3D Monster Truck Cake

Decorating By n8rd Updated 21 Nov 2013 , 9:41am by caken4fun

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n8rd Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:09pm
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I've been trying to figure out how to post a question on here for 2 days now I think I've figured it out. My son wants a batman monster truck cake for his birthday. I have 3 monthes to figure it out so I'm looking for some advice. I've never done this before so all comments will be helpful.
I am very picky and we don't have any good bakeries around me. Closest 1 is 3 hrs away. I want it to be a 3d cake...I am artistic so if I know how to layer it up and then what to cut it with and then how to put the fonduent on I think I might be able to pull it off.
Thank you very much, my wife is already making fun of me for posting this!!!!

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melanie-1221 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 12:49pm
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When I do large 3D cakes I stack 3-4 tiers, usually 1/4 sheet cake, dirty ice and freeze them. Then I print off a picture of what it is I'm trying to replicate and cut it out to use as a template, stick it to the side of my stacked cakes and start carving. When I do the wheels I only carve small indents and I black fondant over plain dense cake doughnuts with black fondant and stick them in the wheel wells.
Hope this gives you some ideas thumbs_up.gif

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n8rd Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 4:34pm
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Ok thanks for the help! As in dirty icing you just mean the buttercream icing? What is the best type of knife to use to carve and how detailed do you have to be with the carving? It looks like the detail comes in the next step.

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jennajane Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 6:28pm
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I would highly suggest using ganache after you carve the cake. It allows you to fill lots of little holes and crisp up all the lines. I posted a bunch of pictures of the steps to making my severed head cake

I do all my carving with a serrated bread knife. I have a dump truck in my gallery too, where I made the wheels out of rice cereal treats and covered in ganache and fondant. The whole truck sat on a frame made from dowels and hot glue to get it up off the cake board.

Good Luck

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Debbye27 Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 7:04pm
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You're right, the fondant is where you pull your details together - when you carve, you don't need to carve out the details- like windows or anything....also rice krispie treats are your friend when doing these types of cakes- my first carved cake was a snowmobile- and I made the tracks and the whole front out of rkt covered in fondant. If you haven't used fondant before- then I would start practicing now.
And like jennajane said, ganache works amazing under fondant! I just tried that out for my football helmet cake-much easier then buttercream!
Next is structure....are you looking to have this be a raised truck? If so, you need to design a structure for it, as you cannot stack 4 layers of cake and then fondant, and then decorations....without it crumbling or caving in.
Do you have a photo of what you want it to resemble?

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n8rd Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 9:13pm
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Thank you, I guess I'll google ganache to find out what that is. I have 3 monthes to master this cake 1st trial being this wknd. And yes I have all the sides drawn up already. My plan to either have the monster truck coming through the middle of the batman symbol or having it smashing the edge. 1 way I will have to make the whole truck body but the other way I'll have to figure out how to make the truck look like its coming up through the symbol.
Have the house to myself this weekend so no one to give me a hard time.

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Debbye27 Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 9:33pm
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Sounds like a very cool cake! What is the symbol going to me made of?
Ganache is a chocolate coating/filling that is super easy to make- it's just heavy cream and good chocolate (like the 4oz bars of pure chocolate) the great thing about it is, you cover the cake, put the cake in the fridge til it hardens...about 20 min, then you can use a hot knife or metal spatula (I use an offset spatula dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each dip) and it literally warms the chocolate into a perfectly smooth coating that is ready for fondant.
Smart thing to do a few practices...but I have to warn you----- my very first cake was a superhero cake for my son's birthday, too- last September----I had never touched fondant or seriously baked before...and I came up with a pretty cool sketch. I had a hulk fist made out of rice krispie treats and fondant, and 3 layers of superheros....I had no idea what I was doing, but jumped right into it...
And I fell in love with making cakes and have been baking almost every single week since then! It is so addicting to actually create a work of art and have everyone get so excited over it! This site is very inpiring - and there are a lot of ideas and recipes on here -for the ganache and fondant if you want to make your own (much cheaper to do so)
Good luck!

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n8rd Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 12:05pm
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I was just thinking...do you think I can just use rkt'sfor the base. Not sure if you know but the trucks have a frame underneath that is kinda large as well I was thinking I could use them to prop the truck up but will it slide off of them. And also when you carve do you reccommend putting the cake in the freezer or fridge for like half hour before the carve or not. Also how long will the cake stay fresh so it taste good when its served.Should I make it the day before or can I start it the week before.
Thank you to everyone that helped with information and I will post a pic of the 1st trial run and I'm sure some more questions.

