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Construction Cake


Assembling this cake was real fun since the construction zone is one great big mess! You don’t need to be a perfectionist to get this right. The best part is the surprise inside – black and yellow caution stripes! Assembling it is actually simpler than it seems. If you’re too overwhelmed at the thought, bake a plain round cake and just continue with the decorating instructions.


Make the Cakes

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Beat the eggs and sugars on high for a full 10 minutes. Add flour, baking powder, oil, and orange juice. Mix on medium speed for another few minutes.
3. Separate two cups cake batter into one bowl, and two cups into another bowl. (You will have some extra batter; make cupcakes!) Use the gel food coloring to color one bowl of batter yellow, and the other black. Pour into two deep eight-inch round pans. Tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

Make the Cream

1. Beat margarine and eggs on high speed for five minutes.
2. Melt chocolate chips with sugar, coffee, and rum extract in a double boiler. Add to mixer. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until fully incorporated.

Assembling the Cake

1. Use the leveler or a sharp knife to level the cakes.
2. In order to get your stripes as even as possible, you will need to make tracers. Trace the cake pan onto a paper and cut it out. Cut it into three rings and discard the middle circle. Using toothpicks to secure it, place the largest ring onto the top of one cake. Hold your knife at an angle as shown in the picture, and cut around the cake. Repeat using the smaller and smallest ring. Repeat with the second cake. Now you should have three rings and a middle circle for each color. Take each cake apart. Using some cream as glue, reassemble while alternating colors in order to create the striped look. Now you have two round striped cakes that will get stacked. Cream the top of one and place the second cake on top.


1. Using a knife, cut out a small “ditch” on one side of the top of the cake and place the piece that you scooped out right near it in a mound. Cream the entire cake with the remaining cream. Cover the hole and the mound with cookie crumbs and chocolate pebbles. Place a toy tractor and cones nearby.
2. Fill a piping bag with the remaining cream. Using a star tip, finish the edges with a ruffle by giving continuous pressure to the bag and working your way around the edge of the cake in an up and down motion. Repeat around the perimeter of the top, too. This will give your cake that professional finishing touch.


Photography by Chay Berger