recipes Sweet Temptations

digger cake :: and so easy!

easy digger cake

My little boy is obsessed with diggers, & anything that resembles a digger. Literally, obsessed! So it was a given that I would be making him a digger cake for his birthday. About a year ago, a friend of mine did something similar for her son & I remember thinking “Ohhh my goodness! That is incredible”. When she told me it was much easier then it looks, I did a little research of my own.

I get very excited come April because it is birthday season for my munchkins. With them being two days apart.. let’s just say there is a little bit of chaos in the kitchen the days before. Some years back, I made a pledge to myself {and my kids} that I would make their birthday cake each year and let them choose the theme {within baking reason}. Although I think the fondant, tiered, layered cakes look wonderful, I have always felt a pressing need to put my heart & soul into the baking. Call me crazy, but I have such joy in seeing their little faces when we light the candles, they sit behind it, we sing Happy Birthday, and they look at the cake that their mummy baked, decorated and created for them. It is special. This year was no exception.

digger cake

So, how do you make a digger cake you ask? Here it goes.

The cake{s}

Bake and cool two 20cm round cakes. I baked a chocolate cake, but you could use a simple vanilla cake or butter cake.

For the chocolate icing

I adapted this chocolate icing from here. But if you have your own recipe, this will be fine too.

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk

Whip butter and cocoa together until smooth in large bowl.
Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar.
Slowly stream in milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Scrape sides and whip again for about 1-2 minutes until until light, fluffy and smooth.

For the ‘stones’ and ‘rubble’

2 x violet crumble bars
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp water
1 cup sugar
2 tsp bicarb soda

Smash 2 violet crumbles {while still wrapped} and then spread across a baking tray.
In a small saucepan, place maple syrup, sugar and water over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir regularly.
Bring sugar, syrup and water to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the bicarbonate soda to the saucepan mixing it in quickly. It will froth up, tripling its size.
Immediately pour hot mixture onto the violet crumble tray. Let cool on the stove for about 15 minutes before placing in the fridge.

You could do this the night before to save time if you wish.


Layer the two cakes with some of the chocolate icing in between each cake. Ice the whole cake with the remainder of the icing.
Place your digger, or two, on top of the cake as desired. In a very ‘messy’ fashion, add the violet crumble mixture around the digger. Make sure you break off chunks at different sizes. If some falls over the edge, don’t worry about this either.
With a knife, or a spoon, dig a ‘hole’ in the cake in front of the rubble. You can make this as big or as small as you wish. Just make sure that you put a little bit of the violet crumble mixture in the hole.

If you want to add a ‘stop’ sign, or some lego men, you can do this as well. You could even create two holes if you wish.

So tell me, what birthday {theme} cakes have you made? 

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  • Sarah Mac

    Great cake – any little boy (and lots of girls) would love to have this. I made a chocolate mud cake for the first time yesterday for my nephew in laws birthday – managed to slightly burn it so I had to chop the top off and it seems to have inexplicably sunk in one area – I may ‘steal’ your idea seeing as it’s unintentionally already more than half way there :-)

  • Sonia@ LIfe Love and Hiccups

    That is such a totally cool cake. What an awesome idea! xx

  • Kelly Exeter

    What an amazing cake. It’s funny because I made the exact opposite pact to you … that I would never be tempted to making my kids’ birthday cakes (I am baking challenged). But you’ve almost (ALMOST) inspired me to try making my son’s cake this year.

  • Grace

    Love it! My boys love diggers too! I think this might be their cakes for next year! Thanks so much for sharing the great ideas – especially what to use for rocks and rubble!