Dump Truck Cake

Today is Charlie’s 2nd birthday and yesterday we celebrated with family, friends and a dump truck cake!  Charlie’s obsessed with trucks and this was the perfect vehicle for his cake (no pun intended).  The 4 layer cake was a delicious combination of a tasty classic chocolate cake and whipped vanilla buttercream frosting (best recipe I’ve made yet).  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get too many pictures before the whole thing was gone – but I managed to get a before and after… I guess this is just a good excuse to make another one.

INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE CAKE

    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 4 heaping tbsp dutch process cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
    • 2 sticks salted butter
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 2  large eggs, beaten
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp vanilla

VANILLA FROSTING

    • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (I like to use clear imitation vanilla extract to get really white looking frosting)
      • 1-2 tbsp dutch process cocoa to make exterior frosting chocolate

HOW TO MAKE IT

CHOCOLATE CAKE

    • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt
    • In a saucepan, melt butter – add cocoa and stir together
    • Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat
    • Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool
    • In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla
    • Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture
    • Divide the batter evenly into 4 separate bowls
    • Pour one bowl of batter into a greased and parchment paper lined loaf pan (you’ll want to make sure your loaf pan fits pretty perfectly into the back of your dump truck) and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes (I ended up baking for 25 minutes, but you should test it after 20)
      • Depending on the truck that you use, you might need to use a different size baking pan – my truck just happened to perfectly fit a loaf pan
    • Repeat this process with the remaining 3 bowls of batter until you have your 4 layers, let them cool completely

VANILLA FROSTING

    • Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment
    • Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute
    • Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated
    • Add in the salt and continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes
    • Mix in the heavy cream and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated
    • Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…

    • Before you start assembling your cake, make sure the layers are completely cooled
    • Place the first layer flat side up (bottom up) on a piece of cake board cut to size (or the right size if you planned ahead)
    • Apply the desired amount of your first layer of frosting liberally and as evenly as possible
      • I used one batch of frosting for the inside and to coat the outside – so keep in mind that you need to have about a cup of frosting to cover the exterior.  If you use too much on the inside, just whip up another batch of frosting!
    • Add on the next layer, also flat side up, and top with frosting – continue the same with the 3rd layer and finally top it with the last layer of cake right side up so your “mound of dirt” has a rounded top
    • With the remaining frosting, add in the cocoa powder 1 tbsp at a time until you have the desired color and taste that you’re looking for
    • Frost the outside of the cake with the chocolate frosting and then top that with crushed Oreos
    • Insert the cake into the back of the dump truck and voila!  You’ve got dump truck cake – enjoy!

*Chocolate cake adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Vanilla Frosting adapted from Annie’s Eats