Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Construction Machine Birthday Cake Tutorial

construction machine birthday cake

This cake was the star of our construction machine birthday party that we recently threw our son for his 3rd birthday. 

This cake took 4 days, but only because I wanted it to "work" with the slanted stripes inside that look like construction tape, so I wasn't taking any chances. You could probably do it over 2 days, since you need time to freeze the layers.

A pretty picture of the outside.

That was the easy part, decorating it with smashed Oreos as "dirt" and small construction machines that tied into the entire Construction Machine Birthday Party theme.

construction truck cake and birthday party

Now for the hard part, getting slanted layers. 

That's me proudly holding up the first slice.

Usually I'm all about making everythign from scratch, but I figured I was going to so much trouble with this cake that I wanted to be sure the texture would work.

Bake two (2) 2-layer cakes in 9 inch rounds. You will end up with 2 yellow rounds and 2 chocolate rounds.

Wrap each layer and put them in the freezer so they wil be easier to work with.

After they are frozen take them out and set them on your work surface. I would recommend a rotating cake stand, but I used a large platter and it worked fine.

Level your cakes if they are too domes on the top, mine were pretty flat so I skipped this step.

Place your long serrated knife (bread knife) about half an inch in fron the side of the cake. Angle the knife, about 45 degrees, and start cutting through the cake, turning and cutting until you get all the way around.

cutting slanted stripes for a cake

Now you can separate the two pieces.

You repeat this step except closer to the center of the cake. Once you do one of the rounds, you can take the inside pieces and set them upside-down on the other layers to use as a guide.

If I were being a perfectionist about it, I would "trace" a round bowl onto the top of the cakes so that they were perfect, but the frosting does a pretty good job binding them together.

Now alternate your pieces. So chocolate-yellow-chocolate for two cakes, and yellow-chocolate-yellow for two.

Wrap these "new" cakes individually in Saran and place them in the freezer again.

When they come out of the freezer (I waited a day, but it could probably be an hour or two), stack them on top of each other, alternating outside color. 

alternating slanted stripes cake layers

Make sure to frost in between the layers to make them stick together.

Now frost the top and sides of the cake.

After the crumb coat, which is just the first coat of frosting, I put the whole thing in the freezer to make it easier to work with on P-day (party-day).


My lovely friend Jill got me cake stencils for my birthday, so I decided to try them out on this cake. DO NOT do that. Do not try something totally new and different for making the cake, a construction technique, new frosting, decorating AND stenciling. Bad idea. The first time the powdered sugar just went everywhere. 

I frosted over it.

The second time it worked, see how I'm holding the stencil taut? That's so it doesn't stick to the frosting.

I could pretend that was the end, but once it went into the fridge to stay cool the powdered sugar kind of disappeared. So that's why you won't really see the "Happy Birthday" on the final pictures:) Just keeping it real.

My daughter smashes the chocolate cookies (Trader Joe's Joe-Joe's or Oreos work well) inside a zip-top bag, with teh frosting container. At least this way I wasn't worried about her accidentally hurting the marble counters!

The finished product. This is where all my mommy-training was put to the test since my kids wanted to place the decorations. 

I let them.

See how the "3" is falling off a bit? I decided that Pinterest and the blogosphere weren't being served any better by me being a control freak about a cake.

Delicious and adorable! Just like my children!

I got the idea from Pinterest, thankfully there was a picture tutorial for a slanted stripe cake.

chocolate construction truck cake with cookie rocks and dirt

Have you entered this week's giveaway yet? It's a book of your children's artwork by My Little Picasso, just click!


