Modeled after Jack Sparrow's Jolly Roger, this sheet cake pays tribute to the most beloved pirate to sail the Caribbean. There's a printable template for the skull and crossbones, which are simply cut out of marshmallow fondant and set atop black buttercream frosting.
- 40 marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar plus more for kneading the fondant
- Thin plastic kitchen gloves
- Gel food coloring (red and black)
- Sheet cake
- Buttercream frosting (at least 2 cans of frosting)
- Jack Sparrow Pirate Skull template
- Sharp kitchen knife
- 4 colorful jelly beans and/or other hard shell candies
- Make a batch of marshmallow fondant by microwaving the marshmallows for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt them. Stir in the water and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the confectioners' sugar a cup at a time. The dough will be sticky at this point. Turn it out onto a surface dusted with confectioners' sugar and knead it, adding more sugar until the dough is pliable, smooth, and no longer sticky (5 to 10 minutes). Wearing the kitchen gloves, separate a quarter of the dough from the rest and knead red food coloring into it. Then pat the tinted fondant into a disk and wrap it well in plastic. Do the same with the remaining untinted fondant. Chill the fondant overnight.
- When you're ready to decorate the cake, tint the frosting black. Frost the cake.
- Let the fondant come to room temperature. Meanwhile, print out the template and cut out the pieces.
- Roll out the untinted fondant about 1/4 inch thick on a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar. Dust the rolling pin with sugar, too. Set the skull and crossbone template pieces atop the fondant and use a knife to cut around them through the fondant. Use the tip of the knife to etch a few grooves in the ends of the bones. Then lift the fondant cutouts (with a spatula, if needed) and place them on the cake. Roll out the red fondant, cut out the bandana pieces, and set them in place atop the cake.
- For the finishing touch, press the jelly bean or hard shell candy "beads" partway into the frosting so they appear to be dangling from the skull.