As a ‘self-taught ‘baker,” I knew I had my work cut out for me this year in baking Big Brother’s 3rd Birthday Cake, when he asked for a Fire Truck Themed Party. As I began to plan the cake out in my head and break it into pieces, it actually turned out much easier than I first thought. Here is a brief tutorial of how I created my son’s cake with everyday kitchen tools.
1. Day One: I began on day one by baking a half sheet cake of Red Velvet Cake (Duncan Hines). I typically use Duncan Hines box mixes when I am creating a detailed cake where I will spend a large amount of time decorating. I greased the pan, and floured it as well before adding the batter. After baking, I allowed the cake to completely cook before cutting it into the sections shown below. (The dimensions you choose will be based on how big you choose to make the cake.)
2. I stacked sections 1, 2, and 3 on top of one another with a thin layer of whipped buttercream frosting in between each layer. When layering cakes that will be covered with fondant, I love to use a light whipped icing because it does not overwhelm the cake with sweetness.
3. After stacking sections 1, 2, and 3 together, I cut a small section off the top of the top layer. I then covered the entire section with icing as a ‘crumb layer’ (to contain all the crumbs) and placed it in the freezer.
4. Then I combined sections four and five, again with a thin layer of icing in between, and finally covered the entire piece with a crumb layer. I then placed it in the freezer and stopped for the day. Not very pretty right!? This is the point where I always begin to wonder if it’s going to turn out… aka ‘My Stressing Time!’
5. Day Two– I began by removing the cake pieces from the freezer and trimming up and sides that were uneven. I then recoated the cake with a thin layer of whipped buttercream icing.
6. I rolled out my precolored fondant (I purchased Wilton white fondant and then colored it myself in my Kitchen Aid Mixer) using powdered sugar lightly sprinkled underneath to prevent sticking.
How to Cover with Fondant:
1. Gently lift the fondant and place the center on the center of the piece you are covering.
2. Start at the top and gently smooth the sides out down the piece you are covering.
3. Lift and gently smooth until the entire piece is covered. Trim off the extra fondant and tuck edges against and or under the cake.
The finished Fire Truck Birthday Cake!
Big Brother blowing out the candles on his 3rd Birthday Fire Truck Cake!
(Please forgive our sweaty faces and my crazy hair as it was a VERY HOT day and I was still cooling down after climbing out of a complete Fireman Suit on the Fire Station Tour.)