Truck cakes aren't only spectacular for kids' birthday parties; they're also great "just because" desserts and fun projects to help you refine your piping and decorating skills. An easy truck cake doesn't take more than an hour to put together, with baking time excluded, so you can squeeze it in even on a busy day.
Easy to Make Truck Cake Directions
If a simple cake is really your top priority, choose a design that doesn't require much decorating work.
Dump Truck Cake
With a toy plastic dump truck, you can create a wow-worthy presentation with very little effort.
- Bake two 8- or 9-inch round cakes or one 9-inch by 13-inch sheet cake. Let the finished cake cool completely.
- Thoroughly clean the bed of the toy dump truck, and wipe it dry.
- Break your cake into large hunks or cut it into squares with a sharp serrated knife.
- If you'd like, you can mix some chocolate cookies or chocolate frosting in with the crumbled cake.
- Fill the bed of the dump truck with the crumbled cake pieces, and scoop out servings with a large spoon or spatula.
Truck Cake Pan
Wilton's fire truck cake is simple to make if you have the pan in on hand. It takes enough batter for a standard double-layer, 8-inch round cake or a cake mix.
- Bake the cake in the truck pan and let it cool completely.
- Invert the cake onto a sheet of cardboard or a serving platter.
- To decorate the cake, you need to follow Wilton's detailed instructions, which are provided along with the cake pan. You need some specialty supplies, including colored buttercream frosting (or white vanilla buttercream frosting and gel food coloring to tint), three different decorating tips, pastry bags, and a coupler.
- Follow the pictorial guide with the cake pan to pipe on decorations for the fire truck cake. Let each color of frosting sit for a moment or two to firm up before you apply the next layer or color.
2-D Truck Cake
If you don't feel up to the challenge of making a cake that looks as if it could actually drive away, you can save time by piping a truck onto a flat rectangular cake or making a truck out of fondant frosting.
- Bake, let cool, and frost a 9-inch by 13-inch sheet cake. Make sure the background is a light, neutral color, like white or sky blue.
- With black buttercream icing, a thin round frosting tip, and a pastry bag, pipe on the outline of a truck shape. It can be a fire truck, a pick-up truck, a monster truck, or whatever you like. Don't worry if it's not exact, since you'll have the chance to refine it later.
- Using a flat spatula, fill in the outline with a solid color, such as red, green, or blue. That will be the main color of your truck. If you need to smooth over your outline, do it now. Don't put frosting where the wheels will go.
- Wash and dry the flat spatula and use it to scoop a small amount of black frosting onto the wheels of the truck. Spread the frosting over the wheels. Then add rectangles of black frosting near the top of the truck for windows
- Smooth out a thin white circle of frosting in the center of each wheel.
- Pipe on any details you'd like to include with the thin round decorating tip and pastry bag.
- Tint white fondant the color of your truck with gel food coloring and plastic gloves. Thoroughly massage the color into the frosting so it doesn't appear to be marbled.
- Pat a blob of the fondant into a thick rectangle, which will be the body of your truck. Pat another, smaller piece of fondant into a triangular cube, and place the triangular part on top of one end of the rectangle. Secure them together by pressing into the seams with your fingers.
- Use small chocolate sandwich cookies for wheels, or use pre-tinted black fondant frosting to form four thick circles. Press the truck into the wheels.
- If you'd like, add more detail to the truck with a toothpick, edible pen, or more fondant.
- Rest the truck on top of the cake after you've frosted it with buttercream.
More Truck Cake Designs
There are dozens of truck cake designs, and those listed above barely begin to scratch the surface. If you have a little bit more time on your hands or a desire to try something more challenging, why not develop your own design? Some of the best cakes are true originals, so rev up your brainstorming abilities and put them to work!