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Sailboat Birthday Cake

Martha Stewart Baby, Winter 2001

This chocolate cake is disguised as a seascape, complete with schools of fish-shaped cookies and a homemade paper sailboat.

You'll Need
1 recipe One-Bowl Chocolate Cake in two 8-inch-square cake pans. You can bake the cake layers the day before the party; the cake is very moist, so it won't dry out, and it should be completely cool before you frost it anyway.

1/2 recipe Sugar Cookies. Cut the rolled dough into fish shapes before baking; decorate with Egg Free Royal Icing.

3 recipes Seven Minute Frosting, tinted blue with food coloring.

Sailboat Birthday Cake How-To
1. Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of both cake layers to be level. Brush away excess crumbs. Place the bottom layer on an 8-inch cardboard square. Spread 1 1/2 to 2 cups icing over the top of the bottom layer. Top with the second layer, cut side down. Spread 2 cups icing in a thin layer over the entire cake.

2. Place the assembled cake on an inverted cake pan to raise the bottom edge for easier decorating. Use a large offset spatula to generously cover all of the cake with more icing. Use the long edge of the spatula to smooth the icing on the sides.

3. Press a cake-decorating comb into the sides to make vertical lines around the cake, dividing each side into four equal parts. Pull the comb or a serrated knife across the sides, making a U shape from one line to the next to form waves.

4. On top of the cake, use a small offset spatula to pull the still-moist icing straight up, creating frothy waves. Press decorated fish-shaped sugar cookies into the icing on the sides of the cake. Place the paper sailboat (download the instructions below) on top of the cake. Serve slices of the cake with more fish cookies on the side.

Comments (4)

  • 5 Aug, 2008

    My mom made this cake for my sister-in-law's baby shower. . . It was perfect and very easy to make. She used Goldfish cookies instead of making them homemade and she added a baby boy sleeping in a shell on the top. She also added a sandy area around the cake made of crushed vanilla wafers. Everyone loved it!!

  • 5 Aug, 2008

    My mom made this cake for my sister-in-law's baby shower. . . It was perfect and very easy to make. She used Goldfish cookies instead of making them homemade and she added a baby boy sleeping in a shell on the top. She also added a sandy area around the cake made of crushed vanilla wafers. Everyone loved it!!

  • 25 Apr, 2008

    This cake is awesome, and tasty! I love how you can personalize it completely - a friend and I wrote a message in the flag and switched up the color scheme of the boat. Anyways, this cake is smooth sailing!

  • 5 Mar, 2008

    This cake came out so beautifully and it was my first time making a properly decorated cake. I struggled with the royal icing and ended up making my own butter-cream frosting which worked fine. Give yourself a lot of time! Make all of it the day before so that you're only assembling the day of the party.