I baked this Pirate Ship Cake for my grandson’s fourth birthday. To make the ship I baked two boxed cake mixes in 13×9″ pans. For the bottom of the ship I cut two corners off one end of the cake to form the shape. The second layer I cut a triangle for the front of the ship and a rectangle for the rear of the ship leaving the center for depth and to arrange the figures.
After frosting the entire “ship” I constructed a balcony fence from pretzels and outlined the bow of the ship with pretzels. For the cannons I used Rolo candy and for the cannon balls malted milk ball candy was used. The figures came from the Disney Store; the flags were printed from the internet as well as the wording for the birthday greeting.
For the ocean I baked a third cake in a jelly roll pan to set the ship onto and used lots of Crisco based icing to create the high sea waves. I covered a large cookie sheet with fabric put strips of plastic wrap under the cake and went wild with the pastry bag to create the waves. The cake was a lot of fun to make and a big hit at the birthday party. To hold the sails I used dowel rods and wrapped the largest one with butchers twine. The rest of the decorations came from the dollar store they helped to create the scene.
More Pirate Ship Cake Ideas
Pirate ship cake by Ilse R., South Africa, Cape Town
I made this 3D pirate ship cake for my son Grant. The sails and mast is not edible but the rest of the cake is. You can make a lot of accessories before the time. Like the treasure chest, anchor, shark fins, railing for the edge of the ship, the lanterns and the canons. They are all made out of sugar fondant.
I covered the pirate ship cake first in butter icing then in pieces of sugar fondant. Pack the pieces of wood with gaps in between, for the ship crashed into the island therefore the cracks in the ship on the deck. Paint the wood pieces brown after they have been stuck to the side of the boat onto the butter icing. Paint with food coloring. The canon can swivel also made beforehand. The cake was a hit and fitted the huge treasure hunt afterwards.
Pirate ship cake by Trina E., Naivasha, Kenya
The Pirate ship cake itself was a 16″ chocolate cake cut to the shape of a ship. It was covered with dark chocolate frosting and homemade chocolate fondant. I filled it with fresh cream and strawberry jam. The theme of the Birthday Party was “pirates” so everything “piratey” I could think of was incorporated on the cake – the pirates eye patches, parrot, monkey, birds nest, canon, skull, flag, rope, shark ships, steering wheel, masts etc!
The figures where all hand modeled out of fondant icing and painted. The sails were cut out of paper knitting needles/ kebab sticks were the masts; steering wheel was put together with cocktail sticks and fondant icing; canon and birds nest were modeled out of fondant icing.
The skull flags were scanned and cut out of paper. The sea was blue royal icing. The railing was liquorices, the rope I crocheted and the sword was made with cocktail stick and foil covered cardboard (we are unable to get silver and gold coloring in Kenya).
Pirate ship cake by Deborah G., Marina, CA
My niece Ava loves the Backyardigans and her favorite episode is Pirate Adventure. So we decided to make her birthday theme Ava’s Backyardigan Pirate adventure. We sent out invitations that were treasure maps the party location.
However the center piece of the party was the pirate ship cake I made for her. First I started our by hitting candy making supply stores where I purchased a boat mold and a treasure chess mold along with three 10oz chocolate melting chip bags I’d need to create these shapes. Then I went to a cake supply store to purchase the palm trees, extra long lollypop sticks, cake filling and the Wilton 3 tier Party stand.
Other Items purchased were Wilton cake decorating icing and cornflower, blue icing coloring, graham crackers, Swedish fish, gold chocolate coins, Pepperidge farm colored gold fish, Jelly Bellies and last you can purchase the Backyardigans pirate bath toy and use the figurines.
I then used store bought cake mix to make 2 of each size of the round cakes, 6×2’, 8×2’ and 10×2’. I then trimmed the cakes flat and piped icing around the perimeter of one of each size cake. I filled each one with cake filing and stacked pressing down firmly ending up with a 6’ 8’ and a 10’ cake. I iced each cake with the first layer of icing, the crumb layer. Let the crumb layer harden for about 2 hrs.
While the crumb layer is hardening make your ship and treasure chest molds, process your graham crackers to create sand and paint 2 of your lollypop sticks with brown Wilton icing coloring. When you make your pirate ship cake mold, let it harden just a bit and put the 2 lollypop sticks in the bowl of the ship standing straight up and let harden.
