All posts tagged pirate baby shower

Pirates Chest Cake

I’ve been wanting to do a treasure chest cake for a while now. My opportunity came when my son and his wife decided to go nautical/pirate in the baby-to-be’s nursery.

pirate baby shower invitation

Take a look at the sail. No skull here… it’s a cute diaper pin holding a blanket with baby.

My sister-in-law was giving the Mom-to-be pirate themed baby shower. I volunteered to design the invitations and make the cake (and of course anything else she needed). We took the colors from the somewhat-planned nursery… red, white, blues and black. But, as much as I loved the theme, the skull on a pirate ship bothered me for a baby shower. So, I found a clipart of a diaper pin and baby in a blanket and thought that it would be perfect to change out the normal skull on the pirate ships sail. Cute.

I came across instructions on YouTube on how to tie a “monkey paw” knot. It’s a knot that is used in boating. Looks like a woven ball of rope. I thought it would make great napkin rings to go with red cloth napkins. After several tries I finally figured it out. For a knot that ends up being a little over an inch in diameter, it takes over two feet to make one. I went to the local hardware store to find cotton 1/4″ rope. Tip: After doing the math, I decided to go with a 100-foot-long cotton clothesline. Less expensive than buying cut-by-the-foot rope.

monkey paw knot napkin ring

Cotton clothesline was used to make this monkey paw knot for napkin rings.

On to the cake…

Part of the decor was to use red and blue ticking fabric. Thinking of stripes, I had the idea of making the cake red velvet and white striped. After mixing up each cake flavor, I then spooned alternating stripes into the cake pan. Then starting with the opposite color I made another layer on top of that. Repeating until the pan was 2/3 full. They were not perfectly straight rows, but when cut, each piece would have stripes! I made a total of three layers for the bottom part of the chest. Chocolate and white marble would be the top of the chest. I’d bake those too and freeze until needed.

Treasure Chest front view

Close-up of the front of the cake, lobster, map, lock and baby keys.

My plan was to make the “treasure” in the chest be baby toys and accessories. The days before the shower I made gum paste baby keys, red baby converse booties for baby boy, pacifier and treasure map. I would need cereal treats to make the rubber ducky, alphabet blocks, and bottle. As long as I was doing that I might as well make it a chocolate batch and make a teddy bear too. Even though I had the baby items, I still wanted the standard treasure. I made pearls from a mixture of gum paste and fondant and when dry, strung them together with dental floss. I decided to make some hard candy jewels after making molds from a product called Amazing Mold Putty. Red, green, purple and blue… very colorful. And it gives another texture to the cake. Crushed graham crackers would be the sand. Anything else I would have to think of later when I put it together.

I could layer and cover the cakes in fondant before driving the two hours to my parents house. The rest I would do there. After filling my car with anything I might possibly need for cake decorating and shower decor I left for the shower.

When putting the cake together that night decided I needed something fill the space where the top was opened. A diaper seemed like a good idea. It would take up space and help show the colored items off.

I almost forgot about a lobster! A lobster holds a special meaning for the kids and that could help fill in the space too. Okay one lobster coming up.

How about a red, white and blue bib with an anchor? I’ll make some rope too. Only other thing I can think of is some coins. But I think I’ll go with the chocolate gold covered coins from the party store. I bought them to use as a stamp, but with time running out and wanting to sleep, I’ll stick with those.

For some reason the fondant on the top of the lid kept thinning and sliding. By morning I was afraid to look at the cake. It was going to be a hot day. Not great weather for cakes. I packed everything up and headed to my brother and sister-in-law’s house. They live in the hills, so roads are winding and bumpy. So much fun for cake delivery!

Baby shower mast and sail

The mast holds a crows nest with parrot and the sail was taken from the invitation graphic.

postcards treasure chest to personalize

This treasure chest holds postcards. So the guests can write a note to the new baby.

The house looked sooo good. Pirate-like touches everywhere you looked. Jewels, lace, candles, even cannonballs. The cannonballs were the bookends for the books requested of the guests to start the baby’s library.

On the deck a tall mast with personalized sail, crows nest and a parrot overlooked the tables covered in red or blue tablecloths with contrasting runners of red or blue ticking. Centerpieces of flowers, jewels and nautical touches finished the look.

Another cool thing I loved was the place to have the guests put their gifts. A wooden trunk that is normally used for a coffee table was opened. A blue and white striped quilt was spread inside with a large tassel, candle and binoculars decorating the lid. The gifts overflowed the chest. Perfect!

flavored butters in boats

Banana split dish is used for flavored butters. Flags on map paper with flavor on a mast and a butter knife for an oar.

pirate baby shower gift chest

A wonderful idea for a gift chest! Open a trunk, add decorative items and fill with shower gifts!

My sister came up with the pirate feast for the shower. Consisting of a delicious choice of quiches, strawberries, pineapple, and watermelon pieces (no scurvy here), spinach salad and a fabulous butter bar with rustic breads. The flavored butters were served in banana split boats with butter knives as oars and a flag made from a map that labeled each butter flavor.

Now it was time to put the cake together for the last time… I spread the graham cracker crumbs around the chest and then set the diaper and lobster on the chest. Carefully setting the lid on dowels, I had set in the chest, I filled in with the assorted accessories.
Treasure chest cake

Cake for a pirate themed baby shower… all edible!

teddy-bear close up

Teddy made from cocoa cereal treats

I decided to set the teddy bear up on top. Turned out it wasn’t the best thing. Within a few minutes the fondant thinned even further creating a hole! Now what to do? This is when the adrenaline kicks in and you have to deal with the unexpected. Standing back and looking at the cake I thought maybe by making another short length of rope that is tied to the life preserver I could hide the flaw. Whew!

After laying the rest of the cake pieces around the treasure chest, it was time to greet the guests and enjoy the beautiful day with family and friends!