A monster truck cake is the perfect choice for any truck lover. This Blaze cake can easily be turned into a construction site themed cake, but whatever theme you go for, you’ll love how easily it is to assemble this homemade birthday cake. Use your favorite cake recipe or simply use boxed mix -either way, your little will love this DIY Monster Truck Cake and I promise you’ll appreciate how simple it is to make! Use monster trucks your kids already have hiding at the bottom of their boy box to add some fun, chocolate candy, and crumbled cake to make the monster truck birthday cake of your kid’s dreams.
I don’t remember a ton about my early birthdays – I know one was at a McDonald’s play place and another was canceled due to a blizzard (that was the year I got my birthday present – a hedgehog! – early because my parents felt bad) but I do remember my brother’s birthdays. I’m not sure if it’s because he was a year younger than me or because he was the baby, but I remember aspects of his early birthdays better than my own. One of the most memorable things were the simple but adorable cakes my mom made him.
Most were from those Betty Crocker mini magazines at the checkout aisles and I’m sure none of them turned out as nicely as the photo or as quickly as it was advertised, but I remember them being amazing. I’m sure half of the awe was that my mom would put so much effort into it, something that would be easily smacked together using pre-made ingredients or bought at the grocery store. (side note – I should say, I’m sure that my mom either also made me cakes or just bought them because I was incredibly sassy and specific about things like that and it probably would have been easier to just order the randomly intricate and specific cake I desired.)
That being said, I knew early on that I wanted to make the boys’ birthday cakes myself. To be honest, I kind of hate cake. I mean, I’m all for frosting, but cake is just not my thing. With Ryan’s third birthday – aka the first birthday he might have actually understood- I knew that I wanted to make him his first ‘cool’ cake. Thinking about what he’d dig, I knew there was only one true answer: trucks. More specifically, his favorite truck of all time, Blaze and the Monster Machines.
Truth be told, you could insert whatever toy trucks you wanted onto this cake – construction equipment, plain old monster trucks, or even Rubble from Paw Patrol. The cake itself is more of a backdrop for sugar and little boy (or girl!) dreams. Obviously, I stuck with making a Blaze cake which was a great plan since Ryan’s eyes became the size of dinner plates with excitement when he saw it.
For this cake, I had no real ‘plan’. I knew kind of what I wanted it to look like – taller, a ‘windy road’ and full of ‘dirt’ and ‘rocks’. But that was it. I figured this plan was best as it would hide my less than stellar cake making skills since who has ever heard of a neat monster truck road?
DIY Monster Truck Cake Tutorial
I started by making 2 boxes of cake mix in 8 inch round cake pans, making 4 cakes. Then I doubled this recipe for chocolate frosting. It’s super soft when fresh and absolutely delicious. Since I made the cakes a day ahead, I was ready to go right away.
Tips for making a Monster truck cake
- Bake your cakes ahead of time and allow them to cool COMPLETELY. Otherwise, your frosting will melt right off and it will be a hot mess – literally.
- If you make your frosting ahead of time or are using premade frosting, allow it to come close to room temp and whip it up as much as possible – this will make frosting a million times easier, I promise.
- Save the cake that you remove when leveling to crumble and use as dirt for your monster truck cake. You can also use cookie crumbs from chocolate cookies.
- Obviously, make sure your trucks are clean – I soaked a few of Ryan’s in soapy water before rising clean, but it might even be better to use brand new trucks. Just rinse them off and dry them before using.
- Think about removing the candies before serving, depending on the age of the crowd. You can also use caramel cups instead of mini PB cups.
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I have this offset spatula (same one I used in this post) and I am shocked by how often I use it. It’s honestly the only way to frost a cake easily without losing your mind!
Start stacking on your cake plate. I don’t own a cake plate (I hate cake, remember?) and I liked the idea of a rustic/industrial feel so I just flipped over a well-loved cookie sheet and used that. This was also nice because I had no raised edges to work around.
Place one cake on your base and frost the top. After your base is frosted, take your second later and slice the cake about 2 inches from the edge – think the width of the toy monster trucks you’ll be using. Set the chunk aside before placing the larger piece on top, making the rounded edge flush with the back of the cake. Take your leftover piece and cut it on an angle to create a ramp of sorts before placing it on top of your cake where you previously cut it off. Frost the second layer.
Repeat the steps for the previous layer again, a few more inches in and make the ‘ramp’ face the other way. Frost the third layer of your monster truck cake – it’s finally starting to take shape!
For the final layer of your monster truck cake, cut the final cake in half. Take one half and at about the halfway mark (on your long side) create an angled cut so that one quarter of the what would be the whole cake is normal and the other quarter is a ramp. Top your cake with this, again lining up the rounded edge to the back of your cake. Cut wooden skewers to a little bit less than the length of the cake and insert the skewers into the highest portions of the cake. I used 3. This will keep your cake stable, since it is pretty tall. Frost the top layer.
Step back and as needed, carve hard edges to make your ‘ramps’ of your monster truck cake look more like winding roads down a mountain. Use your remaining frosting to create a smooth, even finish on your cake. Crumble up your remaining cake scraps and line the perimeter of your cake with your ‘dirt’. Add a handful to each spot you plan to put a truck. Gently press in a (clean!) truck into your ‘dirt’ spots as if they are driving up and down the mountain that is your monster truck cake.
Finally, finish decorating your monster truck cake by using chocolate malt balls and mini peanut butter cups as rocks/boulders to fill in blank spots as well as dirt. If you like, you can use green frosting with a grass tip (the spray can variety would work fine) to mimic grass or even shredded coconut with green food dye. Add a birthday candle and watch your kiddos eyes light up!
Note: before serving we removed ALL of the milk balls and even the PB cups from the cake. While pretty, I had visions of kids choking which is obviously not a good birthday time. Use your gut.
And there you have it – a super simple, homemade monster truck cake! It’s not rocket science, I’m no baker or cake designer but I thought it came out pretty close to perfect. I would recommend using an offset spatula and room temperature icing to make the whole process easier. If you choose to use store-bought frosting, you might want to whip it up with a hand mixer to add some air and make it easier to spread but other than that – it’s pretty foolproof. The best part about this is that, like I said before, it’s not meant to look pretty and perfect – it’s a DIY monster truck cake, so it’s supposed to look a little rough. Here’s to more simple cakes for many birthdays to come!
If you use this tutorial for your own little’s birthday, I would love to see it! Post it to social media and tag @morganmanages so that I can see it!
Okay so tell me – does this monster truck cake look doable to you? What’s your kiddos favorite character? Did you have homemade cakes as a kid? Let me know in the comments!
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