Then cut out some sails using card stock paper. I put printed pictures on the paper first then cut out the sails. Then poke small holes through the top and bottom of each sail so you can slide them down the poles on the ship.
Now you are ready to decorate the cake. Color about 16oz of icing with the cornflower blue. Now you can ice the entire 8’ cake and a small portion of the 10’ cake creating a wavy pattern leaving room on the 10’ cake to create a beach scene. Once that is done you can ice the rest of the 10’ cake and the 6’ cake with plain white icing. Then you can mount each cake on the Wilton 3 tier party stand.
Once the cakes are mounted you can start creating the scenes. Sand the entire 6’ cake and the last portion of the 10’ cake as to make them look like beaches. Line the bottom perimeter of each cake with the Jelly Bellies.
To finish the sand top 6’ cake, get the treasure chest and place it on top of the cake and put palm trees around it. Fill the treasure chest with Jelly Bellies and gold coins. On to the 8’ cake, put the sails on the lollypop sticks and place the ship on top of the cake. On the side of the cake you can create an ocean scene with the Swedish fish and the Pepperidge farm fishes.
Last on the side of the cake with the ocean you can create an ocean scene with the Swedish fish and the Pepperidge farm fish. On the beach side you can create a beach scene with the palm trees and the Backyardigans figurines.
Pirate ship cake by Becky B., Sunset, TX
I got the idea for this pirate ship cake from this web site. The only difference is that I used Dowel instead of straws. Turned out great and had no problems with it staying together…
Pirate ship cake by Debbie M., Dulles, VA
We just had a pirate birthday party at our house and got a lot of great ideas from your websites. I know you have a lot of pirate stuff already but thought I would send our pirate ship cake idea. I didn’t see anything similar.
These cakes were very easy to prepare. We used two cake mixes. We created the small ships out of mini loaf pans frosted and attached a homemade sail. (If you don’t have mini loaf pans use a bread loaf pan and cut off slices.) The large pirate ship was made from a square cake pan.
Cut the cake diagonally in half. This will be your main sail. Cut a smaller triangle off the other half of the cake diagonal. That will leave you with two pieces, one piece the small triangle will be your smaller sail. The other will be the bottom of the boat.
Frost the bottom chocolate to resemble wood and the sails with white frosting. We added lifesaver circle candies to look like portholes and a pirate flag for the top.
Pirate ship cake by Cheryl K., Germantown, NY
I used three 13×9 sheet cakes for my pirate ship cake. I layered 2 with frosting then cut the one end of both in a milk carton shape. I used the cut pieces as a pattern to cut the third cake. The third cake was then cut into three pieces with the triangle used on the front of the boat and the other two squares on the back. This resulted in 4 layers on the back two in the middle and three on the front.
You need to refrigerate the cake before trying to frost it. I used 2 containers of fudge frosting for the boat mixed a small baggie of white frosting with yellow food coloring to pipe the windows on the sides and back.
I used the rest of the white mixed with blue food coloring for the water. The people were from the Dollar Store and the sails are just paper. I also used chocolate Twizzlers to edge the entire boat. The kids really loved it.
Pirate ship cake by Julie M., Flowery Branch, GA
I’ve made a lot of cakes before but this pirate ship cake is by far the most elaborate. I got ideas from this website and came up with a few of my own. The bottom (the ocean) is 2 cake mixes baked in 2 9×13″ pans.
I iced it with homemade white icing (Wilton recipe). I didn’t make it smooth, instead I tried to make waves. My husband airbrushed it with food coloring when the icing was on. Then I placed about 6 dowel rods cut to size in the middle of the “ocean” to hold up the cake board that held the ship.
The ship was made of pound cake so that it was more dense and easier to shape. I cooked 2 recipes in 9×13″ pans and my husband cut out the ship. Then we stacked the pieces on top of one another. I used chocolate frosting to cover the ship. Then I used a toothpick to make boards on the sides and the top. I colored some of the icing black with paste coloring to make the “hole” in the floor and the holes for the cannons (tootsie rolls) to stick out. The cannon balls were whoppers.
