How To Make A Car Cake That Kids And Teens Will Love

Georgia Stone
Dec 12, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Sep 29, 2020
Mum and daughter in the kitchen baking a car cake together.

Whether the youngster in your life is a Ferrari fanatic or a Lamborghini lover, car birthday cakes always look awesome.

Below you'll find three easy yet impressive, delicious car cake ideas to try. Kids, teens and adults will all be racing to get another slice!

For a car-themed party or activity afternoon, once you know how to make a car birthday cake, why not check out our guide to making an origami car or toy car games?


For The Sponge Base:

275g self-raising flour, 275 g caster sugar, 275g room-temperature unsalted butter, 2 tsp baking powder, 4 eggs, 6 drops vanilla extract, 2 tsp milk.

For Toppings:

Buttercream (pre-made or homemade), ready-to-roll fondant icing in your desired colours, decorations.


Two large rectangular or round cake tins, parchment paper, wooden spoon, large mixing bowl, sharp knife, rolling pin, cake smoother (for buttercream and fondant icing), piping bags.

How To Make A Simple Car Cake

If creating a car shaped cake is a bit complex for you, try out the simple racing track cake.

1) Mix up your basic sponge base (ingredients above), and pour into two roundcake tins.

2) Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, place on a wire rack and cool for another 15 minutes.

3) Use a knife to cut the tops of the two cakes so they have flat surfaces. Put a layer of buttercream over one cake, then place the other cake on top.

Now cover the top of the new cake and the sides of the two-layer cake in buttercream. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes, then add another layer of buttercream.

4) Roll out some black fondant icing and cover your entire cake in it, using a knife to cut off any excess and your hands to smooth it down.

5) Now you need two piping bags filled with black and white buttercream. Alternating colours, create a circle around the outside of the top of the cake, then, using a smaller round shape as a guide, create another ring inside. This should now look like the black and white edges of a racing track.

6) Use (or reuse) a piping bag filled with green buttercream and use it within the centre of the small circle to create the look of a grassy area.

7) Finish with a couple of small car figurings on top, edible or otherwise.

How To Make A Lightning McQueen Birthday Cake

The cheeky main character from the film 'Cars' makes a great Disney Cars cake. Since there are quite a few details, it's all the better if you get a young fan of the film to help you out.

1) Preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan. Mix your sponge base ingredients (listed above) vigorously in a bowl, starting by sifting the flour and baking powder and then adding the other components.

2) Split the mix across two large rectangular cake tins lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

3) Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and cool for another 10 minutes.

4) Search for a picture of Lightning McQueen online so you can copy the basic shape. You will be stacking the two cakes and then cutting them to form the shape of a car.

Using a sharp knife, round off the corners of one cake, and cut the other one in half. Take the halved cake and use your knife to form the slopes of the front and back windshield, then place it on top of the other cake.

5) Take the leftovers and add extra dimension on the front and back of the car (using the picture for reference).

6) Cover your cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes, add another layer, and leave for another 15 minutes. This should seal your two layers together, and will also help fondant icing stick to it.

7) Of course, now the car needs to turn red. Take plenty of ready-to-roll red fondant icing and roll it out on a clean surface (a little icing sugar will stop it sticking).

Place it entirely over your cake/car, smoothing it gently down with your hands and using a knife to cut any excess off. You can also buy a cake smoother for an extra slick finish.

8) You now have a plain red car shape, and it's up to you how much detail you add on top of this. For the decoration, you could buy edible cake stickers to make the decorating extra easy, or cut out more fondant icing into shapes and use a little water to stick it onto your red outer layer.

Your Lightning McQueen Cake is ready to ride!

How To Make A Police Car Cake

... Follow almost all of the instructions above! Copy the police car shape when you cut out your sponge shapes so they mimic a police car rather than a racing car birthday cake.

Instead of red, cover your cake in white fondant. Add the police car detailing using cut out fondant pieces in yellow, blue, orange and grey.

The general principle can also be used to make any general racing car cake/sports car cake/Ferrari cake. If you're making the cake for a teenager, you could also customise it to look like their own car. Remember to include any specific features in the car cake decorations; dents, dodgy wing mirrors, scratches and all!

Good To Know

If you want to make a chocolate cake, simply swap the vanilla extract for 60g cocoa powder in the basic sponge recipe. You can also add chocolate chips, or really any other ingredients you like at this stage.

Alternatively, make a gluten or dairy free base by searching for appropriate substitutions.

These cakes should feed around 10 people, but you can scale up the ingredients if you need a bigger cake.

This car cake is suitable for all ages but be careful not to give younger kids too much sugar!

The cake will last for 3 days if covered at room temperature. Any longer, and cakes should be placed uncovered in the fridge for 15 minutes, then covered in plastic.

It's best not to freeze the cake decorations as they may get damaged, but the sponge base (before decorating) is fine to freeze for up to three months.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia Stone picture

Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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