No children's birthday party is complete without a birthday cake.A fire engine will appeal to children and is surprisingly straightforward to make and decorate. Personalise it by icing your child's name onto the cake board or onto the side of the truck.
Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius. Put the butter and sugar together in a bowl and beat vigorously until pale and fluffy looking, Add the eggs, a little at a time. Add the flour, a little at a time. Beat until the mixture is completely combined.
Grease the cake tins and line with baking parchment. Spoon the mixture into the tins. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until pale golden and risen. To check if the cakes are cooked, insert a toothpick into the middle and make sure it comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack and remove the paper. Leave until completely cold.
Cut the rounded tops from cakes to give a flat surface. Spread a little frosting onto the centre of the cake board, and position the first cake (cake A) on the board. Cut and discard a quarter off the end of the second cake (cake B). Cut the third cake (cake C) in half vertically.
Use frosting to glue cake B to cake A, lining both cakes up at one end. Glue the two halves of cake C together vertically. Position them at the other end of cake A to form the cab of the truck. Cover the whole truck with a thin layer of red frosting.
Sprinkle icing sugar onto a work surface, and roll out white sugar paste to a thin layer. Cut out one large and two small rectangles for windows, and fix to the cab with a dab of frosting if needed. Cover the area behind the cab with grey sugar paste or with white sugar paste tinted silver. Roll out the black sugar paste and cut out eight circles for wheels. Glue the circles together in four pairs using frosting.
Roll four small balls of grey or white sugar paste and flatten the balls between your fingers. Glue them onto the centre of each wheel and paint if necessary. Glue the wheels in place.
Roll small balls of yellow sugar paste and flatten them. Attach to the front of the cab for headlights. Roll a thin tube of grey or white sugar paste and glue to the base of the cab as a bumper. Paint if necessary. Make two cones of yellow sugar paste and cut off the tops. Attach to the top of the cab. Make a ladder from strips of grey or white sugar paste and attach to the flat bed of the truck. Paint if necessary.
If you can't find a cake board large enough, cover a baking tray in aluminium foil.