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 

30 comments:

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Ooh, thanks for the tutorial- I suspect I may be making one of these in December!

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

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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!

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

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  8. 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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  9. 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 :))

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

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

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    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.

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  12. 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

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    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.

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  13. 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!

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

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  15. 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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    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.

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    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.

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  16. 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!

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  17. 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!

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  18. 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!

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  19. 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)




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    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!

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    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!

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