How to make a birthday car cake

Updated March 23, 2017

Cakes come in all different flavours, shapes and sizes and can be decorated to suit the interest of any guest of honour. Children and adults with a penchant for cars may appreciate the personal creativity invested in preparing a homemade birthday cake shaped as a 3D car. These cakes are simple to make, and with a little bit of time and effort, you can present the guest of honour with a birthday cake centrepiece.

Prepare a store bought cake mix and pour it into a 75 mm (3 inch) tall, 280 by 355 mm (11 inch by 14 inch) oval baking pan. Leave enough of the cake batter in the bowl to make four small cupcakes and pour that into the cupcake baking pan. Bake the cake and cupcakes according to the instructions on the box. Remove the cake and cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for three to four hours.

Use a large serrated knife to cut two inches off of each long side of the cake to make the cake thinner, not shorter. Spread some butter cream icing onto the flat end of the pieces that were cut from the cake. Place the pieces on top of the cake to become the car's roof.

Carve out circles in the cake to insert the wheels in later. Use a circle cookie cutter to carve out the indents by pressing it approximately 18 mm (3/4 inch) into the cake, and removing the cake within the circle. Repeat this step for the other three wheels.

Spread a thick layer of butter cream icing on the entire cake. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes to cool. Take the cake out and spread another layer of icing on the cake. Smooth out the icing with an icing or cake spatula. You can also use a regular metal spatula if you do not have an icing spatula.

Measure the circumference of the circle cookie cutter used to remove cake for the wheels. Roll out a sheet of black coloured fondant to a thickness of 12 mm (1/2 inch). Cut out four, 25 mm (1 inch) wide strips that are equal in length to the circumference of the cookie cutters. Roll a small sheet of grey coloured fondant to a thickness of 6 mm (1/4 inch) and use the cookie cutter to cut out four circles.

Roll out a sheet of white fondant to a thickness of 6 mm (1/4 inch) and cut out the car cake's windshield and headlights and place them on the cake.

Cut off the muffin-top of the cupcakes, spread a thin layer of butter cream icing on one circular front of each cupcake and cover the icing with the grey fondant circles. Slightly dampen the black fondant strips and wrap them around the cupcakes. Allow the fondant tires to dry for 24 hours then insert the wheels into the holes made in the cake.

Things You'll Need

  • Cake mix
  • 280 by 355 mm (11 by 14 inch) oval cake pan
  • Cupcake pan
  • Knife
  • Butter cream icing
  • Circle cookie cutter
  • Icing spatula
  • Black fondant
  • Grey fondant
  • White fondant
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About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.