My sweet little guy turned 5 this weekend!! It's crazy he's 5...time has FLOWN by! He is SUCH a sweet heart and loves his mama so much...it makes me feel so blessed!
He's still really really into all things trucks and all things construction. I think every cake I've made for him for the past 3 years has had some car theme to it. Last year was the monster truck cake, so this year it was all about construction! We had hard hats for the kids, Home Depot aprons, and bug house projects for them to work on during the party. We strung up construction tape everywhere like it was streamers...it looked like a demolition site all around my house!! It was a fantastic day!!!
The whole idea of the cake began when I was visiting a sweet friend of mine who has a dedicated room FILLED with all things cake decorating!! Not only is her place full of the coolest stuff, but she is one of the most sweetest and generous people I know! She LOVES to share and bless others...it's an amazing gift of hers. She let me look all around for some fun vehicle and construction molds to use on my cake...and I found lots of fun stuff! The bulldozer, digger, roller and dump truck used on this cake were made with chocolate molds. I'd never done any mold work before so it was a new adventure for me. I definitely learned a bit that I'll share with you towards the end...a little tutorial of sorts is at the bottom of this post.
There is very little time in my life right now for creating/decorating cakes...so, I decided to use some paper decorations on the cake to give it a fun feel, but not take a ton of time to create them in fondant. All the little signs around the cake are images I found online, printed on card stock, and glued to thick toothpicks. They worked great! - and saved me a ton of time!! And, something I didn't realize would happen is most of the boys wanted to take some of them home with them...so, they became little take home gifts too! :)
The main cake (with all the decorations on it) was a half sheet pan of mudcake that I cut into four rectangles and stacked together. The bottom cake (that is covered in oreo cookie crumbs) was a half sheet pan of vanilla cake cut into two pieces...creating a larger rectangle the main cake sat on. I carved down the edges of the base cake a bit so they weren't squared and more rounded like a cliff. The cookie crumbs worked great but made SUCH a mess!! I felt like everything in my kitchen was covered in cookie crumbs! :) I spread some chocolate buttercream all around the base cake to help the cookie crumbs stick. I had to put the orange ribbon around the board to keep the cookie crumbs from going all over every time I moved the cake around!! :) I then stacked the main/decorated cake on top of it and added a little more buttercream and cookie crumbs to make it look like piles of dirt were in front of the trucks. The mess was worth it...it was a fun (and yummy) part of the cake!!
The cone was all rice crispy treats, crumb coated in buttercream and covered in orange modeling chocolate. I formed the cone by hand until it was just the right shape, then let it set up in the fridge before covering it in buttercream.
A little lesson learned on this one:
I had the cone in the fridge to let the buttercream set up before covering it in modeling chocolate. The problem with doing that was as soon as I began covering the chilled cone in chocolate, the modeling chocolate wouldn't budge! - it started to harden real fast so that the seam in the back looked terrible. (See picture below) I couldn't get it to melt together like I'm usually able to do and the more I worked on it, the more buttercream wanted to squirt out! So, I hid it by sticking the cake up against a wall! :) LOL! Next time, I'll crumb coat the rice crispy treats in melted chocolate so I can cover it at room temp...it will make it much cleaner! Good thing my little guy could care less about seams! :) It all tasted good to him! :)
Ugh...isn't that seam UGLY! - see...I'm not perfect! I just usually hide it better than that! :) Instead, I'm actually showing you this picture...instead of pretending "everything went perfect!" :)
I crumb coated the cake in buttercream...something I haven't done for a long time. I usually always use ganache because it's so stable and I can cover a cake at room temp...giving me a lot more time to smooth it and make the edges sharp. But, again, this cake was for my son and I didn't have a lot of time to make a batch of ganache to crumb coat the cake with when I had plenty of buttercream left over.
Now, when you cover a cake that's been chilled with fondant, you have to work fast so the buttercream doesn't soften under it, so that the fondant doesn't become tacky from the cold cake, and so you can still get your sharp corners. Well, I realized why I switched to ganache!!! Working with a buttercream crumb coated cake is much trickier! I have been rolling my fondant pretty thin lately because it gives me sharper edges. When you put thin fondant on a chilled cake, you have minutes to smooth it down before it starts to get cold and tacky...which at that point you have to back away from the cake or you'll ruin it! So, the fondant job isn't great...good thing I had LOTS of decorations! :) From here on out, it'll be ganache from now on! Once you go ganache, it's ridiculous to do anything else! :) Lesson learned!
And here is my sweet boy with a few of his buddies!! He's the third from the left...the seriously cute one! :) HAHA...I'm partial...but all moms should be right?! :)
Blowing out the candles. The cone was perfect to put one of the candles in...although he couldn't blow them all out together. Oh well! :) - it looked cool while they were all lit!
I love you little guy! Thanks for being an amazing son! May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace!
How to add different colors to your chocolate molds:
Here's the one I used. You can find it here on Amazon.
I used Wilton candy melts for these molds. I was told to spray them with some non-stick spray then wipe them out before putting my chocolate in them. I actually didn't do that on the one pictured below (because I hadn't heard that yet), but did spray the rest of them. I preferred the one that I didn't put the spray in because I found that I couldn't wipe all the spray out of the tiny details and some of my chocolate ended up running together because the oil got in there and made it hard to get a crisp line. They popped out of the mold just fine...with or without the spray. So, just an FYI on that. I would do a test one to check if they pop out without the spray if you try it.
I melted some black, yellow and orange Wilton melts into three different bowls. I added just a touch of Crisco to make them a bit smoother. I then began painting the areas I wanted the color...yes, painting...with a regular brush! :) I poured a bit of black into the wheels and started painting up the sides. I went over it a few times so it was nice and coated. I tried to keep my lines really thick/clean but it's hard to get it perfect. After the black, I put it in the fridge to harden, then used the orange and painted in the dump truck and some of the buckets. Once that hardened in the fridge, I poured in the yellow to finish it all. One thing that happened when I poured in the yellow was the warm yellow chocolate melted some of the thinner areas of black/orange chocolate (like the windows) and the borders became a bit vague...not sharp like I had painted them. So, next time, I'll let the yellow (or main chocolate color) cool as much as possible to where I can still pour it, but so that it won't bleed/melt into my other colors. FYI for future!
It was very fun and SUPER easy to make the molds. It definitely saved me some time...and for a busy mommy, right now, I'm ALL about saving time! :) Thanks again Deborah for letting me raid your cake supply and find such fun stuff to play with! :) Hugs to you!
I hope you all gained something here you can try on your next construction cake!!
Blessings to you all!