Camper Cake: VIDEO, Step-By-Step Instructions For DIY RV Cake

Forget those happy camper cake toppers, make an awesome 3D camper cake instead! People don’t need to be professional cake decorators to make an adorable retro trailer camp theme cake.

Making a homemade cake is so thoughtful. It’s one of my absolute favorite DIY Camping Gifts to make and give. Probably because my sister loved it so much when I surprised her with one for her retirement! Also, you don’t have to worry about placing custom orders or delivery times like you do when purchasing from a bakery.

DIY Camper Cake by CampingForFoodies features a homemade cake decorated with white buttercream frosting. The cake is standing upright and made to look like a retro RV trailer with a blue door, window with window box filled with orange flowers, a pink strip around the body of the camper and blue, orange and green flags hanging around the outside of the roof.
DIY Camper Cake by CampingForFoodies

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DIY Camper Cake VIDEO

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How To Make A Camper Cake

This 3D cake’s design is so simple, anyone with beginner cake decorating talent can make this fun camping themed cake. We’re going to show you how to make one happy camper cake without using fondant, wood cake toppers or expensive equipment.

Step 1. Make the cakes. Bake or purchase two 8-inch round cakes. Let them completely cool before decorating them. If the cakes are puffed-up in the center, use a serrated knife to trim them so they sit flat against each other when they are stacked.

Step 2. Make the frosting. You’ll be creaming butter then adding powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk to make the buttercream frosting thick enough to pipe through a pastry bag.

Step 3. Color the frosting. The body of the camper will be white. You’ll be choosing the color scheme for the trailer. My design requires food coloring to make pink, green, blue and orange colored frosting.

Step 4. Decorate the cake.

It is helpful to have a camper drawing or object you can refer to as you decorate. I used my finished Retro Camper Rock Painting Camping Activity.

Rock Painting Camping Activity by CampingForFoodies features a brightly colored painted rock craft project that looks like a little cream and pink retro camper decorated with blue, orange, purple and yellow flags and orange and purple flowers in a window box under the trailer’s window the orange door welcomes visitors and round river rocks are piled in the background with text over the image that reads rock painting camping activity.

Piping Bags vs Prepared Icing Pouches

There are a couple of options to apply the colored frosting to your cake. I like using my own buttercream frosting in pastry bags.

But, if you want to make it really simple, you can use pouches that have prepared, pre-colored icing. The pouches usually come with a star and round tip. For this option you only have to make the buttercream (white) frosting that covers the entire cake. Then, use the pouches to decorate the colored sections.

 Wilton 12-Inch Disposable Cake Decorating Pastry Bags, Decorating Icing Tips, 12-Piece SetWilton 12-Inch Disposable Cake Decorating Pastry Bags, Decorating Icing Tips, 12-Piece Set Wilton Rainbow Icing Pouch Cake Decorating Set, 7-Piece SetWilton Rainbow Icing Pouch Cake Decorating Set, 7-Piece Set

 

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Decorating Steps

Steps 1-4

Camper Cake Steps 1-4 by CampingForFoodies features how to frost two 8 inch round cakes for layering and decorating.
Camper Cake Steps 1-4 by CampingForFoodies

#1 Place the first cake, bottom side down, on a piece of parchment paper in the center of a large cutting board or sturdy serving tray. Frost the sides with a thin crumb coat layer of white frosting. Frost the top of the cake with a generous layer of white frosting that will become the middle layer of the cake.

  • Crumb Coat Purpose: To frost the cake with a thin layer of icing to prevent the cake from drying out and to “glue down” the crumbs to stop them from spreading into the final frosting layer.

#2 Place second cake on top of the first one, bottom side up.

#3 Crumb coat frost the sides and top with a thin crumb layer of white frosting.

#4 Slice about 1/4 of the layered cake off one side.


Steps 5-8

Camper Cake Steps 5-8 by CampingForFoodies features how to cut the cake into the shape of a retro camper, stand it upright and frost all sides in advance of decorating it.
Camper Cake Steps 5-8 by CampingForFoodies

#5 Discard the piece of cake you cut (well, you’ll actually eat it as leftovers for the baker LOL). This will create the flat bottom of the trailer when you erect it to stand upright.

