hwtm icons row

Easy & Modern Pirate Cake Tutorial

Quick Jump To » Comments

Pirate Party Cake Tutorial

PIN this pirate cake recipe for later!

This colorful pirate cake is simple to make but still has plenty of “treasure” to go around!

And it also happens to be one of my favorite homemade cakes of all time because I was so happy with how it came together, and how EASILY anyone can recreate this look. 🙌 I’m not a baking/cake decorating pro myself and am constantly trying to figure out simple ways to make cakes look great that I can then pass along to others. After all, cakes are a huge part of parties! 😉

The secrets to this pirate cake are the printable topper + using the right kind of candies to build a little treasure map scene. You can totally adjust the candies as desired, but here’s what worked well for me…

Pirate Party Cake Tutorial

Easy & Modern Pirate Cake Tutorial



  • 2 boxes Cake Mix + ingredients required on the box
  • 4 tubs Frosting (white or vanilla)
  • Blue Food Coloring
  • Candy for Decorating: Licorice, Black Jelly Beans, Rock Candy, Gold-Foil Chocolates

Cake Topper:


1. Start with 2 boxes of the guest of honor’s favorite cake mix, baked in 8” round pans.

2. Once the cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to level the top of each layer so they’ll stack evenly.

3. Use 2 tubs of white icing to frost between the layers and all around the cake. This will create a smooth-but-messy base layer of frosting (also known as a “crumb coat”) around the outside of the cake. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

4. Divide 2 more tubs of frosting into 3 bowls, then tint them 3 different shades of blue: light, medium, and dark. Add the blue frosting to the cake, starting with the darkest shade of blue at the bottom, then working your way up with medium blue and light blue for an ombre effect on the side of the cake.

5. Use the end of your frosting spatula or the back of a spoon to create little “waves” on top of the cake.

To decorate the cake:

1. Download and print the pirate ship cake topper (with the number sail of your choice) onto white cardstock. This is the card stock paper I always use. Once cut, attach the topper to wooden skewers (with hot glue or tape on the back), and insert it into the cake.

2. Add a “treasure map” in front of the ship using small jelly beans, red licorice, crushed rock candy, and gold-wrapped chocolate.

Pirate Party Cake Tutorial

Pirate Party Cake Tutorial

Pirate Party Printables

My Pirate Birthday printables are available in our store. They make it so EASY to add pro designer style & personalization to your event. It’s like instant branding for your party! 🙌 Click here to shop now.

Pirate Birthday Party Printables

Browse Party Ideas: