Skull and crossbones cake recipe

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makes: 1
Skill: medium
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 50 min
Plus 5 minutes cooling time
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  • Planning a pirate party for your little one and need some cake inspiration? This authentic looking skull and crossbones cake will definitely impress the kids and it tastes great too!


    • 6 eggs
    • 375g self-raising flour
    • 185g plain, all-purpose flour
    • 375g butter
    • 375g caster sugar
    • For the icing:
    • 2kg sugarpaste/rolled fondant
    • Black food colouring paste
    • Icing/confectioners' sugar in a sugar shaker
    • 375g buttercream icing - get our recipe for buttercream
    • You will also need:
    • 15cm (6in) and 20cm (8in) round tin - 1/3 of mixture in small tin, put remainder in large tin
    • 35cm (14in) square cake board
    • Large rolling pin


      1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3, then grease and line the cake tins.
      2. Sift the self-raising and the plain all-purpose flour together in a bowl.
      3. Put the soft butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
      4. Add the eggs to the mixture, one a a time with a spoonful of the flour, beating well after each addition. Add any flavouring required. (Vanilla add 1tsp vanilla essence/extract to every 6 egg mixture. Lemon – add the grated rind and or/juice of 1 lemon to every 6 egg mixture. Chocolate – add 2-3tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 1 tbsp milk to every 6 egg mixture. Almond – add 1tsp almond essence/extract and 2-3tbsp ground almonds to every 6 egg mixture.)
      5. Using a large spoon, fold the remaining flour into the mixture.
      6. Spoon the mixture into the bakeware, then make a dip in the top of the mixture with the back of the spoon.
      7. Bake in the centre of the oven, for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
      8. Leave to cool for five minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. When cold, store in an airtight container until ready to use.

      To decorate:

      1. Colour 625g of sugarpaste black. Using icing sugar to prevent sticking, roll out 500g of black sugarpaste and cover the cake board, trimming the excess from around the edge. Put the covered cake board aside to dry.
      2. Trim the crust from each cake and slice the tops flat. Cut a 2.5cm (1in) wedge away from the side of each cake, then trim around the top edge of both cakes to round off. Spread the surface of the cakes with buttercream, then position them on the cake board with the two cut edges pressed together.
      3. Roll out 1kg of white sugarpaste and cover the cake completely, trimming carefully around the base. Then cut out the eyes, nose and mouth from the top of the cake. Thinly roll out black sugarpaste and cut shapes to fill the spaces. Roll two small balls of white sugarpaste for the eyes, then roll out and cut the teeth.
      4. To make the bones, roll four thick sausages of white sugarpaste, keeping a rounded end to each. Make a small cut in each rounded end and smooth to remove ridges, then position on the cake board at the sides of the skull.

    Top tip for making Skull and crossbones cake

    Find out more about planning a pirate party, including costume tips, games ideas and perfect pirate party food in our pirate party guide

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