I made this homemade IH tractor graduation cake for my daughter's boyfriend's graduation. The guy is obsessed with IH tractors and I thought it would be a fun gift for him. Luckily my husband is a tool-maker and can help me with customized cake stands. I got out the pans I decided to use and showed him my idea and he measured it all up and built me a stand out of plastic.
I used a 3 1/3 by 14 loaf pan for the "body" of the tractor, and two 6" and two 10" rounds for the wheels. I made a marble red velvet and white for the tractor body and Choc for the wheels. I baked it all one day and froze the cakes. I cut the frozen loaf so that there was a seat, and some details, then iced it all red.
I usually like to keep everything on the cake edible but with this one I cheated a little: used a dowel rod for the smokestack and holding up the steering column, a piece of spaghetti for the steering column, and I had a real hard time coming up with the steering wheel, since the spaghetti was so delicate, so I ended up just shaping some foil, and spraying it red with edible food coloring.
I iced the wheels red and black on one side then threw them back in the freezer, then after they froze I flipped them over and quickly iced the other side, then threw them back in the freezer before they had a chance to thaw.
I let everything sit over night to dry and freeze well. The next day I put the 'Farmall' on, and we loaded them up to take to the graduation. We got there about noon so we could go to the ceremony, and the party was outdoors and at 4:00, so threw the wheels into her deep freeze.
Right before the party we carried it out and I just leaned the wheels on the cake, and added the rest of the details like tread. I was worried that as the 10" wheels thawed they might fall apart so I left them on the round cake board, it was rather humid, but everything stayed perfect eventhough the whole party was until 9:00 or so.