Thursday, 12 February 2015


'In good order, trim and neat' - the definition of shipshape. I hope my latest creation looks good, trim and neat! It took quite a bit of time to work out how to scale the ship and the figures for this cake and it took a lot of time to create it - in excess of 15 hours at a guess.

Cathy, who was celebrating a big birthday, and her husband Mark had spent a memorable holiday on board P&O's Arcadia cruising the Baltic Sea. The Arcadia is almost 300m long, with 11 decks carrying on average 2000 passengers and nearly 1000 crew. 

I tried to replicate the basic shape of the ship and some of the main features and then personalised it by modelling a couple in a lifeboat surrounded by champagne bottles and added bunting which spelt out in flags 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATHY'.

I needed a cake base that would carve cleanly and a lemon flavoured Madeira cake fitted the bill.

Carving,cutting and sizing up before covering with sugar paste

About 3 weeks before the party I crafted the lifeboat using orange modelling paste. When the lifeboat had dried I started modelling the couple. Not having much experience of making large scale bodies I watched a few tutorials online - picking up a useful tip of lining the moulds with cling film. This certainly made it easier to handle and release the limbs from the moulds and I carefully removed any excess modelling paste with a craft knife.   

I used the Eatmyface company to print the bunting, P&O flag, Bermudan flag and a nautical chart of the Baltic Sea onto rice paper. Careful cutting of the rice paper sheet was required to create the bunting which was strung between four points on the ship.


Cheers and Happy Birthday Cathy!!
(with thanks to Cathy's daughter Charlotte for providing this photograph)


  1. Fantastic. It's Teo's big birthday in 10 days but he wants to ignore it. Phew! I couldn't compete with these amazing masterpieces

  2. He's still very young at heart though and never acts his age! What themed cake would I do for Teo then if I was there I wonder?

  3. Great cake Kath - thank you! And it tasted as good as it looked :-)
    love Sue xx

  4. Pleasure - thanks for being responsible for delivery and assembly! Hope the responsibility wasn't too nerve-wracking! Kath xx

  5. Overwhelmed when I saw my cake! Looked amazing and tasted yummy! I have kept the life boat in a safe place! But have drank all the champagne, but no surprise there! Love Cathy

  6. So pleased you liked it. It's always great to work on a design you haven't done before - cruise ship was certainly a challenge. Hope you had a great party and a lovely post-birthday holiday! Kath x