FOR KIDS AGED 2-6

How To Make A Fire Engine Cake

Family in the kitchen learning how to bake a fire engine cake.

Image © American heritage chocolate, under a Creative Commons license.

So, your child's birthday is around the corner and you want to make them a fire engine, or Fireman Sam themed cake but you aren't quite sure where to start.

It can be tricky to find the perfect fireman cake tutorial out of all the Fireman Sam cakes that have recipes online that is straightforward to follow and doesn't require you to invest in lots of extra baking equipment but we think we have just that. Our recipe details how to make a Fireman Sam birthday cake, including how to bake the sponge and how to make the more fiddly bits of decoration.

The result is a fire engine cake with a Fireman Sam theme that kids and toddlers will love thanks to all the details that bring it to life such as a hose complete with water splash and a tasty chocolate ladder! So, if you are ready, gather your equipment, prepare your ingredients and follow our method for how to make a Fireman Sam cake. You can get your kids to help with weighing out ingredients, mixing the batter and rolling out the icing too.

Equipment

  • 20cm square cake tin
  • 30cm square cake board
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Sharp knife
  • Ruler
  • Small paintbrush

Ingredients For The Cake

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g softened butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
Chocolate cake batter in the mixing bowl.
Image © Thais Do Rio, under a Creative Commons license.

Ingredients For The Butter Icing

  • 150g softened butter
  • 300g sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients For Covering And Decoration

  • 500g red fondant
  • 250g grey fondant
  • 250g green fondant
  • 25g yellow fondant
  • 25g white fondant
  • 200g royal icing  
  • Red food colouring
  • Black food colouring
  • Blue food colouring
  • 4 liquorice Catherine wheels
  • 2 party ring biscuits
  • 10 chocolate-coated biscuit sticks (such as Mikado or Pocky)
  • 6 dolly mixture sweets
  • Fireman Sam decorations (if wanted)
  • Plus icing sugar for surface dusting

Making The Sponge

1) Start by pre-heating the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/gas mark 4.

2) Grease your baking tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

3) Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and cream together until light in colour and fluffy.

4) Sift in the flours and add the eggs, vanilla extract and milk and mix well until fully combined and pale in colour.

5) Spread into the prepared tin and even out the mixture using a wooden spoon or spatula.

6) Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden on top and springy to the touch.

7) Remove from the oven, allowing to cool completely.

Raw ingredients for the fire engine cake batter.
Image © Calum Lewis, under a Creative Commons license.

Decorating The Cake Board

1) Roll out the green read-to-roll icing until it is large enough to completely cover the top of the board.

2) Lay the board on top of the icing and cut around it using a sharp knife.

3) Take the board off and then use a rolling pin to gently lift your cut icing square up before laying on top of the board.

4) Measure 50g of grey read-to-roll icing, roll it out and then shape it into a road that will lay on top on the green icing. You can choose to cut a straight road or a winding one.

Assembling The Fire Engine Cake

1) Make the butter icing by combining the butter, vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar until it is light and creamy.

2) Remove the sponge from the tin and cut into two rectangles measuring 10cm x 20cm each.

3) Take one of these halves and cut this into two pieces, measuring 10x14cm and 10x6cm.

4) Using a small amount of your butter icing, attach the 10x6cm piece to one end of the 10x20cm piece; this is what will become the cab of your fire engine birthday cake.

5) Take the 10x14cm piece of cake and cut in half horizontally. Spread the main section of the fire engine (behind what will be the cab) with some more icing and stick on one of the pieces you have just cut. The other piece is not needed for the cake but is perfect for a snack part-way through!

6) Using a sharp knife, cut the front of the cab at an angle for where the windows will be.

7) Cover the entire fire truck cake structure in butter icing.

8) Roll out the red icing and cover the entire truck, trimming off any excess around the bottom. Carefully lift it and place it onto the road on your now decorated board.

Child's hands dusting flour over the jar and onto the worktop.
Image © Elly Fairytale, under a Creative Commons license.

