A few days ago, I posted about the tractor cake that I made for Zachary's 2nd birthday. A few people commented on it, on here and on Facebook, so I thought I'd post about how I made it.
I enjoy decorating cakes, it would be fun to do as a hobby someday, but I am by no means an expert, or even very good at it. I was happy with how the tractor turned out in spite of my decorator shortcomings. :)
I started by looking for patterns online. The best site I found was here, Coolest-Birthday-Cakes. They had all kinds of different tractor cakes, so I looked through all of them to see what kind of cake I wanted to make. After last year's attempt at a stacked cake (which was supposed to look like a block), I knew I didn't want to try a sculpted/stacked cake again, just a flat cake. I also knew that it had to be a John Deere tractor, because my dad has worked at John Deere for longer than I've been alive, and I knew he would appreciate that. :)
So I figured out from some of the pictures on the Coolest Birthday Cakes website what I wanted my tractor to look like, and I carved it out of two 9x13 chocolate sheet cakes - one for the tractor, and one for the wagon. The big tractor wheel is also carved out of the tractor part of the cake.
I read a tip about adding a 'crumb coat' of frosting, thinned with water, all over the cake - then you leave it sit or put it in the fridge for a while & it hardens up & you can just decorate right over it, and not worry about crumbs in your icing. So here is the cake with the crumb coat:
It actually didn't work that well for me. I think I added too much water to the crumb coat, because crumbs still kept getting caught in the top layer of frosting.
Here are the other tractor wheels: They are made of three Oreos stacked on top of each other with frosting, and then coated in melted chocolate chips. (of course I made some extra, because, who wouldn't?) Also - I have no idea why this part is underlined - sorry!
I didn't take very good pictures of the next steps, but next I frosted the white cab, green tractor body, green wagon and brown big wheel, including all the sides, with a spatula. I also frosted the sides of the hay bales with a spatula, but left the top with just the crumb coat.
Then I piped the dark brown- stripes on the wheel, grill, JD, steering wheel, exhaust pipe, and stripe. Then I piped the edges of the tractor & wagon with green (star tip). Then I piped the hay bales with a larger 4-sided star tip, and finally I added the yellow finishing touches. I also 'glued' the small wheels onto the cake board with frosting.
So, again, here is the finished product: not professional by any means, but I was pretty happy with it. :) And Zachary liked it - he told everyone that the "cake looked like a twactor", so that made me happy. :)
So, go for it! If I can do it, you all CERTAINLY can! :)