Lightning McQueen Birthday cake

So I’m finally getting around to writing up my son’s 4th birthday. A couple of months ago I asked what he wanted for his birthday cake and he decided on Lightning McQueen from Disney’s Cars. I had a look on Pintrest for ideas and decided on a two tier square cake with a carved Lightning Mcqueen as the 2nd tier.

P1030780I used my standard Chocolate Cake Recipe and Vanilla frosting as a crumb coat for the cakes. The base layer was a 9 inch square cake and it took 3 layers to get the height I was after. I originally baked 2 square cakes and a large rectangular cake to use for the car. When I realised I needed 3 layers for the main cake I used most of the rectangular cake for this, meaning I didn’t have a lot of room for mistakes when I made the car from the leftover bits.

To cover the cake board I made up quite a lot of red fondant by kneading red gel colour though white fondant. I made enough to also cover the sides of the square cake and the car.

For the first tier of the cake I used roll out white fondant and then added a check effect to the sides. To make the checks I rolled out a strip of the red fondant the width of the side and then used White flower paste from Renshaw Baking and pre-coloured Black flower paste to make the squares. I used guidelines on my non-stick mat and a ruler to mark out the squares, cutting them with my mini pizza wheel sugarcraft tool . I then attached the squares to the red fondant using edible glue. Once the stip was fully covered I flipped it over onto greaseproof paper and applied edible glue to the back before very carefully lining it up with the sides of the cake. I made two separate strips because I didn’t have enough space to made one long strip.



Next I started on the car:

  • Step one was to use vanilla frosting to join the basic layers together.20130911-162221.jpg
  • Next I used a knife to carefully cut the angles for the windscreen and the spoiler20130911-162233.jpg20130911-162248.jpg
  • Next I cut out the wheel arches and added bits either side of the hood where the headlights go. (Im sure it has a proper name but no idea what), before crumb coating with vanilla frosting and covering the whole thing in some of the red fondant I coloured earlier.
  • I then started colouring flower paste to make the details. The wheels I made from solid black flowerpaste and made a dip in the middle which I covered in red to give the effect of alloys. 20130911-162310.jpg
  • I tried to make him look like he was doing the Cachow pose from the films but I’m not sure it shows. I made him into the version from Cars 2 when he has won the piston cup rather than the Rust-eze version. I used a cocktail stick to scratch out the words PISTON CUP and then went over them with the same cocktail stick dipped in red gel colour.
  • To make the 95 numbers I half kneaded together some orange and yellow paste to make a graded effect before cutting out the numbers with a patchwork cutter. I then reshaped them slightly so they looked like the correct font.
  • Finally I made up some thick water icing and piped World Grand Prix onto the bumper and Lightyear onto the tyres.
  • To make sure the 2nd tier would be supported I cut some lollipop sticks to the height of the bottom tier and pushed them into it where the Lightning McQueen Cake board would sit.
  • To finish the cake I used flower paste painted with metallic and red food paint to make a Cars Badge for the front of the bottom tier.



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  1. Kerrie McGiveron says:

    Wow this looks amazing, you are very talented. I’ll be honest, if I spent a long time folllowing your instructions to the letter, mine would not look anything like yours! Takes a real talent to make something like that, well done you x

  2. jenny paulin says:

    this is fantastic very well done! My MUm and I made a similar looking cake (would be with same theme!) for Burton’s 2nd birthday but i used a mould for the car but i am very impressed that you amde yours from cutting a cake up! i am going to pin this x

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