#6 Carefully tip the cake upright so it is standing on its flat side.

#7 The cake should be able to stand on its own. If it can’t, you may need to do extra trimming to make it sturdy enough to stand.

#8 Add a thin crumb layer of frosting to the last side of the cake (formerly the bottom) that is now exposed and will become one side of the camper.


Steps 9-12

Camper Cake Steps 9-12 by CampingForFoodies features how to frost the 3D camper cake and pipe straight lines to create the trailer's paint scheme.
Camper Cake Steps 9-12 by CampingForFoodies

#9 Now, frost the entire cake with white frosting to cover the crumb coat.

#10 Using a long sharp knife, gently push the knife into the frosting to form a line around the bottom (about 1/4 up) of the entire camper. This will define a straight line that separates the top and bottom of the trailer for the different colored frosting used to decorate it.

#11 Using the trailer body color (pink) frosting, pipe straight lines across the camper starting at the defined knife line.

#12 Work your way down to the bottom of the camper with the trailer body color on all 4 sides of the cake.

DIY Camp Theme Cake by CampingForFoodies features a homemade cake decorated with white buttercream frosting. The cake is standing upright and made to look like a retro RV trailer with a blue tire and window with window box filled with orange flowers, a pink strip around the body of the camper and blue, orange and green flags hanging around the outside of the roof. The trailer is sitting on green icing to look like grass. Text over the image reads DIY Camper Cake.
Back Side Of DIY Camp Theme Cake by CampingForFoodies

Steps 13-16

Camper Cake Steps 13-16 by CampingForFoodies features how to outline the camper's door, windows and tires, and, create flowers and leaves in the window boxes.
Camper Cake Steps 13-16 by CampingForFoodies

#13 Using the door color (blue) frosting, pipe circles to make the tire and outline the door and windows.

#14 Using the grass (green) frosting, pipe the grass.

#15 Using the grass (green) frosting, pipe the leaves at the bottom of the windows to create the flower boxes.

#16 Using the flower (orange) frosting, pipe small dots in the leaves to create the flowers in the flower boxes.


Steps 17-20

Camper Cake Steps 17-20 by CampingForFoodies features how to fill in the outline of the door, add a doorknob and string for the flags.
Camper Cake Steps 17-20 by CampingForFoodies

#17 Using the door color (blue) frosting, pipe lines to fill in the door, leaving the window area open and white frosting exposed.

#18 Using the flower (orange) frosting, pipe a small dot to create the doorknob.

#19 Use a knife to spread white frosting over any areas (especially the edges on top of the trailer) that have the cake showing through the frosting.

#20 Using the trailer body color (pink) frosting, pipe a circle around the top of the camper to create the string for the flags.


Steps 21-24

Final Camper Cake Steps 21-24 by CampingForFoodies features how to decorate the cake with flags, finishing touches on the windows and add a personalized sentiment that fits the celebration.
Final Camper Cake Steps 21-24 by CampingForFoodies

#21 Using the green, blue and orange frosting, create triangle shaped flags to hang from the string around the entire camper.

#22 Pipe more green frosting to fill in the grass.

#23 Pipe a blue horizontal line across the middle of the windows to create the horizontal frame.

#24 Add sentiments to the cake. Cakes can be used to celebrate all sorts of special occasions like:

  • Retirements
  • Birthdays
  • RV housewarmings
  • Christmas
  • Weddings

The cake you see in my video is a retirement cake I made for my sister who will be doing a lot of RV traveling across the United States with her husband. I included my sentiment on a piece of paper that I displayed on the serving tray next to the cake. It read:

HAPPY RETIREMENT JANINE!
May the only rocky roads you find be in a scoop of ice cream.
Happy Camper (with a little retro trailer graphic)
Enjoy the journey! XO

Homemade 3D Camping Themed Cake by CampingForFoodies features a homemade cake decorated like a retro RV with a pink, blue, green and orange color scheme with a sentiment note alongside the cake that reads: happy retirement Janine! May the only rocky roads you find be in a scoop of ice cream. Happy camper, enjoy the journey! xo

Storage

I like to deliver my decorated cakes right away. If I can’t do that, I keep the cake covered with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to deliver it.


