We recently celebrated Little Brother’s 3rd birthday Pirate Style! Little Brother announced he wanted a pirate birthday party with a pirate ship cake a few months before his birthday. My first thought was… how in the world would I be able to make a pirate ship birthday cake!? I love making cakes (for our kids only); I always say that I don’t think I could do it for other family’s kids because it would be too much pressure. I also don’t think I would be able to make the cakes we do without my husband, he is truly amazing at creative details, and whenever I get stuck I step back and ask him for help. We are perfect for each other when it comes to parties, I dream up the crazy ideas, and he makes them a reality while he’s rolling his eyes at me!
I typically bake my cakes over the span of two days. On day one, I baked 4 Duncan Hines Yellow Cakes on a jelly roll pan. As they cooled, I cut each pan into thirds. As the pieces of cake were done, I placed them in the freezer to help them hold shape when I later began stacking them.
When all the pieces were baked and frozen for a few hours (2-3), I then stacked them (without icing) on top of each other and began shaping the ship. When the shape was formed, the cake was becoming a little crumby, so I refroze the cake before adding icing between the layers.
Day two. The next day, I removed the shaped cake from the freezer, separated the layers by sliding an icing spatula between the layers, then added a thin layer of chocolate whipped icing (store bought) in between each layer. After each layer was secure, I then covered the outside of the cake with icing as well.
Using brown (chocolate flavored fondant) I rolled out large sheets and began covering the top sections of the cake first. The sides of the ship were not completely covered but that was fine because I was planning on later securing stamped fondant pieces on the sides. The top was my primary focus at first.
Finally, we used stamped pieces of brown fondant to pieces together the sides of the ship. The stamp forms are easy to use as you simply press the fondant into the mold then remove it and piece the pieces together. (This was were my detail-oriented husband really helped a ton!)
When the ship was finished, we added railings by covering toothpicks with fondant and connecting them. The masts were made with simple paper and twine, and the port holes on the bottom of the ship were made with candy melting disks simply stuck to the ship with icing. The characters were part of a Jake and The Neverland Pirates toy Little Brother received earlier for his birthday.
On the day of the party, we stuck candles in the back of the ship.
This was the perfect size for about 40-50 adults and kids. We had a little leftover, but the majority of the cake was eaten.
More Pirate Party Ideas:
Check out some of these other birthday cake ideas: