Anatomy of a “struction” cake


Well, now that Will’s third birthday is a month behind us, it seems like a good time to haul out his birthday photos. And I thought I would be so together with this electronic version of a family photo album, sigh.

And yes, I know haven’t done Henry’s one-year slide show yet, I was thinking I ought to wait until he is old enough to enjoy it. Like 18 or so. (No, I’m halfway done, coming soon, really.)

But anyway, we marked Will’s third birthday with not one but two celebrations (one on his actual day, and one a week later with a group of friends). And when you are three, two birthday celebrations means two cakes, which means mommy got a chance to hone her skills on the “struction zone” cake. Who knows, I may have launched a new cottage industry—Construction Cakes ‘R Us. Now taking your orders!

So birthday celebration #1 was at a local pizza place, and the cake consisted of an actual cake with a lumpy mountain appended to it. This was simply blocks of dark chocolate cake, glued together with chocolate buttercream frosting (this was four days into my return to dairy, so yes, this cake was as much for mom as it was for Will!) and sprinkled with “dirt” made from pulverized chocolate and vanilla oreos, for that proper sandy soil appearance. The whole thing was studded with gummy worms (you know, worms, in the the dirt) and what Will referred to as chocolate meatballs—malted milk balls for that faux boulder look.


Cake # 1


Cool photo, eh? Taken at the pizza place by my husband.


The cake seemed to be a success.

Cake number #2 evolved out of my free-form cake constructing period, and consisted of heaped up, crumbled up chocolate cake, chocolate pudding and more of the pulverized Oreos, plus, of course, the worms and meatball/boulders—a literal pile of edible dirt. I actually preferred #2, and the pudding was a delectable addition as well as an excellent mortar for the cake materials.


Cake #2—a pile of dirt, or as Will dubbed it, a “struction zone!”


Henry and his therapist are going to love this photo someday. “You feel marginalized? Tell me why, Henry.”


It’s all about the gummy worms.


Made any creative cakes at your house? Or have you found any great homemade photos on the Web? Post your links in the comments section, I love seeing creative cakes! Mmmm… I think I’m off to find some chocolate cake—and I’m allowed, it’s MY birthday today!


THIS happened yesterday, so I got to eat THESE today. YUM! Be still my chocolate-loving heart!


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22 Responses to “Anatomy of a “struction” cake”

  1. Stacy Says:

    Happy Birthday to you, too! I love what you did with the cakes, they look fantastic. Here’s what I do:

    1. Go to Cold Stone Creamery with birthday child.
    2. Go through through all their different versions of cakes until we can actually narrow it down to one character cake.
    3. Pay for said cake.
    4. Pick up cake on day of birthday party.

    I’m so original aren’t I?? 😉 Actually, Kai’s birthday cake for his 3rd was a construction zone one, too! I like to cook, but I don’t really like to bake. The only thing I bake is homemade cheesecake, and that is enough calories for 2 years worth of baking. 🙂

  2. B. Says:


  3. Molly Says:

    I’ve never made a cool cake, but I hope someone *cough* your husband *cough* makes you a special one. Happy Birthday!

  4. sdh Says:

    happy birthday!!! see you on sunday with a special cake just for you.
    here is the latest from the shop, for Ava’s 1st birthday last weekend:

  5. Anna Says:

    SDH, that ladybug cake is AMAZING!!! I love it!!!

  6. amygeekgrl Says:

    omgoodness! those are the coolest cakes ever! wow – such creativity! you go,mama!

    LOL at henry and therapy. hee, hee.

    happy birthday to you today! 🙂

  7. sdh Says:

    just wait until you see the design i’ve dreamed up for you, anna…

  8. Mike Says:

    Here you are posting about cake but failing to mention that today is your birthday! So, happy birthday, to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Anna, will you make me a cake, too?

  9. maria Says:

    GREAT CAKES Anna….especially love the pretzel logs in the background! Every detail accounted for… Will must have been in heaven.
    AND…….HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNA! And just think, due to the Forbidden Dairy Clause being struck, you can have your cake and eat it too!

  10. Maya Says:

    I’m feeling pressure here…I must start thinking of a cake! I have six months to come up with something and test! Ha!

    I love both of them and wish I could taste them! And I pulled that homemade Oreo recipe…can’t wait to try that!

    Happy Birthday!

  11. MelodyA. Says:

    Happy Birthday! Those are amazing cakes. Trying to figure out how to work those into a princess themed party…

  12. AML Says:

    Happy Birthday Anna! I’m not sure how to send images in the comments section so I’ll send them via email, but my traditional birthday cake growing up was a homemade bunny cake – my birthday typically falls right around Easter. It starts with two round cakes and you use one for the face and the second for the two ears and bowtie…frost that sucker up with and add jelly beans as eyes and to the bowtie and you’re all set!

  13. Karen Says:

    Happy birthday! Those cakes are truly awesome and I hope you had something equally wonderful for yourself.

    I haven’t made a creative cake lately, but I did used to make dirt cakes very similar to your ‘struction cake, worms and all. The adult version involves a flower pot and a fake flower in place of the dump trucks.

    Now you have me craving a big plate full of crumbled cake. Mmm.

  14. Anna Maria Says:

    Happy Birthday Anna! Love your cakes! I agree with Stacy -go to Cold Stone Creamery-give yourself a treat! We have them in New Jersey and I just found out about it at a friend’s birthday. I am sure your cakes are very good too. A friend made a cake for a pool party that looked like people at a pool. She used small gram bears for people (put suits on them) and cookie sticks for palm trees (fruit roll up for the leaves and co co puffs for the co co nuts). I’ll try to send a photo.

  15. carrievoris Says:

    Oooohhh…I love the cakes! Happy Birthday to you! I hope it was a very fun one.

    Last year for our barnyard party, i made this cake
    Used the girl’s Little People barn animals…it turned out really cute.

    This year (in a matter of weeks!) A. wants a puppy/kitty party. So if anyone has any good iideas for a puppy/kitty cake, pleeeease let me know!!

  16. Girl con Queso Says:

    Brilliant. I found you on sk*rt, and I love it. What a fantastic blog! I’m predicting that I steal this idea sometime in the next four years.

  17. chelle Says:

    Wow, those are fantastic cakes!

  18. Jen M Says:

    I made a garden/bug cake for my sone two years ago. Similar concept to yours, with the “dirt” – except I had mini terracot pots silling dirt and worms out of them, with licorice/spice drop spiders….I should dig out the photo…

  19. Jen M Says:

    Uh, that would be “spilling.” I need to check my spelling more often!

  20. Anna Says:

    Okay, this is like high school or something, but you were leaving me a comment at the EXACT same time I was leaving one for you.
    (Cue the OMG!!!!!)

  21. Hank & Willie Says:

    […] year’s construction/dirt cake topped last year’s version by a fair bit, with a water feature, a roadway and pixie stick/caramel guardrails. The cake was Smitten […]

  22. Construction Cake Returns « Hank & Willie Says:

    […] year’s construction/dirt cake topped last year’s version by a fair bit, with a water feature, a roadway and pixie stick/caramel guardrails. The cake was Smitten […]

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