Whether you're getting ready for the start of the school year, celebrating the end of another, or want to honor someone who drives a big yellow bus, a specially decorated cake is a wonderful way to show your excitement for the occasion. It doesn't matter whether you make a sheet cake or a shaped cake because everyone is sure to be hungry after a busy day at school!
Yellow Buttercream Bus Cake
Making a shaped cake is easy, but covering it in fondant isn't always a piece of cake. Instead, use buttercream drop stars to decorate and make your bus one everyone will stop to admire.
Begin with a sheet cake that has been cut into two or three layers, depending on your cake size. Cut the top layer at a 90-degree angle to create the front of the bus. Crumb coat the cake.
- Yellow buttercream
- Black buttercream
- Red buttercream
- Red fondant, small amount
- White fondant
- Four chocolate sandwich cookies
- Assorted icing bags and couplers
- Round tips
- Drop star tip
- Edible marker in black
- Fondant knife
- Royal icing to use as adhesive
- Start by rolling out the white fondant. Using the fondant knife, cut out a long rectangular piece, a stout rectangular piece and a narrow rectangular piece. These will be your windows. Attach to the cake using royal icing adhesive or a little additional buttercream.
- Fill a pastry bag with black buttercream. Outline the bus windows, adding the wipers and panes when you finish the outlines.
- Fill a pastry bag with yellow buttercream. Carefully use the drop star icing technique over the rest of the cake. Be sure to squeeze with even pressure so your stars are the same size.
- Add the four chocolate cookies to the cake, lightly pressing them into the buttercream, to represent the wheels.
- Go back to your black buttercream. Add three lines across the front bottom of the bus to represent the grill.
- Add a slightly longer black line towards the bottom of the front to represent the bumper.
- Add two black circles just above the lines to create the base for the headlights.
- Add two black lines on both sides of the bus center between the wheels.
- Add a black border long the bottom of the cake.
- Fill a pastry bag with white buttercream and round tip. Add white headlights to the center of the black circles on the front of the cake.
- Fill a pastry bag with red buttercream and round tip. Add two red lights to each side of the grill marks on the front of the bus. Then add several additional round red lights across the top of the front windshield.
- Roll out a small piece of red fondant. Use the pastry knife to cut into a stop sign.
- Use the black edible marker to write "stop" on the sign.
- Use a small dab of royal icing adhesive or additional buttercream to attach it to the side of the bus.
Fondant Bus Sheet Cake
Covering a sheet cake cut into a bus shape is a great way for bakers to get the nice look of fondant without being experts at stacking and shaping 3D cakes.
Start with a crumb-coated sheet cake that's cut in the shape of a bus, minus the wheels.
- Large sheet of yellow rolled fondant, plus extra
- Blue fondant
- Gray fondant
- White fondant
- Assorted other fondant colors (optional)
- Fondant knives
- Flat stackable round cookies
- Royal icing
- Small food-safe brush
- Stack round cookies up to the height of the sheet cake. Cut out cake pieces to fit wheels halfway into cake.
- Cover wheels with gray fondant and use royal icing adhesive to help secure them in place.
- Carefully cover your cake with yellow fondant, smoothing it out as you go, cutting around and above the wheels as needed.
- Using a fondant knife, lightly press outline for windows, door, and roof into the fondant.
- Roll out the extra yellow fondant and cut pieces to fit the wheel covers, roof line, engine top, bottom of the bus, and other areas you want to add yellow fondant to on your cake. Shape and attach with royal icing as adhesive.
- Roll out the blue fondant. Cut window shapes. Use the brush to add royal icing to the back of the pieces and attach in appropriate places.
- Cut out a small piece of gray fondant. Add a small piece of white fondant to the top and then a small black piece on top of it. Attach all with royal icing. Place near the front of the bus to represent the bus headlight.
- Cut out a small round piece of yellow fondant. Cut out a small flower from orange fondant. Attach with royal icing and place in center of wheels to represent the rims.
- Shape stars, magnets, lightbulbs, and other school supplies out of fondant as desired. Allow them to dry a little and then attach at random to the bus using royal icing.
Additional School Bus Ideas
If you want to make a cake that differs from the ideas above, there are plenty of ideas to choose from.
- A Wilton forum member broke down a fondant shaped bus cake into handwritten diagrams that show where to cut the cake and insert dowels. There are 17 steps and photos included as well.
- Get a template from My Cake School that shows you how to cut a sheet cake into a bus shape while the blog discuss the buttercream decorations.
- Even a novice cake baker and decorator can make the simple school bus cake from Taste of Home. This easy instructional starts with a box mix and includes decoration instructions as well as information on how to stack and cut the cake.
Don't Miss the Bus!
A school bus is an excellent back to school cake or retirement cake for a favorite driver. Follow some basic instructions to be sure your bus-themed celebration goes off without a hitch!