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Treasure Chest Birthday Cake

Swashbucklers of all ages were eager to seize a chocolaty piece of this birthday cake, although some guests thought it was too cute to cut! Folks were impressed with this edible pirate's treasure chest and loved the rich chocolate icing. —Sharon Hanson, Franklin, Tennessee
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    24 servings


  • 2 packages chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-1/3 cups butter, softened
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 6 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 wooden skewers (three 4 inches, two 7-1/2 inches)
  • Foil-covered heavy corrugated cardboard (12 inches x 7-1/2 inches)
  • Candy necklaces, foil-covered chocolate coins, candy rings or candies of your choice
  • 2 pieces berry tie-dye Fruit Roll-Ups


  • In two batches, prepare and bake cakes according to package directions, using two greased and floured 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to cool on wire racks.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy; beat in the chocolate, vanilla, confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Center one cake on a 16-in. x 12-in. covered board; frost top. Top with remaining cake; frost top and sides of cake. With a metal spatula, smooth frosting to resemble boards.
  • For chest lid, insert 4-in. skewers equally spaced into one long side of corrugated cardboard lid. Frost top of lid. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert star tip #21. Pipe a shell border on edges of lid and for handles on side of chest.
  • Place one 7-1/2-in. skewer on each side of cake top, about 3-1/2 in. from back of chest. Position lid over cake; gently insert short skewers into cake about 1 in. from back of chest. Rest lid on long skewers.
  • Arrange candy in chest. Cut a small keyhole from a Fruit Roll-Up; center on front of cake. Position strips of Fruit Roll-Ups on front and back of chest.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece (calculated without candies): 539 calories, 24g fat (11g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 424mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate (57g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • lemondedis
    Jul 16, 2013

    superbe ! mon petit pirate va l'adorer ! j'ai créé un lien ici :***-chats/

  • aed220
    Jan 5, 2013

    This came out AWESOME for my son's pirate birthday! It was fun for my Mom and I to make together, and everyone loved it, especially the birthday boy!

  • chickety
    Oct 13, 2012

    Made this for my grandsons 3rd birthday party. It was alot of fun and pretty easy to do.

  • AngeloSofia
    Nov 15, 2011

    No comment left

  • sheliahiggins
    Aug 17, 2011

    No comment left

  • jbrenton
    Jul 7, 2010

    This cake is simple to make and looks great! Huge hit with the kids!

  • puffybloomers
    Mar 19, 2010

    make this for my sons 25th birthday. we loved it. very cute

  • krystaljoy
    Jan 28, 2010

    No comment left

  • bkbuckley
    Nov 4, 2009

    I made this for my grandson's birthday in September. All the kid's loved it!! They couldn't believe I made it. It was a big hit with all ages.

  • SandyRoss
    Jun 16, 2009

    No comment left