This Helicopter Cake was incredibly easy to make and very effective! I used Royal Icing to make the "run-out" shapes and it really is easier than it looks, so definitely worth a try if you want to try something easy that looks really professional. I made the run-out Helicopter, clouds, sun, letters and number a couple of weeks before so it all had time to harden and dry out.
I made some Royal icing in a thickish consistency and left it white. Using a pencil I traced the helicopter, clouds, sun and the letters and number onto some baking paper (non-stick paper) then, with the white icing, piped the outlines using a writing tube on the icing bag and left it to dry for a few hours.
When it was dry I made some more royal icing but a bit runnier and coloured some of it red, orange, grey, blue and yellow, leaving some white for the clouds. I used a teaspoon to fill in the gaps with the coloured icing, sprinkled the shapes with edible glitter and left them to dry for a couple of days. When it was all dry I painted the helicopter blades and window silver with silver edible paint (available from cake decorating suppliers). On the day of the party I covered a rectangular chocolate cake with blue buttercream, sprinkled blue edible glitter onto it and placed the hard, dry helicopter, clouds, sun and letters onto it.
So easy and great for making in advance so you don't have to do it all the day before!
My husband just retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service. I wanted to make him a special cake and since he has worked with the CH53-E's his whole career I thought that would be appropriate to make a helicopter cake. This was my first attempt at a sculptured cake. I've had no formal cake decorating experience.
I had several pictures to look at and also watched them fly overhead the last couple of weeks to make sure I got the proportions right. The top rotor blades measured 30" across and the helicopter without the refueling nozzle was 30" long. He wanted the helicopter to appear as if it was landing in a grassy field; which is also a sheet cake.
It took 10 standard cake recipes (dark chocolate and your basic yellow cake), 3 dozen eggs and weighed over 25 lbs. I baked the cakes necessary to create this Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Finished decorating by Tuesday evening. I had to be sure to allow myself 24 hours before the retirement ceremony to call the local grocery store for an alternate basic cake if this one didn't work out.
All markings, engines, tanks, bombs and even squadron numbers were correct. My husband and his fellow Marines just loved it. Though I think they felt a little like cannibals eating their USMC workhorse.
This helicopter cake was for my son's 2nd birthday, because he LOVES helicopters. I had looked for some other examples of helicopter cakes and didn't find much so I was mostly going on my own idea.
I used half of a "Ball" cake pan and a square (8x8) pan for the other half of the batter. From the square cake, I cut it into 4 strips - using 2 for the foot rails and the third as the back body leading into the tail. I rested the half ball on top. Then from the last section of square cake, I made the tail fins.
Then I frosted the whole cake and used decorator frosting pens for outlining the windows and other details. The rotor blades are "Pirouettes" by Pepperidge Farm. We pushed toothpicks into the centers to connect the blades and balance the weight across the cake.
For the tail blades, I just cut the pirouettes in half and pushed it into the frosting/cake. (And as an FYI, the blades can't sit out overnight or they'll get too soggy and droop!)