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How to Make a Robot Cake

How to Make a Robot Cake
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My son turned four recently and since the chosen theme was “robot,” we were busy coming up with a good way to design the cake.

I love playing with cakes and gingerbread houses. We’ve done a stripped-down gingerbread Guggenheim, a Lightning McQueen Cake, and a gingerbread Boston brownstone.

Lightning McQueen, in cake, May 2011

You can see that I don’t have perfect piping skills. But we enjoy figuring out how to construct different shapes and we just find the whole process fun and creatively satisfying.

So as with the Lightning cake, I started this one with a simple double-layer yellow cake batter baked in a 9- by 13-inch pan (my son likes purple, so pardon the violently violet hue). I prepared the pan by lining it with two sheets of aluminum foil—one oriented vertically and the other horizontally—and then sprayed them with Baker’s Joy so the cake wouldn’t stick. When the cake was baked, I just had to lift it out by the foil.

Then it was a matter of cutting the cake into the proper shapes. I halved it crosswise.

Then I cut the top piece into a head, a torso, and rectangles that will become arms and legs, and a little squares (soon to be circles) for wheels.

Cutting the rectangular pieces in half let me turn each rectangle into two arms and two legs.

A thin “crumb coat” of frosting encapsulated any lose bits or crumbs from the cut edges.

Then it was time to do a final coat of frosting on all the pieces…and decorate! I mixed four colors of icing: the gray color above, purple, red, yellow, and then the base color of white.

We made the neck from store-bought mini “donettes,” used M&M’s for the eyes and torso, and green apple licorice for the arms and hands. The rest was icing. We liked it.

And most importantly, he liked it.



Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
Updated Friday, May 18th, 2012

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4 Responses to How to Make a Robot Cake

  1. Heather A May 18, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I love Max’s expression of pure delight! That’s one lucky birthday boy

  2. Aimee Seavey May 18, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    What a lucky birthday boy! Such a fun cake, Amy!

  3. Brenda Darroch May 18, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Love this!

  4. Tinky May 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    You are for sure a better piper than most of us. This is fabulous…..

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