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Party Hack: How to Make a Tank Cake

Posted on February 7, 2021

Are you planning an army party or does your child just love tanks? Here's how to make an awesome tank cake from start to finish! Make an epic-looking cake and wow the crowd!

Instruction Booklet Download 

Step by Step Instructions: Tank Cake

Create an awesome Tank Cake. This is the perfect centrepiece for your party food.

Before you start you'll want to get everything you need together. 


  • 250g unsalted butter (at room temperature) 
  • 500g Icing Sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract2 tbsp. milk (at room temperature)
  • 3 x 450g Unfilled Rectangle Sponge
  • Fondants (Green, Black, White & Brown)
  • Edible Adhesive


  • Stand Mixer
  • Spatula
  • 35cm Square Cake Board 
  • Fondant Rolling Pin (large and small)
  • Fondant tools 
  • Fondant Mat
  • Bread Knife
  • Small Knife
  • Bamboo Skewer
  • Paper straw

First up, buttercream icing

Using a stand mixer, beat butter at medium speed for 10 minutes or until creamy.

Reduce speed to low and slowly add the icing sugar one cup at a time. 

Increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and milk, beat for 1 minute or until smooth and silky. 

Remove bowl from mixer and stir with a spatula to remove excess air bubbles.

Cut Sponge Cake

Open all 3 Unfilled Sponge Cakes and divide them in two. 

You want it so that you have 2 cakes that are three layers high. 

Cut roughly a 4cm strip from each, cutting along the short side. 

Put aside to be used to make the top of the tank.

Start Assembling

Position the first layer diagonally on the cake board.

Use a little buttercream to fix the cake on the board. Also where the cakes join. Spread a layer of buttercream between all three layers

Assembling Cont.

Using a bread knife cut diagonally down to remove a wedge from the front and back. 

Cut an indent both in the front and back leaving 5cm on either side for the tank tracks.

Assembling Cont.

Arrange the extra strips of cake to make the top of the tank. 

Place four strips vertically and 2 strips horizontally, spreading buttercream between each strip.  

Using the bread knife shape so that the back and sides are slightly rounded and the front more so.

Start Decorating

Cover both the base and the top sections in a thin layer of buttercream, this is called the crumb coat.

Refrigerate until buttercream is set (you can touch it without is sticking)

Apply another, slightly thicker, layer of buttercream. Ensuring a smooth covering. Any imperfections will show through the fondant.

Time for the Fondant

Roll out Green Fondant to 4mm thick sheets and cover both top and base. You may find it easier to cover the base in sections (see image to the right ->)

Start by covering each side (length / the wheels!). Your fondant strip can finish where the tracks will be. 

Then cover the front, back, and middle. Make sure the fondant doesn't overlap with the side strips. You can overlap the bottom and top pieces together, and use them as added detail later.

Add the Tracks

Roll Black Fondant to 3mm and cut 4cm wide strips. Using a small knife make indents across the strip, making sure not to cut more than halfway through. 

Use Edible Adhesive to attach the tracks to the base. Place the top on the base, use a 2cm strip of green fondant to cover the join and any creases. 

Insert a bamboo skewer where the gun goes on the angle you prefer.

Create the Tank Gun

Cover a paper straw in green fondant. Remove excess fondant at both ends.

Slide the straw over the Skewer.

adding details to tank cake0

Adding Details

Mix green and a little brown fondant to make a darker green. Roll out and cut squares, rectangles, and circles to decorate. 

Attach these with edible glue. Add markings such as rivets and crosses.

adding the final details to the tank cake 1

Final Touches

Using the black fondant roll out a 1.5cm x 3mm strip and attach to the sides, following the angle of the front and back. 

Mix black and white fondant to make grey for the wheels. 

Cut 4 large, 2 medium and 3 small circles for each side. I used different size bottles and lids to get the shapes and patterns then added a centre dot.

the tank cake for your birthday party2

And you're done!

Time to eat your amazing cake. 


Need Some More Help?

If you are not really a "Master Chef" then why not try another party hack? Go for a Do-it-yourself Cake kit. Here's a fun DIY tank cake kit. 


Planning a party? Get this Party Cheat Sheet & they'll be talking about you & your event for weeks! 



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