I made this Lightning McQueen Cake for my son’s third birthday. He, like most boys his age, is OBSESSED with the movie Cars and loves anything and everything associated with the movie. I haven’t made a sculpted cake before so I was nervous, the red fondant, the actual sculpting of the shape. There are quite a few tutorials online as to how to make a sculpted cake, especially these Lightning McQueen cakes, so I did some homework and then gave myself a couple of hours to hammer it out.

I set to work with a 9×13 marble cake, carving the general shape of the car based on a model I had (a lightning McQueen bottle of bubble bath) and crumb coating the cake, and then working on the small details. I had to freeze the cake after the crumb coat so the shape would hold.

It took about 6 hours to complete (not including baking the cake). I learned that a marble cake was probably not the best choice, as it was more crumbly, but with a Swiss buttercream crumb coat it held together nicely. Then I topped with red vanilla fondant (which I purchased instead of making from scratch. It is the same brand they use on Cake Boss and it tasted really good. I was happily surprised.

All of the details were made using home made fondant and colored, which took a lot of time (especially the black), but was well worth it and less expensive than buying it pre-made like the red. I only used royal icing on the lettering for the Rust-Eze, but could have also hand painted. I just didn’t have the tools to do that. Maybe next time!

It was a blast to make, pretty intense, but rewarding, especially when my son recognized it from the get go!