A Boys Racetrack

There needs to be more kids in the family.  They are all growing up too fast and I still have so many cute cake ideas I want to try!

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This is a 9 inch, four layer cake.  After stacking with frosting between each layer I carved the track around the perimeter with a serrated knife.  I then covered the side of the cake in grey frosting to resemble concrete.

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The track is made from chocolate butter cream frosting.  I made the frosting pretty thick so that I could mold the shape.  The lines on the track are tic-tacs.  The tunnel entrance is just a bit of black gel that I bought at Michael’s Crafts.

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I piped the green grass after the track to that I could make it overlap and cover any mishaps.  The finish line is made from Almond Joy candies.  I put scotch  tape on the bottom of the cars to protect them from the frosting and the frosting from them.2011-05-29_14-39-19_782 - edited

Bulldozer

This was pretty fun and I have to say pretty easy overall.

What you will need:

  • Kit-Kat bars
  • 2 Hershey chocolate bars
  • Melting chocolate
  • Crushed up graham cracker or crushed cookie
  • Yellow and chocolate frosting
  • Decorations and embellishments (optional)

This was another cake that I was not too sure where to start.  I found a cute picture of a cake on line and decided to use it as inspiration and make it my own.  I started with two cakes, chocolate and vanilla so the kids had something to choose from.

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Want to give it a shot…?

Bake one of the cakes according to the recipe directions in a 9×13 pan.  This cake will be used for the body of the truck.  Once cooked and cooled measure the cake and cut sections to stack, frost in between and carve.  Since the top of a cake rises I used the slope of the rise for the hood of the truck and created height under it by putting it on top of another layer.  You will probably need to play with the height of the layers to accommodate the proportion of your truck.  Fully construct the body of the truck and frost it all over.

I baked the second cake in two loaf pans.  I actually only used one for the two wheels/tracks but depending on the shape and height of your truck you may find a use for it on the body of the truck.  For the wheels/tracks I sliced one of the cakes in half vertically and lengthwise through the cake.  Once cut I carved the tracks a bit to make them lower in the front and hopefully make them look more realistic.

I took a piece of the cut cake and laid it on its side.  I spread a layer, not too thick, of chocolate frosting on what will be the bottom of the track.  After trimming the length of the Kit-Kats so they were just about the same length as the width of the cake I carefully laid the candy bars, pressing them into the frosting to form the track.   Be careful to lay the candy so the cut side of the bar is pointing to the cut side of the cake.  This way when you attach the track it has a clean edge.

I would recommend smearing a bit of chocolate frosting on the cut side of the cake to adhere the track to the side of the truck.  Attach the track to the truck and carefully continue to add a bit of frosting around the track and place Kit-Kats around to finish off the track.  I did not wrap the entire track before attaching it to the truck because I was afraid the candy would just fall off.

For the bucket I had two chocolate Hershey bars.  I melted some chocolate to use as “glue” to build the bucket.  I carefully split one of the bars in half.  I dipped the edge of the bar in the melted chocolate and “glued” it to the bar that I left whole, creating an “L”.  While the chocolate dried I leaned them against a pan to hold it up.  Once dry I used two portions of the split bar and “glued” them to close off the bucket.  The bucket was open on two side.  Again, I was just winging it, I didn’t have any instructions.

While the bucket is drying use a spoon to spread thin layers of chocolate on wax paper to create the windows and grill.  I used the edge of a sharp knife to create straight lines on the chocolate .  Once cool I pressed the windows into the cake leaving the side that was on the wax paper out so that the window was nice and flat.

Once the bucket was ready I leaned it up against the front end of the truck and pressed it into a bit of chocolate frosting that I put down on the platter to secure it.

I crushed some graham crackers and filled the bucket and used some around the cake.

Firetruck Cake

IMG_0142I absolutely love making cakes, especially for kids.  I have a lot of fun searching the internet for ideas and inspiration.  This was for my husband’s godson.  This kid is obsessed with fireman.  When his mom asked him what kind of cake he wanted it needed to be a fire truck.  I was more than happy to come up with something.  When I looked on line most of what I was seeing was sheet cakes decorated with fondant or buttercream frosting piped with much more expertise than I have.  Since I have no training in cake decorating and I am much more comfortable constructing a cake this one became 3D.  I really didn’t know where I was going to start so I just started baking some cake.

