Buddy Asked For a Cake

Buddy turned 5. I’m having a little bit of a hard time with the fact that my baby is definitely not a baby. I’m happy he still will climb in my lap and he grabs my hand when we’re crossing a parking lot…. but some time this summer he became all skinny legs and big boy. I like to see my children growing up. I like to see them doing more for themselves and becoming independent… but sometimes I just miss the baby….

Birthdays are a big deal around here. It is THE day that the birthday person gets to make all the choices. Buddy had been mulling many ideas about what kind of birthday he wanted… superheroes? camouflage? Cars? Cars (as in Lightning McQueen) won out. We were going to have a Cars birthday.

Buddy has a summer birthday. I never had to experience this being a February girl, but I’ve heard that when you are a kid, summer birthdays suck. You don’t get to take a treat in to school. All your friends are busy with camps and vacations and general lolling around and it’s very hard to orchestrate a party. As a mom (who loves birthdays, parties, and cake) I feel it’s my duty to ensure that my boy will not have a sucky birthday. We have only been in our new digs for 3 weeks and while Buddy may have no school friends yet My Man and I know a bunch of people in the area who have kids… so we invited them all to our home for a party.

When Little Miss turned 5 she too had a Cars birthday. Our house was on the market (it feels like the last two years have been about moving or getting ready to move or having just moved) and I couldn’t handle doing the whole party thing at home so I outsourced and we celebrated at a very cool Children’s Museum in Edmond, OK. I’ve done many a shaped cake (don’t worry… all very mommy with crumbs in the frosting) but that year when Little Miss mentioned a cake shaped like Lightning himself,  I just couldn’t do it. Luckily she was so impressed with the birthday venue she was cool with a plain rectangle cake with red frosting and a Lightning McQueen candle.

Buddy was different… and I was different… I was ready to tackle a cake that looked like Lightning himself. First I did some Googling and I found a super website called www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com and then I got stressed out. It looked hard to make this cake. All the photos were of perfection with intricate frosting and fondant and real wheels taken from a toy car. How was I going to do this? Then I found a YouTube video that gave me hope. I watched a step-by-step plan on how to make the cake and I decided I was ready to roll.

I started with The Best Chocolate Cake Ever (which I’ve just posted the recipe for on a page on this site). I made a basic rectangle which I cut into 3rds after it cooled. I planned on stacking all three pieces but it got too high so stacked 2/3rds and  I made a separate little chocolate frosted cake for those who wanted extra chocolate. I “glued” the two pieces together with home-made chocolate frosting. After studying my model,  I made the cuts to create the car shape (ie made a hood and a spoiler on the back).  Once the cuts were made I was able to frost it with butter cream frosting (the recipe on the box of Domino powdered sugar) dyed red.

 I used Oreos for wheels and then the fun part. Fondant! This stuff is great. I just bought the Wilton pre-made at Michaels. It rolls out smooth and is easy to dye different colors. Using this I was able to cut out the shapes of the windows, headlights, Rusteez sign, mouth,  lightning bolts and a big number 5 for the birthday boy.  I added some M&M’s for eyes and voila… Lightning McQueen! The final product was super cute even if the frosting was full of crumbs. 

The birthday boy was happy and his mamma was proud. My baby may be leaving me (his sister did long ago and she’s just a year older than him!) but at least I can throw him a super cool party on the way out the door.

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