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It’s about time we talked about this. My son’s birthday was May 5th – he requested a Tractor cake and so I went about building one.
My most favorite memories of birthdays (of any one in our house) growing up are the cakes because my mom made shape-cakes that we requested for every birthday.
Butterflies, Trains, Bears, Under the Sea adventures with the Little Mermaid (Jodi’s turns 10!) and so on.
I have the very same book my mom used while we were all growing up on how to build cakes. A tractor it did not include.
I turned to Pinterest for inspiration on the general shape. Then whipped up a PW Chocolate Sheet Cake.
Go ahead, drool.
Get a knife ready – I free handed the general construction of the cake by cutting it into squares that I would then later layer on top of each other to form a tractor.
You could get picky and measure things but maybe we haven’t met yet? I don’t do perfect.
The edges? Are discarded because they’re not “flat” … they round down. This means we eat them.
I then wrap each individual cut/layer in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer until I’m ready to decorate and build the cake. This usually happens over 4 to 7 days. (Freezing the cake that is.)
Magically days pass by and now you’re ready to decorate a cake!
Remove from freezer and assemble your tray that you’ll later present the cake on, usually wrapped in foil (for easy clean up).
Start by laying down your base – one larger square centered on one smaller square.
The frosting I used I was not very impressed with. If you’re looking for a great cake frosting – may I direct you here.
However, with whatever frosting you have when you’re building the cake apply a crumb layer. My cakes are still frozen when I do this and it’s just a very thin layer that catches all the cake crumbs and fills in imperfections so when you’re ready for the real deal you can apply a smooth coat for a finished look.
I applied a thicker bit of frosting for the “filling”.
Stack another layer on top, apply more frosting.
From here you can eyeball how big you want the tractor to be. How many people are you feeding with this cake? We had a smaller party so I just added one more large square to build the rest of the “body” of the tractor and left the last smaller square off (which was building the front, engine part of the tractor).
Apply final layer of frosting for crumb layer.
Assemble your color frosting and decorative accents.
Chocolate covered donuts
Frost the entire cake in green.
Place 2 whole donuts for the rear wheels and cut one more donut in half for the front wheels.
Place 2 yellow Dots candies in front for lights, cut a black licorice to length and place on front of larger squares for the smoke stack thing and place 2 red Dots candies in back for brake lights.
Featured on One Pretty Thing.