Do you know the difference between a Front-End Loader, Digger, Excavator and Grinder? I sure do, thanks to extensive Google Image searches last week in preparation for my nephew’s cake for his 4th birthday. He was pretty specific about what he wanted, but when I saw him the day before his birthday and asked him if he was excited for his cake, this happened:
Byn: Are you excited for your birthday tomorrow!
Matthew: Yeah! *starts jumping around*
Byn: What kind of cake is Auntie Robyn bringing you?
Matthew: A School Bus Cake!
Byn: That was when you turned 2! What are we having tomorrow?
Matthew: Excavator Cake!
Matthew: Digger Cake!
Byn: Uhhhhh….*shoots brother a look like, dude, you said he wanted a Front-End Loader Cake!*
Anyway, it all turned out well, and he loved it. Just like the jelly beans distracted his sister from her rainbow cake last summer (she actually refers to it as her Jelly Bean Cake), Matthew was totally fascinated by the “dirt” (crumbed leftover chocolate cake) that I sprinkled on the cake, as per my brother’s bright idea.
Once again, I’ll briefly outline the method to my madness, in case you ever have the need for a Front-End Loader cake in your life.
- As stated above, I always start the process by doing a Google image search, which gives you great inspiration. Even if you think there’s no way anyone has ever made a ______ cake before, it has probably been done.
- I then traced my 9×13 cake pan on a big piece of paper, and sketched out the shape of my Front-End Loader, then cut it out.
- I baked my favourite chocolate cake recipe (minus the espresso powder) and let it cool and chill in the fridge.
- I placed my paper Front-End Loader right on top of the cake and using a paring knife, cut out the shape.
- I made one batch of my favourite buttercream icing, tinted 1/2 cup with black Americolour and the rest with yellow.
- I did a crumb coat (thin layer all over the cake) and let it chill for 20 minutes (this hardens the icing and glues the crumbs in place).
- I spread on a thicker layer of icing, then piped on the detail. When I got to my brother’s house, I crumbled up some of the cake scraps and piled them on as the “dirt”.
I wonder what he’ll ask for next year?!
Matthew’s previous birthday cakes (they are all yellow…it’s his favourite colour!)
3rd (Dumptruck Cake)
2nd (School Bus Cake)