Construction Themed Birthday Cake

For the momentous event that was Evan’s birthday party, I wanted to make a sweet construction-themed cake to celebrate.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and looked up a tutorial on the linked blog.  And, I must say…it turned out awesome!!  Evan’s cake was a masterful looking yellow and chocolate cake, stripped on the inside to resemble construction tape with a backhoe and dirt pile on top.  I decided I must share the method with you…it’s too cool not to try yourself!  My assessment of the difficulty of this baking-craft: It’s not highly skill requiring, but it does take about 30 minutes to assemble (after baking) and a steady hand.  Totally worth it!

First you’ll need 2 equal sized round cakes of different colors.  You can either make 2 separate types of cake or make one cake and tint half of the batter with food coloring.  I made a yellow and a chocolate cake (and several cupcakes with the leftover batter).  And, yes…I totally cheated and used boxed mixes.

Once the cakes are baked, let them sit in the freezer overnight.  Cutting a frozen cake is MUCH easier than a crumbly room-temp cake.  When you’re ready to start, pull the cakes out of the freezer and begin by leveling the tops evenly.  I used a long, serrated knife.

For the first cut, move your knife about half an inch to an inch from the edge of the cake and insert it at a 45 degree angle.  Holding the angle steady, cut a circle around the edge.  Don’t worry about perfection.  As you’ll see in my photos, things get lopsided pretty easily, but once put together, you can’t tell.

Pop the circle out of the center of the cake and set the outer ring aside.  All of these steps will be repeated with the other cake, so please excuse my photos for bouncing back and forth between chocolate and yellow.

Now, to make the smaller circles more even, draw or trace a circle onto a piece of paper, making sure it is at least 1 inch smaller in diameter than the remaining circle of cake.

Use a small knife to gently scrape around the edge, creating a faint circle for you to follow along while making the actual cut.

Insert your knife into the cake at the same angle as the first cut (45 degrees) and follow your faint line around the cake.  Pop the circle out and repeat one more time on the small center of the cake (sorry…no photo here).

Once you’ve repeated these steps with both of your round cakes, assemble it by placing alternating colors back together…like children’s stacking cups!  It won’t look pretty.  In fact, I had to use pieces of my cake tops to fill in holes where things didn’t match up.  Here’s how it looked after I assembled and stacked the cake.

When it was time for the party, I whipped up some chocolate frosting.  After cutting a chunk of the top out and placing it on top of the cake (to create the “hole and dirt pile”) I frosted the cake…heavily of course.  Then I crushed up some Oreos and sprinkled them on the top to look like dirt.

Evan liked it and his cousins who were here thought it was “so cool,” which I accept as the highest compliment!

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