I love decorating cakes but I don't love making many different colors of frosting because one it is a pain, and two, it's hard to get the colors correct and dark enough without using the expensive dyes made specifically for frosting. I also do not like fondant. So I invented my own cake paint and it's super easy and costs almost nothing. You only need three ingredients - powdered sugar, food coloring, and water.
I just put about 1-3 teaspoons of powdered sugar in a little glass cup, added a few drops of food coloring and stirred with a paint brush. Then I added a drop or two of water to thin it out. You want it thin enough to paint but not too thin or it will run, basically about the consistency of acrylic paint, but maybe just a touch thinner. If it is too thin just add a pinch or two of powdered sugar. Then just paint it onto your frosting with paintbrushes.
I made black with a red, green, and blue. Just test the color on a white sheet of paper before you paint your cake.
I frosted my entire cake white and then painted the red and yellow and black. Then with the rest of my frosting I made it yellow and used my piping bag and tips for the stripes and accents (using this amazing technique to fill the piping bag). I needed about 1.5 batches of frosting (buttercream recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook).
I used a toothpick to draw on the white frosting so that I knew where to paint. If you mess up with the toothpick just run a butter knife in warm water and smooth it out and do it over again.
To make the dump truck cake (I got my inspiration for this cake here) I used 1 cake mix divided between a regular bread pan and a mini loaf pan. I leved the top of the big one to make it flat and just cut the ends off the mini loaf so that it was the same width as the bottom of the truck. I left the round top on the mini loaf. I used the cookie part of oreos to make the dirt and mini chocolate donuts for the wheels. The entire cake cost me less than 5 dollars to make.
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