Cake Recipes We Make At The Campsite

This is one of my make ahead camping meals I fully prepare at home in my kitchen.

  • We have tons of camping desserts we make right at the campsite. Here are a few of those cakes:

Our Dutch Oven Apple Dump Cake is the easiest cake ever. It is certainly not gourmet but it will satisfy your sweet tooth!

This Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake is always being requested by our family members on camp trips!

These easy mini Dutch Oven Chocolate Lava Cakes are individual servings that taste so good, you’ll think you’re eating in a 5-star restaurant!

Every morning I make this Dutch Oven Coffee Cake I know I’m going to see smiling faces looking back at me.

My from-scratch Dutch Oven Carrot Cake is a little extra effort but sooooo worth it! This moist cake is topped with a yummy cream cheese frosting. And, I’ve made it easy enough to prepare, bake and serve right at your campsite!

Use my camping menu planner to stay organized when planning meals for your next trip. It’s FREE and you’ll get it delivered instantly to your inbox!

Camping Menu Template Meal Planner Free Printable by CampingForFoodies features a collage of free camping printables including a camping menu planner template, a campfire stew recipe card and a healthy no cook camping salad with text over the image that reads free camping menu template, tips and recipe ideas.

Print This Recipe

DIY Camper Cake by CampingForFoodies features a homemade cake decorated with white buttercream frosting. The cake is standing upright and made to look like a retro RV trailer with a blue door, window with window box filled with orange flowers, a pink strip around the body of the camper and blue, orange and green flags hanging around the outside of the roof.

DIY Camper Cake

Camping For Foodies Dessert Camping Recipes: This DIY Camper Cake makes fun gifts for special camping occasions.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert Camping Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling & Decorating Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 272kcal
Author: Kim Hanna

Equipment

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) boxed cake mix prepared according to package directions to make two 8-inch round cakes (usually requires the addition of water, eggs and vegetable oil)

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk plus more if necessary for thinning
  • 4 different colors of food coloring

Instructions

Make The Cakes

  • Bake two 8-inch round cakes according to package directions. (If you have a favorite recipe, you can use it rather than a boxed cake as long as it goes well with buttercream frosting.)
  • Remove from oven and completely cool on wire racks.

Make The Frosting

  • In large bowl, cream butter with electric mixer.
  • Gradually beat the confectioners’ sugar into the butter until it is fully incorporated. (This will be relatively thick frosting but it needs to be thin enough to pipe through a pastry bag. So, after the first 3 cups of sugar, go slow, you may not need the entire 4th cup).
  • Beat in vanilla extract.
  • Add milk and beat for few more minutes. (If frosting becomes too thick, add more milk, a little at a time, to reach your desired consistency.)

Color The Frosting

  • Separate the frosting for the different colors you choose for your camper’s décor.
    Bowl 1: Spoon 1/2 of the frosting into the first bowl, it will remain white.
  • The remaining frosting will be divided into the rest of the bowls to be colored with food coloring.
    Bowl 2: Spoon 1/2 of the remaining frosting into the second bowl that will be used to color the body of the camper and string for the flags (I used a light pink). Mix frosting with food coloring and spoon into piping bag (use star tip, if desired).
  • The remaining frosting will be equally divided into the final three bowls to make the ground, door, windows, flowers, leaves, door knob and flags.
    Bowl 3: Spoon 1/3 of the remaining frosting into bowl three to color the grass, leaves in flower boxes and some of the flags (I used a light green). Mix frosting with food coloring and spoon into piping bag (use round tip, if desired).
    Bowl 4: Spoon 1/3 of the remaining frosting into bowl four to color the door, windows, tire and some of the flags (I used a light blue). Mix frosting with food coloring and spoon into piping bag (use round tip, if desired).
    Bowl 5: Spoon 1/3 of the remaining frosting into bowl five to color the doorknob, flowers in the flower boxes and some of the flags (I used a light orange). Mix frosting with food coloring and spoon into piping bag (use leaf tip, if desired).

