Saturday, 14 September 2013

How to make a 3D digger cake [Excavator cake]

We call them diggers, some people call them excavators, Richard Scarry called them power shovels.  Whatever you call them, if you want to make a cake like the one below then you're at the right place.



You will need:

Flat serving platter - mine measured 33 cm x 33 cm (13 inch x 13 inch)
2 x 20cm square cakes
Yellow Icing - I made a double quantity of Butter Icing from Edmonds cookbook, but had a lot left over
White Icing - only need a little, I set aside about 1/4 cup of the butter icing before colouring it
Licorice straps
Disposable wooden chopsticks (optional)
2 x Crunchie bars (or other lightweight chocolate bar - or see Notes at the bottom of this tutorial for other suggestions)
Toothpicks
Brownie for rubble

Cake cutting guide:

The instructions below refer to this cake cutting guide:




What to do:

1. Paint disposable chopsticks black, set aside to dry.  These will be the hydraulic struts for the boom arm.
2. Cut wheels/tracks piece from cake 1, place it in position on your serving platter.


3. Cut Motor piece from cake 2, place it on top of wheels/tracks piece.


4. Cut Cab piece from cake 2, place on top of motor piece.


5. Cut Bucket piece from cake 2, cut out centre so it forms a bucket (as per photo below), check the crunchie bar fits in and remove one wall of the bucket.


6. Cut one end of one crunchie bar into spear shape, cut into side of motor piece at front of digger to create a hole for the spear end of crunchie bar to slot into.


7. I used a piece of crunchie bar to balance the bucket on so it is titled.  Check length of crunchie bars, you may need to cut the end of one of them so that they are an appropriate length. Hammer toothpick through end of one crunchie bar into the other so that they are joined at the end at right angles - the toothpick acts as a nail.  The bar that is joined to the bucket has to sit on top of the crunchie bar with the spear end, which is balancing in the hole you created in the motor piece in step 6 above.  When it came to icing these, I iced them on 3 sides and then put them into position and iced the remaining side.



8. Ice bucket and cake - I iced the cab white first, then the rest of the digger in yellow.  Ice boom arm.

9. Cut licorice straps to size and add to cake as the tracks, the cab window panes and exhaust.


10. Arrange crumbled brownie around bucket to look like rubble.


11. Cut chopsticks to appropriate length and attach on under side of boom.  Mine just sat there, they don't provide any support and are decorative only.

Notes:

  • When I coloured the icing, I added a drop of red colouring for each 5 or so drops of yellow colouring.
  • I had a couple of spare crunchie bars handy - they're pretty delicate when it comes to nailing toothpicks in.
  • Instead of crunchie bars, I considered using marshmallows threaded onto kebab sticks and covered in icing for the boom arms (see photo below as example).  My husband thought the shape provided by the Crunchie bars was more authentic.


I'd love to know if anyone makes one!
Linking up to:
Made by you Monday at Skip to My Lou
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest 

59 comments:

  1. Replies
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  2. This is a great post! Love all the pics. My sister makes cakes and I will definitely send her over here:)

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  3. OK I've never seen such a tremedous cake before! And such great instructions. I'll be trying this for my son!

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  4. Ooh, thanks for the tutorial- I suspect I may be making one of these in December!

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  5. That is just too cute! :) Found you at the Skip To My Lou party.

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  6. this is pretty darn awesome. my boyfriend and I watch the gold rush show, and he loves when I throw around terms pertaining to heavy equipment that I know nothing about. if this were his bday cake, he would be totally amused.

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  7. I made a version of this cake today for my son's 2nd birthday. He absolutely loved it and all our guests were amazed!!! Thanks so much!!

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  8. I made this last night for my little guy's 2nd birthday, he lost his mind when he saw it this morning. Thanks so much for sharing your great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for letting me know! It makes my day to know that people have found this useful.

      Delete
  9. I am planning to make this for my son's 2nd birthday party in the weekend, but just wondering what recipe you used for the cakes?

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  10. Thank you so much for the instructions! I made this yesterday for my son's 4 bday party and it was a hit :) I'd post a pic, but it's not letting me :(

    keep posting more bday cakes with instructions :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know, I'm so glad it was a hit!

      Delete
  11. Thank you so much for this! I made this cake for my son's 2nd birthday and he absolutely loved it.

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  12. Would 2 snickers bars work instead of the crunchie bars? I can't find the crunchie bars

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snickers bars may be to heavy, you could certainly try it but I'm not sure if they would hold up as easily as crunchie bars.

      Delete
  13. I'm planning to make this for my sons 2nd bday on Saturday. Just wondering is it ok to make on Friday and store in fridge uncovered til Saturday afternoon? Or will the icing dry out?? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog - regarding your comment about storing the digger cake in the fridge overnight, I'm not a cake or icing expert so I'm not sure if the icing would dry out, I suppose it would depend on the type of icing. Could you put an upside box over it, to help seal it in someway? Another thing I would be concerned about would be the boom arm falling over, so maybe you could have that iced and ready to go but not assemble it/attach it to the cake until closer to the time it is needed.

