Oh my goodness! When my son Jonathan asked that I make him a Pirate Ship for his birthday cake my heart sank. I wondered how I was going to pull this off. With a little planning and some creativity his Pirate Ship Birthday Cake turned out great.
For the cake I used 3 plain yellow cake box mixes. All prepared separately. When mixing it I used my mixer at a high speed for a longer period of time than recommenced to get it really fluffy. I mixed each cake seperatly. I baked a total of 3 9X13 sheet cakes. After the cakes are cooled on the counter I inverted them onto a wire rack for further cooling. Do not try to invert the cake before it is cooled.
After all the cakes were baked I wrapped them all in foil and put them in the fridge to refrigerate over night. This is an important step. You want the cakes to be really cold when you put the ship together.
After an overnight trip to the fridge the cakes are ready to be cut and dirty frosted. I cut 2 of the cakes in the shape of a milk carton. I also cut 2 rectangles one smaller than the other for the captain's cabin on the back. The front of the ship is the hard part. You have to frost that part last and immediately refrigerate. The front is 2 triangle pieces of cake held together by frosting. Dirty frosting is a technique where you frost the entire cake to hold together all of the crumbs on that layer so that the final frosting is not covered in crumbs. After you have dirty frosted immediately refrigerate overnight again.
As you can see this is a log process but well worth the huge smiles!
Now the fun part real decorating. Frost the entire again with you frosting choice. I used caramel frosting because my son does not like chocolate. I ran the spatula to like wood planks, at least I tried too. After I got the whole frosted I sprayed it with black food spray to make a little bit darker. The port holes are butter cookies that have been painted with the food spray and accented with gold glitter frosting. Tee plank is a wafer cookie sprayed with food spray as well. Play with the decorations. But I think less is more.
The sails are made of hard felt with skull and bones iron on transfers. I used skewers for the masts. They also help give the cake a little stability. The ocean is coconut colored with blue food color gel with a little water. Let it dry in a bowl overnight after you mix it.
The whole cake was assembled on a cardboard cake sheet covered with foil. The coconut ocean is adhered with plain white frosting. I added plastic pirates and sharks for decoration. Also my husband made a fondant ladder.
This cake was a lot of fun to make and I have decided to make my kids cakes for now on. Have fun!