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Birthday Cakes: Fantasy

Posted 21/02/2007 by Anna Hollisey


How do you fancy making a fantasy fairy castle or an impressive Pirates of the Caribbean ship? If your children are expecting great things this year, don’t fret, it can be done! All it takes is a little time and a few inventive ideas!

Disney Cinderella Palace

Disney’s signature Sleeping Beauty palace is tall and spindly, so it’s tricky to recreate in cake. But don’t worry with some Swiss Rolls and ice cream cones, it can be done!


  • Two square sponges
  • Rolled royal icing in pink
  • Rolled royal icing in grey
  • Butter icing in blue
  • One swiss roll (homemade or bought)
  • Mini rolls x 4
  • Ice cream cones x 6
  • Cocktail sticks x 10
  • Edible silver balls
  • Edible gold dust (optional)

To Make:

Before you start this cake, print out a photograph of the palace (there are plenty online). You’ll see that it has a cube base with an arched doorway at the front, backed by one large tower, and several smaller towers.

  • First, cut your sponges in half and make into a pile to create the base (a rough cube).
  • Cover it in pink Royal Icing.
  • Now, make the entrance towers, roll up two mini rolls in grey Royal Icing, and mount one on either side of the cube.
  • Top each with half an ice cream cone (cut off an inch from the top of each one), and pipe the cone in blue icing.
  • Cut out an arch shape in grey icing and attach to the front of the palace.
  • Next, make the main tower: roll the swiss roll in royal icing and use cocktail sticks to support it, propping it upright in the middle of the cube.
  • Top this with another cone and pipe it as before. You’ll have three cones left: attach these to the cube or build more towers from mini rolls.
  • Finally, decorate the cones with silver balls, gold dust (painted on to resemble gilding), and cocktail-stick flags.

Pirates of the Caribbean Ship

Ooh arrr, me hearties! If you’re planning a pirate themed party, this dramatic cake is just the thing to set off your tea table.


  • Classic Chocolate Cake
  • Plain and chocolate butter icing
  • Blue food colouring
  • Chocolate Matchmakers or similar (1 box)
  • Chocolate Rolos (1 packet)
  • Three long wooden skewers

To Make:

  • Bake our Classic Chocolate Cake in a loaf tin, and leave to cool on a rack.
  • Next, put the cake onto a cake board (narrow end at the bottom), and cover it with chocolate butter icing. (You can add ‘wooden’ texture to the butter icing using a fork dragged along the sides.)
  • Using a batch of blue butter icing, pipe waves all over the rest of the board.
  • Stick the chocolate Rolos into the sides of the boat hull to create ‘cannon holes’.
  • Now you need to make the boat’s railings. Snap matchmakers into smaller pieces and stick them vertically at 1cm intervals all around the top edge of the boat.
  • Next comes the tricky bit! Dabbing a little splodge onto the top of each chocolate stick, connect them with horizontal matchmakers (joining each to the next to create a fence structure).
  • The final touches: Make sails from paper and cocktail sticks, and add a skull and crossbone flag at the top.
  • You can either buy LEGO pirate figures (just type ‘LEGO pirate’ into a search engine) or effective Pirate candles. If you’re feeling confident, you could even mould your own pirate from royal icing!

The Gingerbread House

If your children love fairy tales, give them a very special birthday cake, just warn them not to go inside, in case they meet the Gingerbread Witch!


  • 110g (4oz) soft brown sugar
  • 675g (1.5lb) plain flour
  • 1tbsp ginger
  • 3tsp ground allspice
  • 450g (1lb) golden syrup
  • 150ml (5fl oz or ¼ pint) milk
  • 110g (4oz) butter
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 free range eggs

To Make:

  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small pan, warm the golden syrup, milk, butter, and allow to melt before stirring in the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Pour the wet mix onto the dry ingredients and stir well, before adding the eggs.
  • Pour into two greased 20” baking trays and bake at 160°C for up to an hour (and at least 40 mins), then cool on a wire rack.
  • Now, you can assemble the house. Cut the gingerbread into thirds across the shortest length of the tray.
  • Split one third in half horizontally and you have four walls (two squares and two longer rectangles). Use thick glace icing to attach the walls to a cake board.
  • Cut the second gingerbread in half, and use to make a roof for the house.
  • Now let your imagination be free with piped icing, chocolate buttons, sweets and lollipop trees!

One Response to “Birthday Cakes: Fantasy”

  1. Denzy says:

    Modelling chocolate requires corn syrup trying to find it has been very difficult. Need help from you and all fb’s out there.

Leave a Reply to Denzy