This week, my son turned 3 years old. The build up to his birthday was nothing crazy, but he had a definite opinion about his birthday cake. He repeated over and over to me: “Make me a John Deere cake”. This was no surprise.
I just finished an adult version of a John Deere cake for my Dad less than a month ago. It went over well. See the recipe for that mega-cake here.
This cake had to be different, and I knew it. I don’t have the culinary or baking ‘chops’ to make a 3D cake, covered with fondant that would look realistic at all (think all-time biggest Pinterest fail). So, I took the easy way out, and easy it was. I used small hand toy implements (tractor, combine, CAT) and crushed cookies to make the perfect cake for my tractor-obsessed kid.
Apparently the gift he got was a-OK too. (Even though it is a death trap in the middle of the night if one is trying to go to the kitchen for a glass of water.)
For his big day, he got to go on a tractor ride. He picked the classic 4240 for his ride. Grandpa agrees, it is more fun to drive.
They went on a long ride together. I’m not sure who had more fun.
I might have to make this cake for Dad next year (Grandpa). He enjoyed it too, and got all the leftovers!
Easy Little Farmer Cake
By: Cristen www.foodandswine.com
Makes 1 9×13 celebration cake
one 9×13 cake, baked and cooled
Frosting (one batch divided, recipe follows)
1/2 box Nilla wafers, crushed
1/2 box of Chocolate Cream Oreos, crushed
Yellow Sprinkles or real field corn/popcorn kernels for the hopper in combine and wagon
Directions with step by step photos:
Bake and cool cake. With soap and water, wash toys being used on the cake. With 2/3 of the frosting, spread over cake evenly (if you want chocolate, add 3 TBSP of cocoa powder for a light chocolate frosting). Leave a space in center of cake that will host the # of the age of the recipient or for their name or a message. Around the perimeter of the cake, spread crushed Nilla wafers on one half. This is the area you will put the combine and tractor/wagon. Sweep fingers over the Nilla wafers so there are mock ‘rows’. Place combine and tractor on crushed wafers. Lay out crushed Oreos on the opposite side of perimeter of cake. Place CAT or other Earth mover in that area, scoop a bunch of the crushed Oreos into the blade or bucket of the toy. With remaining 1/3 of frosting, tint all but 2 TBSP green. Pipe inner area decoratively and write message or # of the birthday. Sprinkle with yellow sprinkles. Dye remaining 2 TBSP of frosting yellow, place frosting in hopper of combine and in wagon of tractor. Cover with yellow sprinkles to resemble corn.
If you are a RED implement family (we have some of those too) and you bake this cake, send me a picture to add to this post! I’m an equal opportunity farm enthusiast! (My son… not so much. Green only.)
2 sticks of butter
3/4 bag of powdered sugar
3-4 TBSP milk (plus more if needed)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients.
For chocolate frosting, add up to 1/4 C cocoa powder for a light chocolate frosting, perfect for this cake.