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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
Have you ever made a cupcake cake? What shapes and themes did you get to explore?
Have a splendid week!