How to create a Nautical Themed Treasure Chest Cake Topper

This is a very simple way to make a treasure chest for your pirate's loot! Make sure to check out our companion pirate topper tutorial to learn how to create the pirate cake topper.

Pirate Treasure Chest Sketch

  1. 1Cut two pieces of cereal treat into a rectangle, one of them should be half as thick as the other. Carve the top of it in a dome shape to form the lid.

    Tip!I used rice cereal treats: Make your own! The packaged type never really dries -- and make sure you only use butter or vegetable fat to prevent sticking. Oil or Pam will mean a less stable base medium.




  2. 2Wrap the bottom of the chest with gum paste. Because the style of our cake is cartoony, the chest can be also.


  3. 3Trim the top so that the gum paste makes a rim of about 1/4 inch above the surface of the base.


  4. 4I used the back of a knife to imprint the planks of the chest.


    Tip!A toothpick or needle tool work well for it this, too.

  5. 5Imprint the planks on all four sides!


  6. 6Follow the same steps for the treasure chest lid


  7. 7I used the wide end of a large piping tip to mark the sides of the lid.


  8. 8Secure the base of the chest to a block of styrofoam covered in saran wrap. Use three toothpicks and have at least 3/4” sticking up above the surface.


  9. 9Cover the inside of the lid, and while it was still soft, skewer the lid to the base. A little glue at the seam and we can move on.


  10. 10Add the trunk hardware! I cut circles of gum paste using a piping tip and then halved them, gluing one half circle at each corner.


  11. 11A few modifications and we can make the treasure chest lock with the same method.


  12. 12All done! Let’s make some doubloons and pieces of eight to fill it up!


  13. 13Cut small circles from gum paste using a piping tip. I made mine all the same size, but feel free to make a selection. Just make a lot!!


  14. 14A folded piece of gum paste makes a nice base for the coins and helps everything stick.


  15. 15Glue the coins to the inside of the chest and let dry.



  16. 16
    Paint some details on the chest! Dissolve petal dust in vodka or use a brown food marker.


  17. 17Paint a wood pattern on the surface of the trunk.


  18. 18Finally, paint the hardware silver and the booty gold. I used gold and silver luster dust mixed with vodka. We’re ready to put everything together on a cake! I hope you’ve had a chance to view Anne’s videos on icing and fondanting, because we’re going to use those skills next!


Pirate Treasure Chest How To Tutorial

Tutorial: How to create a Nautical Themed Treasure Chest Cake Topper

Skill Level: Intermediate

Must Have Tools

Recommended Supplies

  • Assorted Piping Tips
  • Crisco
  • Exacto knife
  • Gum paste tinted with gel colors
  • gumpaste
  • Luster Dust
  • petal dust
  • Rice cereal treats
  • Small Knife
  • Small Paint Brushes
  • Styrofoam wrapped in Saran Wrap
  • Tylose Glue
  • vegetable shortening
  • vodka
  • wire snips
  • Wooden Round Toothpicks
  • Your imagination!

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Anna Puchalski

Anna Puchalski

Anna is a classically trained sculptor and illustrator who started her career in cake decorating with Ron Ben Israel in 2000. Since then she has worked for a number of well known cake studios in the New York area doing complex sugar work and design. Her specialties include freehand painting,...

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6 thoughts on “How to create a Nautical Themed Treasure Chest Cake Topper

  1. This is great. I’m a geocacher (sort of a modern day treasure hunting game) and we have a meet up for “National Talk Like A Pirate Day” and this will be perfect. Thanks for the Tutorial.

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