Construction Birthday Cake

Another year, another birthday! My kids (and husband) spend a bit of time thinking about the type of birthday cake or dessert they want, and then we narrow it down to three options. Sometimes they want to be surprised, other times I get very specific requests – like the planet Neptune cake, Leopard Cake, or a Princess Cake.

Initially I had set out to make a Pikachu cake since the kids starting watching Pokemon on Netflix, but I decided to give my daughter one last option since a few of us were sick and I was running low on time and energy. I suggested we make a construction cake. She’s totally into construction vehicles, and big trucks. We checked out a few pictures online and she immediately got excited at the possibilities. Score one for mom!

This cake is another chapter in the continuing saga of creating the perfect yellow cake, with the perfect chocolate frosting. The vanilla cake comes from RockRecipes.com and the frosting recipe comes from Betty Crocker (with a few changes.)

This is hands down my favorite yellow cake to decorate with. It’s sturdy and tasty. I used this same recipe last year with the Planet Neptune cake and Princess cake. I added chocolate chips and sprinkles to simulate rocks and gems that could be hiding in the dirt. (Protip: Swirl the chocolate chips and sprinkles in in next time.)

Construction Birthday - Cake

Now the extra fun part, decorating the cake! I crushed up some leftover Whoppers from Halloween into boulders and rocks. Leave a few candies whole for extra big boulders and rocks.

The darker dirt is made by crushing Oreo cookies either by hand in a ziptop bag, or in a food processor. I used a few of the larger pieces to make some cobblestone looking features on the back of the cake. The icing on this cake sets up very nicely, so not much shifted once the decorating was done. I did notice the Whoppers absorbed a bit of moisture in the air in the few hours between decorating and serving. The Whoppers turned a bit darker and stuck in the bed of the truck, so keep that in mind.

Not pictured, an orange construction sign with “Happy Birthday” and placed in the cake using toothpicks. The sky’s the limit with this cake. Use some cars or dinosaurs in a mud pit, try a vanilla icing and crushed Golden Oreos for a beach setting!

 

Construction Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake Under Construction
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A buttery and golden vanilla cake with fudge frosting. Sturdy cake suitable for many types of decorating. Cake recipe from RockRecipes.com and Fudge Frosting inspired by Betty Crocker.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 cake
Ingredients
Vanilla Cake
  • 1½ cups cake or pastry flour
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted.
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
Fudge Frosting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Bowl of ice and water
Instructions
Vanilla Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift cake flour and measure, sift all-purpose flour and measure.
  3. Sift both flours together, with baking powder and salt. Gently whisk to aerate more.
  4. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Add vanilla extract.
  7. Gently fold dry ingredients into the butter and egg mixture in three equal portions, alternating with the evaporated milk. Begin and end with dry ingredients. (Dry-milk-dry-milk-dry)
  8. Pour batter into a well greased and floured 9x13 pan, or two 9 inch cake pans. Tap pans gently to release air bubbles.
  9. Bake approximately 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
  10. Remove cake from oven and let rest for five minutes in pan, and then gently turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool.
Fudge Frosting
  1. In a medium sized pot, mix all ingredients together except vanilla.
  2. Heat frosting ingredients to a rolling boil, and stir occasionally.
  3. Boil for one minute without stirring.
  4. Place pot in bowl of ice and water.
  5. Beat frosting until smooth and spreadable. Add vanilla.
  6. Frost as desired.

 

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