I colored icing yellow for the cabin lights on the back. The ropes, ladders, rails anchor and wheel are all made from royal icing. I piped the icing on parchment paper and let it dry overnight before placing it on the ship. I piped straight lines for the posts on the front of the ship and just stuck them in the cake then I piped off-white royal icing to make ropes.
There is a piece of cake where the wheel is. I just iced it and attached the wheel using dried royal icing. The wheel could actually turn. The sails and the jolly roger were designed on the computer by my graphic artist husband. We just punched holes in them and stuck dowel rods through them and stuck the dowels into the cake. The pirate was from one of my son’s play sets.
Everyone loved the pirate ship cake! The kids made pirate hats eye patches and hooks at the party before they went for a treasure hunt and found plastic coins candy necklaces ring pops and other candy. It was my son’s greatest party yet!
Pirate ship cake by Beth W., Round Rock, TX.
I made this pirate ship cake for my 10 year olds birthday party. I actually got the idea from this website so thank you all that posted your pictures. These pictures were taken with a camera phone so I am sorry they are not the best.
I just took a 9×13 pan and baked two separate cakes. I layered them and cut off the extra for the front of the ship. I then baked a third much smaller cake and cut it into strips to make the upper deck.
The small island is just a cake baked in a small stainless steel bowl. I used character pirate figures and other things to decorate. Very simple actually but took quite awhile because I had never made this cake before.
Pirate ship cake by Angela S., Fayetteville, TN
As you can see by the photo from the back of the ship I started out with a beautiful Pirate Ship cake which I found on this website and wanted to duplicate. Unfortunately my cake was too moist and I had no sooner had it frosted than it started to fall apart.
After my son and I cried a bit we set out trying to figure out how to salvage the cake. (He didn’t want a store bought cake at this point!) We had recently seen Pirates of the Caribbean II and we came up with the idea of the “Cracken” a giant octopus. A box of ready-made Fondant icing and a bit of coloring did the trick and a happy accident was the talk of the party place.
There were 3 parties going on at once and all the people from the other parties came over to admire the cake and to find out who had made it! The kids all loved it and fought over the tentacles!
Pirate ship cake by Mariver P., Winnipeg, Canada
My brother made this for my son’s 5th birthday (my son is totally obsessed with pirates). I baked five 8-inch round cakes – my brother then proceeded to cut them up and shape it to look like a boat. He held together most of the pieces with wooden skewers.
Icing was pretty simple: butter, icing sugar, and food coloring. He then detailed it using black icing – we decorated it with chocolate swirl sticks, chocolate whoppers (cannonballs), Play Mobil skeletons and homemade sails (courtesy of my brother). We bought blue sour licorice type candy and a little treasure chest where we put chocolate covered gold coins.
Pirate ship cake by Leatha J., Salt Lake City, UT
This is what you need for a no bake Pirate ship cake: Vanilla frosting, Chocolate frosting, Blue food coloring, Wafer cookies cut lengthwise, and 2 – 1 lb. Pound cakes. Half sheet cake purchased from local supermarket/bakery. Rollos – chocolate caramel candies, “Honey Comb” cereal pieces, wooden dowels or skewers for masts. I had chop sticks on hand.
TIP – Set aside a little of the chocolate and vanilla frosting to mix together for another color. Mix vanilla frosting with blue food coloring to a nice “ocean blue”. Spread on base of pirate ship cake. TIP – Save a little to pipe “waves” around base of the ship after placing it on your base cake.
Trim Pound cakes as needed, leave one whole and cut remaining cake into 3 rounds. Wrap wax paper around some cardboard and secure with a dab of frosting. You want it to be slightly larger than your assembled ship. Place long cake on cardboard base. Stack one of the cut pieces on top of the long base near the end (this is the stern or aft). Stack the other two pieces on top of each other and place at the other short end directly on the wax paper. This is your bow. If one of your pieces is smaller than the other place it on the bottom. Pipe a little frosting between layers to hold in place.
This is your decision now if you are going to frost it on the base cake or place it later. Spread darker chocolate frosting completely on your pirate ship cake.
Decorate with Rollo cannons, paper sails and cereal pieces. I found a toy squid and little pirate for my Pirate Movie theme.