I love making themed cakes for children’s birthday parties, especially for family and friends, as you get to see the child’s excitement when they first see the cake (not to mention eating it!). My nephew loves boats. For his 2nd birthday he had a nautical themed party and asked for a sailboat birthday cake. I did a lot of research into different types of sailboat cakes and many of them seemed really complicated. I’ve tried to make this cake as easy as possible.
The first step is to find a large rectangular baking pan.
When making themed birthday cakes I don’t want to spend all my time baking and mixing the cake so I always use my fool proof trick ‘how to make a packet cake taste like homemade’ which you can find here. For this cake I used two packet cake mixes.
So, this is how you make a sailboat birthday cake!
Once baked and cake has completely cooled cut like so.
I recommend making the cake the day prior to decorating as you can store it in the fridge overnight, making the cake easy to cut and alleviating any worry about it breaking into pieces, especially if it is a very moist cake like this one.
Now position how you would like the sailboat cake to be placed and check the cut is correct. As you can see it looks pretty rough but icing will cover any lumps and bumps. The good part is if you wanted to make the sailboat smaller you could trim the cake now to change the size or correct any errors in cutting.
It’s time to frost the cake! I started with the white frosting for the sails. You can find my frosting recipe here. Add a few drops of Wilton White White Icing Color to get that crisp colour.
Frosting Tip #1
The best way to frost when you have exposed cake crumbs from cutting into a shape is to do a rough icing layer collecting cake crumbs and all. Once frosted then refrigerate for 15 mins. This will allow the icing to set and then when you do the final layer the cake crumbs will be set and won’t run into the top layer of icing.
Here is the top layer. As you can see, it’s smooth with not a cake crumb in site.
Frosting Tip #2
To make the top layer of frosting super smooth use a metal spatula and before smoothing dip the spatula into a cup of boiling water, quickly wiping off excess water and then slowly running the spatula across the frosting.
Before the frosting set, I decorated the sails, opting for a simple pattern made with smarties.
Now for the base of the sailboat cake. I used my favourite chocolate frosting recipe. It always works and tastes delicious. Click here…. My Favourite Chocolate Buttercream!
Frosting Tip #3
I always use an offset icing metal spatula, see example offset icing metal spatula. This type of spatula helped to create the indents in the frosting of the boat section of the cake.
It’s time to add the top sail and place onto your cake board. For the top sail I just cut a small flag out of blue wrapping paper and doubled it over securing around a toothpick.
Happy 2nd Birthday James!