Ikinji wanted a dump truck for his birthday this year. It’s sort of a repeat, since I did one for his third birthday. This was much smaller (fewer anticipated guests), and came together very quickly.
I doubled Smitten Kitchen’s Everyday Chocolate Cake recipe, and made one full-sized loaf, 12 cupcakes, and about one quarter of another loaf. Turned out I only needed one loaf pan worth of cake to make the truck. Some of the cupcakes got eaten at the celebration, but weren’t actually needed.
The wheels were cut out from one of the thin scraps left from squaring up the loaf. Supports under the truck body, also cut from scraps, do double duty as a place for the wheels to lean as well as getting the body of the truck off the round.
The icing is a slight variation on the Fast and Easy Cream Cheese Icing from Serious Eats. I doubled the recipe, and used half cream cheese and half mascarpone to make it more like the icing on a Whole Foods chantilly cake (which I tried for the first time while we were on vacation in Colorado and celebrated a few birthdays there). This turned out somewhat softer than the target recipe, probably because I used granulated, rather than powdered sugar. I likely could have thickened it up with some corn starch, but it came together pretty well, and held its shape even when room temperature, so no complaints there.
The icing job is a little imprecise since it was so soft, but I’m pretty OK with how it came out. Ikinji was happy, too, so I think this was a success in both looks and taste.