My son wanted to host a pinball birthday party, so of course we needed a pinball machine cake! There weren't a lot of examples on-line, and those I did find were covered with a lot of fondant. I didn't think that 5 year old's would appreciate the taste of fondant, so we made up our own toppings.
The cake is a regular box cake iced with canned frosting. Everything on the cake except the candles and pinball are edible. The pinball machine plunger is an ice cream cone that we cut to sit on top of the cake. The ramp is a piece of Froot by the Foot. The four drop targets are Keebler Chocolate Graham Cookies pushed into the cake (with toothpicks behind them just in case) with the numbers written in yellow sparkle decorating frosting. The drop slots are demarked with pieces of Twizzlers and shoestring licorice.
The three bumpers are Reese's peanut butter cups topped with fruit gems and M&Ms. The flippers are vanilla wafer cookies (I was going to use Vienna Fingers, but the wafer cookies were sold in bulk so I just bought two). We spread some rainbow sprinkles and edible gold stars over the top and put M&Ms on the sides of the cake for color.
My husband made the backboard and platter out of hardboard, and then attached them to another piece of hardboard (for stability) with wooden legs. He covered the whole thing in aluminum foil. An extra piece of cardboard with a printed sign and stickers covered the backboard to make the scoreboard. I happened to have a short string of lights that we taped to the scoreboard that gave it the "blinking" effect.
I think we succeeded! If I were going to make this cake again, I’d use a larger size than the 9 ½ x 11’’ cake that we made.