Sail boat cake

I recently made a small cake for my new nephew. It was a perfect opportunity to get everyone in on the decorating process of this cake. I wanted to make this cake very simple with buttercream frosting. I decided on the theme of a sail boat since boats often represent boys. I recalled a cake I had seen from Martha Stewart that incorporated a paper sail boat with royal icing frosting for the water. Of course, I was not going to use paper on this cake. I was going to make this boat out of gumpaste. I chose to use buttercream, because I still wanted this cake to be accessible and simple for the average hobbyist to follow.

Gumpaste sailboat

Required items:


sailboat template (see below)

wooden skewer, at least 10 inches long

glass jar

craft knife

gel paste color

Decide what color you want the boat base, sail and flag to be. Knead in your gel paste color in each piece of gumpaste.

Roll out your gumpaste on a non-stick surface to about 3-4 mm thick. Use the base template and cut out with your craft knife. Without stretching pick up the cut out gumpaste piece and gently pinch the diagonally cut sides together. If you are having trouble getting them to stick, you might very lightly brush some water onto the edges. You will want to now let the piece rest with the top being open like a boat. If you have a piece of cardboard, you can fold it in half to form a V and rest it between two items to hold it up. You can place your gumpaste boat inside to dry. Take your skewer and make a hole in the center of the crease. Making sure it is large enough for the skewer to fit through comfortably. Let it dry for a few days until very firm.

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image 2 Sail boat cakeimage 4 300x182 Sail boat cakeRoll out your gumpaste for the sail. Use the sail template and cut out with a craft knife. Without stretching the gumpaste, pick it up and place it on a small glass jar (ideally on a jar that is 4 inches in diameter or less). Be sure that the sail is resting on the glass jar with the short end and long end perpendicular to the length of the glass. Lay jar between two objects to hold it still. Let it dry for a day until somewhat firm. At this point gently, pick up the sail and run your skewer through the bottom and the top of the sail, where the “mast” will be running through the sail. Remove and place it back on the glass.

When it is time to assemble the sailboat together, take either some royal icing of the same color as the sail or a piece of moist gumpaste and run the skewer through the pre-punched holes of the sail and secure the skewer to the sail. Let dry for a day.

Assembling the cake

3 or 4 layers of cake

Cake filling

Buttercream divided into 3 shades of blue, and white buttercream

Gumpaste fish or fish cookies (alternately use swedish fish candies or goldfish crackers)

gumpaste sail and boat base

cake board

Pastry bag

Basketweave decorating tip

Round decorating tip

Assemble your cake by gluing the bottom layer to a cake board with a dab of buttercream. Gently press down to secure. Fill the layer and place another cake layer on top. Repeat.

Fill your pastry bag with the lightest blue buttercream and fit your basketweave decorating tip onto the bag. Pipe waves onto the top. Place your gumpaste boat base onto the top of the cake. Place the skewer (with the sail attached) through the hole at the bottom of the base. If you wish, you can secure the skewer to the boat with royal icing.


Continue to pipe rows of waves on the sides of the cake starting from the top. A third of the way down, use a darker shade of buttercream. Repeat with the darkest shade of buttercream.

Take your white buttercream with the round tip and pipe “sea foam” here and there around the sides and the top. Attach fish around the cake. You are now done. Enjoy!

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