My nephew, Isaac just turned 2 and I had the pleasure of doing his birthday cake again this year!? Last year, we did a robot cake for him, complete with arms made of donuts.? Well, this year, I made him a 3D dump truck cake with donuts as the wheels!? (It’ll be fun to see if this is a tradition we’ve started or not.)
So how does one make a 3D dump truck cake, I wondered?? Luckily, when my brother made the request, he had a vision already started.? We would be cutting up a 9×13 cake and stacking pieces in a truck base and cab shape.? Then we’d be using a plastic dump truck bed that detached from one of Isaac’s toy dump trucks and filling it with cake ball boulders.? Yumm!? And as I said… donuts for the wheels.
Now, if you don’t have the luxury of having a plastic dump truck bed laying around (which I suspect is the case), you could use another basket and cut it to shape.
When getting started, I would suggest you freeze the cake after baking it.? Then, let it thaw for just 30-60 minutes before you’re ready to decorate.? This way, when you start cutting it up, it doesn’t crumble on you.? I cut the cake into pieces (with some trial and error along the way) and ended up with this beginning shape.
After getting the shape how you like it, set the truck bed aside.? It’s now time to dirty ice the cake.? This means you’re putting on a thin, ugly (this is where the term dirty comes from), layer of icing to essentially keep the pieces together and keep it from drying out while you put the decorative icing on.? This also allows you to add extra icing where needed between the layers to keep it from looking lopsided.
I knew that I’d be icing the cake primarily with the Wilton star tips.? So before I covered the entire truck, I started by putting the details on.? I iced on the windows, the grill and the headlights.? This way, I could box everything in with the stars and the cake would instantly be finished!
“Instantly” quickly became a relative term though.? Yes, putting stars all over the cake was the last step, but goodness did it take a LONG time.? And brought on a sore hand.? Do not underestimate the endurance you must have for the star tip!? Hah!? Anyway… I popped the donuts on the sides, used a larger star tip to do an orange bumper around the entire truck, then used a smaller star tip to cover the rest in yellow.? And voila!
And for the second final touch, I made some cake ball boulders for the bed.? “Make odd shaped cake balls,” they say.? “Harder than it looks,” I say!? It was tricky at first to make sure they weren’t round but that they also weren’t cubes.? But I quickly got the hang of it and here they are…