DIY Pirate Princess Party – Skull and Crossbones Cake

When I finally got the theme of my girls’  Pirate Princess birthday party ironed out I knew I wanted a cool cake. I battled with whether to save my sanity and just order a cake ( I spied some lovelies at Publix), or make my own. Of course, I opted to drive myself batty and make my own ;-)

I wanted to make a skull and crossbones shape and contemplated making a big rice krispie treat and cutting it to shape. Which I still think is a stellar idea…but we wanted cake. So I pulled out a bunch of cupcake wrappers and played around with the formation until I got it just right…then I took a picture so that I could reference it later.

Since the colors for the plates, cups and napkins I had found were all in pink, black and white, I knew I could have fun with the cake and frosting. I decided to try my hand at making multicolored cupcakes. So I picked chocolate and vanilla cake mixes and mixed each one according to the package directions.

I laid out my muffin tins with liners, and starting with the white cake mix I put one tablespoon-ish drop into each liner. I then repeated with the chocolate mix, just dropping the chocolate on top of the vanilla. I continued piling up the batter, alternating the vanilla and chocolate mixes…repeat, repeat, repeat. I kept on going until I ran out of the chocolate mix.

And just an FYI here – I found boxes of cake mix at the Dollar Tree that made enough for 12 cupcakes, most box mixes make enough for 24. Since I was using two flavors, virtually dividing what I needed in half, a box of 12 and a box of 24 yielded enough cupcakes for the skull and crossbones cake and about 6 plain vanilla cupcakes…for the non-chocolate lovin’ folks. Never mind that I didn’t really need 50 cupcakes, 30 give or take a couple was plenty!

I baked them according to the package directions. I actually used two different brands, but the directions were pretty similar, so no biggie.

They look pretty yummy!

For the icing, I had a tub of vanilla frosting and a tub of cream cheese frosting on hand. So I opted to mix the two (it kind of helped to cut the sweetness of the vanilla), and put in several drops of a hot pink gel food coloring.

Bright pink icing even Madonna would be proud of ;-) heehee…

I had purchased a large cardboard sheet from Party City to hold the cake.  Once the cupcakes were cool I laid them out on the board and started icing like a mad woman! You can see that there are a few sizable gaps between some of the cupcakes. I had one cupcake sacrifice itself to be broken up and fill the holes so that the icing wouldn’t fall through. Which worked out pretty well and saved my cake from droopy icing disaster!

See, no icing holes here!

I had a tube of black glitter gel icing…remnants from my brother’s baking stash. I outlined the skull and bones to give the “face” more definition.

I then outlined the facial features, added a little bow. Then added some pink sprinkles to the eyes, nose, and bow to give it a little something extra!

So there you have it!

And a view from the party

Now I did notice the next day that the icing was not as bright as it had been the night before. And upon biting into one of the delicious lovelies I noticed that the food coloring seemed to have sunk down through the icing toward the cake…strange? I thought so, but they still were yummy!

I put the cake together the night before the party, then just kept it covered in the fridge until we left for the party the next morning. Since our gathering was outside I was concerned about it melting, as I had that happen to my girls’ first birthday cake…icing disaster! Any how, I have a large ice pack that looks like bubble wrap that I laid on sheet pan under the cardboard the cake was on. That seemed to work wonders in keeping it from melting too much once it made it outside.

One things is for sure, it was tasty and delicious!

Or at least the icing was for the birthday girl!

Cupcake carcass!

Happy baking, everyone!

;-) Anna-Leigh

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6 Responses to DIY Pirate Princess Party – Skull and Crossbones Cake

  1. Art says:

    Awesome party and awesome cake! Congrats on your creativity and resourcefulness! And of course congrats to the birthday girl!

  2. Pierce Presley says:

    Made this today (in black and white, with red eyes) for my son’s birthday. Thanks for the inspiration, matey!

  3. Amanda O'Toole says:

    Anna-Leigh! I was thrawling through the web in desperation trying to find some inspiration for my sons’ birthday cake (pirate themed of course!) and came across this fantastic idea! It’s perfect and I cannot WAIT to get baking the cupcakes & ice this skull themed surprise for my little man! Thanks soo much for posting! :)

  4. Pingback: Under the Sea Birthday Ideas |

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