Monday, January 10, 2011

Mission: Birthday Cake

My little man turned three and he wanted a Lightening McQueen cake. He also told me he wanted chocolate cherry cake. This is not a common flavor around here (though I do love it!) so I was a bit surprised. He doesn't usually eat chocolate cake so when I pressed him he wanted yellow cake, but also chocolate and cherries.

I have made a habit of making elaborate cakes for my family, particularly my kids. So my oldest had high expectations. To pull the elements together, I decided on 2 ten inch rounds of yellow cake. I use a mix. Yeah, yeah. I've made cake from scratch before but I feel the good people at Hines, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury have done a fabulous job with basic cake mix -- and it saves time and effort. I made rounds because I thought it would be easier to deal with the filling and because I could use the shape as the racetrack.

On the bottom layer, I cut out small well in the center and filled it with cherry pie filling. (Look at me go with all these pre-made products! Sandra Lee would be so proud.)Oh, just use a serrated knife. I cut a thin layer of cake off the bit I had removed and replaced it over the cherries so it would be easier to frost with my chocolate frosting. I stacked the top layer of cake and frosted with chocolate. Here you can see the inside, not the prettiest image, I know.

I knew I wanted a track around the edge with a grassy center field. I also decided to parody the Cars logo and put my son's name in place of Cars. I used a toothpick to draw all the elements in place before I started adding other colors. If I messed up with the toothpick I could just smooth the frosting out and try again.

I divided my white frosting and colored some green for grass, some red for the logo, and added edible shimmer to some for the metallic parts of the logo. (They do make gray and silver food colors, but I was lazy, I used what I had on hand. Feel free to plan ahead better than me.)I outlined my sections with a small piping tip and then filled in. I used a small star tip for the grass.

And then, the easiest part: I dug out his own toy cars and placed them on the cake! I thought the cake was fun and one of my easier ideas.And, most importantly, Little Man was happy.

P.S. the art table/storage wasn't finished this weekend. I told you! :)


  1. You did an awesome job on the cake! I am terrible at theme cakes. I talked my daughter into an ice cream sundae bar this year! ha! i am brilliant.

  2. Thanks! I have fun doing cakes as long as it's just every once in awhile. The ice cream sundae bar IS brilliant...I just may have to steal that idea sometime!


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