Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to make a fire truck cake {Tutorial}

When I made this cake for my friend's daughter, I did so with a lot of inspiration from the web, but with a lot of guesswork along the way too.  If I had known earlier, I would have got my hands on Debbie Brown's Children's Character Cakes book as it has instructions on how to make Fireman Sam and Jupiter (the truck), as well as other brilliant and well-loved characters.  It is a fabulous book to read through but I only managed to get it after I had to make the cake.  So this post is just my way of making the truck.  It may or may not be the best way, but it came together pretty well in the end and I was quite happy with the results.

The first step is
of course to bake your cake.  Now this was a pretty big cake, as the final result was meant to be a pretty big truck.  I baked a deep, 12 inch square cake ( it was 2 inches deep).  This was one of the biggest cakes I have ever baked!  Even though it was a simple butter cake, my stand mixer almost gave up trying to mix all the ingredients together.  I planned out how to cut the cake to maximise the use of all the cake cuttings, and this is what I did.  I cut two 5 inch pieces to make the body of the truck.  The remaining 1 inch piece I cut into two halves to make the top front part of the truck (I forgot to take a photo of this but I hope you know what I mean).  Basically, just plan how wide and long your truck needs to be and cut whole pieces out from your cake.  I then crumb-coated my cake (lightly covered) with buttercream and chilled it til firm.

The photo above shows the two larger cake layers stacked at the bottom and the remaining pieces stuck on the top front of the truck to give it its shape.  I then slowly sliced bits of the top front to angle it to make the windscreen.  Then cover the whole cake with another thicker layer of buttercream and chill til firm.  If you have the option to use ganache I would certainly advise it as it firms up better than buttercream.

The next step was to cover the base and top of the truck grey.  The base was a background so the wheels would stand out and the top was the different colour for the truck.  I made a template on where the wheels would go and that gave me an idea on how much of the bottom I needed to cover with the grey background.  I also made templates for the windscreen and side windows.

You can omit to do the top and just cover the whole truck in red but I wanted a difference in colour on the top.  My plan would be to overlay the red fondant and then cut away what I didn't need to show up the underlying colour.  Does that make sense?  It sounds more complicated then it is.  I did the same thing with the black fondant and cut it size for the windows and front windscreen.  Make sure this underlying layer is relatively thin otherwise it will look bulky when you overlay the red fondant later.

Here is what the back of the cake looks like.

And this is the front. 

Next I covered the entire cake with red fondant. I then cut out the parts that were overlaying the grey fondant using my template for the wheels and windows and free-hand cut the top and back of the truck. (You can make a template for that too).

Here is the front of the cake now.

Here is the top of the cake.

Now that the basic body is sorted, the fun can start!  You can put in as many or as little details as you want.  I did the wheels as well as a ladder.  I added door handles to the side of the doors as well as the firetruck logo to the side of the truck.  The siren and horn was added to the top, and front and back lights as well as bumpers were added to the truck.  The best advice I can give you is to look for as many photos of the truck on the web, and that will give you an idea on what you want to put on it.  I couldn't copy the exact details of Jupiter as there were a few different photos on the web so I improvised and did what I felt looked right.  Just have fun with it!  :)

And here is the completed cake.

I made a candle holder to look like a hose wound up.  Just wrap a long, thin sausage of red fondant around a black fondant cylinder.  Fireman Sam was made out of gumpaste and if you want a simple tutorial on how to make a fondant figure, see my post here.

If you liked this tutorial, I would appreciate some comments on it. :)  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thank you for sharing! :)

  2. Fab, will save this for when i get an order :) Many thanks

  3. Thank you so much for the tutorial! You made it look so easy! My son's birthday is in a month and he is Fireman Sam mad! I'll try to make the cake as per your instructions! Lexie

  4. Good luck with your cake, Lexie. Let me know how it goes. :)

  5. This was great! Thank you so much for sharing! I have my first fire truck cake next week and this tutorial was by far the least confusing. I love all the details and the candle idea is genius! Thank you again for sharing!

  6. This will be very helpful when I make fireman Sam cake for my nephews 4th birth in few weeks!! Love it!! Thank u!!

  7. Thanks for sharing this... I attempting one for my friends son who will be 2.... Lets hope it goes ok.

  8. Extremely helpful. Thanks a million!!

  9. Thanks you extremely helpful!!

  10. Beautiful cake! Love all the details!

  11. Super ideas, looks great.

  12. Your ideas have been really helpful. I particularly needed some help with getting the size right.
    I am making the fire engine cake for my Grandson. I have already made and eaten a test cake.
    Little kids love their fire engines.
    Thank you