How to make a treasure chest birthday cake for a pirate party

If you’re planning a pirate theme birthday party, just get a load of this homemade treasure chest cake! Chrissy of The Outlaw Mom designed and made it for her son Sam’s first birthday party. The lid is a little slice of cake engineering genius – it’s made from curved cardboard that was covered in tin foil and then iced. (I love that there’s no pressure to make perfect icing, because the crumbles on the edges just make it look more like old wood!) After the lid is in place you can stuff the inside of the cake with gold coins and candy pearls.

How to make a treasure chest birthday cake for a pirate party

After the cake is finished, adding brown sugar around the sides of the cake makes the perfect “sand”!

Here’s how Chrissy says she made the cake:


After stacking two rectangles of sheet cake, I did a crumb coat using my favorite buttercream frosting. Then I fashioned the top lid of the chest with a curved piece of cardboard and not-to-be-overlooked outstanding architectural and design direction from my husband! We covered the lid with aluminum foil and placed a few squares of leftover sheet cake under the lid at the back of the rectangular base to prop it up. Another layer of buttercream frosting over the lid and back of the cake sealed the lid to the base.


Using Wilton gel icing color in brown, I mixed a dark brown frosting to cover the entire base of the cake. To cover the lid, I pressed on dark brown fondant, and then placed light brown fondant around the base for a decorative trim that would help outline the shape of the treasure chest. Silver, gold and white Wilton shimmer dust added a pearlized, dusty effect proper for a glistening treasure chest washed ashore.

The fun part came next: I rolled several small fondant balls of varying sizes to make pearls and then covered them with pink Wilton pearl dust and the white Wilton shimmer dust.  If you’re wondering about the difference between pearl and shimmer dust, the pearl dust is much sparklier – so of course I preferred it!  I placed the glistening pearls in strands along the two sides of the chest so they would appear to be spilling out.

Finally, I stuffed the cake with as many chocolate gold coins as I could fit to achieve a stuffed, overflowing look.

We carried the cake to the park the next morning on a homemade cake board (cardboard covered with aluminum foil) and decorated it during the party.  To create the beach, I poured light brown sugar around the sides of the cake and added some blue frosting for a bit of “ocean.”  Then I added a sea of gold coins in the remaining space in front of the bit of ocean and on the sand.


Reposted gratefully with permission from Chrissy of The Outlaw Mom.


Pirate theme party paper goods and printables from Chickabug -