My son Rhys was turning 3, so I drew inspiration from his current hero, Fireman Sam for his birthday party. His invitations were a photo of him dressed in his Fireman Sam dress up (that I made) and his birthday cake just had to be a fire engine.

I made a ‘family chocolate cake’ and layered the cake with chocolate fudge icing. I actually made 2 batches, to have enough cake to ‘build’ my fire engine. I got inspiration for the decoration from this website and also Fireman Sam’s engine.

Once the cake was the fire engine shape, I coated it in a layer of white Whip’n’Ice to start as a base. I then applied small licorice strips which gave the doors and windows their shape.

I colored 3 separate batches of Whip’n’Ice – red, yellow and grey and piped smalls stars in each color, to cover the cake. I had used this effect on a previous birthday cake and really liked how it looked. Unfortunately it does take quite some time and does stretch out your hand muscles!

I first started by covering all the red areas, then yellow, followed by white and lastly grey to provide accents and the fireman ladders.

I used Jaffa lollies as the red sirens and licorice as the mud guards and hoses. The wheels were Oreo biscuits with some white piped icing. The control panel used a selection of colored M&M’s.

I piped my son’s name and age on the top of the cake in bright yellow.

I piped white on a portion of the base of the cake to make it appear as if above the board.

To finish the board, I rolled out some red fondant and used a fireman’s hat cookie cutter to cut the shape. The final outcome of this fire engine 3rd birthday cake exceeded my expectations and all the guests of the party were impressed.

What’s more the cake itself tasted delicious. That was my greatest fear. I just didn’t want it to look good, I wanted it to taste good to! The most important thing of course, is that my son absolutely loved the cake and thought it was ‘cool’. And that made the 4 hours it took to decorate the cake, all worthwhile.

Rhys dressed up as Fireman Sam for his party and got to blow out the candles on his fire engine. Every little boy dreams of being a fireman one day, and my little man has achieved that already at the age of 3.