      Delete
  14. My 2 year old asked for an 'excavator cake' for his 2nd birthday. Thank goodness I found your magnificent cake. You saved my day and made a 2 year old extremely happy. Thanks for a great step-by-step guide and thanks for help making it a great 2nd Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for letting me know! It makes my day to hear comments from people who have made the cake. Happy Birthday to your big 2 year old!

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  15. just wondering what recipe you used for the cake?

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  16. Hi, I plan to try making this cake. If I understand the diagram right, there is a bit of cake wasted. Is that right? I thought I might use one 8x8 and one 6x8 pan (especially since I only have one 8 inch pan and this would let me make both cakes at once) which if I understand right, should work, except there is no cake to taste test! Right?

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    Replies
    1. I made it using a 8x8 and a loaf tin and it worked fine. I think the design is quite forgiving if you get the proportions roughly right.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for letting me know. There are bits left over as dd mentioned above, and I agree that so long as you get the proportions right yiu can use other sized cake tins. I'm so glad your's worked out, thanks for taking the time to let me know.

      Delete
  17. I've been thinking of making a construction cake for my son's 3rd birthday. my siblings are making opposed of just buying construction toys and put it on top of a cake. they told me that I should make an excavator cake instead. I hope I could make this one. Oh my!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you so much for the step by step instructions! Made this for my 5 year olds birthday and he absolutely loved it. Wish I could post a picture!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This cake looks incredible! Do you think I could assemble the night before? I am worrying about trying to assemble/ice it the day of his party, with him around!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have to laugh, after looking through all the excavator pics this one is exactly what I had in mind. Then I read through the the ingredients and thought, this looks like a NZ recipe. (too bad this pregnancy has depleted my crunchie bar stash). After a little more digging I noticed that it was created in Geraldine! As a former Fairlie girl who lives in Montana, it truly is a small world after all. My son will be so excited with this cake for his 4th birthday next week. Thank You for the inspiration. (FFZ's wife)




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a small world! Great to hear from you, hope your son enjoys his cake. Sorry to hear you've depleted your crunchie bar stash!

      Delete
    2. What a small world! Great to hear from you, hope your son enjoys his cake. Sorry to hear you've depleted your crunchie bar stash!

      Delete
  21. Nice post.A valuable information here.Thanks for sharing with us
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  22. Hi there, I am going to make this cake for my son's 3rd birthday, it looks amazing! I am wondering if you crumb coated the cake first? (putting a thin layer of buttercream on and letting it chill so that the crumbs don't come off and mix with the icing when you put the second coat on).
    I would love to post a pic of the finished cake! In reply to another comment, you can keep the cake in an airtight container for a few days - though I'm going to fashion something with carrier bags and use cardboard for support to keep the plastic from touching it (I've done it before). I'm going to make it on a Friday and have the party on the Sunday afternoon. I'm a Brit living in Madrid, Spain by the way! Your creation is travelling far! Thanks a lot x

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello!! I am wondering how you got the licorice "tracks" under the cake after it was iced?

    ReplyDelete
  24. I used Cadbury's chocolate fingers instead of licorice
    , I just laid single fingers lenggthways, you can see that the licorice is the samein the photo, no tracks as such

    ReplyDelete
  25. Is this cake based on 1 cake recipe or 2? I'm planning to make boxed cake but wanting to know how many.

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  26. It says 2 x 20cm square cakes in the recipe

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi there, I am going to try make this cake for my sons 5 birthday. I know you said to use 2x20 cm cake tins, but could you pls give me measurements to go with the diagrams for cutting the cakes. Many thanks

    ReplyDelete
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  29. Making this right now for my son's 4th birthday, with most of my baking stuff still in storage from an ongoing international move. Small world indeed, also in Madrid, but my other half is the Brit in the family. In Spain, I'm going to use Huesitos instead of crunchie bars. I used two cake boxes and 24x24cm pans which is what I found most easlily.

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  32. Thank you so much for this helpful guide. I was able to make a great excavator cake for my son's 3rd birthday. I used rice krispie treat around skewers to make the arms. It allowed me to easily adjust the height and angle on them. Otherwise I followed your instructions and had a wonderful cake to show! Thanks again

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  40. hi ive been looking all over to buy and excavator cake pan, without any luck, so glad i found your post. im super excited to get this cake made now. My grandson turns 2 and this is all he talks about. this will be a fun one to make. Instead of licorice i am just going to do black strips. Thanks janice

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  41. Hi I'm making the excavator cake can you give me the exact cutting sizes for the cake I've used the 20cm tins

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