Easy Pirate Birthday Cake (With Hidden Treasures, Arrr!)

Ahoy! We hope you didn’t miss our healthy baby birthday cake on Wednesday because today we’ve got something even more fun planned for you–the accompanying (not healthy) Pirate Birthday cake. Since it was for my sister’s son, she wanted a Jake and the Neverland Pirate cake.

jake and the neverland pirates birthday cake

Inside the cake are some hidden pirate treasures–arrr!!

hidden treasure cake

For half the cake, we made it adult friendly–meaning no surprises when you bit into a piece. For the kids side, we tucked a few hidden treasures inside–gold coins, beads and a treasure chest. They stayed perfect through cooking and the kids had a blast digging through their cake while eating it.

pirate birthday cake

The cake was the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Frosting Recipe. It’s my go to for chocolate cakes. I then whipped up a little buttercream frosting, grabbed some black licorice and crushed up some graham cracker crumbs.

jake and the neverland pirates birthday cake

The cake was a hit with the kids and the adults. And the little guy learned a few lessons from his older, wiser cousin about cake smashing and other ways to invoke trouble on parents.

cousin talk



1 recipe Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Frosting, cooked, cooled and frosted

1 recipe, buttercream frosting, halved

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 Jake and the Neverland Pirates Hook’s Battle Boat (or similar)

Black licorice pieces

Plastic beads, gold coins and treasure chests

Separate the frosting into two small bowls. Tint the one bowl with red food coloring and the other bowl with blue. Make sure the red food coloring is fully mixed and even. Coarsely fold in the blue food coloring, but do not fully blend it to allow for a more textured look when making the waves.

Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over 1/4 of the cake, using a stencil if needed to keep stray graham cracker crumbs from spreading.

Draw a large red “X” with your buttercream on an area of the sand. (You may need to dust away some of the loose graham crackers to get the buttercream to adhere.

On a corner of the cake opposite the graham cracker sand, roughly spread the blue frosting across the corner moving towards the center of the cake on a diagonal. To make waves, take your frosting spreader and move in small upward strokes and swirls to resemble water. Place the pirate ship on the frosting water to measure if needed.

Place the pirate ship on the water and the treasure chest with beads on the sand, close to the “X.”

Use the red buttercream and cut black licorice pieces to make a border. Use large pieces of black licorice to lead from the pirate ship to the treasure.

To Make a HIDDEN TREASURE CAKE: To hide the treasure in the cake, prepare the cake as directed and pour into your baking pan. Press beads, gold coins and treasure chest into the cake. Bake as directed. Note: I had to check on the cake several times and press several of the toys back into the cake as they tried to rise up. After the cake started forming it was not a problem.

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  1. Cool cake! I love how you decorated it and the treasure! Stop by our Snickerdoodle Sunday sometime and link up 🙂 Bring the cake! lol

  2. Such a cool pirate cake!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

  3. I am so glad I stumbled across this! My son is really into Jake and the Neverland Pirates and his birthday is coming up in July. This cake looks very doable. I’d love for you to come link up at this week’s Off the Hook!

  4. Congratulations! This post is going to be featured over at Diana Rambles tomorrow and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

    • burntapple says:

      Thank you so much Diana. I love coming to your site each week. I know it’s no small task to set the weekly features and parties up and I appreciate all you do. Love your site, Traci

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