Luke just celebrated his third birthday. He told me that he was “an old man.” No surprise.
We had many prior discussions about the shape of his birthday cake. It went from a tea cup cake, to a carrot-shaped cake, to a *pink* dump truck cake. No surprise there, either.
I wasn’t quite sure about making a dump truck; he was adamant that it should be in the act of dumping a load.
We went to the store and he picked out a strawberry box cake, pink frosting and other random cake decorating items. I put the kids down for naps, and made the cake. While the cake was baking, I made an easy fondant out of marshmallow fluff and powdered sugar. I also added food coloring to make orange and gray (equal parts blue, green and red). I thought orange would look better than pink.
Once the fondant was done, I put it in the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes. The cake came out of the oven, and I popped it in the fridge.
Once the cake was ready, I started cutting, frosting and stacking.
If the cake layers were not flat, I would slice off the uneveness. Every time I added a layer, I put it on upside-down so that the frosting would be on a smooth surface.
I applied a thin layer of frosting, and then did a terrible job of laying the orange fondant over the truck in three segments.
With no clue as to how I was going to make the bed of the dump truck, I decided to wrap graham crackers in gray fondant.
I then made a huge tactical error. There wasn’t enough icing to frost the graham crackers to provide glue for the fondant, so I went without. In retrospect, I should have made a quick milk/powered sugar frosting to slather onto the crackers. Time was ticking away and I took a bad shortcut.
I molded the fondant around the graham crackers, slapped it onto the back of the truck (tilted with 2 large pretzel sticks), threw it into the fridge and said a prayer.
I got Luke out of bed from his nap. He thought the cake looked awesome. I told him that the inside was pink. He was happy. He questioned whether it was made of Play-Doh. Fondant, old man.
He did a wonderful job of decorating. The wheels even made it to the right location this year. We put dirt and grass (crushed Oreos and bits of green pull-apart Twizzlers) in the dumper. Some lights on top and people driving the dump truck completed the cake.
It looked pretty cool, if not symmetric.
We had his favorite dinner – roast chicken and edamame. There was other food involved as well, but that’s all he ate. We were going to cut the cake right after dinner, but he wanted to open presents immediately, while his “food crumpled in his tummy.”
We finally presented the cake to our little “old man”. He loved it, but to be honest, I consider it a complete failure. He was so excited about how it looked, he cautioned to us, “Mom and Dad, you can eat the dirt. Nothing else.” For himself, he was content to eat the candy decorations. (Although today, he munched on leftover cake and pieces of fondant. Perked him right up.)
Zach and I finally tried a piece, and it was absolutely nasty. The strawberry flavor was intensely artificial. I will never make a strawberry-flavored cake again. Back to the normal vanilla.
Additionally, I made some really cute orange fondant pylons to place around the truck, and I totally forgot to put them out.
Two thumbs up for looks, and three cheers for the bed of the truck not collapsing. That’s about it.
Next year…there’s always next year.