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I link to these awesome parties:
Sunday: I Heart NaptimeNifty Thrifty ThingsIt's Overflowing Monday: Delectable HomeC.R.A.F.T.  DIY ShowoffBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickDebbie Doo'sHome Stories A to ZEvolution of Style Tuesday: Coastal CharmNest for LessTip JunkieMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaA Bowl Full of LemonsGet Your Craft OnKurtz Corner,  Centsational Girl Primitive and Proper  Wednesday: Savvy Southern StyleOrganize and Decorate,  Mommy SolutionsPower of PaintNewlyweds Recipe LinkySouthern Lovely , Home Happy HomeCrafty Sasse WednesdayGingersnap CraftsA Crafty Soiree  Thursday: The Shabby Creek CottageMade in a DayHouse of Hepworthsthe 36th Avenue,  Crafty, Scrappy, Happy52 Mantels Friday: Making LemonadeBlissful and DomesticOne Artsy MamaSerenity NowTatertots and JelloThe Shabby NestThirty Handmade DaysAddicted 2 DecoratingFunky Junk InteriorsFinancial FridayFurniture FridayAt the Picket FenceThe Rooster and the HenClassy Clutter

The Pinterest Challenge by Young House Love, Bower Power, Centsational Girl and Ten June

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Vic at Blossom and Snowflakes said...

Oh wow! That's some cake! Looks great:) I'm sure it went down really well. Vic:)

Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil said...

So cute! I love it! You are a rock star mom!

Kelli said...

What a fun cake! It looks and sounds wonderful!

Cassie Bustamante said...

you are SO smart. that's all.

Christine @ First Home...Love Life said...

How fun! I bet this would look amazing with rainbow cake as well! Great tutorial girl!

Meaningful Mama said...

I love doing cakes. This one is a lot of fun. I've never seen an inside technique like that. It's really cool. Thanks for sharing. Jodi @ www.meaningfulmama.com

Krystle @ Color Transformed Family said...

I got hungry reading this post. You deserve quite the mommy award for putting so much love and time into this cake... it looks great!

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Now that is an awesome cake! Love the way you put the whole party together, your little one had to of been thrilled! Your kitchen is one of my favorites BTW.

Jennelise said...

Incredible! It looks amazing!

Carrie said...

It's so fun when the real magic is on the inside of the cake. Well done!

JudyM said...

Mrs. Schaffer would be so proud of you! Your posts always put a smile on my face. This construction cake was really a topper!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Jessica, that is cute, cute, cute. I bet he loved it.

Anonymous said...

Jessica--- I am so impressed that you made your own cake! It looks great. I have yet to do that---I always end up rushing the last couple days before the party and chicken out and buy a cake. You have given me inspiration since 3/4 of my kids' birthdays are within 2 weeks of eachother this summer--I can do it!!! I shall look on PInterest for some ideas! Thanks for the inspiration.

Kelly said...


Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

That looks great! I wish I had seen it earlier I could have copied it for my son's graduation party cake. He just graduated from college with a major in Construction Management and he would have loved it just like your 3 year old!!

My Dream Canvas said...

Wow, what a fabulous cake. I hope you'll visit me at My Dream Canvas too :-)

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

turned out great!

Chelsea @ two twenty one said...

Adorable cake! 4 days? That's a lot of dedication. You definitely get mom of the year in my book!

Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication said...

This is awesome! I'll definitely have to try this for my husband's next birthday! He loves cool cakes :)

Amy of While Wearing Heels said...

Caution: My mouth is again on the floor. I am in awe of the details. I am SO impressed!

Ilda said...

What a great cake! Love, love, love! Thanks for sharing :)

Paula@SweetPea said...

What a neat cake you created for your son. I had no idea you could make a chevron-like pattern in a cake.

I'm visiting from Serenity Now. Hope you can stop by sometimes.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Thanks for sharing in the Pinterest Challenge! My son's 2nd birthday was this weekend and it turned out that he preferred my homemade Thomas the Train cupcakes that I sent in for his daycare party to the pricey bakery birthday cake I ordered for his big party. Next year maybe I'll try your version! :)

Brooke said...

What a cool cake! I love how you did the layers. and it looks delicious!

Tamsyn said...

This is so neat! I'm planning a trucks/construction party for my little guy's 3rd birthday. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Erin @ WriteTasty said...

That cake looks delicious, and like something that I would pay too much money for haha. I can't think of a more perfect birthday party theme for a transportation-loving toddler! :)

Alyssa said...

This came out great! I wanted to let you know that I am featuring this on my site.

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