Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dump Truck Cake

How honored I was to receive a request from a friend to make the cake for her son's 2nd birthday party! She already had in mind that the cake itself would be chocolate and peanut butter, but otherwise the only direction she cake me was that "the invitations have a truck theme."

There were so many ways to implement a truck and cake, including toy decorations on top, or truck drawings in icing. But my birthday cakes growing up were always "cut-up cakes" that my grandmother and I cut and constructed into an shape that went with whatever other theme my party had. My second birthday, my mom made an alligator cake. I'm not sure what inspired the theme, but we have photos where some of my 20-month old friends did face-plants into the green icing. Great photo memories, but quite a mess at the time!! Once I was about 5, and starting planning the themes myself, they ranged from a rocket for a space theme, Miss Piggy, a witch for a Halloween theme, and a daisy for a garden theme.

It's possible to purchase specific pans for almost any shape you can conceive, and I have received gifts of snowmen and snowflake which are cute and fun to use at the holidays. But these pans expensive (considering they will probably only be used once or twice!) and it's fun to be able to design exactly the shape you want.

Will helped me select just the right kind of truck that a 2-year old would love and also helped break down the photo into basic geometric shapes that would be feasible to carve from cake. From there it was just a matter of lots of delicious frosting to hold everything together!

I was able to cut all the elements from one 9x13" pan.

The finished cake.

Front view, to show dimension.
For the cake, I used my favorite chocolate cake, All-American Chocolate Butter Cake from The Cake Bible. I sliced the layers horizontally and filled with Milk Chocolate Buttercream from the same source, then frosted with Ina Garten's peanut butter frosting. (It took about 1 1/2 recipes worth of peanut butter frosting, plus leftovers of chocolate and some white icing I had for decoration.)

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