How To Make a Dump Truck Cake

As I’ve mentioned in the past, my son is completely in love with trucks right now. So it was no surprise to me when he told me he wanted a dump truck cake for his birthday earlier this year. My first instinct was to call a bakery and have them make up some fancy design but I wanted to take a stab at making one myself.

Those that know me know how hilarious that might sound because I have no talent when it comes to making cakes. But this one is really easy. REALLY easy.

The first thing you need to do is plan ahead and find coupons for a cake mix and frosting and match them with a hot sale to get it for Free or close to it. OK, sorry, I couldn’t just let you pay full price now could I? But seriously, try to plan ahead so you get a good deal on it.

You can use any store bought cake mix and make it according to box directions. I usually go with a Funfetti one as my kids get a kick out of the colors inside the cake.

I then wanted frosting that looked like a dirt color—chocolate was too dark so I lightened it with a Buttercream one. Just mix and blend until you get the color you want then spread it over the cake AFTER it cools. Important or you’ll rip the cake. Yes, I know this from experience. A few times. I get impatient as there’s always too much to do before the guests arrive!

Next, position some trucks around the cake. I found a great set of 5 little trucks at Walmart for around $5. (I only used 3 on his cake.) I’m not sure if they sell them still but keep your eyes open especially around the holidays, if you are planning ahead, as they have cute sets then.

I then added some chocolate rocks around the cake to look like something a dump truck could haul or diggers could dig up. Don’t forget to leave space in the middle for the birthday message. You can even stack a bunch in one corner to look like a rockpile. Some specialty candy stores sell the chocolate rocks. I ordered mine online from Nifty Nut House. I saved some of the rocks and I’ll tell you why in a minute.

The hardest part is the birthday message. Just go slow and take your time writing it and you’ll be OK. I also added a numeral candle to mine as I found it at our dollar store.

Overall, the cake is pretty easy to make and if you plan ahead on your materials, it shouldn’t cost an outrageous amount. If your family prefers cupcakes, you could maybe find a larger dump truck toy and fill it “dirt-colored frosting” cupcakes with the chocolate rocks on each one and have a cupcake holding your candle in the middle–and the rest of the cupcakes around/behind it.

As for the extra chocolate rocks I saved—I used those as party favor gifts for everyone. I just put some in a Sandwich-type bag, hole-punched some paper with a thank-you message and tied it on with ribbon that I got in the dollar bins. For the little kids, I gave them each a truck filled with chocolate rocks .

And that’s the easy way to make a dump truck cake. I hope your child enjoys it as much as my son and our family did–the chocolate rocks were a big hit with everyone! And what’s nice about this one is–they still have truck toys to play with from the cake when the party’s over.

Thank you for stopping by Coupon Geek! I value my readers and their advice, tips and comments. Please remember that Coupon Geek is a positive, family-friendly and upbeat site when leaving your comments.


  1. Jody says

    Sooo cute & creative! And who knew there was such a thing as chocolate rocks! I thought those were real ones (and someone was going to break a tooth) until I read further. Nifty Nut House had some other types that would also be good to use for depicting fish tank gravel. (with Swedish Fish, Gummy sharks, fruit rollup seaweed, etc. ?) Some recipes use ground Oreos for dirt (Dirt with worms – chocolate pudding cups + ground oreos + gummy worms) but as you pointed out, it’s the wrong color – maybe anemic generic chocolate cookies would be better?

  2. coupongeek says

    Thanks, Jody! It was so much fun to make it with him. I just remembered the chocolate rocks as we had seen them in some very expensive candy store once. I was hoping to find them cheaper online and it worked out ok. It was fun to tell everyone…it’s ok, they are chocolate. They were probably thinking I had taken frugal too far by using real rocks. haha. Thanks for the heads up on the fish stuff. I need to check it out!!


  3. Tami says

    Very cute!! I made a cake similar to that one when my son (now 14) turned 3. Your chocolate rocks looked cooler than mine. I just baked another chocolate cake and broke it into pieces and positioned them around the cake and trucks. However, the one thing that makes it so memorable was that the morning of his birthday my son decided to pick up his cake from the kitchen counter to look at it. He dropped it uncovered, upside down on the carpet!! Not even salvageable. I cried and then made another identical cake before the party.

  4. coupongeek says

    LOL…he must have been pretty excited to see his cake. I completely destroyed my daughter’s cake this last year. Was trying to make a doll cake and I didn’t wait for it to cool. It crumbled everywhere. I quickly recovered by surrounding the doll with cupcakes on a cake stand. It turned out OK. Was devastating though when it happened.

  5. Heather Smith says

    I have made this cake multiple times for the boys in my family. The last time I made it was also for my son’s 4th birthday :-) Great idea with the rocks…never thought of that!! Cute idea for the party favors too ! We used coconut colored green with food coloring to look like grass on part of the cake(and put a tractor on it) and then had the excavator digging a hole in another corner of the cake(dig it out with a spoon) and use the cake crumbs to look like a dirt pile. I also used the chocolate part of the oreo cookie and made dirt crumbs. The dump truck was always dumping out “dirt” crumbs too. :-) Nicely done!

  6. Nichole D. says

    This is GREAT!! My 4 year old told me that he wants to have a construction themed b-day party this year and this is perfect. I didn’t know about the choc rocks and will be sure to be on the lookout for them. Thanks again for sharing! :)

  7. coupongeek says

    You’re welcome, Nichole! It’s so fun and easy to make! I bet he’ll love it. And the leftover rocks are great for the party favors.

  8. coupongeek says

    That sounds so cute, Heather! I didn’t even think of Oreo/cake crumbles for dirt!!

  9. Karen says

    I was able to find chocolate rocks at our local walmart for a sandcastle cake I just made for our daughter. They were on the regular candy isle and @ $4 for a good size container.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *