Baking - Desserts, Decorating

Race Car Cake

I recently started looking after children in our home (in addition to our own), and one of our new friends celebrated his third birthday on the weekend. I had offered to make his cake, and the overwhelming consensus was that he wanted a blue race car cake.

I looked up a few ideas online, looking at whether to do a full sized car, or do a landscape with cars on top, and decided to go for the whole car. Partly because as I was looking I saw one that used Oreo cookies for wheels and thought that was a brilliant idea! As the design took shape I thought that having plain Oreo cookies wouldn’t match the rest of the fondant covered cake, so I experimented with fondant covered Oreos, as you saw in my post from a few days ago.

I baked the cake in a 16-inch round pan, then cut the sides off and used those side pieces to build up the top of the cake (the windows of the car). This worked well because it gave me the curves and contours for the front of the car and the windshield.

I made all the fondant pieces ahead of time, measuring against the cake as I went to make sure they’d fit, so it was pretty straightforward to assemble once all the pieces were done. I brushed on a mix of meringue powder and water to ‘glue’ some sugar glitter on the windows, lights and lightening bolts, and then to stick them to the blue fondant that coated the whole car. The wheels were bulkier, so I made a black royal icing to glue those in place.

I was pretty happy with the results, although the car was a little squat (especially once the wheels were attached!), so if I were to do it again I would make a bigger cake batch to raise it a bit higher. But it seemed to be a hit with the birthday boy, and that for me was the best part!

Decorating, Ingredient Insights

Fun with Fondant

Now this is something I never thought I would say, ‘fun with fondant.’ Not because I don’t like working with it for design purposes, but because generally rolled fondant tastes terrible. And I’m big on not putting terrible tasting things on my tasty baking. For the most part I have been using marzipan for any decorative figures and cake coverings. It’s delicious, has minimal ingredients (if you get a good brand), and I have found it works just as well for modeling. But it is expensive, so not necessarily the economical choice for larger cake and decorating projects.

Cue my friend Yvonne at Ms. Adventures in Baking. She shared a recipe with me for a homemade fondant that uses marshmallows as the base, and it is amazing! Moment of confession, I have an addiction to those marshmallow peanut candies, and this tasted just like them. It was a bit of an issue with the leftover fondant, but I digress. This fondant was easy to make, easy to work with, cheaper than marzipan, not to mention cheaper than pre-made store-bought fondant and it was delicious. Win, win, win!

There is a bit of an issue with it in that marshmallows are not vegetarian, since they contain gelatin, so if you plan to try this fondant make sure your consumers are not vegetarian. I’ll have to keep looking into a homemade vegetarian option for fondant. Until then, I will stick with the marzipan for them.

I do need to practice with it a bit more, I ended up with some cracks, likely from it being dry, and there was a lot of bunching at the base of the cake, which made for a very thick layer of sugary sweet fondant on the outside edge of each cake slice. But practice makes perfect, and any leftovers will be given a good home 🙂

You can find the instructions for making marshmallow fondant here.