I made this car cake! It’s fully edible too!
Lots more photos of the finished product at the bottom of this post. Read on to find out how I made and decorated the cake.
As you have probably guessed, it was my son’s 3rd birthday recently. Like many little boys, he’s obsessed with anything that has wheels, so I wanted to make him a car-shaped birthday cake. And this is what I came up with. Thanks to my sister for her ideas about the easiest way to go about this and my mum for supervising the car cake decorating (she has many years of birthday cake making experience).
The cake is standard simple sponge mix.
- 8 oz/ 225 g butter or margarine
- 8 oz/ 225 g self-raising flour
- 8 oz/ 225 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 level teaspoons of baking powder
- Grease and line two circular 8 inch/ 20 cm cake tins. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 4.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. You can hand beat or use an electric hand whisk or food processor.
- Add the eggs, beating each one into the butter and sugar mixture until combined.
- Add the flour and baking powder and fold the mixture together gently until smooth.
- Alternatively, if you have a stand mixer, you can put all the ingredients in your bowl and mix!
- Divide the mixture equally between your two cake tins. Bake for about 25 minutes. Keep an eye on the cakes. They should be golden brown and springy to the touch. To make sure they’ve cooked, insert a knife into the middle and check it comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tins, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to go cold.
- You will need buttercream, white fondant icing (aka frosting) and coloured fondant.
- You can make your own fondant or buy it. I bought white and red fondant ready made.
- You can save a bit of money if you just get white fondant and colour some of it using food colouring to the car colour of your choice. I tried this first and it was a disaster! Hence why I bought ready-made red fondant 🙂
- Buttercream is just butter (or margarine) mixed with icing sugar. I go by twice the amount of icing sugar to butter. 6 oz (170 g) of butter and 12 oz (340 g) icing sugar should be more than enough.
- Make you buttercream. You can stir together the icing sugar and butter by hand or use a mixer to get a smooth paste.
- Cut your round cakes in half to get 4 semi-circles. You will need 3 of these semi circles. Spread a layer of buttercream onto each of them.
- Make yourself a template to cut out the car shape. On baking or ordinary paper, draw around the bottom of one of the circular cake tins you used to make the cakes. Cut out this circle and fold it in half. Position your paper semi-circle so the straight edge is at the bottom and the curved edge at the top. Imagine the semi-circle in front of you in VW Beetle. Draw a bonnet and sloping windscreen at the front. Cut this “triangle” shape out of your semi circle.
- Lay your template on each of your 3 semi-circles of cake and cut out a “triangle” of cake. I know the contrast isn’t great in the following picture, but if you look at the cake on the right you can see the baking paper template lying on top.
- Sandwich your three car shaped cakes together.
- Now the fondant covering. Roll out your coloured fondant. Use the same paper template you used for the cakes to cut out two pieces of coloured fondant for the sides of the cake. Use buttercream to stick the fondant to the cake.
- Roll out a a long rectangular piece of fondant to cover the top of the car. I did this in two sections. One section from the back of the car to just below the windscreen. Another section from the bottom of the windscreen, over the bonnet and down the front of the car. Cover the top of the cake with more buttercream to help the fondant stick. Pinch the side pieces of fondant onto the top section.
- Roll out white fondant and cut out shapes for the front and back windscreens, windows and number plates. Stick these to the car using buttercream.
- I used black writing icing to draw on windscreen wipers and write on the number plates (I did the number plates before sticking them to the car cake). I added small pieces of white fondant for car handles and stuck on a certain supermarket’s own version of Oreo’s for wheels. I used yellow smarties for the front and rear lights (I’m sure M&Ms would also work).
- The picture of my son was an afterthought. If I’d had more time I could have printed it onto sugar paper, but in the end it was just ordinary paper. It was the only part of the car cake which wasn’t edible!
- I also used the three “triangle” pieces of sponge I cut out of the original cake semi-circles to hold the candles. I simply covered them in white fondant and using more writing icing to decorate them.
Sorry if I didn’t do a good job of explaining how I made this. If you have any questions, please just ask in the comments below! 🙂