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jennajane Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 2:27pm
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I am not following where you are considering putting the rkt. If it is like a pick-up truck, I would cut a piece of heavy cardboard wrapped in tinfoil in the shape of the bottom as the sturdy base, then stack the cakes on top of that. leave notches for the wheel wells. Then put the cardboard with the cake on top of a structure to get it off the ground, and 'glue' on the wheels with royal icing or even skewers if the front wheels are off the ground. For the nascar in my gallery I used a piece of plexiglass, then heated it and bent the back, to make it look like the back of the car was going up. The plexiglass sat on little dowels on top of the cake board (another piece of plexiglass) to allow one to see underneath. Good luck!

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Debbye27 Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 2:49pm
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If you want the truck to look like it's coming out of the symbol-try not to make the angle too steep- or you can put a small piece of wood or styrofoam as a stopper in the back. Your trial run will definitely help work these things out. But definitely glue the cake to your bottom board- you can use buttercream for this-that way it doesn't slide. If you're trying to give height to it, then you can use either rkt's or even styrofoam underneath...I would cover it in dark icing so it's not noticable.
You want to design your structure first, then cut your cake board (you can use regular cardboard for this wrapped in tinfoil like jennajane said). Then use that as a guideline to carve your cake. You will definitely want to freeze the cake before carving (don't put in the fridge if it doesn't have any icing on it- b/c that will dry it out)
Make your sheet cakes, then wrap them tightly with plastic wrap, then freeze them. This locks in moisture as well as makes them sturdier for carving. When you are ready to carve, take them out, unwrap them, let them thaw slightly...stack and carve away. Then you can fill them, and put the dirty coat on (buttercream or ganache).
Then put in the fridge to firm up the coating, then smooth the coating ----you will see any bumps or imperfections in the icing when fondant is added, so make sure it's smooth. Then once it's smooth and perfect, I put it back in the fridge while I roll out my fondant. Then cover the cake with fondant - after that it doesn't need to go in the fridge again.
A lot of people bake their cakes a week prior - then freeze them..but I would recommend starting the project no more then 3 days before you are serving it. You can make the cakes and freeze them, make the icings in advance, and color your fondant (fondant will darken after you color it- if you wrap it and store it in an airtight container) But take the cake out and carve it 3 days prior, then add filling and crumb coat....then over next two days you can add fondant and decorations... your decorations can be made in advance...anything with rkt can be made in advance - but the cake itself, I would limit to 3 days if you want it to be fresh and tasty.

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n8rd Posted 10 Feb 2012 , 11:53am
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Another question...when you work with the fondant how do you hide where 2 pieces come together. The spikes on the fenders I have no clue how I'm gonna lay them down unless you can seem it together.

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n8rd Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 3:11am
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ok just got done with test run #1. My issues are the ganache was super easy but not sure if it covers enough and the taste isn't great. 2nd I'm doing the mmf to cover the truck and cake but when you role it out how do you get the powdered sugar off of it so its again the color you want and not covered. 3rd I'm gonna have to build a base to support. Damn backend of the truck collapsed on me,
when I did it I covered it with mmf first and since it had all the sugar on it I covered it with black icing. I def think I can pull this off with a base. All and all if you don't have anything to do all day this is a good time,
I tried putting my pics on and they wouldn't attach...?

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Debbye27 Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 6:19pm
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If you don't like the ganache, you can use buttercream, just make sure it's smooth before applying fondant because you will see every little lump and bump. I don't use powdered sugar when I roll out fondant, I use shortening instead - I am not sure how to get the powder marks off, maybe rub shortening over it? -hopefully someone else can answer that.
Cake and icing and fondant get very heavy- so you definitely always need a base... are you trying to attach pics to this thread or to your photos?

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theresaf Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 10:22pm
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I know people have given you very good ideas so far but I'll add my part too! I made a Mini Cooper (obviously not a Monster Truck but still a vehicle!) I baked my cakes in loaves like large pound cakes, torted, filled and frozen before carving. Not as much carving because I had a good starting shape. Also a dense cake like a pound cake makes it easier to carve. I used RingDings for wheels covered in fondant and made gumpaste wheel rims sprayed edible silver. The photo's in my gallery. A car has SO many parts it really was complicated. And I took pictures of our car from many angles! Good luck!

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n8rd Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 11:51pm
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Thank you, everything I saw on youtube they used the powder sugar to roll it out. I did use the oil for my hands as I was kneading so that makes sense. The carving actually was a lot easier than I thought. Its going to take a ton of marshmellows to make all the fondant. I noticed that some parts on the truck the fondant didnt stick the greatest. Feel free to post ideas, I have to weeks until I can do another test run. I did use a banana bread pan to do the monster truck body I might try to stack 2 together next time and with a base I don't think it'll be an issue. Thanks for all the help and how do you post pics?