I started with three sheet cakes.  One of the cakes stayed whole and became the base for the truck.  I used the other two to cut, layer and carve to create the structure of the truck.  I had to keep looking at images of fire trucks on line to get the right shape.  I wish I could give measurements for this but I was totally winging it and was just glad it resembled a truck in the end so I didn’t write anything down along the way.  The truck is three separate pieces that I attached with frosting.  There is the front end, center section and back end.

As you can see I decorated the base for the truck to sit on dark grey.  Green or brown would work here as well.  Using a chocolate frosting with crushed Oreo’s or graham crackers could look like it’s parked on dirt.  For the flames I made some the yellow frosting and added a few drops of dark orange coloring that I barely mixed in to create a variegated tone.  I just filled a frosting bag and piped around the edge of the cake to dress it up a bit.  This was kind of an after-thought when I was done with the truck.  Creating bricks or stones around the edge would be pretty fun.  I had the yellow frosting after piping the name and details so I went with it.

On a cake stand I constructed the cake, frosted it and let it sit for an hour or so to allow the frosting some time to dry a bit.  Once ready I slid two spatulas under the cake and carefully transferred it to the frosted sheet cake.Iphone 016

For the details I used chewy life-savers for the lights, After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins for the wheels and store bough fondant sheets that I cut for the windows.  I made the grey and yellow frosting for the finished touches.  To make it a bit more personal I printed a picture of the birthday boy and tapped it to the front window to make it look like he was driving.

I am very picky and like many I see the imperfections in what I create that others probably would not notice.  There were little things about the way this turned out that I didn’t love.  At times I wanted to start over again but my husband would have made me sleep on the porch LOL.  All of my concerns went away when I saw the look on this little boys face.  He saw no flaws, he only say a fire truck that he loved.  I was one happy auntie.

The Big 40

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This was for my brother-in-law’s surprise 40th.  This started as two sheet cakes baked according to recipe directions.  I traced out the 4 and 0 on plain white 8 ½ x 11 paper and cut the numbers out.  Lay the numbers over the paper and using a serrated knife carve the cake to make the number.  Frost the cake with your favorite frosting recipe.  You will see that I didn’t frost inside the numbers.  I wish I had but since the cake was cut it was very hard to frost the cut cake without causing it to break apart.  I am sure there is a trick but I was running out of time.  I bought four or five bags of M&M’s to  get enough green and blue.  I have no idea why I felt this should be only two colors but I was regretting my choice as I was sorting through the M&M’s.  It came out pretty cool but buying the M&M’s by the pound at the candy store will make life much easier.  Good news is that we made lots of M&M cookies with the left over candy!  If you are going with stripes begin with a row in the center of both cakes to start the straight line.  If you are as picky as me you can use a ruler wrapped in plastic wrap to keep your lines nice and straight.  It will be more difficult as you round the corners but overall it will be neater.

Easter Bunny

I found this idea on line years ago.  My goal was to copy the idea I saw but mine really didn’t look anything like it and to be honest I kind of liked the way this came out even better.  I say this because it was completely by chance that I found these adorable Lindt chocolate carrots for my little bunny to hold.  This is just cupcakes laid out on a large cutting board that seconds as my cake platter when I wrap it in silver cake platter.  For this one I also covered it in Spring colored tissue paper.

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What you will need:

  • Oreo’s for the eyes
  • 24 Cupcakes
  • Frosting – white plus additional colors of your choice
  • Candy for Ms. Bunny to hold
  • Bake 24 cupcakes from your favorite cupcake recipe of box to make life that much easier.
  • Lay the cupcakes out in a configuration that you like.  I would probably try to do something with the feet if I make this again but I was not feeling brave this day.
  • Fill a frosting bag with white frosting using a tip of your choice
  • Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes and decorate as you like.  I chose to smooth the frosting across but there are no rules here – just have fun.
  • For the eyes I used Oreo’s that I piped white frosting on top of
  • I had fun with the eyebrows for create some height and texture before doing the lashes
  • Lay the carrots down and pipe over them to create hands
  • Just watch the kids eyes light up when they see how cute he or she come out!

