A favorite among pre-school aged kids, the tractor cake has many forms. Kids want individual cupcakes with tractors on top, tractor shaped cakes, and tractors placed on top of cakes. Parents sometimes use the birthday as an opportunity to gift a toy tractor on the cake, and other times go with a fully edible cake. Crushed cookies are common as “dirt” for the tractor to be digging in.
This cake started as a tractor but turned into a digger after Vann’s mom and I exchanged a few emails to determine the cake’s plan. I started by sending her all the tractor cakes I’d done, realizing that I haven’t actually made that many!! Here is very small Pinterest board of tractor cakes. I also did a basic Google search for tractor cakes and sent it to her. Lilly sent me a cute picture of a digger cake that she found and asked me to recreate that cake.
Now it was time to sort out the size and flavor. That was easy! 12 people would be eating the cake, so I originally planned on a 10″ square cake. Upon more reflection though, I decided that a 12″ canvas would make a better size. Leftover cake is never something to complain about! The family decided on chocolate with vanilla frosting filling and vanilla frosting. Of course the dirt would be crushed up cookies.
Now it was time for me to recreate the cake!
Step by step and bit by bit
After I baked the cake it was time to tackle the digger. I suggest you print out the inspiration picture (if you are using one) and have it nearby to help you with dimensions and proper proportion. When I’m working with clip-art I usually cut out the object and use it as a template. However, in the case where I’m using a cake photo, I use it merely for guidance.
Use CUTTERS as much as possible. You can eyeball and hand cut everything if needed, but likely if you do much baking and decorating and look through your tools you’ll have cutters to help you. For this cake I used a simple pasta cutter, a basic knife, round biscuit cutters, small circle cutters and flower cutters.
For this digger cake you’ll need to have fondant in the following colors: black, white, yellow and gray. You’ll also need a recipe or two of frosting. You’ll tint that frosting light blue and dark blue, leaving some of it white for filling and crumb coating.