I wanted to make a cake for my son's 1st birthday and was inspired by the cute dump truck invitations I found for the party along with ideas from this website. I should mention that I've never decorated a cake before, unless you count watching chefs on TV! Honestly, this dump truck cake took some time, but was a really enjoyable project. Here's how his cake came to life.
Materials: a sturdy masonite board or cutting board (2) pretzel rods for the smoke stacks (1) 9x9 pan of brownies for the back of the truck (1) empty brownie box wrapped in aluminum foil buttercream icing (5) cans of marzipan (found at grocers or online) Food Coloring Graham Crackers for the road (2) 9x13 cakes made out of a firm cake (4) Chocolate covered Donuts
I started by baking the two cakes. While they were cooling on racks, I covered a wooden cutting block in aluminum foil. Then I placed the brownie box in the middle on an angle. Because the donut wheels are pretty large, this will support the weight of the cake and give it the lift it needs.
Both cakes need to be cut down to create the dump truck shape. For each cake, I cut approximately 1/4 of the cake along the longest side first. These narrow rectangles will be used to create the sides of the bed of the dump truck. For each remaining cake I then cut 1/4 of the width to use as the cab of the truck.
Place one of the large pieces of cake squarely on the brownie box. Then place the other large piece of cake directly on top. Be sure to ice with a crumb coat between each stacked layer of cake. Next, stack the shorter rectangles to for a cab for the front of the truck. I cut them at an angle to create an angled windshield.
Once this part has been covered by a crumb coating, you'll want to cover it with marzipan. I used blue coloring for the cab portion. Working with the marzipan is similar to working with fondant, except it is pretty dry & prone to crack at a fold. For this reason, I covered each side with it's own piece of marzipan. Seams can be smoothed a bit with water & your finger.
With the left over cake, you should be able to create a 'dumping' bed by angling the sides and making a double high back for the bed of the dump truck. I crumb coated this & covered it in yellow colored marzipan.
Next, use non-colored marzipan for the windshield, side windows, headlights, tail lights, front/back bumper and license plates. I also used non-colored marzipan to create the flames. I 'painted' them with yellow & red food coloring before sticking them on. Extra blue marzipan makes the grill with lines made using a toothpick, the windshield wipers, side view mirrors and wheel wells. Extra strips of yellow can be used around the grill. Water is used as glue to stick these pieces on. Next, slice into the marzipan where the pretzel rod exhausts will go. I shortened my pretzel rods and pushed them about 1/2 inch into the cake. Then, place the donuts under the wheel wells to complete the truck.
Finally, I used any extra marzipan to fashion some construction cones, a construction worker & a shovel. These are extra & due to their thickness, they were a bit temperamental, so I would suggest giving them a full 2 days to dry out before having to move them from your work surface. I placed the brownies in the bed of the dump truck & laid out the graham cracker 'road'.
This dump truck cake was terrific & as a complete novice with decorating, it wasn't too much of a challenge. The marzipan gave the cake a great almond taste and was very easy to work with for the most part. It held up really well and didn't need to be in the fridge before the party which was an added bonus! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you are willing to give it a try for your party. It was a hit!