My husband turned 40 recently and I wanted to surprise him with a big cake for his surprise party. I ordered two cake pans from The Lakeside Collection that allows you to make any number or letter, by rearranging the separator blocks. I used these pans to bake two number 4's and two number 0's.
The '4' was a two layer homemade red velvet cake filled with cream cheese frosting; the '0' was an Italian cream cheese cake with pecans, also filled with cream cheese frosting.
*side note - since the separator blocks are square, I had to trim the diagonal and inside part of the '4's, and round the corners on the '0's.*
After arranging the bottom layers of each number on the cake board (full sheet cake size), I filled them, put the top layer on, and crumb-coated all with the remaining cream cheese frosting.
I decided to frost the cakes in the colors of my husband's Alma mater (maroon and gold). Getting the right color for the maroon was difficult; I used red and a tiny amount of purple. The color was a mauve-ish hue, but I knew that the frosting would darken up over time.
For the decorating, I edged the bottom of each cake with the opposite cake color, for contrast. Then I put a few tombstones on the '4' with the sayings "here wallows an old man" and "RIP". The design on the '0' show several plays on the word 'forty' to represent the sports that my husband likes; golf was 'fore'-ty, baseball was 4-balls and 0-strikes, and football was a 40-0 score. Finally, I piped out "Happy 40th Scott" on the cake board in brown and edged it in black.
Everyone at the party loved the Homemade Turning 40 Birthday Cake, and my husband was totally surprised by it.