This is the tank cake I made for a friend’s little boy’s 10th birthday. He loves all things military and really wanted a tank for his birthday cake. It’s not something I had ever tried to do before so thought it would be fun to have a go.

I made two large rectangular chocolate sponge cakes and one small rectangular one. I used my usual chocolate sponge recipe which uses really good quality dark chocolate – I think melted chocolate is so much better than cocoa powder in a cake. When the cakes were completely cooled I leveled them both off and placed one on top of the other. I then carved them to form the main body of the tank. I carved the smaller cake to form the top piece of the tank. I then ‘stuck’ them all together using butter cream so that the main cake was basically a big chocolate sponge filled with butter cream.

Next I made the green icing which I rolled as thin as I could and covered the whole cake. The next job was the caterpillar tracks. First I rolled out some of the green icing nice and thin in a long roughly rectangular shape. I then used my fine basket-weave rolling pin (for use with icing) to carefully roll over the icing once to get the pattern. I then cut two long strips of the same width and stuck them on to the cake using a little edible glue for the underside. I know it is supposed to be a basket weave pattern but I thought it was quite effective!

I used rolled out green icing, some plain and some rolled with the basket weave rolling pin, for the details. I also added a few molded pieces and incised lines for extra effect. The gun itself was made using a matchmaker encased in the same green icing! I then made a hole through the icing cover and into the cake big enough to insert the gun far enough so that it was held securely in place.

I have some edible spray paints which I used to spray random splodges onto the cake to create the camouflage effect. I had never tried this before so was really nervous about it but I took the plunge anyway and was really pleased with the result!

Finally I made the little man for the top of the tank. He is made from the same green icing and some pink icing I made, and his features are painted on with some black food coloring.

I then melted some good quality milk chocolate and poured it onto the cake board to make the muddy puddle. I then (very carefully!) lifted the tank and placed it in the middle of the puddle – nerve racking! Having successfully completed this maneuver I crumbled a flake into the melted chocolate around the tank for extra texture.

And that was that. I was really pleased with this one and my friend says it really made her little boy’s day!