Friday, August 9, 2013

How to create a Lightning McQueen cake...Ka-Chow!!

Last weekend, my nephew turned 3! He seems so big now, and his third birthday has come around so quickly. When Cami was born, my sister declared that I'd be in charge of making all of his birthday cakes...and it's my absolute pleasure. So far I've made him a baby turtle cake (my first outing with fondant), and a Curious George cake. This year, it's all about Lightning McQueen, so of course...I couldn't disappoint him! The cake was such a hit with everyone at his party, I wanted to share it with you too. Here's how...
To make your own Lightning McQueen cake, you will need:
  • A slab of cake big enough to fit an A3 sheet of paper (that's 29.7cm x 42cm, or 11.7in x 16.5in); bake yourself or outsource to your local bakery
  • Cake board or platter to suit
  • Printed colouring in drawing of Lightning McQueen
  • Food colouring - to make red, yellow, blue, and black (see cheat below)
  • 2 x tubs of frosting - I use Betty Crocker's vanilla
  • Licorice for trim, or Queen's black writing icing
  • Bowl of boiling water
  • Utensils such as butter knives etc.
Ladies and Gentlemen...start your engines! Sorry, let's get started...

Step 1: Bake your cake, or contact your local bakery and have them bake a slab cake for you. Let's face it...we're all busy, and sometimes we have to cut corners. That is more than okay! In this instance, I could have baked, or I could have decorated...I didn't have time for both. Freeze your cake so that it's easier to trim into shape.

Step 2: Search for a Lightning McQueen colouring page online. I find the images that have the least detail, are the easiest to replicate. Save the image, and print on A3 paper.

Step 3: Trim your cake into the shape of Lightning McQueen. To do this, cut around the outside of your image, place it on your cake, and cut around the image using a sharp, serrated knife.
This is where things start to get tricky, but be patient...

Step 4: Start with your red icing. Colour a tub of frosting red...the reddest Lightning McQueen red you can possibly make. Then, trim out the pieces on your colouring in sheet that aren't red, and place them in position on your cake. Ice your entire cake in red icing, and them gently remove the pieces of paper underneath. You will then be left with a cake looking like this...
Step 5: Colour in the gaps to match Lightning McQueen. Fill in the windscreen, side window, and mouth in white. Add blue eyes, and yellow detail such as the side of his headlights, flames, and no. 95. The last pieces to ice are the wheels in black. To make black icing, you can either purchase black food colouring, or mix red, blue, and yellow food colouring together to make black.

Here's the cheat. For the blue and yellow, you can either use icing, or try using Queen's writing icing in blue and yellow. The writing icings make the job so much easier! Simply squeeze into place and then smooth out with a warm knife.

Step 6: Add the detail. Lastly, take your black writing icing, and outline all of the features on Lightning McQueen. If you don't have a steady hand, you could create the character using thin licorice strips. The choice is yours. It's the black outline that really brings your cake to life.

Step 7: Share your creation! Instagram the proverbial out of your should be proud of yourself. Add fancy filters and insta doodles to make your photo rock, and blow people's minds with how awesome you are! lol.
Step 8: Sit back and enjoy watching your little one celebrate their birthday with one awesome birthday cake! In Cami's words..."That's a cool car!!".
Have fun creating your Lightning McQueen cake! If you make one, share it with me here on this post.

btw - if you're after the official Lightning McQueen font for your party invitations, use Rapier font.

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