Swallows and Amazons cakes

‘Swallows and Amazons’ cakes are always special.

We made a ‘Swallows and Amazons’ seed cake with caraway seeds and almonds, which reminded me of being on Peel Island.


Not so long ago, Miranda Gore Brown brought her version of Mrs Dixon’s traditional fruit cake to The Arthur Ransome Society pirate feast, along with her book Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can, which has ideas on how to ice cakes.

Miranda has all sort of ideas for baking here. She made this cake for her son’s birthday, described here

Miranda Gore Browne's Swallows and Amazons cake

A huge cake was baked to celebrate the launch of Julian Lovelock’s book Swallows, Amazons and Coots with a forward by Sophie Neville.

Cake depicting the book cover of Swallows Amazons and Coots

This cake celebrates Arthur Ransome’s book ‘Great Northern?’ set on the Isle of Lewis where filming took place for the DVD ‘Encountering the Ransomes’ released by The Arthur Ransome Society

Great Northern cake

Does  anyone have a recipe for Cook’s black cake? We would love to see your ideas for literary  decorations. Here are a few more to inspire you:

Winter Holiday cake - the tarn

~Winner of The Susan Prize~

It was my privilege to award The Susan Prize to the girls who baked this cake. It proved they must have loved Arthur Ransome’s book ‘Winter Holiday’. The Swallows, Amazons and Ds are obviously contemplating whether or not to skate on the tarn that I understand was made by melting sweets and ‘took absolutely ages.’ You can see two of the characters approaching the ice.

Winter holiday cake - Dorothea skating

Dorothea, the aspiring novelist, is skating around this cake, which tasted so delicious it almost transported me to the banks of the tarn itself.

Winter holiday cake - the igloo

~Winner of the Crumbly Creations~

A number of crumbly creations, using biscuits and chocolate, gave us a good idea of what the igloo in ‘Winter Holiday’ must have looked like, while this birthday cake was inspired by the Puffin cover of ‘Swallows and Amazons’.

Swallows and Amazons birthday cake from Rebecca Asker
Detail of a Swallows and Amazons cake based on the Puffin cover

Swallowy dodgers with slices of cake claimed by Amazon pirates were on offer at Lakeland Arts to accompany their Swallows and Amazons exhibition:

“There was an enormous gooseberry tart” recipe published in Signals:

Gooseberry tart Outlaw 54

Elizabeth Rondthaler Jolley sent this photo from America:

Elizabeth Rondthaler Jolleys igloo cake

Adam Quinan has written from Canada: ‘I made this for an Arthur Ransome Birthday party event in Toronto back in January 2004. We went skating on an outdoor rink and ate Igloo hotpot and then came inside and listened to some storytellers retelling some of ‘Old Peter’s Russian Tales’ with the ‘Winter Holiday’ cake and tea.’

WH Cake

Lucy Bailey-Wright of The Arthur Ransome Society wrote:
‘After a wonderful weekend at Swallowdale my girls have been full of love for all things Swallows and Amazons. So I had a go at a Swallows & Amazons themed cake! Had to be a number 5 too! Candles were in the camp fire!’
Arthur Herbertson designed this Birthday cake, which celebrates ‘Secret Water’ published eighty years ago.
Swallows and Amazons cake by Arthur Herbertson without candles
The Swallows, Amazons and Ds seem to be sailing around Wild Cat Island in this Birthday cake made by Mae Fuller
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Another igloo has been sent in by AusTARS –
This cake depicting Wild Cat Island was made for a special birthday that included the lantern in the lighthouse tree and leading lights.
This cake of Potter Heigham Bridge in Norfolk with the Teasel passing beneath that was also made by AusTARS in celebration of Arthur Ransome’s birthday.
I love this gingerbread cake featuring the adder who lived in the charcoal burner’s tobacco box. ‘Is it safe to touch?’ made by Arwen Seccombe of The Arthur Ransome Society
We would love to see your photographs of any cakes inspired by Arthur Ransome’s books. Please contact me via the comments below.
Swallows and Amazons Flags on a cake
You can see other examples of Swallows and Amazons cakes as well as ideas for parties here.
Swallows and Amazons cake
To find ideas for Swallows, Amazons and Coots Birthday presents, please click here.

I didn’t bake this lovely cake – below- I spotted it on Pinterest, but they have made bunting out of the Swallows and Amazons flags I drew:

Original artwork on the bunting drawn by Sophie Neville, having been inspired by Arthur Ransome

Here is a bunloaf baked to celebrate Arthur Ransome’s Birthday in 2022

Wild Cat Island makes a good cake. Here’s one made in January 2022:

Swallow, the tents and Wild Cat Island

There are also some great savory ideas including this eel made by Annie Warwick:

Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

8 thoughts on “Swallows and Amazons cakes”

  1. hi there, sophie, i made a Swallows and amazons theme cake for my little brother this year who drew out the design he really loves to watch the original movies and we just finished the big six last Friday! i was amazed to see how many others have made Swallows, Amazons, Coots, and Scarabs themed cakes! I actually was introduced to swallows and amazons when my brother got me the books for my birthday he did a treasure hunt where I had to solve all the clues for each of the books in the series then my mum got us the DVDs and our whole family have been fans ever since.. My personal Favorite book is Winter Holiday it just feels so cosy to read and you feel like curling up with a hot cup of tea. and plenty of biscuits… for Roger’s sake of course… these books just make me so happy when I read them it makes me feel like a little girl again.

  2. What wonderful cakes! Some people come up with such fabulous designs; and I love cake!

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