1st Birthday John Deere Tractor Cake
This John Deere tractor cake is every little boy’s dream and was one of my first. A co-worker asked me to make it for her son’s first birthday since he loved John Deere tractor toys!
The flavor of the cake was vanilla, since my scratch vanilla is better for carving than my super-moist chocolate!
The front end of tractor was a rectangle cut out of vanilla cake topped with a Twinkie to give it the rounded look. When creating sculpted cakes, I find that using frosting is better than a filling because fillings tend to leak or make the cake unstable.
I bought white fondant and colored it with paste. My homemade fondant dries too quickly, so I prefer to buy it already made and color it! Be sure to use color-paste, it has the best color. You first have to knead the fondant and add small amounts of paste in intervals as the fondant will get darker as it sits. Also, it is best to wear gloves when coloring your fondant.
This cake was a challenge! I covered the cake with one piece of fondant and it was too small! If I ever make this cake again I would cover it with fondant in pieces, instead of trying one large circle. I NEVER give up on a cake challenge, even if it brings me to tears. I just take a break and start over.
The tires were made from Rice Krispie treats and covered with black fondant. The pipe was made from a pretzel rod also covered with fondant. I made the treats to the width I wanted the tire and used a round cut-out for the tire and a small round to cut out the center of the tire and fit a yellow piece of fondant in the center of tires. I used a butter knife to get the tread in the tires. The pipe and the tires have to be done a day or two in advance so they can set – if you notice mine, I did not let them set and got some waves and sagging, which would have been prevented if I did them ahead of time!
The windows were painted on with black color-paste and the grass is buttercream that was piped on with Wilton tip #233.
I hear the party guests LOVED the cake!