Once in awhile I just can't figure out how to do a 3D cake, or I just don't have the time, or a 2D will do just fine! When one son turned 2, he wasn't really at the age to appreciate 3-dimensional cake work; he thought anything sweet was great! So I made a simple backhoe cake. (Is this a true backhoe? I think perhaps the digger should be in the back and a scoop in front. But the 2 year old didn't know!)
1. Bake a cake in a 13"x9" pan. Any kind of cake will do!
2. Make frosting/icing. Basic buttercream is fine. Divide into 3 or 4 portions and color as desired. As you can see, I used blue, pale yellow, bright yellow and grey. (I didn't yet have black food coloring so couldn't get a good black for the outline and tires.)
3. Draw a backhoe, or print a drawing of it and cut out. I drew mine freehand from pictures - whether I looked at good pictures, or am a good freehand drawer is not the debate here! It's just for fun, and will be eaten in a few minutes anyway!)
4. Put the cut out on the cake and use a knife to trace the outline.
5. Fill in the big areas with yellow frosting.
6. Using a star tip on a decorator's tube, pipe in the sky and the sand.
7. Go over the traced line with grey or black frosting, piped through a decorator's tip (small round tip).
8. Pipe in a steering wheel and tires.
9. Use chocolate vermicelli and sprinkle under the backhoe to make dirt.
10. If desired, use a few dabs of white frosting to make fluffy clouds.
Obviously, you can be much more creative than this.
One very simple way would be to make a basic sheet cake (or cake in a pan) and frost it to resemble dirt, or a field, or a road, then put small toy construction vehicles on top. Some places sell them specifically as cake toppers, but any new (or clean) toy will work.
Or put a backhoe toy on the cake, on a road, perhaps with a Hot Wheels car coming the other way, and make sure these adorable construction cone candles are on the cake warning the oncoming traffic!
Want to just have the whole cake as the vehicle? Then try a pan made for the occasion, like this Wilton Dump Truck Pan.