How to make a pirate ship cake – Mookychick

how to make a pirate ship cake


Wondering how to make a pirate ship cake? Well, now you are! Let’s stop wasting our lives and make a pirate ship cake with chocolate cannonballs IMMEDIATELY.


How to make a pirate ship cake (dairy version)

This is a dairy-based cake. Scroll down for a vegan alternative…

I’ve made this cake twice now, and twice I’ve taken pictures of the final product but sadly not the pictures showing the process. This is just a demo of a larger scale cake I made last May for a birthday party. Since I didn’t take pictures while making last year’s cakes, and since I don’t have a reason to make another large scale pirate ship cake, I decided just to show the techniques using a store-bought pound cake.

Of course you don’t have to use the same cake recipes as I did. You don’t even have to make the cake from scratch, a store bought cake mix brand will work just fine in making a totally awesome pirate ship cake.

The recipe I used for the first pirate ship cake was one I found from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style recipe book called Birthday Sheet Cake. I did alter her recipe slightly by adding orange zest instead of lemon zest which is what she adds to her birthday sheet cake. The cake tasted just as good as it looked believe it or not.

The second pirate ship cake I made was a chocolate, raspberry, cashew nut butter, vegan flavored cake. The texture of this cake is super moist, which made it a little more difficult to build a pirate ship out of it. But it was the BEST tasting cake by far I’ve ever had. The recipe couldn’t be any simpler and it’s such a rich, super yummy cake you HAVE to try it!

For a dairy pirate ship cake you will need:

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it’s thickened.

Spread the frosting evenly on the cake.

How to make a vegan pirate ship cake

The second pirate ship cake I made was using a tasty vegan recipe I found online from Moosewood Restaurant.

Vegan pirate ship cake ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (corn oil works well)
  • 1 cup cold water or chilled brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Chocolate raspberry glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously oil an 8-inch square and dust with a little sifted cocoa, or line the bottom with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, combine the oil, water or coffee, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well- blended and smooth. Add the vinegar and stir briefly. The baking soda will begin to react with the vinegar right away, leaving pale swirls in the batter. Quickly pour the batter into the baking pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Transfer to a plate when cool and glaze.

Chocolate Cashew Nut Butter Raspberry Glaze:

In a double boiler or small, heavy saucepan over a medium flame, melt 1/3 cup raspberry jam with 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and mix thoroughly and add 2 tablespoons of cashew nut butter to the chocolate as it is melting. In another small saucepan mix 6 1/4 cups jam with 1 tablespoon water and warm over a low flame until the spread liquefies. Brush the water-fruit mixture over the top of cooled cake. Spread the chocolate mixture on top of that. Allow the glaze to cool before cutting the cake. Serves 8.

Ericka, we love you. We award you the honour of Scurvy Pirate Queen. You may sail in Mookychick waters for all time!

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Oh… my. It’s a vegan pirate ship cake.

pirate ship cake

Cut the cake longways down the middle

pirate ship cake

Put the two halves back together and cut off the bottom portion. This adds height to the pirate ship when making it out of the sheet cake.

pirate ship cake

Frost the insides of the large pieces of cake and place them on top of each other.

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The remaining pieces of cake are secured at the edges using a wooden skewer.

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The end you choose to make the front portion of your ship should have its edges slightly shaved. You can now frost the rest of the cake.

pirate ship cake

Place a regular drinking straw inside the pirouette cookie leaving about three inches of the straw exposed. Now place the straw end into the middle of the ship making sure it goes in a few inches. You want to make sure the bottom portion of the crows nest is in securely so it doesn’t bend.

pirate ship cake

Time to build the crow’s nest! First get your ice cream cone and cut the top portion off. Make a small hole inside the bottom. Place it on the bottom portion of the cross nest. Next, push another straw through another cookie. This is so you can push out some of the chocolate filling that’s inside the cookie.You can now place the second cookie inside the crow’s nest.

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Now you can awesomely decorate the pirate ship! Maltesers make great cannonballs. Remember: Too much decoration can never be enough.