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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Matthew's Tow Truck Birthday Cake

A few weeks ago, I asked Matthew what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. He said, "A huge huge green tow truck!" He later changed his mind on the color, but stuck with the tow truck.

Pretty much all my real food rules go out the window for cakes, but birthdays only happen once a year, so I'm okay with making a sugary concoction for that special day.  In this case, I actually made both the cake and frosting from scratch, which doesn't always happen, but they're so chock full of sugar that they still don't really count. :)

I baked a standard chocolate cake recipe in two loaf pans.  The first one was the bottom half of the cake, and the second I cut, slightly over halfway, at an angle, for the top part of the truck. I then cut a smaller square from the remaining cake for the back.
Since I had some cut pieces, I decided to do a crumb coat of frosting, a step which I should probably do all the time, but I usually skip.  It helped hold everything together, although a few crumbs still wound up showing through.

I made the tow hook sticking out of the back from half a graham cracker, broken in half again, with frosting in between and around the outside.  I shoved it into the square piece on the back, and because the homemade buttercream hardens up nicely in the fridge, it stayed put.  I was very happy about that after last year's fire truck fiasco.
The actual tow line was a piece of a Twizzler's Pull N Peel, a candy I would only ever buy for cake projects.
Mike and Ike's work well for lights, and cookie wheels. I'm pretty sure I used those for the fire truck too.  They're cheap and they work great, so why not?
All in all, this turned out a lot better than I expected it to, especially considering I only had about a half hour to get it done the day before the party.  The kids all thought it was great, and we ended up with just two pieces left over, so it was the perfect amount!

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