School Bus Birthday Cake

by byn on April 17, 2011

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

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Here’s a look at my cute little nephew’s 2nd birthday cake. He loves trucks and his favourite colour is yellow, so my brother asked for a school bus cake. He also suggested a 3D cake, but I don’t think I’m there yet! I did a quick google images search for ideas, and there are LOTS out there. This is the main idea I took inspiration from, adding donuts for wheels, and a little picture of Matthew in the window :)

I baked my favourite chocolate cake in a 9×13 pan, cut one long strip off the bottom, and added it to the end to make it longer.


Next, I mixed up my favourite buttercream icing, and tinted about 1/2 cup with black gel food colouring, and the rest with golden yellow gel food colouring. I crumb coated the whole thing, which got pretty messy, especially in the areas where the cake had been sliced. Crumb coating is basically just putting a thin layer of icing on the cake, which acts as a base coat. After the crumb coat, the cake goes into the fridge for about 30 minutes – an hour, and as the icing chills, it essentially locks the crumbs in place, so when you do your second coat, no crumbs are visible and it looks great.

Once the second coat of icing was on, I filled a piping bag with the black icing and a small round tip, and added the detail to the cake.

I printed off a stop sign and taped it to a file folder so it had a thicker backing, and cut it out. Here I’m just holding it over the cake to get an idea of the finished product!

At the party, I added the stop sign and Matthew’s picture, and my brother put on the candle.

Last step! Blow out the candle and dig in!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Hang Nguyen December 8, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Hi I
m hoping to make a bus cake like this one. Can you tell me how you did the wheels? I see that its chocolate donuts but did you have to add some cake underneath it as well or is the donut the same height as the cake?


byn December 19, 2017 at 12:08 am

Hi there! Yes, I used cake scraps to make circles the same size as the donuts, so I could prop the donuts up to be the same size as the cake!


Jessica Baker April 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

So love your cake! It is absolutely adorable and it inspired our daughter to start cake decorating! I featured your cake and blogged about Cake Decorating with Kids on my blog


Sharon January 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm

I’m about to attempt this for my brothers 40th as he is a childminder and their every day car is a minibus :-)


Alina August 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

Wow, I like your version of the cake way better than the original! My 2-years-old’s birthday is in three weeks and he loves The Wheels on the Bus song AND a stop sings (points them out every time we pass one) so I am looking into making a bus cake. Thank you so much for such a great inspiration!


Jill April 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I too learned from your crumb icing layer lesson! It seems in the end, all of your effort was well worth it. The kids look so happy!!


Aoife April 20, 2011 at 7:41 am

I am so glad you explained the crumb icing layer. I always wondered how people make it look smooth, and you have solved the mystery!! It looks awesome BTW.


gwendolyn April 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Adorable! Love the donut wheels.


Sue April 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Looks great Robyn – you did a fantastic job.


Weedy April 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Super cute! I wish I just turned 2.


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