Recently, I was asked by a coworker to make his 5 year-old son’s birthday cake, with the request that it be pirate themed, and, if possible, based on the Disney show Jake and the Neverland Pirates (think Peter Pan meets Pirates of the Caribbean).
Another request was that there be no chocolate, since his son, Wyatt, doesn’t like it.
What was great about making this cake was the discovery of a site called ArtFire, which is an online marketplace for unusual arts and crafts. Because I didn’t want to make something that vaguely resembled Jake (kids always know when it’s not the real thing), I wanted to find a Jake cake topper. Strangely enough, not a lot exist that aren’t flat cake sheets, except on ArtFire.
Adianez Hernandez, a cake artist, was nice enough to make me a Jake and the Neverland Pirates cake topper (you have to be a member to order something through ArtFire, but it’s free and they don’t spam you). She makes all kinds of cake toppers, so if you need one from a specific show or theme, she can probably do them.
After receiving the super-light foam topper through rush order, on to the cake! The base layer (14″) is a plain yellow cake (recipe can be found here on Wedding Cakes for You) and the island is a 5″ and 4″ stacked yellow cake. The octopus and border animals are gum paste and hand-painted, and the border skulls are hard candies. The pirate ship candles and treasure chest under the octopus are candles you can find here. The octopus and candles are anchored with toothpicks.
The blue shell base border and waves are blue buttercream, which is also under the dark blue fondant. The island “sand” is crushed graham crackers and sparkly sanding sugar. The green “trees” of the island were made using decorating icing tinted green and a star piping tip.
I had so much fun making this cake, since it was the first one I’ve made for a kid, and could just let loose and make things super-colorful and decorative. Happy birthday, Wyatt!