This airplane cake is a single tier chocolate cake covered in fondant and topped with a 2d royal icing airplane. The fondant clouds randomly added to the cake match the overall theme of a flying airplane. An absolutely easy and creative idea for anyone attempting to make an airplane (aeroplane) themed cake!
I made this airplane themed cake for a 5 year old boy’s birthday a couple of years back. It was the boy’s wish to have a cake with airplane on it for this birthday and so his mom requested that I make one for him.
This cake was very different from all my other cakes and
that is simply because the birthday boy was lactose intolerant which meant no
butter and milk and milk related ingredients in the cake or the icing. All my
cakes were made using butter and has milk in them (see my cake recipes here),
so I was reluctant to accept the order at first. I also told the mom that I do
not have a separate set of utensils and cake pans to cater for her order and
she was ok with me using my existing ones.
We discussed further on the cake and agreed that I would
bake the cake using margarine (hydrogenated palm oil) and that I will use water
instead of milk in the cake recipe. Margarine produces cakes that are as soft and fluffy as butter does and I know this because my mom used to bake cakes using margarine
when I was a kid. So, to cater for my customer’s needs and to make sure none of
the ingredients I use in the cake could cause allergy reaction to her son, I gave her
the list of ingredients that would go into her cake and she then confirmed the ones that
were ok to be added and the ones that were not. So it turned out that only
butter and milk had to be substituted. So I baked a chocolate cake
for the boy using my chocolate cake recipe but substituted butter with margarine
and milk with water.
As for the frosting, since I fill and crumb coat my cakes
with buttercream before covering it with fondant, I had to substitute the
butter with margarine and use a margarine-based butter cream as the cake filling
and crumb coat.
How to Decorate an Airplane Cake - Decorating Guide
These were the main supplies I used for this cake:
- Cake – This was a 10 inches square cake baked using my chocolate cake recipe (with the butter and milk substituted for margarine and water).
- Buttercream – well, this is not really buttercream because I did not use any butter in it. The original recipe uses butter, but for this order, I had to substituted butter with margarine. My original buttercream recipe is here.
- Fondant – I used my classic homemade fondant for this project. Again, I presented the list of ingredients that I used to make the fondant to the boy’s mother and she confirmed that all the ingredients in my fondant recipe were ok for her boy.
- Royal icing – This was used to make (pipe) the airplane. I used the color flow technique to create the airplane in royal icing on a parchment paper and once the airplane was dry and set, I removed it from the parchment paper and attached it to the cake.
- Airplane template – I hand drew this on a piece of parchment paper based on a few images I found on the internet.
- Food coloring – I used Wilton and Americolor food colors in royal blue
for the project.
- Block letters alphabet cutters – These were purchased from a local cake decorating supplies shop and are the same set I normally use make 3D lettering on cakes. For this cake, instead of the letters standing upright, I did them in the normal horizontally lying position.
And this was how I decorated the airplane cake:
- I started off by getting the airplane template ready. If you are good at drawing, you can always draw one by hand. I am definitely not good at drawing, so I decided that I would find an image that I could trace from. Kids coloring books are a good place to look for a basic airplane template, but I got mine from the internet.
- Once the image was ready, I traced it onto a parchment paper. I could have piped the icing directly onto the parchment template, but I did not want to transfer any of the pencil lead onto my royal icing airplane so I placed another piece of parchment onto the parchment template and secured both pieces of paper together with paper clips. I then filled my piping bag with black royal icing (in stiff consistency) and piped the outline of the airplane on the second piece of parchment attached to my airplane template.
- Once the outline was done, I filled the white sections of the airplane with runny royal icing. To make the runny royal icing, place some stiff royal icing into a bowl and add a few teaspoons of water. Mix and check the consistency. To check if the icing is of the perfect 'runny' consistency, run your spoon through the icing, if it smooths out in the count of 10 seconds, your icing is ready. If it smooths too fast, your icing is too runny and you need to correct it by adding some stiff royal icing to it. Similarly, if the icing takes longer than 10 seconds to smooth out, it is still stiff and you would need to add more water to it.
- Once I have filled the white sections of the airplane, I did the maroon sections. And finally, I filled all the black ones. With that, the airplane was all completely filled with royal icing. To finish off the airplane cake topper, I piped another round of black outline (both outside and inside sections) on the airplane before putting it aside to dry and set.
- I left the airplane aside to set overnight. In fact, I made 2 of these royal icing airplane cake toppers just in case one of them chips or breaks.
- While the airplane topper was drying, I went ahead with the cake. Once baked and cooled, I leveled, filled and crumb coated the cake with buttercream. And then I covered it in fondant. Next, I cut a long strip of maroon fondant and attached it all around the lower edge of the cake. I used warm water to attach the maroon fondant strip. After that, I shaped tiny white fondant balls by hand and attached them all around the cake as the border, also with warm water.
- Once that was done, I peeled my royal icing airplane off the parchment paper very carefully and placed it on the cake. And as I feared, the first airplane broke right in the center as I was placing it on the cake, but luckily I had a spare and it saved my day. I used little dabs of royal icing on the back of the airplane to stick the airplane to the cake.
Airplane Cake for a Boy's Birthday
- Once the airplane was in place, I went on the place the lettering.
I used maroon fondant for the letters and secured them to the cake with a damp
brush. And finally, for added decoration, I added white clouds randomly on the
top of the cake as well as the sides. These clouds were cut out free hand out of white
fondant using my sugar craft knife.
With that, my airplane birthday cake was complete.
Hope find this guide useful.
Happy Decorating :)
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Airplane Cake Decorating Idea
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