Cake Central › Tutorials › How to Make a 3D Tank Cake

How to Make a 3D Tank Cake


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A really simple little sherman tank cake.  Only takes about 45 minutes to make and is really cute.  My nephew loved it and even the turret turns a little. This is a pretty simple, straight forward little cake.  I started with 2 tall 1/2 sheets and a single 5" round. I begin by stacking the 2 half sheets as usual and trim them down a little to the correct shape.  Its a pretty simple shape.  wider at the tracks and of course tapered at the front and sloping to the rear. I find it best to google some reference images before I begin and use them to determine the shape.  It's totally ok to simplify a little as this is a little boys cake! Then I mix a little brown green and yellow to get the "Olive drab" color in fondant, and cover the cake.
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After it is covered I pinch the fondant where the fender would be to create a lip.  all of the other details I "push into shape with my fingers.  This is a fairly simple tank so there are no sharp details
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Here is the finished detail of the fender and the main hull of the tank is complete.
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The 5" round is shaped by removing 2 small moon shapes from the rear and beveling the top.  Then I ice it and cover it with the same OD green fondant.
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I add all the little armor plates and hatches and misc, to the main hull and cut the hole where my turret support will go.
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To support the turret, I hot glue a single support to tha cardboard circle and sink it in the cake. Then I place the turret in place.
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It's now time to finish those tracks.  I cut the track wheels out of fondant and notch them with a square cutter.  Then I add all the support wheels and such also out of fondant.
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Add the mantlet (piece on the front of the turret) and cannon, and a few hatches to the turret and your nearly done.
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For the tracks themselves I simply roll out a long tube of black fondant then cut long strips with a ruffled edge.  Then I attache them to the sides of the tank using a damp paint brush.
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Add some buttercream to the board and start airbrushing!!  I only airbrush just enough to add small details and help to bring it to life.  Too much airbrushing and it just looks muddy!
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This technique could easily be adapted to any vehicle with similar design. i.e. bulldozers, armored vehicles, construction machines.

Comments (31)

This is too cute. My husband who has spent many years in and out of a tank will love this!
Brilliant step by step, thank you for sharing.
You're cake looks great! I'm just getting into fondant cakes, what kind of fondant do you use (make it or buy it made), it looks very smooth. You make it look so easy to make. Thanks for sharing and making the directions very easy to follow.
My hubby is a 19k in the U.S. Army and will LOVE this! He is graduating from an Advanced Training School and getting his E-6 soon, so I know what he is getting!!!
Thanks so much for sharing this. I dread tank cakes and now I am looking forward to the next one!
If I were a little gumpaste villager and saw this approaching - I would surrender immediately! Thank you so much for being so generous with your talent and time in creating this tutorial. You made a project that could appear so intimidating very approachable.
Thanks for this tutorial!
What a great cake! I wish I would have had the instructions a month ago. My son would have loved it.
Great tutorial Mike. Thanks!
Hi ther! Anytime! I have lots of them to come!!! You name it I've made it in cake!!! LOL I'm doing a lifesize deer head this week! LOL Thansk all! Mike
Thank you for the tutorial! My husband was in one of those during his deployment.
Very well said! I love to try it one day... Good job!
I'm a beginner, but looking forward to trying this out one day. Thanks,
Cute cake!!! thanks for sharing.
Beautiful cake. I'm a beginner, but i sure would like to try this out. Thanks.
Thanks for the photo tutorial. You take the anxiety out of making something like that. It gives me lots of ideas to try and just do it! Haven't mastered fondant and air brushing yet, but working on it. Can do the fondant accents and sculpting, would have to work on the rest. My grandson loves trucks and other vehicles. I know he would love one like this. Thanks again.
Job completed! How nice to have a tutorial to follow! Thank you so much!
Great cake! This will help me out a lot when I make one for my uncle! Thanks!
I make a lot of army cakes with plastic tanks -- no more!. Thanks for sharing
Cake Central › Tutorials › How to Make a 3D Tank Cake