Here's what works for me -- using some donuts and a simple cake mix to make a monster of a birthday cake for my 6-year-old gearhead.
Make a chocolate pound cake (recipe below) in two 9x5 loaf pans. Lay one loaf down with the rounded side down. This is the body of the truck. From the second loaf, cut a trapezoid that will become the cab of the truck. Cut the remainder of this loaf into slices. Layer the slices on top of each other to create a small incline that the truck will rest on. If desired, use the last slice to build up the bed of the truck.
Make a double batch of frosting. I used nondairy buttercream, but any thick frosting will work. The frosting is both decoration and mortar. Color 1/3 of the frosting in your desired truck color; color 1/3 brown or black; and leave 1/3 white.
Frost the windshield and side windows white, then frost the body of the truck. Make sure to frost the window frames in the body color. Using decorator frosting, paint details like doors, headlights, and front grill. Then carefully place the truck on top of the arranged slices. You may want to arrange a row of toy cars next to the truck.
Frost four donuts (preferably not powdered donuts, as the frosting does not adhere well to the sugar coating). Place donuts next to truck body, using toothpicks to hold the tires in place if necessary.
Then make plenty of VROOM VROOM noises as you carry it to the table.
Chocolate Pound Cake
- 1 box of devil's food cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1.25 cups water
- .5 cup oil
Mix ingredients until well blended.
Pour into greased pans.
Bake at 350 degrees until a tooth pick comes out clean. It will take about 10% longer than the package directions.