How to construct a 3D tractor cake

sugar image by Horticulture from

Tractor-shaped birthday cakes are ideal for a child's birthday party. A 3D tractor cake is impressive and looks difficult but is in fact easy to make at home. Using a toy tractor or a picture of your child's favourite tractor will help guide you in the details and shaping of your tractor cake.

The basic shape, though, requires little more than a rectangular slab cake.

Make the marshmallow fondant a day ahead. If you're using frosting, it can be made when you're ready to put the cake together.

Melt 454gr white marshmallows and 2 tablespoons water together in a pot. Stir with a spatula.

Place about 1 ½ pounds of icing sugar on top of the marshmallow and water mixture.

Blend with a spatula until it is cool enough to handle with your hands, and then knead the mixture together.

Add another ½ pound of icing sugar and knead the fondant until smooth.

Wrap fondant in cling film and place in an airtight container.

Cut a rectangular slab cake in half, and place one half on a cake board.

Cut the remaining half of the cake in half again.

Trim a slight slope into the back of one piece and set aside. This will be the top, or engine of your tractor.

Cut the other half of the piece into an oblong shape. This will make the tractor's trailer.

Trim at an inward angle around the base of the cake that you placed on the cake board.

Spread a layer of frosting over the surface of the bottom layer of cake and set the top piece in place so that it is flush with the front of the base cake. You now have the body and engine of the tractor.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over the surface of each cake and the trailer. Place the trailer close to the back of the tractor's body.

Colour 227gr of marshmallow fondant dark yellow. You don't have to use fondant to frost the cakes, but it does give the tractor a more "real" look.

Roll the yellow fondant out using a rolling pin, and cut a one-inch wide strip to fit around the base of the tractor cake.

Roll the strip up and position the end against the base of the cake and wrap it around, smoothing the joints closed at the end.

Colour about one pound of marshmallow fondant green (or whatever colour you wish your tractor to be) using food colouring.

Roll out 312gr of the green fondant and cover the top piece of the tractor with it.

Smooth the fondant around the shape, and cut away at the base so that the yellow strip shows.

Roll out the remaining green fondant, and cover the rest of the tractor and the trailer. Press the fondant around to shape it to the tractor.

Colour some fondant black to create tractor wheels and the steering wheel. Frosted cookies or cupcakes covered in either frosting or black fondant work well for wheels. You can also shape the fondant into circles and add it to the sides of the cake instead. Remember that the trailer tires and the front tractor tires should be smaller than the tractor's rear tires.

Attach the wheels using toothpicks to hold them in place.

Roll out yellow pieces of fondant to form the tractor grill, the wheel rims and side panels. Press into place on the tractor.