As my son's 5th birthday approached I asked what kind of cake he wanted. He ran to his room then ran back and held something up at me. "THIS!" he yelled. I looked at his hand and he was holding his small Grave Digger monster truck.
I imagined a sheet cake with crushed cars on top and dirt and started looking for ideas on websites for a Grave Digger Truck cake. "No, Mom" he said as he looked with me. "I want the cake shaped like Grave Digger" he explained. Oh boy, I thought.
I looked at the truck for awhile with my cake pans spread on the floor. Finally I had an idea. For the dirt part I used a standard sheet pan. For the body of the truck I baked a second sheet cake pan. For the top of the truck I used a bread loaf pan. Then I cut the tires out of a cake baked in a square cake pan. I used four cake mixes in all.
I froze all of the cakes once they were cool, wrapping each in wax paper, then plastic wrap, the foil, overnight. I stacked them and began to cut away from the second sheet pan what I didn't need, following along with the shape of the truck. I also shaved off the back of the loaf pan to curve it more like the truck. I forgot to add frosting between the layers, but I would have done so. I froze it for an hour again after I had carved the shape. I began frosting the top of the body with black, freezing the cake again before moving on to the other colors. I had been given this tip in the past and it works well. It prevents the colors from mixing when working next to another color.
I did the "dirt" last on the bottom layer to make it look like he was driving through mud. I cut the tires out from the square cake pan with a cup. We covered the dirt with crushed Oreo cookies. My son was part of the entire process and was so proud of his cake. I'm not an expert and have never taken a cake decorating class, but seeing my son's excitement showed he didn't even care. His birthday was a hit and all the kids loved showing off their black teeth and tongues from the frosting!