3D Lightning McQueen Cake

I made this 3D Lightning McQueen Cake for a double birthday celebration of 2 brothers. I have made 3D car cake once before, but that was using a shaped cake pan (you can read all about it here). This was my first time ever making a carved 3D car cake and I must say, I was quite happy with the way the cake turned out for a first timer.

3D Lightning McQueen Cake

This was not a very large cake. The whole car was carved out of 2 rectangle cakes measuring 6 inches by 10 inches that were approximately 2 inches high. And to match the theme of the cake, I decorated the cake board to look like a road where the cake was placed and the sides decorated in black and white square checks.

Overall, the cake did not take very long to decorate. Though this was a carved cake, the carvings were not very complicated, and I could finish decorating the whole cake in a matter of 2 to 3 hours.

3D Lightning McQueen Cake - Decorating Guide

These were the main supplies I used to make this cake:

  • Cake – I used 2 rectangle cakes measuring 6 inches by 10 inches and each cake was about 2 inches high. I used my chocolate cake recipe to bake the cakes.
  • Buttercream – I used chocolate buttercream to fill sandwich the carved cake pieces as well as to crumb coat the carved car cake before covering it with fondant.
  • Fondant – I used Satin Ice fondant in red, black, yellow, orange, white and a tiny bit of blue (for the eyes).
  • Alphabet & number cutters – I used 2 different types of alphabet cutters for this project. Both were block letters, but one set had a larger font size which I used to make the birthday boys’ names and the numbers 95 on the cake (I purchased this set from a local cake decorating supplies shop) and the other set was Clikstix Letter Cutters which I used to cut out the “Happy Birthday” lettering on the cake board.
  • Round cutter set – I used this larger round cutter set to cut out the wheels for the car
  • Shortening – this was used as a glue for sticking fondant pieces on this cake.
3D Lightning McQueen Cake

This this was how I assembled the cake:

  • I started by carving the cake itself. As I have mentioned earlier, the entire car was carved out of 2 layers of cake. The first layer was used for the body of the cake from front to back.
  • The second layer was used for the second half top of the cake which consisted of the car roof, its windows and windscreens. For this section, I cut the 2nd rectangle layer into 2 and then sliced the top in a slanting position such that I got a square piece of cake with the top slanting at approximately 45 degrees angle. I placed this on the first layer of the cake with a layer of buttercream in between.  And then I cut out a long piece of triangle from the remaining cake and placed it at the edge of the first layer, next to the slanted edge of the square piece of cake earlier. Again, I applied a layer of buttercream in between the 2 layers of the cake This was to form the spoiler of the car.
  • Once I had the main parts of the cake ready, I shaped the car bonnet by first marking 2 lines on the bonnet and then carving out a very thin layer of cake in between the 2 lines. And then I carved out 4 circles, 2 on each sides of the cake for the wheels. To do this, I pressed my round cutter (of the size I wanted the car wheels to be) at the bottom layer of the cake and then carved about 1cm depth of cake following the markings of my round cutter.
  • And with that, the carving work on the cake was completed. Next, I crumb coated the cake with a thin layer of buttercream before covering the whole cake with red fondant. And then, I cut out 4 circles in black fondant that has been kneaded some CMC into, (with thickness of about 1 cm) using the same round cutter I used to carve the cake at its wheels. I decorated these wheels with red fondant rims and attached to the cake with shortening.
  • Next, I added the windscreens, windows and front grill in white fondant. These were all cut by hand using a sugar craft knife and my ruler as a guide. For the Rust-eze logo on the bonnet, I cut out the white fondant pieces first and used my yellow edible marker to write the words on. The yellow border around the round white fondant was yellow fondant rolled by hand into a long thin strip.
  • As for the lightening logo on the side of the car, I cut it free hand using my sugar craft knife in orange and yellow fondant using the paper template which I downloaded from the internet. And the numbers 95 on it as well as on the roof of the car were cut using my number cutters. I finished off the car deco by adding the eyes for the car on its front windscreen ( the eyes were cut using my round plunger cutters) and the car lights both on the front as well as the back. With that, the car was complete.


3D Lightning McQueen Cake

  • Next was the cake board and the names of the birthday boys. For the names, I used yellow fondant that has been kneaded some CMC into. And I used my alphabet cutters (the same set I used for the number 95 earlier on the car) to cut out the boys’ names. I let these letters set in a horizontal position until the rest of board deco was completed.
  • For the cake board, I covered it entirely in black fondant. And then, I measured the width of the car cake and used the same width for the road on the cake board. For the divider lines on the road, I cut short white strips of fondant in the center as the divider lines on the road. And I place the car on the road of the cake board.
  • Once the cake was in place, I cut out the “Happy Birthday” letters using my FMM block letters cutter and placed them on the cake board (with the help of shortening). And then I attached the birthday boys’ names with the help of fondant glue. These 3D letters were cut out of yellow fondant that has been kneaded some CMC powder into. And finally, I cut out white fondant squares using my square plunger cutter and attached them to the cake board in alternate order to create checkerboard pattern using shortening.

3D Lightning McQueen Cake
3D Lightning McQueen Cake

And that was how I decorated my 3D Lightening McQueen cake.

3D Lightning McQueen Cake

Hope you enjoyed this.  Happy Decorating :)

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3D Lightning McQueen Cake

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