Yo Ho Ho, and a Bottle of Rum!

A brand new client, a carved 3-dimensional cake and non stop rain in Singapore! A three fold challenge!

I started by baking two rectangular chocolate cakes, and cut and stacked them to give me the height I required. I sandwiched them with chocolate buttercream and covered the structure with buttercream.

Mistake number one ๐Ÿ™‚
Carved cake + rain + one degree above the equator = Disaster


So I spent 3 hours covering the cake with strips of fondant. I used brown and yellow, marbled together to look like wood grain. Cut into “planks” and laid on the buttercream. Tiny gold nonpareils were pushed into the wooden boards to look like nails. I was pleased with the appearance of the ship and decided to complete the details the next morning. We’d been invited to dinner, so I went off happy in the belief that I had very little to finish the next day.

Mistake number two.
(Soft chocolate cake + gooey buttercream) x precarious carving – air con = Disaster
We got home at 12 to find my ship’s stern had keeled over! It was lying in 2-3 pieces on my dining table. There was no salvaging it.

Panic stations!! But there was nothing to do at the time. I had to wait until the next morning.

And so 3-4 hours of frenzied work the next morning. I ripped off the fondant and cut through the centre of the ship to neaten the break. Added more cake (the off cuts– thankfully frozen, and not snacked on, the previous day) and used ganache to hold it together.

As I added the fondant boards again, I could see the new section trying to pull away….but prayers and Pocky kinda held it together….

Once the cake was completed, I gingerly transferred it to a large board which I’d covered with blue paper. I added sails cut out of striped wrapping paper and straws. Added a hastily hand drawn Jolly Roger.


I piped blue buttercream around the ship, from a star nozzle and created a small island with cookie crumbs scattered on royal icing.

I made a small treasure chest with a piece of cake, covering it with wooden planks as well and stuck silver and gold nonpareils to look like treasure.


I made a map with a tiny piece of gumpaste rolled very thin, and torn along the edges….


It went on my treasure chest, as the island was too small for both ๐Ÿ™‚
Then I put my little pirate on. I’d made him 3-4 days earlier and he lay in pieces drying, until ready to be put together.



His rapier, which I’d made from gumpaste, would not stay upright, so I inserted a toothpick into the hilt. A skewer supported his upraised arm, as I was really worried how he’d survive the long drive to Sentosa island, where the party was.
But survive he did! And my lovely client sent me this beautiful picture of the party!

Happy Birthday Shrey!

And a heartfelt thanks to you Anju and Ankita, for trusting me with this cake!

And to all of you novice cake decorators, if you have any queries about this cake, please free to ask me. I’m not an expert, but I’ll help you all I can ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. So beautiful and creative. I love the jewel treasure chest x

  2. A’ma~zing Radhika! Oh my, what did you have to go through to create this adventurous cake. I’m sure, looking at the final product, you were relieved.
    Is this your raining season, or the climate-change is affecting your weather too?

  3. Awesome Radhika – worth all the effort! Absolutely creative – You did a tremendous job capturing the essence of the priate ship with wooden planks et all and the pirate with all hsi attitude. Wonderful as always! Love Lynn

  4. Amazing, Radhika – down to the last detail! Your pirate is quite the fashionista. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. How could anyone not trust you to do a cake?! Wowzers! This is so awesome! I will have to admit that I wouldn’t be able to even make a simple map! This is great!

  6. Incredible, you did an amazing job on that cake. The detail work is perfect.

    • Suzanne, I hope you are better now.
      Thank you. I still have a long way to go in cake decorating– but at least I don’t cringe when I see my cakes now. My early cakes- YES!

  7. Oh my goodness, that’s so amazing! No detail nor expense has been spared on this masterpiece- It looks like more fun than many plastic toys I’ve seen lately. Hey, I have a birthday coming up soon, too… What would it take to get one of your beautiful cakes on my table? I don’t suppose they’re so easy to ship, huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hahaha! Hannah, you don’t need one of my cakes. You are an AUTHOR!!!! Of four books! But do tell me what you’d like and let me make it and send it to you virtually. When’s your birthday?

  8. Love all the attention to detail, like the treasure and the planks on the ship and trunk. Looks just great. And you’re so good with shaping fondant, something I’ve never tried. Although, I used to enjoy working with clay whilst going through art college. What I don’t understand is why altitude and humidity adversely affect cakes?!

    • Thank you Johnny. I don’t know about altitude, but humidity plays havoc with icing. Especially buttercream, which softens rapidly; and with fondant that starts to sweat and become shiny and stretchy. It was probably invented to cover cakes in cold places…but has become a fad. I don’t understand why people want kids’ cakes covered in it, but mine is not to question why. Mine is but to do and enjoy!

  9. Hey Radhika, open that bottle of rum and celebrate your hard work! Precious! Your creativity is like those jewels spilling out in your wonderful cakes and making everyone merry.

  10. Such an amazing cake your attention to detail is amazing!

    • Thank you Malin. Your blog looks beautiful! Am signing up to follow it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Malin,

      I left two-three comments on your blog….I loved the Peek-a-boo cake. But don’t know if they went through. The buttons were all in Swedish (?) so I’m not sure if I hit “publish comment”.

      Just thought I’d say I LOVE your blog!


  11. This is adorable! I LOVE THIS CAKE! You are so very talented!

  12. Woo hoo hoo, what a great read and what an amazing cake! You are so incredibly creative! I love ALL the details but my favorites are the treasure chest and Mr. Pirate himself. Just superb, Radhika!

  13. Amazing, amazing work!!!!! Sorry that you had to go through so much pain to get it finished, but I can say that the outcome was incredible! Impressed. You’re so creative, love everything you do x