Burger and Fries

This was a lot of fun.  We had a barbeque for our nephew’s birthday and decided to stick with the flavors of the day.  I have to be honest this idea is really very easy.  With the exception of the dreaded cleanup on making multiple frosting colors it’s an easy project.

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I made the “buns” with a yellow cupcake cut in half horizontally.  The “hamburger patty” is a brownie that I cut with a round cookie cutter after it was cooked.  I did bake the brownies in a larger pan than recommended to keep them a bit more thin.  Just be sure to adjust your cooking time of you go this route.  Lettuce, cheese and tomato?  That is just colored frosting.  I used different tips for different effects…mostly because I was not washing one to reuse it.  It ended up working well though since I was able to get a leafy effect for the “lettuce”.  A few sesame seeds on the top and you’ll have yourself a “burger”.

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The “fries” are simply sugar cookies sprinkled with a bit of sugar and cut into strips before baking.  I bought some red and white paper in the scrapbook section of Michael’s and created paper cups for the fries

Princess Cake

IMG_0805I made this cake for my husband’s niece who is the sweetest little princess.  It was quite easy and a big hit.  I started with a three layer cake and made my trusty buttercream frosting.  Once the frosting was mixed well and light and fluffy I added a bit of pink food coloring and then divided it into three portions, adding more food coloring to two of the portions.

There are some great tutorials on line that I watched before trying this pattern.  I will try it again and take more photos along the way.   Feel free to google some cool frosting ideas in the meantime.  This cake is really all about the crown anyway.  To be honest I don’t remember if I made a chocolate or vanilla cake.  I promise to come back to this design soon though.

Now for the fun part…The Chocolate Crown…

It’s easier than it looks.  I started by sketching a crown on a plain sheet of paper (you could also use an image from the internet).  You can see the red outline in the picture.  Clearly I can’t color within the lines. I taped the paper to the outside of a large oatmeal canister and then taped wax paper over the white paper.  The canister helps to create the curve of the crown.  Since you need to do this while the canister is lying on its side you will want to weigh it down so it does not roll around on you.  I placed a large bag of rice inside which did the trick.

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Now for the tricky part…

  • Melt your favorite chocolate either in the microwave or double boiler.  Since I had no idea how much I would need I started with half of a bag of Ghirardelli dark morsels and had plenty left over.
  • Once the chocolate has melted you will need to transfer it to a large (heavy-duty) zip-lock bag.  I placed the bag in a tall glass and draped the bag over the edges to make it easier to pour in.
  • The next step is tricky and you will need to move quickly so be sure your template is ready to trace.  You will cut the corner off of the bag.  Make a very small cut, tiny really or the chocolate will pour out.  I recommend tipping the corner up to remove some of the melted chocolate and pinching the bag just above where you will cut.  This will help you to control the chocolate.  It’s a good idea to hold the bag with a kitchen towel as it will be pretty hot.
  • Now you are ready to pipe the chocolate and trace your crown.  It took me a couple of tries to get used to the viscosity of the melted chocolate and the fact that I had little control.  Don’t stress.  If it does not come out the way you like it just wipe the chocolate back into the bag and reuse it.  Keeping the hole small will be a big help.  You want to make the outline pretty think to avoid crumbling and breaking when you remove the crown from the canister later.
  • Once you are happy with it allow it to cool completely for several hours or overnight if possible.  Next time I think I will embellish it with candy pearls or something sparkly.
  • Once cooled carefully remove the tape from the wax paper and slide the wax paper off of the canister.  Carefully holding the crown, peel the wax paper away from the chocolate form and try it on for size…just kidding.  This is when you will be glad you kept the lines pretty thick.  Top your cake and make a girls day!