Three year olds seem to hold a particular fascination with firefighters and firetrucks. When my son, Jeffrey, was three he frequently fought imaginary fires. When he would accompany me grocery shopping, he’d hang on the side of the grocery cart as though it was a firetruck rolling into the scene of a fire. Whenever I’d stop moving to select items from the shelves, he’d hop off and tell me, “Lookout! There’s a fire over there! I’ll get it.” Then he’d point an imaginary hose in the direction of the imaginary fire and spray imaginary water on it while making the sound of spraying water, “SHHHHHHHH.” At three he was totally dedicated to fire-fighting. So, of course, for his third birthday, I made him a firetruck cake. The picture below shows him with that cake.
Last weekend, Brown-eyed Girl and her Handsome Hubby visited us, driving in on Thursday evening to spend the weekend. We attended the Mount Mitchell Craft Fair, which is held in our town every year on the first Friday and Saturday in August. And while they were visiting us, we held an early birthday celebration for Mr. MT Nest and our precious grandson, Little Man, whose birthdays are coming up later in August. They are “birthday buddies” since Little Man was born 3 years ago on his grandfather’s birthday.
I decided to recreate the firetruck cake I made so many years ago for Jeff. I’m certainly no professional cake decorator, but three year olds are very accepting. As long as you can tell what the cake is supposed to be, they love it. Just my perfect audience!
Of course, I didn’t take any photos of the process, (bad blogger!) so I will just have to describe it. I baked two chocolate cakes (using this delicious, super moist, chocolaty cake recipe), one in a larger and one in a smaller loaf pan. Then, using a serrated bread knife, I cut through the cakes horizontally to make them a bit shorter and to remove the domed tops of the loaves. I placed the larger cake upside down on a small cookie sheet covered in gold foil, stacking the smaller cake on top (also upside down). A thin layer of the red buttercream frosting between the layers served as the “glue” holding the layers together. Then, I frosted the entire cake with a buttercream crumb layer of red frosting and chilled the cake for 30 minutes before adding another, smoother layer of frosting. I added Oreo cookie wheels coating the top half with frosting “fenders.”
Next I added the details that made the firetruck recognizable, like ladders, bumpers, head and tail lights with white buttercream and gum drop emergency lights. Finally, I added his name and the birthday greeting on the top.
But then he reacted in an unexpected way. He was so in love with the cake, that after we sang Happy Birthday him and his grandpa, he became distraught when we cut his cake. We had to patch it up so he would stop crying. It was precious and so sad at the same time.
We used more red frosting to cover the back where we’d cut off slices and then we let him eat it using his finger to take small pieces of frosting and cake. It was totally adorable how much he loved his cake; made his grandmother very happy!
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