Finishing Touches

Now your fire engine is covered and in place, you can get started on adding all the details to it.

1) Add some red food colouring to your royal icing and mix well. This will be used to attach different pieces to your fire engine cake.

2) Unravel each of the four Catherine wheels halfway and cut off the strips. Attach these around the base of the cake using a little of the red icing. Using any leftover liquorice to add lines down the centre of your road.

3) Use the rest of the grey icing to cut out six shutters and two wing mirrors. Attach these to the cake using the red icing. Roll out the white icing and cut two front and two side windows for the cab. Again, attach them with red royal icing and then pipe around each window.

Adding The Decorations

1) Use 2 circular dolly mixture sweets as headlights, two red dolly mixtures as roof lights and two as ladder supports and stick these on with icing.

2) Construct a ladder using the chocolate sticks, holding it together with icing. Add to the roof with one end propped on top of the cab.

3) Stick the two party rings together and attach to the side of the fire engine. Roll the yellow icing into a long hose, wrap it around the biscuits and then trail it onto the board. Make a small circle of yellow icing for the nozzle on the end. Using a little of the leftover white icing, create a splash coming out of the hose before painting this blue.

4) Use some more blue colouring to tint the windows and paint on some wipers using the black colouring.

5) Finally, add your Fireman Sam cake decorations to the board. Maybe have him stood next to the hose!

The finished cake is guaranteed to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. As it is decorated in fondant, if it is a bit too sweet for some, including toddlers, this can easily be removed so that the sponge can still be eaten.

Little girl scooping cake mix into a cupcake case.
Image © Tanaphong Toochinda, under a Creative Commons license.

Alternative Ingredients

There are alternative recipes you can use for this cake to change the flavour and consistency as well as make it suitable for allergy sufferers to enjoy.

Try swapping the plain flour for ground almonds and using almond extract instead of vanilla, for example, to give it a different flavour. If you are looking for gluten-free cake recipes, then you can swap out the flour for almond, buckwheat or oat flour instead. If you need your sponge to be dairy-free, then the milk can be changed to an alternative and the butter can be substituted for half coconut oil, half apple sauce. This may change the overall flavour slightly but the finished cake should still be delicious.

Tips And Tricks

Now you know how to make a fire engine cakes, you can easily switch up the decoration to turn them into something else entirely.

For example, you can use yellow icing to cover it instead of red and add chocolate biscuit crumbs to the top and you have a dump truck instead.

If a Fireman Sam fire engine isn't what you are looking for, then why not swap the decorations and change it into a fire engine cake with a Marshall from Paw Patrol theme?

If you have a lot of guests attending the party, then you could even make an entire fleet of fire trucks by assembling smaller versions of the main fire engine cake.

Storage

Once finished, these Fireman Sam birthday cakes can be stored at room temperate for up to three days by covering in cling film or keeping them in an airtight container. If your kitchen is hot or humid, they can be stored in the fridge for up to three days so long they are wrapped in cling film and then placed in a box or tin which is firmly sealed.

They can even be frozen for up to a year. Make sure the fondant is firm first (refrigerate if needed to do this) and then cover the cakes tightly with cling film. Then, cover the cling film with tin foil. Place the covered cakes into a large freezer bag or an airtight tub before putting in the freezer.

Author

Written By

Jade Scott

Jade is a Londoner by birth but now lives in Lincolnshire and loves the beautiful countryside that is just a step outside her door. Jade has been a primary school teacher for several years, she has an extensive knowledge of the curriculum, toys, games, activities, and learning opportunities for children aged between 3 and 11. She is always seeking out and uncovering new outdoor adventures and educational attractions for when her two wonderful nephews come to stay and loves finding a great deal on an event or a new attraction they haven’t been to before. Jade has a keen interest in science and crafts and loves finding experiments and activities for fun, messy, and engaging things to keep her nephews entertained at home on rainy days.

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