This was a very tricky cake to make! Somebody at work asked me to make it for their son's 21st birthday - he is at agricultural college. Having looked around for images of tractors and other John Deere cakes, we came up with this idea.
The cake is a chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream. I started with a 10" square cake and cut it to shape like a tractor. Unfortunately I discovered that I required more cake so ended up baking a 4" cake as well - to make the 'cabin' of the tractor. I then used a knife to shape the front of the tractor, however on reflection I should maybe have shaped the cabin more so that it wasn't as box-like and also had a slight angle to the front.
I then iced the cake in white icing - this was to give the icing a smoother finish and also to prevent the green icing from being covered in the chocolate buttercream if I was required to remove it and start again. Once the cake was iced in white it was time for me to add the grey for the windows and the green for the remainder of the tractor. I then used some black icing to create the frame of the window. I also used an edible glaze to the windows to give them a shine.
I painted the black lines on the tractor and the John Deere yellow/black strip along either side was made from yellow icing which I then painted with black paste watered down with clear alcohol to create the writing.
The tyres were made from black icing and were shaped by hand. I then used yellow icing to fill in the centre. Further icing was used to create the treads.
The 'soil' was also edible and was made from crushed Oreos (the cream centre was removed first). I bought three packets but probably only needed two. I then made up some royal icing and coloured it green. I piped this on to the board to create a grass effect.
I'm not sure I would jump at the chance to make another tractor cake - there is a lot of work involved and a lot of detail to try and get right. However, you always learn from previous attempts and so the next time should be easier........