For my son’s fourth birthday he wanted a Lighting McQueen cake. After baking a couple Betty Crocker box cake mixes in two 9×11 pans, I allowed them to cool, wrapped them in  plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, I was able to cut, stack and carve them into the car shape. I did cut a cake board to match the shape of the car so I could build just the car part then stack it on top of the other cake with support dowels. I covered the cake in butter cream icing and inserted graham-crackers for the spoiler (DO NOT DO THIS!  If I had to do it over again I would use chocolate covered graham-crackers or similar cookies as the graham-crackers stared absorbing the oil from the icing and ending up having to brace the spoiler so it wouldn’t fall off!), then I covered the whole thing with red fondant.

I make my own marshmallow fondant so I can control the colors and taste. For this cake I sketched and cut out paper templates of the headlights, windows, lightning bolts, numbers, hubcaps, and “Rusteeze” emblem so I could use it as a fondant pattern. The “Rusteeze” emblem is fudge mixed with some dry milk that I rolled between waxed paper and the writing is peanut butter (the idea came from Kay who writes a blog called Kitchen Scrapbook). The wheels are fondant over mini donuts.  I just piped on some grey butter cream to trace the windshield and numbers. For the eyes I just painted them on using a small paint brush and watered down icing gel.

My son loved it!  He got a huge grin on his face when he came home as saw what I had made for him. After his birthday party was over I asked him, “What was the favorite part of your birthday?”  He said, “the back”.  The back?!  Upon further questioning I figured out that his piece of the cake was the spoiler! Eating his piece of cake was the favorite part of his birthday!  A few MONTHS later, as we were driving, out of the blue he said, “Mommy, thank you for making me my Lightning McQueen cake.”…So worth the effort!