Black licorice, square pretzels, cookies, and chopsticks decorate the pirate ship for this party cake.
1. Bake two 9 x 13-inch cakes according to directions. Let cakes cool completely. Place one cake on serving platter. Cut a 2-1/2-inch slice from one short end of the second cake. Cut the remaining piece of the second cake in half horizontally.
2. Using chocolate frosting, attach small cake piece to the end of the large cake on the platter. Using chocolate frosting, attach 2 large pieces of cake on top of each end of base cake. With a serrated knife, cut step from top layer of back end of ship to create third level of ship. With cake layers assembled, cut boat shape using our template below as a guide. Frost entire cake with chocolate buttercream. Using a small fork, gently score the entire cake with wavy lines to simulate wood.
3. Divide vanilla frosting among 3 bowls. Tint one blue, one red, and one yellow. Place blue frosting in a piping bag fitted with a ribbon tip, and place red and yellow frostings in bags fitted with plain tips. Pipe blue trim around entire upper edge of ship, then pipe red frosting underneath the blue. Cut licorice into 20 lengths. Insert licorice pieces into sides of ship for cannons. Pipe half circles of yellow frosting over cannons. Pipe yellow windows across the stern and around the back of ship. Pipe yellow curlicue designs on bow of ship and decorate with red dots of frosting.
4. Using a serrated knife, gently cut pretzels in half. Place pretzels around bow and stern for railings. Using chocolate frosting, pipe the captain's wheel on the round cookie. Attach wheel to pretzel rod with chocolate frosting and insert in cake near bow.
5. To make sails, download our template at parents.com/pirateship. Print them, then cut out; use chopsticks to mount them on cake.