mindful living, effortless style

So easy to make and vehicle-loving kids are SO impressed!

Best DIY Birthday Cake Ever

I’ve discussed in the past our family’s evolution from throwing picture perfect birthday parties to establishing birthday traditions instead. Recently C turned four and this year was no exception.

We celebrated him by sharing dollar store trinkets with his preschool class, embarking on a special outing to the Space Needle and Seattle’s monorail, having dinner at his favorite restaurant with the grandparents, and letting him help make his birthday cake.  There was a present or two thrown in there for good measure as well.

Today I wanted to share with you guys the DIY birthday cake we made him – which was a repeat of last year’s cake per his request. Honestly, he loves it so much I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a three-peat showing next year too.  The fabulous thing about this cake is that it looks amazing with VERY little effort and if you happen to have a construction vehicle fiend at home like I do, he (or she) will absolutely love it.

To make your own construction cake, you’ll need two things:

    1. A plain cake from your local bakery in the flavor of your little one’s choice.  (If you have a Costco nearby, I highly recommend the chocolate version shown above.  It’s very big and rich so it will feed a ton of people.  Plus the height is perfect for this kind of cake and I think the large chocolate shavings kind of add to the demolition zone look.  Plus it’s a total steal at only $17!)
    2. 3 – 5 mini construction vehicles.  Last year we ordered these from Amazon.  This year I just picked some up at Toys R Us.

To assemble, simply cut a chunk out of the cake and arrange the construction vehicles on it to appear as though they’re working on it – dig down with the shovels, plunge in with the fork lifts, etc.  If you’re not looking to surprise your little one, it’s fun to let them help set up the scene.

And there’s one more added bonus to this cake. Because of it’s disheveled appearance, you can use it for more than one party and no one will ever know!  Last year, on C’s birthday we went to a sensory art class with a few friends and shared this cake after.  The next day we just cut a bigger section out of the cake, rearranged the vehicles a bit and we were all set for our extended family celebration.

Will you guys try this?  Have any birthday recipes of your own that you fall back on year after year

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica @ Acire Adventures October 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

I love cakes like this for little boys! My nephew had one fairly similar for his birthday in September, he even used the machines to eat with. :)
http://www.acireadventures.com/2012/09/the-cake.html

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Christin October 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I had been planning on making a cake like this for my son’s birthday, but you combined it with my husband’s favorite Costco chocolate cake (he loves it so much we had it at our wedding), and now I know it’s a must. Thanks for the idea!

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liveseygirl October 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Love this idea! Perfect for my boy who turns 3 in December. Not sure how that happened I have a nearly 3 year old! Perfect compromise between shop bought and home made cake well done x

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Teacher Kirra October 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

My dad and my brother both own excavating businesses… so this will definitely appear at an adult birthday in our family soon! Thanks for the great idea =)

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Holly @ FreePlay Kids November 2, 2012 at 4:41 am

Too funny…we did a construction cake for my 4 year old’s birthday this year using the same toys that are pictured above. Just an FYI – we got them at Target for a few dollars less!

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Christy April 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Did you shave the chocolate to put on there? Or did you buy it like that?

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Hi Christy,

The Costco cake comes with the shaved chocolate on top.

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