Army Camo Tank Birthday Cake (including free party printable)

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My nephew just turned eight recently! I made a fondant Mickey Mouse birthday cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday, but other than that I have never really stacked a cake before! Especially not one decorated with fondant!

Army Tank Cake

I reluctantly said yes when I was asked to take on an Army Tank cake! It actually wasn’t that difficult. I have never done anything like this before and wasn’t even sure if I could do it, so if you’re also a newbie at this, do not fear! You can do it!!

©IMG_9609

I used cake pans I already had and tried get them the right shape and size while baking so there was minimal cutting and sculpting. The top tier was actually baked in a small glass bowl that was dishwasher and microwave safe. But it worked perfectly.

camo tank birthday cake

I made the marshmallow fondant using the Wilton Recipe, as usual. And the icing is homemade cream cheese using this Martha Stewart Cream Cheese recipe since I like my frosting more cheesy-tasting, which helps cut the sweetness of the fondant. However this time I used a margarine type spread which consisted of part vegetable oil, instead of butter.

BIG mistake.

It is hard to substitute a liquid fat for a solid fat, since they behave differently with the other ingredients – like fondant! Instead of helping the fondant stick to the cake, the icing started to melt the second it wasn’t refrigerated and actually caused my fondant to slide OFF the cake. It was only an issue with my bottom layer though, since I realized what was happening and I pretty much stopped using the icing altogether. Moral of the story, nothing can compare to butter! Use BUTTER when the recipe calls for it.

I debated on how to do the camouflage effect and looked at different methods but I decided marbling was the easiest way to go. I colored three different sections of fondant with food coloring. Rolled them into log shapes and smashed them together into one big log. Then you want to form an S-shape with the ends facing outward. Smash it together again into one log shaped piece and twist the ends until you have your desired marbling. There are some marvelous YouTube videos that walk you through this process.

marbling camo fondant

As for the details, I pretty much just decorated as I went. I didn’t have a set idea of how I wanted the cake to look. I was just trying to add a little detail and cover any imperfections in the process.

army tank cake tutorial

The canon and the hatch were the only non edible items on the cake. The canon was just a thick plastic straw (from a reusable cup/water bottle) that I covered in fondant. It’s hollow on the inside so you can add a sparkler. And the hatch is just a piece of cardboard cut into a circle covered with fondant.

Camo Army Tank Cake

These are some food labels I designed for the birthday party, along with a Mess Hall sign. Click the image to enlarge and then print. Please let me know if you are having trouble, I can always email them directly to you.

camo_food label_template_printable sheet

Click the image above (or here) to print it.

Click here for the BLANK Army Labels that you can write  whatever you want on. Click here for the printable Mess Hall sign. You’ll need to save the image and print the size you want. For a full sheet and 4 inch labels select 8×10.

If you enjoyed this post please share this post and let me know if you make an Army Tank Cake of your own!

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27 comments

  1. Christina says:

    That is awesome! You did such a great job. I have always wanted to try making a cake using fondant, but I haven’t been brave enough…. yet. lol

  2. kewkew
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh my, that is just incredible. You did a wonderful job! I just love that cake. I love the camo effect!!
    I have never even tried working with/making fondant. I have only made simple cakes with frosting. Not sure I could do anything like this.
    And happy belated birthday to your nephew. I’m sure he had a blast.

  3. Lauren @ Hobo Mama
    Twitter:
    says:

    Ok, I was looking in the first picture for the cake, which I assumed was under the toy tank. No way did I realize that your tank WAS a cake — holy moly! My favorite part is when you say even a newbie could make a cake like that. Bwahahaha! I have pinned this and will just content myself with admiring your skill from afar. :)

  4. lori says:

    This is so cute! I’m trying to replicate for my son’s birthday. I know it won’t look close to yours! I love cake decorating but this is my first time to use fondant. How many recipes of the fondant did you use for this cake?
    Thanks so much for sharing your tips!

    • Amy @ Marvelous Mommy
      Twitter:
      says:

      I believe I used 2 of the fondant recipes for this cake. And I had just a little left over. You can do it! Use some wax paper under your fondant so you can move it and roll it out extra wide so you know it will cover your cake!

  5. Rachel says:

    Did you find the camo printable a on the net somewhere? Are the colors interchangeable? Thx, everything looked spectacular!

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