Here are the birthday cakes that the boys picked out for me to make this year. Quite a bit of work involved but that is more because I didn't bake as much in advance as I had planned. Yes, it would be easier with a cake mix but that wouldn't be the same. Thankfully Pete and Re-Pete liked the same cake and also agreed on the flavor which was carrot. Tank selected chocolate mint (my personal favorite and George's too).
Pete and Re-Pete wanted R2D2 this year. They didn't have any preconceived ideas and I could have made it a sheet cake but saw the idea of a standing up cake and thought it was so cute. This one was made with four 6 inch round layers topped with a small half bowl cake. To do it again I would make it shorter to save time and I think the design would still be good. This whole cake was three cake batters!
To hold it together I put a cardboard round near the center and stuck wooden skewers throughout (dowels would work better but I didn't have them). I used cream cheese frosting between layers and also covered the cake in a thin layer of it before decorating with frosting that is easier to use in decorating. The legs are made from krispy treats and cakes I baked in custard cups then cut.
We found a lego piece that worked great on this and the red "light" is a gumdrop flattened and cut. I wrote Happy Birthday and the boy's names on the back which was difficult to do up and down. My hand was a bit sore at the end but it was worth it and the boys loved the cake! So did I for that matter.
Tank's cake was similar to last year in that he wanted Thomas the Train again. We found his design on Coolest Birthday Cakes and I stuck pretty much to that. This one was two cake batters in the 10 inch round (I think it was that size). One cake was cut in half and stacked. We used milk chocolate rocks for decoration. Our favorite part was the tree. Next time I would make the tunnel black instead and smooth it out a little better before putting the rocks on. This was fun though and easy too and Tank really liked it.