Living on the farm with only "Green" equipment, it wasn't a stretch to find inspiration for my son's 2nd birthday John Deere Birthday Cake. I am very crafty and a perfectionist, I've also made a Cookie Monster, Lightening McQueen and an alligator for my sons' birthdays. I love making cakes for my boys, but they do take a lot of time. Their birthdays are within a week of each others so talk about pressure from the bar I've set!
I ordered the tractor cake pan for this cake, but to personalize it for my little guy I made the cake "Johnny Tractor", a character from the John Deere toys. I used a chocolate pound cake recipe and made it 2 days before my second son was born. Freezing the cake keeps it nice an moist. I decorated this when my newborn was only 5 days old. I followed the directions for the Wilton butter cream icing. I wasn't able to get the concentrated colors, so I colored the icing the day before so it would darken over night to get just the right John Deere green. I still find black tough to make even starting with the chocolate icing, it looks very shiny to me because of the cocoa.
I could follow a lot of the outline from the pan, but I iced free handed copying from my son's toy tractor. The icing was pretty thick, so I vowed to learn how to use the star tip for future cakes. I did all the outlining and then filled in with the colored icing. I rely on my bamboo skewers to help move the icing if needed into just the right spot. Voila, another very cool birthday cake.
My son loves tractors so we had a tractor birthday party for him for his 2nd birthday. I found inspiration from this site for my Harvest Tractor Cake. Its not the neatest cake, but my son LOVED it, and it was very tasty. He loved watching me make it too.
I used 2 loaf pans. One uncut was the bottom of the tractor. The other I cut in half and used 1 piece for the cab of the tractor and one piece for the wagon. I think I actually cut it not quite in half, so the cab piece was bigger. I used 2 small round cake pans for the rear wheels and 2 cupcakes sliced in half for the front wheels and wagon wheels. Three mini loaves make up the hay bales and cupcakes, obviously, are in the bushel baskets.
I think I used part of a cupcake as the hitch between the tractor and wagon. The cake is made from the Hershey's cocoa package recipe. The frosting is from the powdered sugar box recipe. I usually use a much lighter frosting with this cake which is why I ran into a little bit a trouble. The cut parts of cake ended up getting crumbs all mixed into the frosting because it was so thick. Next time I would adjust the frosting better. We just said it was a dirty tractor.
The bushel baskets were mini Easter baskets I got at a dollar store and removed the handles. I used the wide frosting tip to make apples and pumpkins in them. This cake was a big hit, and I thank this site for providing inspiration and good ideas!