23 April 2012

How to make a Treasure Map Cake

A Treasure Map Cake is simpler than it looks... which is always top of my list for birthday cake requirements! It needs to look impressive (so the kids go "Oooohhhh!")... taste delicious (buttercream icing...none of that fondant thanks) AND be simple to make. Deceptively simple.
This is one such cake - perfect for pirate parties (and Peter Pan Parties too of course).
Impressive, delicious and EASY.

Here's how to make a...

Swear-by-it Never-fail Chocolate Cake Recipe

50g butter* (convert measurement)
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 cup plain flour*
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 cup of milk*
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

Melt the butter and golden syrup in a microwave safe mixing bowl. Add egg and sugar and beat well. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa together and fold into mixture. Dissolve baking soda in milk and stir into mixture. Pour mixture into a cake-pan lined with baking paper. Bake at 190oC for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

* To make this recipe gluten free, use all-purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix instead of flour (you'll never know the difference). To make this recipe Dairy-free, substitute dairy-free spread for butter and use soy or rice milk instead of milk.

  1. Mix up a triple batch of the above recipe and bake in a lined roasting dish
  2. When cool, make a template of the "treasure island" out of baking paper (I traced the shape of Neverland for my island); cut out and pin to the cake using toothpicks.
  3. Mix up a batch of blue buttercream, and spoon into a piping bag with a round nozzle.
  4. Pipe around the edges of the template as shown (don't worry if it's a bit wobbly - it's a map!)

5. Fill in all the sea areas with buttercream, using the piping bag

6. Use a knife to gently smooth the surface of the icing until it's nice and flat(ish)

7. Remove the toothpicks, and the paper template - voila! A perfectly piped sea.

Next we bury some "treasure"...

8. Use a knife to cut a circle in the place you want to bury some "treasure"; carefully it spoon out

9. Place your "treasure" in the hole (we buried Smarties); don't overfill

10. Carefully slice the top off the piece of cake you dug out and use this sliver to cover your hole.

Later, make sure to mark the spot with an "X"!

11. Now mix up a batch of creamy-yellowish buttercream. Fill up your piping bag and pipe an outline of yellow around the edge of your island.

12. Fill in the colour by piping icing on and then smoothing with a knife, like you did with the blue.

13. Now the fun part. Add the details using a squeeze-tube of chocolate writing fudge (available from most supermarkets). The good thing about this stuff is that it comes off really easily if you make a mistake.

I used other squeezy colours to add more depth and texture, smearing the colour with a knife to blend it in, in some places, adding colour to the "X" and palm trees etc. (This step isn't necessary; I just wanted to play a little.)

As you can see the birthday boy was pretty happy.
The kids went "Oooohhh!" and Captain Hook had fun digging up the treasure...

More Peter Pan Party Stuff...

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remaliah said...

Love the buried treasure idea :) This cake is brilliant. Yum, thanks for the recipes too!

Neetz said...

I too LOVE LOVE LOVE the buried treasure idea!! you could get some of those little gold foiled choc coins ... oh the possibilities are endless!! :) This ROCKS!
**whew countdown to our party this weekend.... arrghh** and tomorrow I am going to Auckland for 2 days... might have to go "shopping" for birthday bits and pieces while there!! :)
Cool post (as usual!) ;)

Neetz said...

Oh...and I see I am sooooo slow in posting how to do the "tutorial..." you have figured it out already.. (sorry... I'm useless arent I?) xx

Gail said...

The cake is fantastic - love the real treasure in it!

Jen said...

clever!!!!!! :)

PaisleyJade said...

Amazing cake and such a cool idea with the treasure!

Melissa said...

What an amazing party! Well done mumma

Anonymous said...

Love the theme, love the cake, love the nostalgic feeling it brings! ^^ x

Tara Burton said...

I'm excited to make this cake tomorrow for my son's 5th birthday party we are having on Friday! I wanted to know ... I'm not very keen on having such a HUGE cake tho ... if I don't triple the recipe do you know what size cake will it make?


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