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Birthday on the Bounty Cake

Take to the high seas with a crew of brownie buccaneers on a fondant freighter rigged out for fun! They’ve even raised the mainsail with a special birthday message.


Difficulty: Medium



Cake serves 20; each brownie serves 1.


Pirate ship

Techniques Used



Step 1

In advance: Make waves and cover base board. Tint 48 oz. fondant light blue. Using pan as a guide, cut base board 1 1/4 in. wider on all sides. Cover with 36 oz. fondant rolled 1/8 in. thick. Roll out remaining fondant 1/8 in. thick. Using pattern, cut 4 large and 4 small waves.

Step 2

Working 1 wave at a time, use Piping Gel in cut parchment bag to cover a portion of each wave curl with C-motion lines. Sprinkle on blue sugar. Overpipe top line and add more sugar to darken. Let dry on cornstarch-dusted surface.

Step 3

Make pirates. Bake and cool 4 brownies in silicone mold supported by cookie sheet. Ice lightly with buttercream. Tint fondant as follows: 15 oz. light copper, 4 1/2 oz. black, 2 3/8 oz. red, 2 oz. orange, 2 oz. light green, 2 oz. dark green, 2 oz. dark blue, 3/4 oz. violet, 2 oz. yellow, 1/4 oz. gray. Roll out 1/8 in. thick as needed. For 3 pirates, cut a 6 x 1 1/2 in. strip for each shirt in assorted colors; wrap around brownies and smooth. Cut 6 x 1 in. strips in different colors for pants; attach using damp brush. For V-neckline, cut away a small triangle of shirt and replace with light copper. Cut thin strips in shirt colors and attach for edging. Roll 1 1/4 x 1/2 in. diameter logs for arms. Flatten one end for hand; use knife to cut slits for scissors. For shirt sleeves, roll out small amounts of fondant 1/16 in. thick. Cut 1/2 x 1/2 in. squares; cut away triangles for torn edge. Attach around arms using damp brush. For shoes, shape 5/8 x 1 in. ovals; flatten. Attach arms and shoes to bodies with melted candy. For heads, roll 1 3/4 in. fondant balls. Cut slits for mouth. Indent eye sockets using brush handle; roll tiny black balls for eyes and attach. Roll 1/4 in. balls for noses; attach. For bandanas, cut circles using largest round Cut-Out. Use knife to cut 2 teardrops 1/2 in. long for ties, use tip 8 to cut dots; attach using damp brush. For ears, cut circle with tip 2A. Cut in half, shape and attach with candy. For hair, cut various C or V shapes; attach. Attach heads to bodies using melted candy. Let dry on cornstarch-dusted surface.

Step 4

Make 1 captain. Roll out tinted fondant 1/8 in. thick (unless otherwise specified). Cut a 1 3/4 x 6 in. red strip for shirt; wrap around brownie, smooth. Cut a 6 x 1 in. black strip for pants; attach. Cut a 1 x 3/4 in. rectangle for shirt front, 1/2 in. wide triangles for lapels; attach. Roll tiny ball buttons; attach. Cut a white 1/4 x 1 in. strip; pinch and roll for ascot, attach. Roll red 1 x 1/2 in. diameter logs for sleeves. Roll and flatten a 3/4 in. ball for hand; use knife to cut fingers. For gray hook, roll a thin log 3/4 in. long; curve. Shape a 1/2 in. diameter disk for base. Use melted candy to attach hook to base, base and hand to sleeves and sleeves to body. For shoes, shape 1 x 3/4 in. ovals; flatten and attach. For head, roll a 1 3/4 in. ball. Cut slit for mouth. Indent 1 eye socket using brush handle; roll tiny black ball for eye and attach. Cut a 1/4 in. diameter circle for patch and 1/16 in. wide strips for string; attach. Roll a 1/4 in. ball for nose; attach. Use pattern to cut hat. Cut skull shape 5/8 x 3/4 in. high. Use tip 3 to cut out eyes and nose; use knife to cut mouth. Attach to hat. Roll thin 1/4 in. long logs for bones; attach. Use tip 3 to cut tiny circles for bone tips; attach 2 to end of each bone. Pinch hat to shape and attach to head with damp brush. For ears, cut circle with tip 2A; cut in half, shape and attach with candy. Roll small log for hoop earring; curve and attach. Attach head to body using melted candy. Let dry on cornstarch-dusted surface.

