Pirate ship birthday cake

Pirate ship birthday cake


  • 4 x 340g packet cakes (any flavour will do)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 x  cup of milk
  • Butter for greasing cake pan
  • 1 cup jam


  • Meadow Lea or 250g softened butter
  • 4 cups soft icing mixture
  • 1 cup of cocoa
  • half a  cup milk


  • Licorice straps
  • Chocolate wafer biscuits
  • Smarties
  • Skewers and paper cut into squares for sails
  • Writing icing in red
  • Pirates from the toy box and pirate themed candles


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 35 x 25cm baking tray – this is a tray you use to roast vegetable in NOT a cake tin.

Prepare cake batter as per packet directions preparing two at a time. Pour each cake mix into the prepared tin so that you end up with all four batters in the one tin. Bake at 180C for 40 -45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool cake and level the top with a sharp serrated knife. Cut into appropriate building blocks to create the shape of your pirate ship, using skewers and icing (see below) to anchor them together. Brush all cut cake sides with warm jam to seal.


Using an electric beater, cream butter until light, pale and fluffy. Slowly add sifted icing sugar and cocoa. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Cover the entire cake with a generous coating of frosting.


Thread paper onto sails and position. Edge all of the deck in wafer biscuits and use licorice to outline the deck. Highlight the deck with writing icing. Add Smarties to back and sides. Position your pirates!


  • The most important part of creating this cake is getting the right shape and then coating it generously with the frosting. To get a good finish, do a ‘crumb coat’ of icing first – this is where you apply a thin layer of icing over the cake to bind all the cake crumbs to the icing. Then when the icing has set, apply another more generous layer of icing – this will be your final coating and will be crumb-free.
  • Another great icing tip is to have a glass of warm water nearby when you ice your cake. Dip your knife into the water as you work – this will ensure the icing is applied to the cake smoothly and you can easily work on getting a lovely finish.
  • If you don’t happen to have pirates in your toybox, visit your local $2 shop!
  • This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder.


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