My son told me all he wanted for his 4th birthday was a fire truck. But he has so many fire trucks in his toy collection that I thought I’d give him something more memorable – a fire truck birthday cake. I did not trust my ability to use my 9×13 pan and cut the cake, so I purchased a large 15” loaf pan instead.
I made 4 cakes in this pan – all a basic yellow cake recipe:
- 1 ¼ butter
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cups milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar together and beat in eggs
Sift flour and baking powder together
Mix milk and vanilla together. Alternate mixing in the flour mixture and the milk mixture in 3 parts.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes depending on what type of pan you use.
I made the back of the truck by stacking 2 15” full loafs one on top of each other. I used chocolate marshmallow filling between the layers (melt one bag of marshmallows with 2 Tbsp of butter, then stir in ½ cup of cocoa powder). I took the next loaf and cut it into three 5” pieces which I stacked up to make the front cab of the truck (again with chocolate marshmallow filling). I then took the last cake and cut one 5” piece to make the 4th (top) layer for the cab and put the remaining 2/3rds on the back of the truck. I filled in the gaps and cracks with an icing mixture of egg white and icing sugar. And also spread a very thin amount of this glue over the parts of the cake that were exposed crumb sides from being cut. I then left the cake rest for a few hours for all the “glue” to dry.
I could not find the right kind of dye to make red icing (it all turned pink), so I decided to make a yellow fire truck (or as my son calls them, airport fire trucks). The frosting was a simple mix of 1 lb of butter, 8 cups of icing sugar, some milk and yellow food coloring.
I frosted the entire cake with yellow. I was really glad I had made the yellow icing pretty stiff because it was easier to work with. I dipped a knife in hot water to smooth out the icing all over the cake and again let it dry for about an hour. I made wheels from Oreo cookies, hoses from gummy strings, Dots for lights, white icing for windows and window borders and front grill from chocolate covered pretzel sticks. I then added the snozzle (only found on airport fire trucks) to the top of the cab (made from some chocolate covered pretzels and icing). I also added equipment compartments (grey icing covered cookies). I then made a few fires of orange, pink and blue icing and stick cookies and pretzels.
To make the ladders, I melted semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler until just melted and then used a pastry bag to make the ladders. I froze them overnight to harden them up. I then attached them to and loaded them on to the back of the cake.
It took about 12 hours of work… and was well worth it!