the center of the cake - where the red line is on the template. Stick the triangular piece on, joining up the red lines. 

You now have the base of the ship. 

Pirate Ship Template for Cake 1

Pirate Ship Template for Cake 1
Pirate Ship Template for Cake 1

Step 3: Cut and Assemble Pirate Ship Middle and Top Layers

Cut the second cake according to the template.

Add jelly to the bottom of the piece marked Middle Layer. Place those pieces from the center at the front and back of the ship to create the middle layer of the cake with a gap in the center for the deck. 

Add the top layer piece from cake 1, again adding a layer of jelly (jam) to stick the pieces together (and it tastes good!). 

Put kebab skewers through the layers at the front and back of the ship to secure the layers and act as masts. 

Pirate Ship Template for Cake 2

Pirate Ship Template for Cake 2
Pirate Ship Template for Cake 2

Step 4: Decorate the Pirate Ship Cake

We covered the cake in melted chocolate. Just microwave some baking chocolate in a glass bowl until it has almost melted then stir to melt the last pieces, then pour the chocolate onto the cake a little at a time and spread with a palette knife - work quickly before it starts to set. 

Chocolate fondant is another option for covering the cake. 

You could make the sails and flag from edible rice paper and food coloring, but we just used pirate flag and sail printables. 

We added a fondant parrot, sea and sharks! And Curly Whurly bar railings, plank and ladder, a marzipan map and key and a mini Jaffa Cake crow's nest. I drew the detail on the treasure map with edible ink cake decorating pens - my son very much enjoyed eating the map!

Pirate Ship Cake Supplies

Fondarific Chocolate Fondant Brown, 2...
Only $14.81
Edde Marzipan - 25/75 - 225 g
Only $13.48
Wilton Primary Colors Fondant, Multi...
$24.89  $21.99

Step 5: Add Candles!

We added straight candles sticking out from the side of the ship which was great fun. And a number 3 candle since it was a third birthday party. 

I wish I'd bought some pirate figure candles. I was hoping to make fondant pirate figures, but I ran out of time (and energy!) Ah well, it was still very popular. 

Candles for the Pirate Ship

I wish I'd bought some pirate figure candles ...
Lovely Chubblies Pirates Birthday Can...
Smiling Faces

Pirate Ship Cake with Candles Lit

Pirate Ship Cake with Candles
Pirate Ship Cake with Candles

The Verdict

The kids loved the cake. The parrot was very popular (I almost threw him away as I didn't think he was very good.) My son got some pirate costume accessories for his birthday too and was a very happy pirate!

Pirate Party Tableware

Pirate Party Supplies

More Pirate Party Pages

Make your own pirate party picks, flags and decorations to print out and assemble. And a selection of pirate party supplies to buy too.
A selection of fun party favors for a pirate party. Pirate swords, gold coins, eye patches and lots more ideas.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates Party Supplies for a fun pirate party for little kids.
Instructions for making a Pirate Island Cake with Treasure Chest. Pictures and recipe are included.
Updated: 01/21/2013, TerriRexson
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Jackie on 10/07/2013

Thank you so much for helping me make my first novelty cake! Your instructions were easy to follow.

janices7 on 02/17/2012

LOVE the step-by-step instructions and photos you used. This would be perfect for a pirate themed baby shower too!

ForestBear on 08/17/2011

Wow this is a fantastic cake, love it! Thank you

mivvy on 07/21/2011

This is so cute. My son is too old for this cake and my grandson still too young, but I will make it for him when he can sppreciate it

Guest on 07/12/2011

Fantastic cake. I had no idea there were edible ink pens.

Kingfisher on 07/12/2011

Wow, what an awesome cake and great article on how to make it.

TerriRexson on 07/10/2011

Shame you're not closer Paul, there's still some left!

pkmcr on 07/10/2011

That looks absolutely fantastic and is going to be loved by the kids (and oen or two adults too!)

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