My nephew has been obsessed with tractors since he could walk. He lives in a farming community and spends a great deal of time playing with and riding on them. Of course John Deere are his all-time favorite tractors. His Mom found these cute invitations and decided a tractor cake would be a must.
We discussed the cake for a month almost, trying to decide if the whole cake would be the tractor or just a scene for a tractor on top. “Do we buy a small tractor to put on top like you get on a grocery store cake?” Amanda asked. Not at Bonobo Cakes, no mama. I will make the whole thing from scratch, and I did.
I started with a yellow cake and filled it with vanilla buttercream. I carved out the 3 corners, one for the lettuce field, one for the part the tractor had already mowed and bailed, and the last for what the tractor was currently mowing. A crumb coat was then applied and the cake hung out in the fridge while I made this wonderful new mocha buttercream recipe I found at Zoe Bakes from Carol Bloom’s The Essential Baker. This was the second time I had made i and I was delighted with the way it turned out. It is rich and creamy with a somewhat mild chocolate espresso taste, a very light texture, and almost a fresh whipped cream bite. It is truly a 5 star recipe!
The hay rolls, as they make here in South Georgia, contrary to the traditional bails, were made from a few things. I first made Rice Crispy treats and pressed them about 1″ thick in a pan. I then used a round metal fondant cutter to cut out the rolls. Next, I coated them with gold fondant and used a knife to score the outside to look like hay. As a final touch, I brushed on a little cocoa powder to give it a 3 dimensional look.
The lettuce patch was hand made from Marzipan. I colored it a dirty green and rolled out thin long strips like fettuccine noodles. I let them dry for a minute before rolling them up like a ribbon rose, so the edges would crack and look like individual lettuce leafs. These were also dusted with cocoa powder. I put a few Oreos in the food processor to make the soil in the lettuce field.
The tractor itself took a few days to make, with the drying process before assembly. I am quiet pleased with how well it turned out.
Here you see the cake fully assembled and about to be eaten by the birthday boy himself.
Happy 2nd Birthday Gavin, Aunt Cheryl Loves you!