Marine Corps 'birthday' Cake - Help!

Decorating By MikeRowesHunny Updated 21 Sep 2009 , 8:26am by Curtsmin24

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 4:44pm
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I've been asked to make the 'birthday' cake for the Marines stationed at the American Embassy here again this year. I've been asked to design something to do with parachuting. I suggested a pale blue cake with chocolate transfers of parachutists coming down the sides of the cake, haven't heard back from them whether they like that idea, but is there anything else I could suggest?! I'm not involved in the military at all, so I'm not really knowledgable of that world, but I know many of you are! The cake is to serve 100 approx and be as inexpensive as possible (they won't give me a maximum budget, even though I have repeatedly asked for one. From last year though, I know they don't flash the cash - sigh!). FYI - no sheetcakes folks, my oven will only fit 14in pans at most and you can't buy suitable sized boards either in Europe!


11 replies
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ddaigle Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 4:58pm
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If they are airborne, there are a lot of airbore marine graphics in google. You could find a cool one and do an edible image for the top and do your borders in the gold that is in the airborne image.

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Doug Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 5:21pm
post #3 of 12

up for 3D?

use a variation (bought or homemade) of the wilton floating tier stand.

on top --- cake that looks like the parachute (match to type they use, the old fashioned round or the modern "mattress" shape)

then a dangling paratrooper (toy soldier?)

then a round cake as the landing zone marker.


or could do same as 3 separate cakes laying flat -- parachute (14" cut in half and stacked), 9x13 or similar whacked up and rearranged for person, ovals stacked (to get sense of perspective) for the landing zone.


base would be piece of wood, metal/pvc supports (off to the plumbing place) and then a wood disc on top to hold the parachute

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Sox-n-Pats Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 9:57pm
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As the wife of a Marine who has gone to quite a few Marine Balls (both in the states and overseas)

Don't go with parachuters- not appropriate. My husband said - "no way!! not good! The Marines don't have any airborne divisions!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Use a Bulldog on top, the eagle, globe and anchor, even red white and blue, semper fidelas, First to Fight, use the anniversary number (234 yrs), marine Corps seal, 1775-2009, Iwo Jima...

The spot light is on the cake. It is the most important part of the ceremony!! Don't do parachutes!!

Marines would be very offended with parachutes on their Birthday cake!!

here are some sites I found to help give you come ideas...

Remember- parachutes= bad!!!!

(Now they would work for the Army birthday cake! icon_razz.gif )

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Sox-n-Pats Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 10:29pm
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just as an added- very few Marines go airborne- their airborne division is not the same as the Army's or the AirForce. Some Marines of only the Recon. group or a security group -like FAST- go- just to have the training on the off chance they may end up jumping from a plane- and they have to go to the Army Jump School to learn. 99.9999% of the Marine Corp has no need to jump- and only a select few even get to train to jump. (mostly because a marine recon. job is to stay hidden and not be seen- not possible if you're floating down with a chute)

There's a saying- teaching a marine to jump is like teaching a chef to paint; it's nice but not needed.

the 101st airborne doesn't jump- they only keep the name to honor their WW2 history where they didn't make a jump. The ParaMarines. The 101st uses the Blackhawk and such and is air assult as opposed to air'borne'. And they get to where they are going in helicopters.

(((And sidenote- most Marines make fun of those who jump out of planes to get where they are going- Marines are the "grunts" who "hoof it" to their destination... reference my hubby's first reaction!!!)))

Hope that helps clarify.

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Doug Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 10:57pm
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

I've been asked to make the 'birthday' cake for the Marines stationed at the American Embassy here again this year. I've been asked to design something to do with parachuting. ...

note original post and the specific request she received.

so, although the Marines are 99.999999999% ground based, she must be dealing with that .000000001% that goes jumping out of planes.


ps....and the idea I offered could be adapted to recreational parachuting if that's more what they are after.

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Sox-n-Pats Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 11:13pm
post #7 of 12

Not if they are at an Embassy- She's dealing with Marine Security Guards.

They don't jump out of planes. icon_smile.gif

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Doug Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 11:19pm
post #8 of 12

well, whatever,

but you DO have to DO what the customer requests even if it goes against what is the known conventional wisdom sometimes.

and this case that group of Marines wants parachutes == no matter how un-Marine-like it may be.

(could it be they're going to use it to make fun of the Army guys at the Embassy?)

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Sox-n-Pats Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 11:46pm
post #9 of 12

1st- birthday cake not the time to make fun Army. It's serious business with a 234 year scripted tradition of cake cutting and speeches and such.

I'd question who requested the cake. It could be that it's someone from like an auxilary Marine club that was given the task of ordering the cake.

The OP should personally contact the Gunny or one of the Marines to make sure.

We're going to the Ball here, and I know my hubby and his Marine Buddies, my cousin and my uncle would search out the person who ordered a Marine cake with parachutes on it and berate them as to why they ordered that decoration without so much as researching what was appropriate.

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2SchnauzerLady Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 11:47pm
post #10 of 12

Was it the Marines who requested the parachutes or the family of a Marine? What type of cake did they request last year? The cakes celebrating birthday of the Corps are normally very traditional with the seal on them, I'm suprised you were asked to do a parachute cake, especially for embassy guards. These affairs are so steeped in tradition - you have to study all the protocols just before going to one. If it was the Marines themselves requesting the cake, you will be fine, go with Doug's great suggestions. If it was a family member or other civilian requesting the cake, you really need to check.

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 7:30am
post #11 of 12

In reply to all the questions, it was a marine himself from the dept organising the ball who contacted me. Last year I did a cake that was white, on two tiers I did red & blue stars, on the other red and blue stripes (I think). There was lots of wording on the front of all the tiers and an Iwo Jima statue on top. The reason I don't have a photo is that the statue wasn't there when I delivered the cake, so it was 'incomplete'. The marines promised to take a photo for me with it completed and send it to me, but they never did icon_sad.gif!

I sent the attached design to them this year (they didn't want the statue on top this time). I thought it was OK, but that's when they came back to me requesting a parachuting cake. I can't tell you why!

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Curtsmin24 Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 8:26am
post #12 of 12

I agree with soxs-n-pats. I know that the reason you haven't heard back is probably because it hasn't been approved. The Marine Corp is very serious about their traditions and they are not going to change it last minute. If that Marine orders the wrong cake he is getting what we call an a$$- chewing. The Marine Corps Ball is the most traditional event in the Marine Corps. Depending on the unit it is not an option to even ask if one is going to the Ball. If you don't go your on what we call duty (guard duty) and that is never fun.

When I was stationed in California they uninvited a celebrity because the celebrity was dating a stripper and they didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression because the stripper was known for wearing barely there clothing. That was sad but understandable. It is the ONE night of the year that we are allowed to wear our dress blues proudly and enjoy the evening with our coworkers without feeling the pressure of going to work.

.....Well now i'm heading down memory lane. Sorry for babbling. Good luck on the cake order. I would probably call the unit though, it will give you brownie points and more than likely you will be the "cake lady" for many events. You are so lucky. I'm a little jealous. Semper FI. usaribbon.gif

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