This 3D Cars 4th birthday cake was the perfect match for my Wilton 3D cake pan that I found at a garage sale!

I was asked to make a birthday cake for a co-worker’s soon to be 4 year old.  He loves the Cars movies, so it was a great opportunity to use my garage sale find.  I knew I wanted to use fondant for the cake for that ultra smooth car look, so I baked the cake (Pillsbury traditional vanilla cake mix), and then had it cool in the fridge.

I bake as a hobby and work full time, so usually I do the cakes in steps/days.

3D Cars 4th Birthday Cake Directions


Day 1

  • I made the cake.

Day 2

  • I made my go-to frosting, swiss meringue buttercream, and left it white.
  • I crumb coated the cake and put it in the fridge overnight.

Day 3

  • I did the fondant work.
  • I already had fondant made. I used Michelle Foster’s fondant recipe that I found on YouTube.  I tinted it red with the Wilton no-taste red color.
  • Then I tinted some other colors (orange, yellow, and black, and left a little bit white, and a little bit blue).
  • I rolled out the red, and trimmed it to the cake shape.
  • I had frozen cupcakes left over from other projects, so I used those for the wheels. There is a youtube video that inspired me. I think I just searched “Cars Cakes” and one came up.
  • The cupcakes wheels were a bit difficult to make, I had to crumb coat the cupcakes all around, then put them in the freezer for a bit, and cut out black circles of fondant and a strip of fondant to go around the cupcake.
  • I had to spray the frozen, frosted cupcakes with water in a spray bottle for the fondant to stick to it, and attach it to the cake with toothpicks.
  • I then painted some of the details with food color and a little vanilla extract.
  • To finish it off, I used the Wilton grass tip with leftover frosting and made grass.
  • I added graham cracker crumbs to the wheels and ground.

The little boy LOVED his Cars birthday cake!