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Debbye27 Posted 14 Feb 2012 , 4:12pm
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Hover mouse over galleries at top, then click on upload photo. The way I roll out fondant is by rubbing my vinyl mat with shortening, and my rolling pin, then I roll the fondant out on top of it- I don't use powdered sugar at all - this works very well for me, and keeps my fondant smooth and without cracks (I find that powder sugar and cornstarch dry it out).

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n8rd Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 12:42am
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Hello everyone, just tried for the 2nd time and while some things went better others did not. I tried butterceream under the fondant this time and also made a base.The base worked great. The buttercream not so well. After using the fondant twice now for actual detail I'm not sure if it works the best. I can carve cake almost perfect but when I put the fondant on I lose the detail. Is it possible just to use icing to cover it? Also when you roll out the fondant can you put parchment paper down so you can transport it from the table to cake to the cake? using the pam to roll out work great.
Over all I still dont think I could serve it at a party. Can someone check out the batman monster truck and reccommend how to do the finns on the fenders. I've been carving them out of cake.

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Debbye27 Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 6:36pm
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I don't see a pic on your profile. Did you refrigerate the cake after applying buttercream? I actually stick mine in the freezer for about 8-10 minutes and then apply fondant, that way the buttercream is hard and doesn't move or squish under the fondant.
Once the fondant is on, you should be able to press in and add details.
Next time you practice, try using icing and making it smooth and perfect before you go with fondant...I personally have a hard time with smoothing buttercream, and I prefer fondant - but if you can get it smooth to your liking then go with it.
I roll out my fondant on a mat and then use the mat to transfer to the cake, if you put down thick parchment paper you should be able to do the same thing...

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n8rd Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 6:56pm
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I think this weekend I'm going to try to do the out of rkt. when it hardens I should be able to put the fondant on easier. Also when I rolled it out I got a little slimy but I thinkI just used a little to much butter.
I'm going to try it with fondant 1 more time. I still feel like I can do it. I tried to put pics on again and it comes up error.

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Debbye27 Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 6:58pm
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are you checking yes to all the boxes when you try to upload?

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n8rd Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 12:33am
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my pics are apparently to big. came up pics must be 800 by 800 pix. My new idea is to make the truck bigger with cake and elimanate the base cake. I'll just stack it 2 high and make the cab and finns out of rkt's so they are a lil stiffer to work with.

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pieceofcaketx Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 1:43am
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Is this the truck you are trying to make?

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Debbye27 Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 3:22pm
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Oh that's awesome!
I'd just make the fins out of fondant/gumpaste and let them dry for a few days to harden, that way they would be thin and hard. I would definitely do the wheels out of rice krispie treats (unless you wanted to do a silicone mold and pour melted choclate into it - I saw that on TV)

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n8rd Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 11:50am
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That is the truck...

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pieceofcaketx Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 6:15pm
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I've made quite a few monster trucks, never this one but El Torro Loco and Grave Digger at least 3 times each, the construction would be the same.

Here is how I would do, I drew up a quick diagram thingie since I am horrible at explaining things.

Here is what the colors mean-

Blue-Base board, supporting dowels
Red- Actual cake part, carved to shape
Green- Gumpaste accents, dried in advance and inserted into cake
Yellow- Rice crispy, then I put tires, attached to front of dowels

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n8rd Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 11:47pm
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Thats what I did last time except the gumpaste for the finns. Gumpaste is just fondant that you let dry? Thats what I've been looking for thoough. Thank you very very much!!

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n8rd Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 7:02pm
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This was my first cake I ever did. The sticks at  backof truck were just there to hold while the fondant got hard over night.

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tpartin Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 7:00pm
post #28 of 30

I am wanting to make a Grave Digger 3D cake for my 2 yr old and I have never made cakes before or worked with fondant....anyone have any suggestions for me on how to make this cake and frames and tires and platform to put it on lol....all answers will be appreciated

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JaeRodriguez Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 7:09pm
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Did you read the rest of the thread? It's full of tips on how to.  Or google "monster truck cake tutorials" and you may find something. 


I haven't done a 3D cake so I'm not much help with advice except for that is a big undertaking if you've never done any cakes before! I'd do a test run or two before the party.

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caken4fun Posted 21 Nov 2013 , 9:41am
post #30 of 30

This is very nice! You did an awesome job!! I too am attempting to make a truck, not exactly a monster truck but a Tundra with a lift kit and large wheels for my bf as a surprise.

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