start your engines!

My baby turned three yesterday…not so much of a baby anymore. Where does time fly? We’re having his party today and it’s Cars themed, as per his request. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he promptly declared he wanted a “Mack & Lightning Cake”… Guess what, kid? Mack is an 18-wheeler truck. Sadly, that ain’t happening.

I did, however, decide I would attempt to make a Lightning McQueen cake. I figure I’d made a Mater cake a few years ago.

How hard could a race car be? The answer? Pretty hard. But I’m absolutely amazed by the results. Rather proud, actually. I’ve patted myself on the shoulder quite a few times, I’ll admit!

A few friends have asked me how I built the cake, so I figured I’d share it here.

First, I baked two 9 x 13 cakes. This makes a lot of cake. I cheated, and used boxed cake to which I added 1 pack of instant chocolate pudding and 1 extra egg. This apparently creates a firmer cake, closer to a pound cake, that holds its shape and carves more easily. I do usually try and bake my cakes from scratch but all three boys got the flu over the past 10 days and I was a bit too busy to worry about from-scratch cakes.

I froze the cakes so that they would be easier to carve. You’d probably want to freeze them overnight, mine were in the freezer for almost a week.

I removed the cakes from the freezer, put a layer of vanilla buttercream and stacked other cake on top.

Then, I borrowed one of my kid’s die-cast Lightning McQueen’s and went to work.

I carved the outline of the cake (think aerial view) of the car. Then, I used a picture of the character’s profile I grabbed in on of the kids’ books and did my best to match it.

I used the scraps I had just trimmed off to build the top of the car as well as the spoiler. I used a boatload of buttercream to hold everything in place. I used two toothpicks to hold the spoiler up as it kept toppling over.


I gave the whole cake a thick crumb coat…
I ran out of icing and some sections are thinner than I would have liked.

Then I covered it all with red marshmallow fondant. I hate fondant. Hate, hate, hate it. I can never seem to make it right. But, I like how it looks, so I put up with it. My best friend assures me I’ll get the hang of it soon. I’m not sure I believe her. ;)

I then cut out all the decorations using this template I found online. I did have to make some adjustments and make some of the pieces smaller, but it was very, very helpful.   I did just trace and carve out the letters and numbers myself though. This would explain why they are a little sloppy.



It was fun but a lot of work. Including making the cake, buttercream, fondant and decorating it all, it probably took me about 4 and a half hours. I enjoyed doing it, but probably wouldn’t undertake the task for someone who isn’t related to me. ;)




Filed under Recipes

5 responses to “start your engines!

  1. That is some impressive undertaking! You get Mom-of-the-Year award!

  2. Molly

    Wow that is really impressive

  3. RnR

    I am still SO impressed with this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s