Desserts · Food

Dump Truck Cupcakes

When I make a birthday cake for one of my kids, I like to incorporate a theme they really enjoy.  I deliberate their interests in search of the perfect theme.

Dinosaurs?

Jungle animals?

A unicorn?

Elsa?  (Read more about the Elsa cake I made HERE.)

It gets my creative blood pumping just to name a few and ponder the possibilities.

When I considered Mr. Smiles’ interests, I hovered over building blocks, dinosaurs, and books before finally settling on trucks.  He loves to drive toy cars and trucks.  And may I say, he’s an excellent driver.

boy and his dump truck @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

I love watching him push his toy truck down the hallway, completely bent over, gripping with both hands, and running with excited abandon.

With the theme decided, I did a quick search for truck-themed cupcake cakes.  Let me clarify for those not familiar with this fabulous innovation, the cupcake cake.  Cupcakes are mini-cakes in and of themselves.  But a cupcake CAKE?  This is something marvelous and different.  This invention combines the ease of cupcakes with the decorating possibilities of cake together in a sweet-crumbed matrimony.

Cupcakes are arranged in a certain shape, and often frosted together to look like one large cake.  Hence, the cupcake cake.

blowing out candles on dump truck cake @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com
Blowing out candles.

You can decorate them almost like you would a regular cake, but when it’s time to serve, everyone just pulls off a cupcake.  No cutting, no utensils or plates, and a lot fewer crumbs.  🙂

Fabulous, right?

Back to the dump truck (cupcake) cake…

I wish I could tell you I came up with this special cake on my own, but alas, my baking buddy Pinterest was the chief designer for this cupcake cake.

I found a few slightly varied versions of this adorable dump truck cupcake cake.  (Original source could not be found.)  Each picture used 25-30 cupcakes.  I wanted something smaller, so I scaled down the cake using 15 cupcakes.  (These are cookies ‘n cream cupcakes, deliciously moist and filled with Oreo chunks and white chocolate.  See the recipe HERE.)

dump truck plain cupcakes @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

When you make a cupcake cake, be sure to adhere the cupcakes to the serving surface using a dab of icing on the bottom of each cupcake. This prevents the cupcakes from sliding or falling off when you move the final cake.

swirled yellow frosting on dump truck cake @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

I mixed up yellow and brown vanilla buttercream.  Dark icing colors are always hard to make.  It requires a lot of coloring to get the vibrant shade desired.  Cocoa powder or instant coffee helps tremendously when trying to get a black or brown.  Otherwise, the food coloring taste ruins the icing.  In this case, I went with cocoa powder.

smoothed icing with piping on dump truck cake @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

To cut out some time and effort (knowing Mr. Smiles wouldn’t care), I didn’t use piping tips for the icing.  Instead, I just filled the bags and cut off the end to get a nice thick flow for the yellow.  For the brown, I cut just a small hole at first to do the detail piping and writing.  Then, I cut off more of the tip to frost the tires and dump load.

Finished dump truck cake @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

For special touches, I used yellow M&Ms and rainbow sprinkles.  Mr. Smiles was especially excited for the M&Ms.  If you don’t have M&Ms, a couple dots of yellow icing would do splendidly.  😉

Mr. Smiles touching M&M @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Have you ever made a cupcake cake?  What shapes and themes did you get to explore?

Have a splendid week!

~Katie

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13 thoughts on “Dump Truck Cupcakes

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