bybmg: Two Layer Monster Truck Birthday Cake Tutorial

Two Layer Monster Truck Birthday Cake Tutorial


I'm not a Pinterest Mom by any means, more of an Amazon Prime Mom, but I do love to make the cakes for my boys' birthdays. Sometimes it's cupcakes and sometimes its a full out cake. For Calvin's birthday last week, I went to Pinterest to get some inspiration for a monster truck cake, and then I put my own spin on it. 

I took a Wilton Cake Decorating Class at my local Michael's Store back in 2011 and the things I've learned have come in handy so many times.

Today I wanted to walk you though how I made Calvin's cake! I realize the lighting isn't fabulous, but there's only so much you can do when your'e working on a cake at 9:00 at night. 

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I used two 9" round cake pans to bake his cake. Box cake mixes are my go-to when I make cakes, but I always jazz it up a little to make it more moist and dense by adding an extra egg to the mix and switching out milk for water. I baked according to the box instructions and let the cakes cool. One huge thing I have started doing is spraying the cake pans down with Nordic Ware Bakers Joy Non-Stick Spray. This is a cooking spray that has flour in it and it makes the cakes come out of the pan so easily. 

Next, I used my cake leveler to cut off the tops of the cakes to make them flat so they stack easier. The boys alway love snacking on the top of the cake!

I flipped one layer over so the pan side of the cake is the top and the leveled off part of the cake is in the middle. This helps with the crumbs staying inside the cake where it doesn't matter as much if they get all over the frosting.

I used my trusty Wilton Buttercream Frosting recipe. I realize the recipe is blurred out, but you can see it here. It's funny because the online recipe is slightly different from the one on my paper. The online recipe does half butter and half shortening. My booklet says to use all shortening and that's what my instructor recommended because it is more stable that way. I also use water instead of milk and add 8-10 teaspoons to make it a little thinner consistency so it's easier to spread. 

Another great tip I learned from my class is to use clear vanilla extract in the frosting if you plan to color it or want it really white. 

I put a huge dollop of frosting on top of the first layer of cake.

I used my handy spreader to spread it out. As you can see, the crumbs get everywhere when you level off a cake. 

Then, I put the other cake on upside down so the crumbs are more contained. 

I put on another big dollop of frosting and worked it onto the cake.

This first layer of frosting is called the crumb coat. It seals in the crumbs and gives you a better area to put on the pretty frosting. 

Calvin's favorite color is green, so I decided to go with a that for a majority of the cake. Another huge thing I learned in my decorating class is the powder of gel food coloring. It allows the frosting to be so much more pigmented and it doesn't mess with the consistency of the frosting like a liquid food coloring can.

Another tip I learned in the class is that if you want black frosting, it's easier just to purchase it because achieving a true black from food coloring and white frosting is difficult. It usually turns out gray.

I topped the crumb coat with the green frosting and made a track down the middle using the black.

I have some decorating tips, and so I used a star shaped one to finish off the edge of the cake. The lid of this frosting tube was actually made to add a tip! I did the same with the green by putting some of the green frosting in a bag with the same tip. 

Lastly, I had a little bit of green frosting left, so I got out my grass tip and added a little grass to the top. 

Then, I snagged a couple cars and a monster truck from our toy room, washed them off, and put them on top! 

I love how it turned out and the decorating really didn't take a super long time! I was able to frost the cake in less than an hour!

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