I wanted to make a cake that would be recognized and enjoyed by two 2 year old boys, one from Canada and one from Holland, and decided on a fire engine.
I looked at many examples from various websites and took ideas from most of them. The only thing I did that I didn’t see on any site was use bread loaf pans (3 in total).
The body is 2 loaf pan cakes trimmed flat and then doubled up. The cab is 1 loaf cut in half and stacked up. I stuck it all together with white icing, being careful to stop icing at least a couple of centimeters from the edge to prevent the white leaching into the red. Then I used an icing bag to make the white windows and a white trim around the bottom to give the illusion of height. (I learned the hard way with an Elmo cake last year that you should always do the light colour first. If you do the dark first, it’s very hard to get the light on and not drag dark into it.) The red icing is pre-coloured from a tube – I read many negatives about using food dye and just went straight to red. Here’s a tip: it will take more icing than you think. This took 5 tubes of red icing and 2 trips to the grocery store.
At first I had some trouble spreading the icing, but figured out that squeezing all the icing out into a bowl and microwaving it for about 7 seconds first made it much easier to use. I also dipped the knife into room-temperature water from time to time.
After the red was done, I used a tube of black icing that came with its own tip to outline doors and draw on the front grill, the boys’ names and the 2s. After that, it was just a matter of using licorice, gumdrops, skittles and Oreo cookies to make ladders, lights and wheels. Oh, and I used a flashing bicycle light (.99 at a dollar store) for a light and a musical fire engine birthday card for sound. I highly recommend the special effects, they went over great.
All in all, it was incredibly easy and only took a couple of hours.