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Happy “talk like a pirate day” to ye! What better way to celebrate than with a Pirate Ship Cake?! This Pirate Ship Cake be extra special because it has hidden booty in it! I’ll admit right off the bat that me main idea revolved around the hidden booty in the cake and the outer decoration was a bit of an after thought. Which be great for ye because that means there be tons of room for decoration improvements! For instance, ye could add a sugar wafer plank, teddy graham pirates, and even cake truffle cannons! Let yer imagination run wild. Okay so let’s make this Pirate Ship Cake!
First, yer gonna need about 4 bakes 9×13-inch cakes. I used chocolate, but ye can use any flavor ye prefer. Yer also going to need plenty of chocolate or brown frosting and some blue frosting.
While ye bake yer cakes and wait for them to cool ye can go ahead and make yer pirate flag. I used red chocolate for the skull and cross bones, but ye can use white which be a bit more traditional. Draw a quick sketch of a skull and cross bones flag alternatively ye could print out a small image of a pirate flag and use that. Place the image under a sheet of parchment paper and pipe out the skull and cross bones with the red or white chocolate. Allow that to set.
Next, pipe on the black chocolate, be sure to fill in the mouth, nose, and eye sockets first. Then around the rectangle of the flag and fill it in.
Before the chocolate sets use a bench scraper or other straight edged item to even up the edges of the flag so it be smoother.
Pipe on an extra section of chocolate large enough to set a pretzel rod in. Place the pretzel rod on the chocolate.
Pipe some melted chocolate over the top of the pretzel rod to help hold it in place. Set aside until the chocolate has set.
It’s time to get yer booty around. I used a combination of several different candies. I particularly liked how the pearl Sixlets looked in the cake like the Pirate Ship Cake was filled with rich pearls!
Meanwhile, it’s time to start working on yer ocean! Pick one of yer baked cakes to use for the ocean and cut several small holes in it, ye can use a cookie cutter or just a knife. Cut the holes all the way through but keep the cake ye cut out.
Put a dab of frosting on yer cake board and place the layer of cake with holes in it on top.
Fill the holes with booty!
Cut a thin layer off the top of each of the pieces of cake ye cut out.
Then lay the thin pieces back in their place over the candy, this will make covering the cake with frosting much easier. Ye won’t have booty trying to stick to ye frosting and going everywhere it shouldn’t be.
For the water of the ocean, I used a sky blue frosting and stripped the piping bag with a royal blue so that there would be more interest in the waves.
Pipe on the water with a speed icing tip. I like the results of bag stripping for a nice water effect.
Now just rough ice the cake. Water it’s very smooth so ye can make the water as rough as ye want to. Ye can freeze the cake for now while ye work on the ship!
Cut the remaining cakes in half.
Next, ye be going to do just a bit of shaping of the cake layers. Cut one of the cake halves into a rough diamond shape. One end of the diamond should be flat and a bit wide, while the other end should come almost to a point. Use this cake as yer pattern for cutting the remaining cakes.
Once the cakes be cut ye can cut some holes in them for hiding booty. Ye can add holes to all but one of the cake halves, ye will need that for something else. When cutting be sure not to get the hiding places for the booty too close to the edge, ye’ll be doing a little more shaping of the cake later and ye don’t want to reveal the booty too soon. Also, be sure ye keep all the cut-out pieces so ye can add the little covers to the top so icing the cake be easier.
For the bottom layer, ye’ll need to put a thin slice of cake on the bottom as well as over the top. Place the cake in a waxed paper lined container with thin layers of cake in the bottom of the holes. Fill the holes with booty.
Add the thin layer of cake to cover the booty and add a layer of frosting.
Add the next layer of cake and hide booty in it as well. Add filling to the layer.
Repeat with remaining cake layers.
With the last cake layer that ye did not cut holes in cut the center out of it so that there be about 1-inch of cake around the outside of where ye cut.
Place the outer layer of cake on top of the ship that ye have made so far. Cover the cake and freeze it until it be hard. This will make shaping it much easier.
Use yer knife to carefully shape the bottom of the ship. Angling the cake so that it be smaller at the bottom of the ship (what be currently on the top). Remember it be always best to cut off thin shavings of cake versus large chunks.
Shape the sides a bit and make sure they be nice and even.
Shape the front up a bit so that it really comes to a nice sharp point. The back of the ship can be left flat and not pointed.
Once ye be satisfied with the general shape of yer ship it’s time to flip it over so ye can shape to top a bit. Once flipped over ye can really see how nice ye angled to bottom of the ship and how good it be starting to look.
Then with the middle part of the cake that ye cut to be the top cut out the back part where the angle toward the back begins and place that in the area for the captain’s quarters.
Carve the top of the cake so that be angels up toward the back of the ship, this will be the captain’s quarters. Ta-da! There be yer carved ship! It kinda makes a mess but it’s worth it.
Next, get out yer ocean and add a bit of blue frosting to the middle where ye be going to set yer ship.
Place the ship on the ocean!
Put a thin layer of frosting on the outside of the ship to help lock in the crumbs so they don’t go all over the ocean.
Next, pipe boards all over the top layer of cake, making the deck and captain’s quarters, and railing and all.
Now ye have two options: option one pipe boards over the entire cake, option two use a cake comb to create the lines on the side of the cake and just go back through and add a few boards here and there to add the effect of boards without all the work. It’s up to ye. I added more frosting to the outside of the ship and used a cake comb comb with a few additional boards here and there.
Bag striping again! This time with a star tip for making waves. Pipe shells and/or reverse shells all along the bottom of the ship going from the front of the ship to the back. Add some additional waves in the wack of the ship and a few just around on the ocean for effect.
Next, ye’ll need to make a hole for the pirate flag pole to be. Find a wooden spoon with a handle about the same thickness as the pretzel rod used as the flag pole.
Polk the wooden spoon handle into the middle of the desk where ye want yer flag to stand.
Replace the wooden spoon with an extra pretzel rod just to make sure the flag pole pretzel rod will fit perfectly. Then all the flag pole rod!
Now for a few port holes. I just used a few black melting chocolate wafers for this and places them around on the side of the ship. I also added just a touch of edible gold dust (not real gold dust or course) to add a little interest to the port holes.
I also covered a few Milk Duds in gold dust and set them on the deck.
There ye have it mate, and epic Pirate Ship Cake, perfect for talk like a pirate day! Remember ye can add any embellishments that ye want to and make this cake uniquely yers. Let me know in the comments how yer cake turns out and what fun things ye added.
Oh, one more thing, be sure to invite some people over who will enjoy and appreciate all the hard work and fun ye put into yer Pirate Ship Cake!
Original How-To By: Rilla Banks (A.K.A. Epic Sweet)