Decorate The Cake

  • It is helpful to have a camper drawing or object you can refer to as you decorate. I used my finished Retro Camper Rock Painting Camping Activity as my inspiration for this cake design.
    Rock Painting Camping Activity by CampingForFoodies features a brightly colored painted rock craft project that looks like a little cream and pink retro camper decorated with blue, orange, purple and yellow flags and orange and purple flowers in a window box under the trailer’s window the orange door welcomes visitors and round river rocks are piled in the background with text over the image that reads rock painting camping activity.
  • If the cakes are puffed-up in the center, use a serrated knife to trim them off so they sit flat against each other when they are stacked.
  • Place the first cake, bottom side down, on a piece of parchment paper in the center of a large cutting board or sturdy serving tray.
  • Frost the sides with a thin crumb coat layer of white frosting. (see * Note)
  • Frost the top of the cake with a generous layer of white frosting that will become the middle layer of the cake.
  • Place the second cake, upside down, on top of the first cake. You want the bottom of the second cake facing upwards to give you the flattest surface for frosting.
  • Crumb coat frost the sides and top with a thin crumb layer of white frosting.
  • Slice off about 1/4 of the layered cake from one side and discard (well, you’ll actually eat it as leftovers for the baker LOL). This will create the flat bottom of the trailer when you erect it to stand upright.
  • Carefully tip the cake upright so it is standing on its flat side.
  • Add a thin crumb layer of frosting to the last side of the cake (formerly the bottom) that is now exposed and will become one side of the camper.
  • Now, frost the entire cake with white frosting to cover the crumb coat.
  • Using a long sharp knife, gently push the knife into the frosting to form a line around the bottom (about 1/4 up) of the entire camper. This will define a straight line that separates the top and bottom of the trailer for the different colored frosting used to decorate it.
  • Using the trailer body color (pink) frosting, pipe straight lines across the camper starting at the defined knife line and working your way down to the bottom of the camper.
  • Using the door color (blue) frosting, pipe circles to make the tire and outline the door and windows.
  • Using the grass (green) frosting, pipe the grass and leaves at the bottom of the windows to create the flower boxes.
  • Using the flower (orange) frosting, pipe small dots in the leaves to create the flowers in the flower boxes.
  • Using the door color (blue) frosting, pipe lines to fill in the door, leaving the window area open and white frosting exposed.
  • Using the flower (orange) frosting, pipe a small dot to create the doorknob.
  • Use a knife to spread white frosting over any areas (especially the edges on top of the trailer) that have the cake showing through the frosting.
  • Using the trailer body color (pink) frosting, pipe a circle around the top of the camper to create the string for the flags.
  • Using the green, blue and orange frosting, create triangle shaped flags to hang from the string around the entire camper.
  • Pipe more green frosting to fill in the grass.
  • Pipe a blue horizontal line across the middle of the windows to create the horizontal frame.

Storage

  • Keep cake covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until you are ready to deliver it.

Add Sentiments To The Cake

  • There are so many camping cakes ideas and sentiments you can add with a hand-written note or something printed from a simple text document. (see ** Note)

Notes

*NOTE: Crumb Coat Purpose: To frost the cake with a thin layer of icing to prevent the cake from drying out and to “glue down” the crumbs to stop them from spreading into the final frosting layer.
**NOTE: Cute caravans cakes can be used to celebrate all sorts of special occasions like:
  • Retirement cake
  • Glamping birthday cake
  • RV housewarming cake
  • Christmas cake
  • Wedding cake
The cake you see in my video is a retirement cake I made for my sister who will be doing a lot of RV traveling across the United States with her husband. I included my sentiment on a piece of paper that I displayed on the serving tray next to the cake. It read:
HAPPY RETIREMENT JANINE!
May the only rocky roads you find be in a scoop of ice cream.
Happy Camper (with a little retro trailer graphic)
Enjoy the journey! XO
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0.002g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 288IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.04mg

Make Every Camp Meal A Delicious One

There is no reason you can’t eat fantastic food out in the wild. Try something new on your next trip.

If you’re looking for awesome ideas for yummy camping food, you’re in the right place! Here’s our entire camping recipes list.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best cake idea ever! So cute and thoughtful. Absolutely love it!

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Thanks Janine! I love it too!