Today I want to share with you my “How to make a Tractor Cake Picture Tutorial”. Mine looks a lot like a John Deere tractor cake, but really, with this tutorial you can do any tractor cake!
Here’s what I used:
- Two rectangle cakes baked in Alphabet cake pan (see dimensions below)
- 9″ round cake for the base, 4″ tall, filled and frosted
- Buttercream frosting (stiff and regular consistency)
- Sharp knife
- Piping bags and large round tips or just use the coupler
- Cardboard cake round (9″ is the size I used)
- Fondant in the colors you need (I use homemade marshmallow fondant). I used green, black, gray, white and yellow.
- The Mat (or however you usually roll out fondant)
- Rolling pin
- Xacto knife, pizza wheel, and/or FMM Ribbon cutter
- Cracker or cookie crumbs or brown sugar for dirt
- Large and small donuts (or you could use rice cereal treats if you want)
- Round cookie cutters (several sizes)
- Gum paste tools
- Sugar Glue & small paint brush
Note: See step #13 for something you may want to do a day or two ahead of time, although it’s not absolutely necessary!
Bake, fill and frost a 9″ cake, 2 layers tall. This step is optional… you could put the tractor cake directly on a cake board, or on a larger cake of any shape. This is just how I did it!
I used my Alphabet pan to bake 2 rectangle cakes, each one 4″ by 8″ and 2″ tall. You could bake an 8″ square cake and cut it in half too, but I really love my Alphabet pan and use it for fun projects like this all the time!
Freeze these cakes for at least 30 minutes!! This will help them be so much easier to cut/carve!!
Take one of those rectangles and cut it in half lengthwise. This step is also optional, but I like my cakes to have lots of frosting filling because it’ll be covered with fondant on the outside.
Add a dam of frosting around the edge (or stiff frosting as my son calls it!) and then fill with buttercream (or the filling of your choice).
Stack it up, then trim the front edge so the tractor will have a rounded front.
Take the other 8″x4″ rectangle and cut it in half.
Take one of those halves, cut it in half horizontally, then fill and stack those 2 layers on top of each other (similar to steps 4 and 5).
Spread some buttercream on the longer base of cake (covering a little less than half of it), then stack the short piece on top.
Crumb coat the tractor body, then pop it back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
When ready, roll out green fondant to cover the tractor (or red or blue or whatever color you want your tractor to be! As stated many times, I use The Mat to roll out my fondant and it’s the best cake tool ever!
Drape the green fondant over the chilled tractor, then smooth it down. Also, trim it tight around the edges (although I don’t have a picture of this step).
Take a small ball of green fondant and mix in some Tylose. Then roll it out and cut a square slightly larger than the top of the tractor. I think mine was slightly smaller than 5″x5″.
You’ll also want to make an exhaust pipe out of black fondant (I use Satin Ice) with tylose added (no pics of this either). I made mine on a lollipop stick so I could easily insert it into the cake later.
*You may want to do this a day or two early so the pieces can harden, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary since the pipe is on a stick and the roof of the tractor doesn’t have a lot of overhang to sag!
Pipe some brown (or chocolate) frosting onto the sides of the tractor. Then take cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs or even brown sugar and add to it for dirt. In my first tractor cake like this, I used Oreo cookies. For this one, I used graham crackers with some black sugar mixed in.
For the tires on the cake, I used donuts!! These are so much lighter than using solid fondant tires and a lot less work than using rice cereal treats (although that’s a great alternative if you want to go that way!).
Besides… we had lots leftover for breakfast 😉
Roll out black fondant and cut out a circle slightly larger than the donut you’re covering.
Flip it over and tuck the fondant around the bottom. When you’re done, very gently press in on the center to get a good indention. Just be careful to not poke a hole or tear the fondant.
Flip the tire back over and pipe frosting on the backside to attach it to the cake.
After it’s pressed to the side of the cake and into the dirt, use a gum paste tool to add some details. Or you could use a butter knife 🙂
Repeat for the small front tires.
From here on I don’t have details pics of all the steps, but I think you can figure out most of it! As always, if you have a question, please leave me a comment and I’ll answer and help if I can!
Roll out gray fondant (I just kneaded together some black and white fondant) and cut a rectangle that will wrap around the top of the tractor. You could cut individual windows, but I just used black fondant to break it up and it was a lot less work!
Once you have the gray (in one long wrap or individual windows), cut strips of black fondant to add the details. My FMM Ribbon cutter is most favorite tool for cutting thin strips of fondant!
I attached the gray and black pieces with easy homemade sugar glue!
I used yellow fondant and round cutters to add some more details to the wheels…
Add any final details to your tractor. I attached the exhaust pipe, another yellow stripe, some details on the side and tires, the grill on the front … and of course, glued the roof onto the top! And I’m done!!
For the bottom of the cake, I used a wood grain mat on brown fondant to make the fence and an extruder to do the stacks of hay! You could add tons more details if you want… including a number, a name, etc. The sky is the limit!
Sooo….. do you have any questions about making this cake? Leave me a comment and let me know!