Pirates of the Caribbean

Jack's Pirate Skull Cake

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Jack's Pirate Skull Cake
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Modeled after Jack Sparrow's Jolly Roger, this sheet cake pays tribute to the most beloved pirate to sail the Caribbean. There's a printable template for the skull and crossbones, which are simply cut out of marshmallow fondant and set atop black buttercream frosting.


Download Jack's Pirate Skull Cake Template

What you'll need

  • 40 marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar plus more for kneading the fondant
  • Thin plastic kitchen gloves
  • Gel food coloring (red and black)
  • Buttercream frosting (at least 2 cans of frosting)
  • Jack Sparrow Pirate Skull template
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Spatula
  • 4 colorful jelly beans and/or other hard shell candies

How to make it

  1. Make a batch of marshmallow fondant by microwaving the marshmallows for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt them. Stir in the water and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the confectioners' sugar a cup at a time. The dough will be sticky at this point. Turn it out onto a surface dusted with confectioners' sugar and knead it, adding more sugar until the dough is pliable, smooth, and no longer sticky (5 to 10 minutes). Wearing the kitchen gloves, separate a quarter of the dough from the rest and knead red food coloring into it. Then pat the tinted fondant into a disk and wrap it well in plastic. Do the same with the remaining untinted fondant. Chill the fondant overnight.

  2. When you're ready to decorate the cake, tint the frosting black. Frost the cake.

  3. Let the fondant come to room temperature. Meanwhile, print out the template and cut out the pieces.

  4. Roll out the untinted fondant about 1/4 inch thick on a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar. Dust the rolling pin with sugar, too. Set the skull and crossbone template pieces atop the fondant and use a knife to cut around them through the fondant. Use the tip of the knife to etch a few grooves in the ends of the bones. Then lift the fondant cutouts (with a spatula, if needed) and place them on the cake. Roll out the red fondant, cut out the bandana pieces, and set them in place atop the cake.

  5. For the finishing touch, press the jelly bean or hard shell candy "beads" partway into the frosting so they appear to be dangling from the skull.

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