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This is the cake I made for my son Elijah’s 6th birthday party, the theme was Pirate aarrrr !! If you would like a peek at more photo’s and a run down of how the day went click here.

Treasure chest cake straight out of the oven

I used a small loaf tin that had tapered sides. There was enough mixture left over from the chocolate cake recipe to make a bunch of mini cupcakes witch always go down well at a kids parties and means you don’t need to stress about altering the quantities of your mixture.

Pouring chocolate into tin

Line and butter the same tin used for the cake, chill the tin in the freezer before pouring in melted chocolate.

coating the tin with chocolate

Gently roll the tin around so that the chocolate coats the sides, I used one block of chocolate for this stage but melted an other half and set it aside to cool in case repairs were needed (They were). Put the tin in the fridge to set.

icing the bottom half of the pirate treasure chest cake

Ice the cake with chocolate butter cream, coco power Icing sugar and a blob of butter (do you like my measurements, precise aren’t I?) Try to match the colour of the Icing to the chocolate you are using.

cake covered with lollies

While the icing is still soft cover the top of the cake with chocolate money and any other lollies that might resemble jewels.

removing back tin foil

When the chocolate is set remove from tin and peal off the tin foil, work fast as the heat from your hands will start to melt the chocolate (especially if you are doing this in an Australian summer like I was)

when two halves meet

Set the chocolate shell on top of the lolly covered cake. Repair any cracks or thin patches with cooled melted chocolate, hot melted chocolate will cause the shell to start melting and leave you with a hole.

the finished cake

Mix up some gold coloured icing and pipe around the join between top and bottom to hide the seam. Add any other embellishments fitting a pirate chest. I kept it very simple using only yellow M&M’s as rivets, I liked the idea that the kids might be slightly disappointed by the plain cake only to be blown away when it was cracked open. And I know the pirate ship candle is slightly out of proportion to the treasure but what can you do both were requested by the birthday boy.

smash the cake!!

All you need do to next is hand birthday child a big plastic sword and tell them the treasure chest is locked and the key is lost and to go for it. I would advise purchasing some ear plugs prior to the event as the excitement induced squealing reached levels previously unheard when the hidden treasure was found.

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25 Responses to How to make a pirate treasure chest birthday cake

  1. Madeline says:

    That is too cool! And, the expressions on their faces…so priceless.

  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you, that’s probably the best shot we got before crazy mad excitement happened, the rest of the photos are all blurry. :-(

  3. Jill Grant says:

    Fantastic stuff, passing this ontoour Bakery Manager and now going to sell many many smash cakes of all different kinds in the Hattie’s Supa IGA Bakery. How much should we charge and do you want commition for your invention? You are one fantastic mother!

  4. Tash says:

    OMG AMAZING! I have been trawling the web alllll night looking for the best cake for my sons 4th bday on Saturday. And THIS is it! What an awesome idea. Love it, cant wait to make it tomorrow!

  5. Sarah Slaven says:

    Awww thanks that was so sweet. good luck with the cake making I’d love to know what your little guy thinks of it.

  6. Tash says:

    I will definately come back and let you know! I couldnt sleep last night i was too excited lol. Wondering was it a king size block of chocolate you used? Cadburys have changed their block sizes and i dont want the choc to be too thin and break when im trying to get it out :S

  7. Sarah Slaven says:

    Oh now you are asking me to use my memory :-) I think I had two of the normal sized blocks but if you are worried I’d always buy more, there is always a use for leftover chocolate.
    You could make chocolate dummies by spooning a little of the melted chocolate into a patti pan and putting a marshmallow on top before it sets, we aren’t allowed to have a party here without dummies.

  8. Tash says:

    Ah awesome, i got two big blocks and can get more this afternoon if i need. The dummies sound SO cute! Think ill be making them too lol Thanks so much :)

  9. Tash says:

    Cake was AWESOME! Everyone just loved it! The chocolate on the top was a little too thick, so was hard to smash but my husband managed to help and the kids went crazy grabbing treasure. So much fun, thanks so much!!

  10. Erin says:

    Just wondering what type of recipe did you use for the cake? A store bought packet or did you make it from scratch? I am making a pirate chest cake for my son’s 3rd birthday this weekend.

  11. Sarah says:

    Hey Erin
    Good Luck with the party.
    I didn’t use a packet mix, I had a quick look for the recipe but couldn’t find it but it was just a normal chocolate cake. I wouldn’t make anything to light say a sponge because it needs to carry the weight of the lid and all the lollies.
    If the weather is hot you might need to keep the whole thing in the fridge to get the smash effect. I know one person made one that sat on a party table for a long time then when the kids came to smash it it dented instead. They still flipped out over the goodies after tearing their way through the lid.
    just thought I’d add that, don’t know what part of the world your from but we are having 43 deg. cel. days here at the moment.

  12. Erin says:

    Hi,

    I was thinking maybe a chocolate fudge cake or similar, we are in Toowoomba Qld, I was thinking of making it the night before and leaving it in the fridge over night, was wondering though if the cake would sweat, because of the chocolate.

  13. Erin Ball says:

    Hun this is an awesome site and the cake turned out awesome too, my little one loved it and it certainly got the wow effect!!!!!

  14. Sarah Slaven says:

    Aww thank you Erin so glad the cake worked for you and your little one had a good day.

  15. Kelly Moore says:

    I’m giving this a whirl… we’ll see. One quick question if you’d be so kind… how did you get the sides of your crackable chocolate to be the same thickness as the top? Gravity seems to be my biggest enemey so far with this project. (P.S. I am NOT a baker, so if this is a stupid question, please forgive me.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Kelly
      I’m always happy to answer questions. The top of the chocolate lid will always be a little thicker that the sides just like Easter bunny bases are thicker. This won’t matter as long as the sides are strong enough. Make sure you add small amounts of melted chocolate at a time, also allow the chocolate to begin to cool before pouring it into your mold, and tune the mold slowing the chocolate to coat the sides. Let each layer set before adding the next. If you still think the sides are to thin you can paint melted chocolate onto the thin spots with a pasty brush, just make sure that chocolate is fairy cool.
      Hope this helps.
      Good luck.

  16. Claire says:

    This cake is amazing. I finally managed to make one for my little boys 4th birthday on the 3rd attempt!! We had a treasure hunt birthday and typically after all the rain we´ve had in the UK, we had a really hot day the day I made the cake and it slipped and melted somewhat!! However I passed it off as having being buried at the bottom of the sea for a few hundred years!!! The kids and the adults loved it.

  17. Louise says:

    What a fantastic idea! Love the thought of cracking the lid open x

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  21. Jemima says:

    Amazing, will be making this cake this weekend. Hopefully all goes to plan, can’t wait to see the kids faces!

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