Tag Archives: fondant

The Dump Truck

My nephew turned 2 this week. His birthday party was on Saturday and he spent about five minutes staring at his cake saying, “Dump truck.” He’s adorable, but that aside I want to share the photos of the cake with you.

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Unfortunately, as I do not have a personal photographer that follows me around, I have no cake-in-progress photos. Believe it or not my hands were almost constantly covered in one camera-unfriendly substance or another while I was making the cakes.

I’ll give you a brief run down of what I did. For starters, I made a base by covering a plastic tote container’s lid with brown paper similar to what paper bags are made of. I wanted the base to be sturdy – fondant is very heavy!

The truck is made of yellow cake that I baked in two loaf pans. Unfortunately, the cake didn’t rise properly. I had hoped to have a more complicated truck cab, but I had to make do with a very dense cake. One loaf I intentionally made thin – about an inch or so thick – to serve as the bed on which the box rested. The other loaf was used for the cab. I cut it in half and frosted the two halves together. These were all covered in marshmallow fondant (which I highly recommend – in the past I’d used a fondant recipe with gelatin and corn syrup that was difficult to get at the right consistency).

The cab is resting on part of a cake mix box covered in foil. I made my first two cakes from recipes, but was frustrated and worried about how much cake I ended up with. I bought a mix to be sure I had something decent to serve. Hilariously my scratch chocolate cake turned out the best.

The “dirt” mounds are incredibly easy. I baked the cake in a Pampered Chef bowl that my Aunt gave me last Christmas. It’s called the classic batter bowl, but resembles a large liquid measuring cup. I then covered the mounds in chocolate frosting and rolled/dipped them in chocolate cookie crumbs. Frosting just the round side of the cake, holding it on either unfrosted end and rolling it in the cookie crumbs worked quite well. I also made a mini cake in a ramekin, which I covered in graham cracker crumbs – “sand.”

Headlights, taillights and the lights on top of the cab are M&Ms. The wheels are chocolate covered donuts with M&Ms for hub caps. The smoke stacks are white chocolate covered pretzel rods. The side mirrors are white chocolate-covered graham cracker pieces with aluminum foil as the “mirror” part. The “grass patches” are green frosting with green M&Ms and flower cut-outs of fondant (again thanks to my Aunt for the fondant cutters!). To make the tire tread I brushed Crisco onto the paper and then brushed cocoa powder over it.

Finally, the box of the dump truck: Using graham crackers and icing I made a box – bottom and four sides. To do this, I had to cut two of the graham crackers down because they were too long. The bottom had three crackers two side by side with one underneath covering the overlap. Once this was set up, I mixed up rice crispy treats and pushed it into the box. I formed the mound of “dirt” in the box and covered the rice crispy treat in cookie crumbs. The following day I covered the sides of the box in a reddish pink colored fondant and painted over that with a red edible paint made of water, corn starch, and red food coloring.

My sister asked for a dump truck cake for my nephew, so I hit up the internet for ideas. These were helpful:

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Italian Flag and Colosseum Cake

We’re doing something I like to call the Faux-lympics at work. We’ve been divided into teams of 5-ish. Some people are excited. Others couldn’t care less. I’m definitely leaning toward the latter, but I still found it in me to do this. Probably because making elaborate cakes is fun…

Early in the process. At this point I’ve place the side of the Colosseum and stenciled it using cocoa powder and crisco and some good old plain printer paper!

I made a Colosseum cake. We’re team Italy. I’m Team Lazy, so instead of figuring out what to do on top, I decided to drape an Italian flag (edible, of course!) on top of the Colosseum. Seriously, what else do you do?

The cake is part of our “logo” design. Basically my plan is to wow with the cake, then feed the judges thereby winning the gold medal in logo design. Regardless, I got to play with fondant and I’ll get to eat some cake. Is there a downside?

A few more intermediate steps:

Before I added the flag, from the side. A little hint for elaborate cakes: always have a plan. I like to make a colored sketch.

Another angle. I’m still working on making my cakes look perfect. I probably need to use different frosting, but I’m also focused on taste when I choose frosting. Here I used a brown sugar frosting. Yummmm.


Here I’ve added the flag, which was tough. After coloring fondant, it can become a bit sticky. I wanted to make the flag and drape it, but I ended up draping it in pieces, color by color.

I wanted to incorporate the Olympic a bit, so I made a gold medal to put on top of everything.

Almost done. I just had a few finishing details after this.

Final product:

The Colosseum has 4 levels, but the 4th level is no longer complete. I made a four layer cake, but cut off half the 4th level (part of which became the gold medal).


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