How to Make a Doodlebug Tractor

Written by robyn tindle
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How to Make a Doodlebug Tractor
Candy is great for cake decorating. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Your son's birthday is coming up, and he wants a doodlebug tractor cake, to look just like the real one his father has made out of old parts to enter in a doodlebug tractor competition. With a packet of cake mix, buttercream icing and candy decorations, it is quite easy to make a cute doodlebug tractor birthday cake.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Packet cake mix x3
  • Mixing bowl and utensils
  • Electric or hand whisk
  • Eggs (as specified on the cake packet)
  • Butter (as specified on the cake packet)
  • Cake tins
  • Oven
  • Cake tester or knitting needle
  • Cooling tray(s)
  • Sharp knife
  • Pastry brush
  • Edible glue
  • Butter for icing
  • Icing sugar
  • Milk
  • Food colouring
  • Jelly candy
  • Liquorice spiral
  • Cookies x2
  • Birthday candles

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    Bake the Cake

  1. 1

    Use packet cake mix to make the cakes. Follow the instructions on the back of the packet, using a mixing bowl, cooking utensils and electric whisk. (Packet cake mixes will require extra ingredients such as eggs and butter.)

  2. 2

    Grease the cake tins with butter, so the cakes will not stick to the tins. Use a loaf tin for the main body of the tractor and a flat tin to make the base of the cake. Use doughnut ring tins to make four tractor wheels.

  3. 3

    Fill the cake tins with the cake mixture using a wooden spoon.

  4. 4

    Bake the cakes inside a preheated oven on the recommended temperature printed on the cake mix packet for the specified time.

  5. 5

    Take the cakes out of the oven and test with a cake tester or toothpick to check for doneness. If cake sticks to the tester, it is not cooked and needs to go back into the oven for a few more minutes. A clean cake tester means the cake is cooked.

  6. 6

    Allow the cakes to cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a cooling tray.

    Decorate the Cake

  1. 1

    Cut out a seat section from the top of the loaf-shaped cake, which will be the body of the tractor. Measure an inch in from the top end. Make a two inch straight cut with a sharp knife through the cake. Remove the knife and make a second incision about two inches from the first cut. Make a horizontal incision two inches down the cake between the two vertical incisions to remove a cube section of cake for the seat chaise.

  2. 2

    Brush some edible glue to the underside of the cake loaf and sit it in the centre of the flat cake base. Brush edible glue onto the four tractor wheel cakes and stick to the side of the loaf.

  3. 3

    Make some buttercream icing by creaming together butter and a double amount of icing sugar to fat (such as 142gr. butter to 295ml. sugar.) Add 1 to 2 tbsp of milk. Add a couple of drops of food colouring to the buttercream mix. Decorate the doodlebug tractor birthday cake, using blue or green buttercream for the body of the tractor, black or red for the wheels and brown for the muddy track cake base. Smother the cake in the buttercream icing using a knife.

  4. 4

    Stick on piece of jelly candy for the headlamps, a spiral of liquorice for the steering wheel and a couple of cookies to line the tractor seat. Add birthday candles to complete the doodlebug tractor birthday cake.

Tips and warnings

  • Use jam instead of edible glue to stick the cake parts together. You can use chocolate wagon wheels for the tractor wheels, if preferred.

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