School Bus Cake

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
SERVES: 12-16
YIELD: 12-16


  • 1
    (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix (or adjust water, oil and eggs for cake mix you are using)
  • 1 13
    cups water
  • 12
    cup vegetable oil
  • 1
    cup butter, softened
  • 14
    cup milk
  • 1
    teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 14
    teaspoon salt
  • 2
    teaspoons black gel food coloring (or black paste coloring)
  • 12 - 34
    teaspoon yellow liquid food coloring (or yellow paste coloring)
  • 2
    cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, cut in half
  • 2
    yellow gumdrops
  • 6
    red gumdrops


  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions using oil, water and eggs.
  • Pour batter into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place cakes end to end on a 22-in. x 8-in. covered board.
  • Level if needed.
  • From the top of one end, form the front of the bus by cutting out a section 1 inches deep and 3 inches long (Save the removed piece for another use.)
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter and shortening until fluffy.
  • Add 6 cups confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth.
  • Add enough remaining confectioners' sugar until desired consistency is reached.
  • Tint 3/4 cup frosting with black food coloring; set aside.
  • Tint remaining frosting yellow.
  • Frost top and sides of cake with yellow frosting.
  • Frost cut edge of cookies with yellow frosting to form wheel wells; place two cookie halves on each side of bus.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a #5 round tip.
  • Fill the bag with black frosting.
  • Outline windows on both sides of bus; pipe strips under windows.
  • Pipe windshield and back window; fill in with black frosting.
  • Pipe lines on front of grille.
  • Place yellow gumdrops on front of bus for headlights; place red gumdrops on front and back for lights.