If someone in your life is an aeroplane fanatic, try making an aeroplane-shaped cake for their next special event. Some theme cakes require skilled cake decorating and expert carving, but the purchase of a 3-D cake mould at your local craft store makes an aeroplane cake a cinch. Add fondant or buttercream icing for a tasty and professional touch.
Grease the aeroplane-shaped, 3-D cake pan with cooking spray. Alternatively, use a pastry brush to apply vegetable shortening to the pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour into the pan and shake to coat the cooking spray or shortening. Turn the pan over and tap out the excess flour. This keeps the cake from sticking to the mould.
Prepare an off-the-shelf cake mix according to package directions. If you prefer, make a cake from scratch using your favourite cake recipe. Pour the cake batter into the greased cake pan. Tap the pan on the worktop four to five times to reduce air bubbles.
Place the pan on an aluminium baking tray. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in a 177 degreee C (350 degree F) oven. Remove the cake when a toothpick, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.
Place the cake pan on a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before removing it from the pan. Removing the cake before it cools completely leads to rips in the cake.
Flatten the cake using a serrated knife. Place the knife flush with the edge of the pan and saw off excess cake. Discard the excess cake. Use the flat side as the base for the cake.
Place a serving platter on top of the cake pan and cake. Turn them over and remove the cake pan. If necessary, run a knife along the edge of the pan to release the cake.
Cover the cake with rolled fondant, a thick and creamy icing for cakes, spread to a 3 mm (1/8 inch) thickness, using a rolling pan or fondant sheeter. A fondant sheeter rolls the fondant into thin, uniform sheets, similar to a pasta sheeter. Use any colour desired to cover the plane. Before placing the fondant on the cake, apply a thin layer of buttercream icing, in any colour, to help the fondant stick. Alternatively, use buttercream icing to cover the plane. Use an offset spatula and smooth the icing on the cake. Buttercream is sweet icing that holds up well to decorating.
Cut out windows for the plane using black rolled fondant. Use a biscuit cutter or knife to prepare the fondant. Cut a rectangle for the cockpit window and circles for the passenger windows. The size of the windows depends on the size of the cake pan used. If you used icing instead of fondant, pipe the windows onto the plane using a piping bag or zip top bag with the corner cut off.
Add any additional details to the plane, such as stripes, coloured wings or noses. Alternatively, airbrush edible paints onto your plane.