John Deere Tractor Farm Cake – How To #cakedecorating

A couple weekends ago we had our youngest son’s birthday party. He loves John Deere, tractors and farming and wanted a John Deere party. I like to make cakes for our kids’ parties if I can do it so I had in my head that I was going to decorate a cake that looked like a half harvested field. I was pretty happy with how my cake turned out!

For starters, I want to list the things you will need.

  • Green Frosting
  • Chocolate or Brown Frosting
  • Buttercream (yellow Frosting)
  • Flat Decorating Tip
  • Grass Decorating Tip
  • Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
  • John Deere Tractors/Figurines (unless you are really good with fondant and can make them yourself)

The amount of frosting you will need will depend on the size of the cake you make. I made a full sheet cake because the bigger the cake, the easier it is for me to decorate. I didn’t make my own frosting. Yes, I cheated. I used almost a full jar/can of each frosting listed above. I also chose to make the cake itself green as well.

After the cake is baked and cooled, you can even out the top to make it flat and even. I lucked out with this one. My cake actually baked pretty even and flat. I didn’t have to cut anything so I didn’t even have to do a crumb layer which was fine by me because decorating this cake left me with layers on layers with different icing. With the chocolate icing, I drew and outline of the shape of the field I wanted with the flat tip. I wish I had a wider flat tip but I just had a really small one. It worked either way. When I drew my outline, I rounded one of the corners because I wanted a grassy section up there.

After drawing my outline, I started piping the chocolate icing with the flat tip on my decorating bag. I drew line after line after line. It took a while with the smaller flat tip. I drew the lines this way because when I was finished, it looked like rows in the “field”. After I filled in about half my outline, I filled in the rest of the field by carefully spreading chocolate icing with a decorating spatula mainly because my hand was starting to hurt and that half of the field was going to be covered anyway. And of course it sped things up a bit.

The crop was supposed to be wheat or hay and I used my grass tip for this part. It didn’t stand straight up like wheat or hay does but it’s obvious enough what it was supposed to be. Using the grass tip I used the buttercream icing to make the crop. All I did was put the tip close to the cake and lift a little when the icing came out. I did them in rows so it resembled crop rows. The only area of the field with crop was the area that I didn’t pipe with the chocolate. I wanted it to look like a half harvested field.

Once the field was finished, it was time to do the grass. First I covered the sides and all areas on top of the cake around the field with a thin layer of green icing. I didn’t use much because it was going to be layered with grass on top. I carefully did this using a small decorating spatula. It didn’t need to have every little nook and cranny covered with the thin layer either since grass was going to be on top.

With the grass tip, I used the green icing to make the grass. As I was doing the grass, I kind of let the icing just fall where it wanted. That way the grass just looked all over the place and not going in one direction. But the tip is simple to use. Just put it close to the cake and lift as you squeeze the icing out. Lift and squeeze more for longer grass, lift and squeeze less for shorter grass. I didn’t put grass along the sides/edges. Just over the whole top of the cake in the green areas. I loved how the grass ended up laying over the sides too.

After all that I was able to finish it off with the toppers I got. At first I was going to dip marshmallows in melted icing or colored candy melts but decided to buy some of those toasted coconut marshmallows instead just in case the dipping didn’t work out. Besides, I like the look of the texture of these marshmallows. I thought they looked more like hay bales than what I thought about doing.

I also bought a couple little John Deere playsets. They came with a tractor and some kind of attachment that can carry things. They also came with a few farmers, animals and fencing. I bought two sets for about $6 apiece in the toy aisle at the store. I do not work well with fondant and if I was talented enough and had more time, I would have tried to make them myself. But I’ll settle for cheating a little.

So I set up the tractor/farming scene. Used the fencing along the grassy area I left room for and placed the animals there. We had cows and a couple horses. Then I placed the marshmallows in the finished area of the field and even placed some in or on the carrying beds that the tractors can pull. I used a little icing on the bottom of the marshmallows so they wouldn’t fall off the tractors. Then just placed the farmers around the field.

My son loved it. I probably heard, “This is the best birthday cake ever!” about 487 times. It took me about two hours total to finish it. A little bit of time and money but the smile on his face when he saw it was absolutely priceless! I thought this cake was actually pretty easy to do. Looks like a bit of detail but with the right tools, pretty easy.

If you give it a try, let me know how yours turns out!

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