I used to be a cake decorating show addict (Food Network Challenge, Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss, etc.). My husband used to make fun of me because I don’t cook and I don’t bake, but I would watch these shows incessantly. Those who can’t do, watch others do on TV! (Don't miss these awesome Construction cakes).
Then I had kids and #1 stopped having time to watch cake decorating shows, but #2 wanted to make awesome cakes for my kids. I remember when I was little my mom had a stand up bear mold and she made that bear in to so many different things for my sister and I. It was always the best part of my birthday, and I wanted my kids to have the same kind of memories. First let me say I have no training of any kind. My mom knows how to do a few different piping techniques of butter cream and has shown me a few of those, but other than that I am a complete novice.
Every year I have my kids tell me what type of cake they want, and then I head to the internet for inspiration (and directions!!). This was the first cake I did for my son. It was for his third birthday. He was absolutely obsessed with all things construction equipment. I mean, at three, he could tell me which equipment had outriggers and why (at 35, I still didn’t know this stuff, and quite frankly, could have lived another 35 years without the knowledge…). Anyway, with my very first foray in to the cake making world, I needed something quick and super easy.
I had my mom make three dozen cupcakes and butter cream icing (did I mention I don’t cook…). I asked her to make green, grey, and brown icing. I went to my local bulk candy store and found chocolate candy rocks and candy Lego bricks. Then I got chocolate Oreo cookies from the grocery store (they have to be the ones with the chocolate filling, or your dirt will look white.
The Cake Assembly
I laid out all the cupcakes into a rectangle and did a smooth layer of green icing just to hold them all together. I then picked my spots for “dirt” and iced them brown. I put the chocolate Oreos in to a Ziploc bag and smashed them up. It is hard to tell from the picture, but I took a single cupcake and put it on top of the others to create a hill for some dimension. Then I covered the entire area in the Oreo crumbles and topped off with chocolate rocks. I then made my other dirt area in the same way.
I drew on my road using the grey icing and just got it as smooth as I could. You don’t have to worry about the edges because you can cover them with grass. I then took the white insides of stacked licorice candy for the lines (you can also use gum cut up, but this was for three year olds…). I then iced the rest of it green with a grass tip. I placed the mini construction vehicles (found at Walmart) with the bulldozer plowing the rocks, the digger on the dirt pile and put more dirt in the back of the dump truck. I used the grey icing as mortar in my Lego wall. Super simple and the whole thing only took a couple of hours to assemble.
All the kids loved eating the “dirt” and grass and “wall”. It was also super easy at the party, because no cutting is required. You simply take a cupcake from the edge and work your way in. The left half of the cake was vanilla cupcakes and the right half was chocolate. My son absolutely loved it, and the construction vehicles were then part of his birthday present. One of the coolest construction cakes ever.
Coolest 2 Year Old’s Under Construction Cake
Since the moment our son was born our world has consisted of log trucks, pickup trucks, dump trucks, tractors, monster trucks, tools, hardhats, dirt, etc. I thought it would be awesome if I made a “construction” theme birthday cake for his 2nd birthday.
I searched online for weeks for perfect construction cakes and came up with a mixture of all that I found.
I decided to make my own marshmallow fondant because, well frankly, we all know that store bought fondant tastes like vanilla laffy taffy from Halloween about 4 years ago! It was the first time I have ever attempted such a task. I had more powdered sugar on me and the kitchen floor than I did in the actual mixture. Baking the cakes wasn’t that difficult but for me to do the caution tape theme (you’ll see in the picture) I had to freeze the layers and our freezer was tiny. I had to alternate cakes every 15 minutes till I was ready to assemble.
I did not use dowels (I didn’t have any) and was very afraid the cake was going to implode on itself, but it stayed nice and tall!! The letters that spell our son’s name actually came from wooden letters that hang in his room. I pulled them off the wall and traced them out of fondant and laid them on the cake. Everyone thought the cake was awesome and asked all throughout the party how I made it and what it took.
When the cake was finally cut open everyone saw the surprise inside, (caution tape!) They all loved it especially our son. He sees pictures around the house of his 2nd birthday and always asks if we can go back there. I think I’ll be making more construction cakes in the future, it was way too much fun!!
Coolest Construction Zone Cake
My grandson’s birthday and my daughter wanted me to make a cake because she knows I like to have fun. I had a few weeks to figure it out. Well he’s a boy, and I guess boys and trucks go together. I really need a bigger kitchen! So, I decided to search the Web for construction cakes and make a construction zone theme.
I used 3 boxes of cake mix. One vanilla and two chocolate. Two large containers of cool whip. A bag of Oreos, a bag of Reeces pieces, gummie bears, mini peanut butter cups, food coloring and of course a box of construction trucks. You talk about a sugar induced coma, I made it! I baked the three cakes. I formed the bottom of the cake and added food coloring to cool whip to look like concrete, frosted it a little thicker in the middle of the cake so the next layer would adhere to it. I’m always a nervous wreck when I do this until its finished.
Because I know what I want but getting there is a whole different thing. So, my kitchen is covered in sweets. Yummy..I decided to go with the round cake pans. I am making a mountain site, I guess. I take the next layer of cake and cut it smaller than the bottom layer and adhere it to the bottom of the cake a off to the side. I frost both layers. By the way this is getting messy.
I put on the top layer and and cut a small piece of cake from it, to add somewhere else on the cake, frost it. I take the Oreos and open them and take out the creamy filling. I then shape them into safety cones and use the red food coloring on them. I then start putting the trucks on the cake how I want them, which was making them look like they were hauling and dumping dirt.
I took the Oreos and mini peanut butter cups and crumbled them in a bag , then dumped them in the trucks and down the mountain side. I also put Reeses in the dump truck and down the mountain side. The cool whip looks like concrete has been layed. I just mixed food coloring together until I liked the coloring. I also added a gummy bear to the truck for a driver. Ta da..Done.
More Construction Cakes
Take a look at all the Construction cakes on the site.