|Yellow cake mix||18 1/4 Ounce (Two|
|Creamy white frosting mix/Vanilla frosting||2 cans of 1|
|Food color||2 Drop (Assorted)|
|Unsweetened cocoa||2 Tablespoon|
|Round cookies||8 (For Wheels)|
|White lifesavers||2 (1 Package)|
|Gumdrops||6 (Red Variety)|
|Cookies||8 (Animal Cookies)|
1 Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan and lightly dust with flour.
2 As per the package directions, prepare and bake the cake mix reserving the empty cake-box.
3 Invert the cake on wire rack to cool completely.
4 Meanwhile, cut off the top and bottom ends of the cake-mix box.
5 Cut the box in half crosswise.
6 On a serving tray, with short sides of box touching, place the two pieces of box together.
7 Trim the boxes to the width of cake,about 4 inches.
8 Place a spool inside each end of each box half for support, this forms a platform for cake.
9 If using frosting mix, prepare as package label directs.
10 Use the vanilla frosting directly from the can.
11 Reserve 3/4 cup and set aside.
12 Color the remaining frosting in bright yellow.
13 Cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise to make two pieces of cake.
14 Place one piece, flat side up, on the box.
15 Frost with 1/2 cup yellow frosting.
16 Place the remaining piece of cake, flat side down, on top of first layer.
17 Using a sharp knife, trim off the top front and back corners and edges to give a round, sloping appearance to the front and back of bus.
18 With a thin layer of yellow frosting, frost the entire cake to incorporate crumbs from the cut surfaces of cake.
19 Refrost the cake and front and back sides of the cake-mix box, using all the remaining yellow frosting.
20 In a bowl, mix cocoa with 1/3 cup reserved white frosting.
21 Frost the cookie wheels.
22 Place a white Life Saver in the center of each wheel and position wheels against both sides of bus.
23 Put the remaining chocolate frosting in a small pastry bag with a round writing tip.
24 Write "ANIMAL EXPRESS" on top of the bus.
25 Complete the bus, outlining four windows on each side of bus, front window, front grillwork and rear window.
26 Place two red gumdrops on front of the bus, for headlights, and four on rear of the bus, for blinkers.
27 With the remaining white frosting, tint 1 tablespoon gray, 1 tablespoon orange, 1 tablespoon light brown, 1 tablespoon dark brown, 1 teaspoon pink and leave 1 tablespoon white.
28 Frost and decorate the animal cookies as per your liking and imagination.
29 Use a small paintbrush dipped in black food coloring, to complete the features on animals' faces.
30 Position the animal cookies in bus windows, with a dab of frosting.
31 This is an excellent treat for your little ones.