Posted by: corozmum | February 1, 2012

Making an Army Tank Cake

I did my original post about this cake in a hurry before I went away. I’ve been asked for more detail so here goes. I didn’t take photos as I went so it will be mainly description.

I wasn’t sure what cake to make Farm Boy so I got 3 cake decorating books from the library to browse. As Farm Boy is in the army, Glassie & I agreed an army tank was the one to make.

I used ‘One Hundred Easy Cake Designs’ by Mary Ford for the shape and ‘Children’s Party Cakes’ by Sue Aldridge for decorating ideas.

Our family prefers Chocolate cakes so I always make Edmonds One Egg Chocolate cake. For the tank cake I made 2. I make them the day before I ice them to ensure they are cold before trying to ice them. The first cake was an 18cm square and the second a 15 x 19cm rectangle. The rectangle was cut into 3 bits. 1/3 formed the turret. The corners are cut off to form an oval shape. The 2/3 left was split in half lengthwise to give the track & wheel shapes at the sides.

The offcuts from making the turret were piled in one corner to form terrain for the tank to go over. Royal icing was coloured with a chocolate paste (made using cocoa and a little water) and yellow to get a sandy brown shade. When it was laid on the cake board I added folds to make it look more like rough ground.

The Sue Aldridge book said to use black, yellow and green to get the mottled army green colour but didn’t give an idea of proportions to use. I chose to use royal icing to get a smoother overall result but I put too much black in the first time and got gray! I had to toss it and start again. The next time I was too cautious with the black so the result was more of a mint green but I didn’t want to risk getting gray again.

Once I got the green rolled out I made Butter Icing (there are any number of recipes in books and on-line). This was used to adhere the turret towards the back of the square and then cover the pieces. I did the wheel pieces separate to the main body of the tank. The green royal icing is then put over the pieces. I found it easier to place the body of the tank on the prepared cake board and terrain then use butter icing to adhere the wheel pieces to the sides of the tank.

Farm Boy loves licorice so I used licorice straps for the tracks. Unfortunately, you have to hold the ends of the straps in place where they curve down, until the butter icing dries and holds them in place. As I mentioned when making the camera cake we can’t get licorice straps by themselves so we have to buy Black Knight licorice assortments and if you are lucky you get 2 straps per box, so I had to buy 3 boxes to get the 6 I needed for the tracks. The good bit is we enjoy eating the leftovers 🙂

Still on the wheels. Mary Fords design used circles of royal icing along the sides to show all the wheels inside the tracks. Farm Boy loves Toffee Pops so I decided to use the Mini Bites version. These again are adhered with butter icing and we did have some fun with them sliding down as it was a hot day and it took a while for the icing to dry enough to hold them in place. At least half the packet was left over and as I love them too it was no hardship to finish them!

After 4 hours of icing I wanted it finished in a hurry so broke the end off a candy cane to use as the barrel of the gun. As instructed I lodged it a long way into the cake so it didn’t droop. I added various small squares and rectangles following Marys design for lights and other detail on the tank. I should have made the hatch at the beginning so it had time to dry and set before trying to place it on the tank hence mine is curved as it was the only way I could get it to sit upright.

Overall I was very pleased with the result. Farm Boy thanked me every time he saw me for a while so I take it he liked it too!




  1. Wow, thanks for sharing! Your steps are detailed and you make it sound so easy 🙂

    • As an amateur, I wish it was as easy as it sounds! But it is do-able. Your work looks amazing.

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