Pirate Ship Birthday Cake Design

by Karen Tack

Pirate Ship Birthday Cake Design

Sweet! How to make a pirate ship birthday cake with boxed cake mix. Easy, step-by-step recipe, diagrams and pictures

Download the template for this cake now!


  • 1 (13 by 9-inch) cake
  • 1 can (16 oz) dark chocolate frosting
  • Yellow food coloring
  • ½ can (1 cup) vanilla frosting
  • 1 plain breadstick (8 inches long)
  • 16 yellow mini-candy-coated chocolates
  • 6 PepOMint Life Savers
  • 1 cup blue coarse decorating sugar
  • 2 thick pretzel rods

What you'll need:

  • A bread knife
  • A serving platter
  • A fork
  • Scissors
  • Black and white construction paper
  • Glue

Trimming the cake:

  1. Place the cake on a clean work surface. Using the bread knife, trim the top of the cake to make it level. Cut the cake in half, crosswise, to make two 6 1/2 by 9-inch rectangles.
  2. Spread a thin layer of chocolate frosting on top of one cake layer and place the other cake layer on top. Cut the 2-layer cake into the shape of a ship (see template).
  3. For the deck, carve a 1-inch-deep rectangle from the middle of the top layer, as pictured.

Frosting the cake:

  1. Place the ship cake on a serving platter.
  2. Spread the chocolate frosting onto the sides and top of the cake, avoiding the deck area. Use a fork to make the zigzag lines along the side of the ship.
  3. Add yellow food coloring to the vanilla frosting to tint it yellow. Spread the yellow frosting onto the deck area on the top of the cake.

For the decoration:

  1. Trim some of the pretzel snaps and press the cut edges along the boat edges to use as the railing. Press several whole pretzel snaps onto the sides of the ship for the windows.
  2. Insert the plain breadstick into the bow of the ship. Press the yellow M&M's and the Life Savers onto the sides of the ship. Sprinkle blue sugar around the base of the ship.

Making the masts:

  1. Cut out skulls and crossbones using the white construction paper.
  2. Cut 2 rectangles from the black construction paper for the sails.
  3. Glue the skulls and crossbones onto the black sails.
  4. Cut holes from the top and bottom of the black sails. Thread the pretzel rods through the holes. Insert the pretzel masts into the front and rear of the ship.


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