Sailing ship birthday cake

This cute and colourful birthday cake is perfect for young adventurers and little ones that love the outdoors.

  • 1 hr preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Makes 1 Item
  • Print


Goog ship
  • 2 x 470g packets buttercake mix
Butter cream
  • 125 gram butter
  • 1 1/2 cup (240g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • green food colouring
  • 2 x 140g packets monster 5s green sprinkles
  • 3 red fruit rings
  • 180 gram packet smarties
  • 1 small yellow lollipop
  • 1 grissini bread stick
  • 20 centimetre square unbleached calico
  • 1 cat-shaped soft toy
Owl decoration
  • 15cm x 10cm piece brown cardboard
  • 1 brown mini muffin paper case
  • 5cm x 5cm piece white cardboard


Goog ship
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 20cm x 30cm lamington pan; line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm over long sides. Line 5 x 12-hole (1-tablespoon/20ml) mini muffin pans with 57 mini paper cases (3 red, 54 green).
  • 2
    Make one cake according to directions on packet. Spread mixture into lamington pan; bake about 35 minutes. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
  • 3
    Make remaining cake. Drop 2 level teaspoons of the mixture into each paper case; bake about 15 minutes. Stand cakes in pans 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
  • 4
    To make butter cream, beat butter until white as possible, gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar then milk, then remaining icing sugar. Beat until smooth.
  • 5
    Level top of large cake. Turn cake cut-side down; using picture as a guide cut ship from cake. Trim cake to make a curved hull. Position ship on 40cm x 55cm prepared cake board, cut-side down; secure with a little butter cream, discard remaining cake.
  • 6
    Reserve 1 tablespoon of the butter cream. Tint remaining butter cream green. Spread two-thirds of the butter cream all over ship; spread remaining butter cream over tops of small cakes in green cases. Sprinkle green hundreds and thousands over cakes. Spread plain butter cream over cakes in red cases.
  • 7
    Using picture as a guide, position red cakes in centre of the ship to resemble port holes; top each with a red fruit ring and a red Smartie.
  • 8
    Decorate ship with rows of green cakes. Using picture as a guide, position lollipop and Smarties on ship; secure with a little butter cream.
  • 9
    Use the bread stick for the mast; position the sail, flags and cat.
Owl decoration
  • 10
    Using picture as a guide, cut a 7cm and 4.5cm circle from cardboard. Shape and cut owl's ears from top of smaller circle; tape "head" to larger circle.
  • 11
    Flatten mini paper case; cut a small triangular piece from paper case about 4.5cm across, tape to back of owl's head for feathers. Fold paper case so it fits to front of owl for feathers; glue into position.
  • 12
    Cut two 2cm circles from white cardboard for eyes, draw on owl's eyes; glue into position. Use gaffer tape to make and position owl's feet and beak. Position owl on boat.


We used calico for the sail, and a scrap of ribbon for the patch. The flag was made from paper and a toothpick. They were attached to the bread-stick mast with tiny strips of gaffer tape. We used two pieces of cardboard of the owl, brown for the head and yellow for body, however, a single colour will look just as good. You'll have about 1 cup of the cake mixture left over, enough for about 24 mini cakes. The cake mixture will be fine standing at room temperature if you have to bake the cakes in batches.