Monday, April 19, 2010

Speed Racer Mach 5 Cake

I made this over a year ago and now, with the blog, I can share my experience with making the Mach 5. My son had his mind set on wanting the actual car as a cake for his 5th birthday. I was up for the challenge and already had made him a car the prior year. I learned so much from the 1st one but barely enough to conquer the Mach 5…I am so glad I talked him out of making the Mach 6 – “you’re going to be 5, we can do the 6 next year” (I couldn't even fathom how I was to pull that off).

Here is the only picture I have of the Car Cake made the prior year for his 4th birthday. My 1st carved cake and only my 3rd fondant cake. We had just bought a digital camera and I accidentally erased ALL the pictures of the entire cake process as well as of his birthday party…Ahhh! Lesson learned and now I am meticulously careful to not do that again! I got this one photo of the cake from grandpa! He was addicted to watching the Disney Car movie and wanted this particular yellow car. Although it’s a car, it bore no resemblance to the actual car in the movie…he loved it anyways. I added little details to it: The tires were Oreo cookies with black fondant wrapped around it. Around the front of each tire, I carved “happy birthday” into it. The license plate on the back had his birth date and I made an exhaust pipe stick out of the back and the hood’s banner read, “Sponsored by Andrew”. I even propped the cake up an inch. And yes, that is a cookie sheet that the cake is sitting on – I didn’t know any better (I have another cake where I used my bamboo cutting board wrapped in foil – ha-ha, I have learned a lot since).

Now, the Mach 5 - What a carving challenge! I made it out of pound cake since I was so worried about it holding up. I baked the cake the night prior, let it cool overnight, then the following day before I started working on it, I stuck into the freezer for 2 hours so that it would not break apart when I carved into it.

You can see the 1st step here. I took his little 3-inch toy car, scanned it into the computer, enlarged it, printed it and used it as a stencil over the 9x13 cake to carve out the outline (you can see the stencil sitting at the top of the photo).

Once I had the outline carved out, I removed the stencil and carved out all the rounded corners and features including the little dip for the car seats. I then outlined the cake over the parchment paper with an edible marker to use as a guide to cut the cake board that I later covered in foil.

I did such a great job with the buttercream – hah - LAL! Very sloppy but I was still learning. Once the cake was covered in buttercream, I rolled out the fondant and placed it over the car smoothing out all the features. The toughest part was getting the fondant around the pointed corners and into those deep crevices without ripping…ahhh, very frustrating!

Somehow, I was able to put a dent on the side and rather than fix it and make it worse, left it as is. I also had barely enough fondant to cover the wing in the back. I tried patching it up but it looked worse, so I just took the patch off and left that as is too…It bugged me to see that but I was already so frustrated at covering the car that I didn’t want to mess with it anymore than I needed to (thank goodness that cake was for me and not for someone else).

These are the tires. I rummaged through my pantry looking for something to use as tires and failed. I remembered Bakerella and her cake pops and decided to try it with tires instead. I mixed the left over pieces of cake off the carvings with buttercream, made a ½ inch thick cake with it and used a round cookie cutter to cut out the tires…it worked perfectly! I covered these up with black fondant leaving the back side exposed (it was going up against the cake and no one was going to see the back side).

I made both red coins with the 5 and white coins with the M to top off cupcakes since I didn’t have a clue as to how many servings the cake would end up serving. You can see the tires along the top of the photo drying upside down.

I was so frazzled with what I had gotten myself into that I asked my brother to help. He was so awesome, adding all the little details (he’s just as meticulous and me). He used a single, white sprinkle for the shift knob, added the seat seams, racing gages and even the steering wheel. For the windshield, I took the plastic window out of a toy box and cut out the windshield shape. After we stuck it into the cake, we realized the fondant was too soft and the windshield kept trying to straighten itself out so we just removed the windshield, set it aside and just waited to insert it in the following morning after the fondant had a chance to dry. As for the rims on the tires, I used the “i” from the Wilton alphabet cutters to stamp out a rim design then stamped an “A” in the middle for his name.

We propped the cake up on a little box wrapped up in the same foil as the board, placed the cake over it, and added the tires using some buttercream and toothpicks to help it stay put.

Tip: I have since learned to not use toothpicks in food involving kids. I now use dry spaghetti, even angel hair if I need it to be finer…Works like a charm! A trick I learned while reading about making Bento lunches for my picky lil’eater.

Finished the cake off by adding some lettering to the board and decorated the cupcakes. In the end, no one wanted to eat the car, they all went straight for the cupcakes instead saying that the cake looked too good to eat. And the kids, they just dove right into the cupcakes and took off to play. What is it with kids and cupcakes! I was very sad in the end since I had to be the one to actually throw it away…sayonara cake! Next time, I am NOT making any cupcakes. No excuse to not eat the cake, you just gotta eat the cake!


Anonymous said...

OMG!!! this is son's birthday is just 15 days away and I wanted to make Mcqueen car cake, but after seeing this I changed my mind. Thank you so much for the step-by-step guide.

Mariposa said...


Unknown said...

I'm obsessed with Speed Racer. Hoping to make this for my birthday. Your's is the most broken down recipe I could find and by far the best looking. Thank you!

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