Step 5

Make parrot. Use light green fondant for body and wings; use light blue for tail. Shape 1 1/2 in. long body tapering from 1/2 in. diameter head to 5/8 in. diameter tummy. Attach 2 flattened, teardrop-shaped wings, 1 1/4 in. long. Attach a flattened 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. rectangle to back for tail. Cut a 7/8 in. long yellow oval and attach to tummy. Shape small triangle beak and tiny ball eyes; attach.

Step 6

Make rigging. Prepare fondant as follows: Tint 2 oz. brown and mix with 1/8 teaspoon Gum-Tex; mix 1 teaspoon Gum-Tex with 6 oz. white fondant. Tint 1 oz. black and mix with 1/8 teaspoon Gum-Tex. For sails: Roll out white fondant 1/8 in. thick. Cut 2 sails using patterns. Curve over large Flower Formers dusted with cornstarch; let dry. Use toothpicks and pattern to mark "Happy Birthday" on sails; outline and pipe in using tip 2 and royal icing. Let dry.

Step 7

For pirate flag: Roll out small amount of black 1/8 in. thick. Cut a 1 1/2 x 2 in. wide rectangle. Roll out white fondant 1/16 in. thick. For skull, cut circle using wide end of tip 2A; shape slightly with fingers. Cut out eyes and nose using narrow end of tip 3; use knife to cut slit for mouth. Attach to flag using damp brush. Roll 1/8 x 1/4 in. long logs for bones; attach. Roll tiny logs for bone ends; attach to each bone. Lay flag over crumpled plastic wrap to shape; let dry.

Step 8

For masts: Paint top 4 in. of an 8 1/2 in. wooden dowel rod with brown icing color for top of center mast; wipe off excess with damp paper towel and let dry. For horizontal booms, roll brown fondant into two 1/4 in. diameter logs, 4 1/2 and 7 1/2 in. long; let dry. To assemble: Center top sail over plastic dowel rod, about 1/4 in. from top; mark 2 places where sail hits rod. Center bottom sail about 1/2 in. below lower mark; mark where sail hits rod. Use knife to cut 1/4 in. wide slits at marks. Insert sails and secure with melted white candy; let set.

Step 9

Attach horizontal booms to sail points and mast with Fondant Adhesive. Attach flag to top of mast with melted candy. Push 1 in. ball of fondant into top of plastic dowel rod; insert wooden mast in center. Cut 4 dowel rods to 7 in.; tape together on top end for mast support.

Step 10

Bake and cool 2-layer cake, 3 in. high. Prepare for rolled fondant. Tint 36 oz. fondant brown; cover cake and smooth with Fondant Smoother. For planks, use ruler and knife to indent horizontal lines, 1/2 in. apart, on cake sides. Lightly mark random lines for wood grain look. Roll out brown and black fondant 1/8 in. thick. Cut 8 black portholes using wide end of tip 1A; attach using damp brush. Cut 8 brown circles using wide end of tip 1A; recut circles using wide end of tip 1M to make porthole rims and attach. Roll two 16 1/2 in. long x 1/4 in. diameter brown fondant logs; attach on cake top. Roll four 10 in. long x 3/8 in. diameter logs; attach to cake sides, curling ends for corner details. Using icing, attach cake to prepared board.

Step 11

Attach waves with damp brush, using 1/4 in. fondant logs as spacers between waves; trim at corners to fit.

Step 12

Mark mast position on cake using plastic dowel rod. Insert mast support into marked circle on cake. Slide main mast over support.

Step 13

At party: Position pirates. Insert center mast over dowel rods. Attach parrot.

* Combine Brown with Red-Red and Black for brown shown.
* Combine Red-Red with Christmas Red for red shown.
* Combine Lemon Yellow with Golden Yellow for yellow shown.