How to Make a Pirate Ship on the Ocean Cake

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Make a Pirate Ship on the Ocean Cake
Pirates are a favourite kids' theme. (Pirate image by Dubravko Grakalic from

Pirate ships are a favourite for boys' novelty cakes. Despite looking impressive once completed, constructing a pirate ship on an ocean cake is not as hard as it seems. With a bit of patience and finesse, almost anyone can do it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 wooden skewers
  • 1 black paper, A4
  • 1 whiteout pen
  • Sticky tape
  • 1 slab cake
  • 1 bar cake
  • 1 cake base
  • 425gr. butter icing
  • Blue food colouring
  • Red food colouring
  • 6 chocolate buttons
  • 2 small mixing bowls
  • 2 mixing spoons
  • 1 flat knife
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 2 miniature canons (optional)
  • 1 miniature pirate figurine (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cut two triangular sails from the black paper and draw a skull and crossbones on each with the whiteout pen. Attach these to the two wooden skewers with sticky tape, pointy end down. These will serve as the masts and sails of the ship. Set aside for later.

  2. 2

    Set the slab cake onto the centre of the cake base. Using the sharp knife, cut the bar cake to create a point at one end for the bow of the ship and round the underside like the hull of a boat. Use gentle cutting motions to avoid breakages. Place the ship in the middle of the slab cake.

  3. 3

    Mix one-third of the butter icing with red food colouring in a small mixing bowl until a bright red is formed. Spread this evenly over the ship cake with a flat knife. Ice the ship first to avoid getting red icing in the blue sea icing; the reverse is fine because any blue icing on the sides of the ship will look like tips of waves.

  4. 4

    Take the remaining icing, leaving 1 tbsp aside, and mix it with blue food colouring in a small mixing bowl. When the desired colour is reached, use a clean flat knife to apply the icing. Create the effect of waves by leaving peaks and ridges on the surface. Use the remaining tablespoon of white icing to create white caps on the waves.

  5. 5

    Fix three chocolate buttons to each side of the ship for manholes. Stick the pre-made masts into the top of the ship, with the flags facing one end of the ship.

  6. 6

    Place the canons and pirate figurine aboard the pirate ship.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a moist cake like a mud or plain butter cake. Avoid sponge cakes, as they are not easy to shape.
  • Chocolate icing can substitute for the ship's red icing. Maltesers chocolates make great miniature canon balls for the ship.

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