Whether you're planning party for a Civil War buff or a pirate fanatic, cannons make a perfect cake decorating choice. Create cannons out of cake, use toys to recreate a battle scene or mould cannonballs out of rice cereal treats to make the right cake for your needs.
To make a cannon-shaped cake, stack eight cakes on top of one another. Use a serrated knife to carve the rounded shape of the cannon barrel. Create a wooden structure to serve as the base. Place the carved cannon cake on top of the wooden structure and cover them both in a layer of buttercream frosting. Then, cover both cakes with a layer of rolled fondant. Use brown for the cannon's base and black for its barrel. Carving a cake requires decorating skills, so if you've never done it before, practice several times before the event.
Instead of making a full cannon cake, create a stack of cannonballs instead. Bake 10 mini-sports ball 3-D cakes. Once the cakes cool, cover each one in a layer of buttercream frosting and then a layer of rolled fondant in black. Stack the cakes in a cannonball pyramid, placing six cakes on the bottom, three on the second layer and one on top. For a larger scale version, use full-sized sports ball cake pans or add additional layers of cannonballs. 3-D cake pans are available at your local craft store or baking supply store.
Sheet cakes are a simple option for the less experienced cake decorator. Prepare a standard sheet cake using your favourite store-bought mix or homemade recipe. Cover the cake with green frosting. Dye coconut green and sprinkle it over the top of the cake for grass. Once decorated, stage a battle between Civil War troops using plastic Yankee and Confederate soldiers and toy cannons. Create cannonballs with black fondant.
To create an easy cake based on a pirate cannon theme, create a three-tiered cake. Cover the cake in brown buttercream frosting or brown fondant to represent the wooden pirate ship. Create cannon shapes out of rice cereal treats and cover them in black fondant. Attach the backside of the cannons to the side of the tiers using buttercream as "glue." Create a sail out of black rolled fondant and paint a white skull and cross bones on it using edible paints. Cut a large square shape and insert a wooden skewer through the sail and into the top of the cake. For added detail, create waves around the base of the cake using blue frosting or cut waves out of blue fondant.