Cakes, Food

Elmo Truck Cake

My nephew Wyatt is currently into trucks and Elmo; hence the theme for his second birthday party 🙂 This is the first time I’ve actually taken step-by-step pictures of my cake progression. I’m super excited to have this blog so I can now share my fun cake innovations with you all. My sister and I paired up to make this one, and I’d say we did a decent job for our first attempt at a truck or Sesame Street themed cake 🙂

Start by creating the baseboard via covering a 11×13″ piece of cardboard with cake foil. I picked these dimensions because this fit perfectly in my Cake Courier. Adjust the dimensions to whatever works best for you. For the “Sesame Street”, roll out a portion of the black on the baseboard and trim off 1.5″ along both sides for a grass section. To save on fondant, cut out a portion of the middle part that would be covered by cake.

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For the cakes, we went with a funfetti cake mix, cause what kid doesn’t love funfetti! Any box or homemade mix would also work. Bake four 9×13″ cakes for the body of the truck (this was probably more than necessary but we wanted to make sure we had enough). Use four 7 oz. ramekins (~3″ diameter) filled half full with batter to make the cake for the wheels. You can use larger ramekins if you want to go for more of a monster truck look. Make sure to line the bottoms of the pans/ramekins with parchment to make for easy removal. Pre-chill the cakes before cutting to make them easier to slice and work with.

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Make a quadruple batch of Buttercream Frosting and a triple batch of  White Chocolate Fondant. These are the two standard recipes I use for all cakes. I will never make another fondant after this one. It is by far the easiest to make and tastes better than any I’ve ever tried. Using cake gels, make the different color by kneading the colors in (black, green, yellow, blue, red, orange, white). Wear gloves to avoid staining your hands.

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To make the truck, start by leveling all the rectangular pieces. Cut three 6×11″ rectangles for the main section. Then cut two smaller 3.5×6″ rectangles for the truck top. Using a serrated knife, trim the two smaller rectangles at an angle on one side for the windshield. With all these shapes, it’s a good thing my sister is a geometry teacher, and I’m an engineer 😉 There were a lot of scraps which make good snacks while prepping the cake, can be made into cake balls or mixed in with ice cream.

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Ice the bottom of the baseboard and stack the three large rectangles, icing between layers. Ice the entire outside.

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Roll out a 10×15″ rectangular section of blue fondant, which left a 1.5″ gap on each side of the cake to give the appearance of elevation. We went this route since elevating the cake would have required building a frame, and we were running a bit short on fondant. Use powdered sugar on the rolling pin and board to keep the fondant from sticking. If the fondant gets really gooey, refrigerate/freeze it until it firms up. The cake dimensions were 11″length x 6″width x 4″height so to cover the whole thing it would have been 14×19″.

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Place the smaller rectangle for the top with ~2.5″ in front and  ~5″ in back for the truck bed (adjust to your liking). Ice underneath, between the two layers, and over the entire outside.  Roll out some blue fondant to cover the truck top (~8″x10″), stretch it to fit, and trim off the excess. Roll some cylindrical blue fondant pieces and add a truck bed border as well as a border around the windshield/windows sections to hide the seams. Wipe down the fondant with a damp paper towel to remove powdered sugar residue.

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For each of the four tires, scoop out some of the middle using a melon baller to allow room for the indentation to place the hubcaps. Ice the top and sides with a thin layer of buttercream frosting and scoop out the middle frosting again with the melon baller.

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Then roll out a 6″ diameter circle of black fondant, again using powdered sugar to keep it from sticking. Trim around the edges with a paring knife. If needed, adjust the diameter as needed for the ramekins you use, making sure you have a little extra to reach around the back. Using a Wilton cake lifter, peel up the fondant.

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Place fondant over the center of the iced tire and press down around sides, stretching the fondant at the base to minimize wrinkles. Turn the tire over and wrap fondant over the back (it won’t be perfect but you won’t see it anyway).

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Using the handy Wilton veining tool in the gum paste kit (a toothpick or skewer would probably also work), press indentations along the tire edges. Press in the middle where the cake/icing was removed. Form a small ball of orange (or desired color) fondant and press into the middle of the tire. If fondant is not sticky, use icing to adhere it (ours were fairly sticky from working with them so no icing was required).

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With the melon baller, scoop out part of the cake where the tires will be positioned, cleaning up scraps/icing that fall onto the street (you can skip this scooping step if you have a slightly wider road – just attach the tires directly to the cake). Press the tires into the cake (we didn’t need any frosting to attach because they fit really snug). Be sure to put the ugly sides of the tires on the bottom and ensure they aren’t coming off the road. For the fenders, roll out a short cylindrical strip of blue fondant and place over the top of each tire.

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Now it’s time to add the exterior finishes. Attach all to the cake by pressing firmly (or use icing if not sticky enough). First roll out some of the leftover black (or blend it with some white to make it grey) and cutout pieces for the windows and windshield. Form three pieces of yellow fondant into the shape of a 2 (or child’s age) and attach to sides/back. Roll two yellow fondant balls for the headlights, flatten and attach to the front on each side. Make two red rectangular lights and attach to the back on each side. With orange fondant create a wide cylindrical front bumper and a narrower back bumper and attach, flattening them a little and covering any blue fondant at the base. Create two side mirrors and attach with toothpicks. Make two cylindrical strips of white fondant and attach at the bottom of the two sides to form a straight line and cover any uneven blue (flatten as necessary). Draw in the front grille with a black edible marker.

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Pipe grass along the edge of the street using a grass tip and green frosting. Fill the truck bed with M&Ms 🙂

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For the Sesame Street light post, roll out green fondant the length of a dowel rod and wrap it around the rod. Then roll out some small pieces and wrap them around the pole at various points on top/bottom to give it a more 3-D look. My husband kindly made a Sesame Street graphic with Wyatt’s name on both sides for the street sign. You could make this out of gum paste, but I opted for the easier route. Wrap this around the pole and use double-sided tape/glue stick to attach to the pole. Roll a small ball of yellow fondant and place on top for the light. Create a sturdy green fondant base to hold the pole in place. Firmly place the pole on the icing on the front corner of the baseboard.

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For Elmo, start by making a round ball out of red fondant, approximately the same diameter as the window width. Form a short neck by pulling out a small part of the back side of the ball and shaping it. Use a toothpick to give him some texture like fur. Make a small round nose out of orange fondant and two eyes out of white. Attach to Elmo’s face. Use an edible marker to dot the eyes. Finish off the cake by attaching Elmo to the driver’s side window using several toothpicks.

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This cake took us about 8 hours total. Wyatt loved it so it was totally worth it!

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You could also do something with cookie monster and cookie crisps, like the original inspiration for the cake I found on Pinterest. We opted against this since we wanted Elmo to be the primary theme (and didn’t want to have to make more characters). You could also add shapes, a fire extinguisher, or a trashcan.

Elmo Truck Cake Inspiration

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1 Comment

  • Reply Scott Perdue June 1, 2015 at 9:27 am

    …and it even tasted good, too!

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