Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Allow me to introduce: Lightning McQueen.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to make a Lightning McQueen themed cake. I really wanted to do something that no one else had done before (according to Google images), but sadly ran out of time to design something extraordinary, so stuck with Lightning McQueen himself (crazy, I know). My local cake shop had two car tins to choose from. One was Lightning McQueen (yay, kinda, but it was a side view of him, and I didn't want a side view), so I went with the other tin - which was a VW bug shaped car. I could work with that, because I had already visualised how the cake would look.

While the chocolate cake was baking, I made some decorations for the cake board including orange traffic cones, green 'grass', and a road...

The chocolate cake was baked, and I had some creative carving to do:

Notice the road on the cake board in the background!?

The carving was done, the cake was as Lightning McQueen shaped as it was going to get, and buttercream icing was spread all over the car, ready to be covered with red fondant... Until I forgot that I needed a layer of chocolate ganache in the middle... Damn. With the help and skills of my beloved husband, though, we halved and separated the car to add the ganache, and then re-attached the top half, and I smoothed the chocolate buttercream over the car again.

Now I could proceed to the next step - fondant!

The red was smoothed all over and trimmed around the bottom. Then (again, with the help and mad skills of my husband), we transferred the car from the board I was using to carve etc, to the actual cake board, where the road was awaiting something to drive on it.

Black circles made pretty simple wheels.

I added McQueen's eyes (copied from the picture I still had loaded), hub caps, a mouth, and headlights. It was midnight by that stage, and I needed to get some sleep so that I could be awake enough to finish him in the morning... I sent this next photo to the mother of the birthday boy, so she could see how it was looking and where I was up to:

I went to bed, dreaming of animated race cars...

The next morning was when the real fun began!

Apart from feeling like I was constantly travelling back and forth from my computer, checking to see which part of Lightning McQueen looked like what, and then forgetting by the time I got back to the cake, repeating the process, until I took pen to paper and drew the silly symbols and shapes... I really enjoyed creating this cake!

The spoiler was made by cutting red fondant, and poking wires through it and into the cake. I added orange numbers to the roof of the car, a brown circle to the hood (which looks a bit out of place until later), and lightning to the sides.

After looking at the cake now, and going back and forth from the computer (yes, still), the lightnings weren't quite right, so I added a couple of extra triangles onto their ends to make them longer...

Yes, that looks better! Also added to the cake board were the traffic cones and grass.

My husband, who so desperately wanted to act like he was helping, got some of the rolled out white and yellow fondant, and took a knife to it. He cleverly managed to cut a few straight lines to make rectangles into the road markings and the rear window.

Wow, I was so proud of him and his creative streak that I had no idea existed beyond music.

The final touch was adding yellow royal icing to the brown circle on the hood and bumper, with the oil brand logo Rust-eze:

I wanted to add more highlights to the car, like outlining McQueen's eyes, and rear window... And even though I knew that once I started that, I'd have to outline everything and I would probably regret even starting, my husband pried the icing tube out of my hand and forced me to stop because "it looks great already; there's no need to add anything else."

I sighed an "okaaay" and the cake was done.

Happy birthday Saarim! Ka-Chow!

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