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Monday, February 14, 2011

Tank Birthday Cake

First, I would like to take some time out to wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day! I think it's about celebrating love, not just for your significant other, but also for your friends and family (I surprised my mom with a huge balloon today that made her smile). My beloved and I were able to spend a bit of time together, but, work got in the way, so we'll be celebrating tomorrow. We've also been invited to a dinner party Wednesday evening, and of course, I'm making the dessert. Stay tuned for that post!

This past week, I made my first-ever tank-shaped cake! It was so much fun making it and researching it. I loved the challenge. While I was doing research for it, I found one very helpful article at Cake Central written by Mike_Elder. It definitely helped me translate a Sherman Tank into cake.Once I had the article and a couple of Googled photos, I set to work.

I started with baking a cake in a 9 x 13 pan and two cupcakes (you only need one cupcake, but the other one was for consumption :) ).

After filling the cake, I cut a third off and stacked it on top of the other side. I stuck two dowel rods into the top (just in case!) and shaved down the front and back of the bottom layer for the tracks. I also shaved off the top layer (so it looks like a trapezoid).

Just to make sure it was structurally sound, I chilled it in the fridge after crumb-coating. Meanwhile I worked on the fondant... I started with Duff's green fondant (2 lbs) and added a bit of black and brown...

I came up with the toy soldier-type green, which was what I was going for. I covered the cake, then pinched the top lips of the bottom cake layer. That would create a sort of fender.

I iced one cupcake, covered it in fondant, and placed it on the top of the tank...

Then I started making little details with the leftover fondant...

Little wheels...

 For the gun, I used a little dowel rod covered in fondant (I informed my client of all the dowel rods involved!)

Piping gel makes for a great fondant glue!
I made little details for the top of the tank (I'm sure there are some technical terms involved here-- someone help me out!), including a collar for the end of the gun (to hide the dowel rod).

I cut out some white stars then finished my cake by brushing it with clear vanilla flavor. Not only does it add a nice shine (like that of a steamer) but it also makes the cake smell even more amazing!
Don't forget the brown sugar sand!

Let me know if you have any questions about the making of this cake. Most of the details are made up or very loose interpretations of what I saw on the real tank. It all comes together and looks awesome, trust me!

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