I enjoy making homemade cakes for my children, nephew, neighbors, friends etc. I have made several character cakes and last year a tank cake for my son’s 6th. This year, my nephew challenged me by requesting a Homemade Sinking Titanic Cake, when it was sinking! As I stood there expressionless in front of him, I knew I had to give it a try. I get a little obsessed with these cakes trying to make them as fun for the kids as possible. I was not sure if a moist cake would hold upright for the ship design, so after watching many cooking/baking shows, I remembered that they sometimes use rice krispy treats.
So, after baking the “ocean” I got to work on preparing the treats in a bread loaf pan (figuring it would be the best shape to start with for the ship, nice and deep. From there, I began the building of the Titanic (well at least half of it). I realized that in order for it to properly sit in the cake, it had to be made on an angle, so once I had the basic shape created, I literally continued to push it down on a cutting board in the back of the ship to slant it on an angle. I froze the treats overnight to make sure that they would be firm enough to withstand the weight of the icing, it worked great. The next morning, I placed the “ocean” cake down on a large wooden cutting board covered in foil and cut out a section the width and length of the ship from the base cake. This was the perfect left over to build the iceberg. Next, I iced the base cake (I would recommend icing the base cake prior to doing so, the loose cake was difficult to ice over afterwards.) I figured that the more stable I could make the ship, the better. This was a great idea, it really made the ship sit upright with no stilts etc. I then built an icebery out of breaking apart the piece I had cut from the middle of the cake, remember it doesn’t have to be neat or exact, after all it is an iceberg. I tied the iceberg in the Whipped White icing making it more white than the rich and creamy vanilla I used on the ship. Next, because I have never used fondant, I used a piping bag and tips to do individual stars in red, black and white. I placed the cake in the frig to still up a bit before using the yellow. I also periodically place the icing bags in the frig as well to avoid them getting too soft to pipe.
Next, I tried to figure out what I could use for the steam pipes and realized that a wine cork would be the perfect size! Oops, forgot to mention that I actually made small indents in the rice krispy treat ship prior to freezing figuring I would need to place the steam pipes the next day. I continued to cover each level of the cake with the appropriate color. Next, I used the yellow to simulate the port windows on the ship in different sizes and patterns.
Last, I had to figure out what I could use for the dingy/inflatable boats for the survivors. I found one of my sons little surfboard toys and a very small military inflatable boat. I didn’t have any little people that I could use, without running to the store, so because my nephew loves Lego’s I borrowed my son’s Lego men. I iced the surfboard (I think it would have worked just as easily with a piece of Styrofoam or cardboard and placed the men upright on both, the icing worked great as an adhesive to avoid them from falling over. I went around the rim of the “boat” with the icing again just to add the effect of an inflatable side around the boat.
Lastly, I added the writing Titanic on the back of the ship and the Happy 10th Kyle. I am free pleased with how this cake came out first try! I typically do a test run, of which my friends think I am nuts, so this time I decided to just chance it, and it worked! Tomorrow is the party, I hope my nephew is pleased with the results of his Homemade Sinking Titanic Cake! My children (6 and 3) have already started thinking about their next take challenge for me…..Bring it on.
**Note from Elad (Editor): Along with the comments below, this cake sparked this heated Facebook discussion several days after a cruise ship ran aground off the West shores of Italy in January 2012. I just want to say to Audrey that your cake is wonderful and the writeup is great and I really hope that the people’s comments don’t discourage you in any way. On the contrary, you should be proud that your creation has sparked such emotion and, in a way, has helped keep the memory of that disaster above water and not lost in the hidden depths of history.