A fun, easy-to-make Cars birthday cake! A black and white triple layer cake decorated with a silky smooth white chocolate buttercream, a Cars cake wrap, M&M’s, sprinkles, and a fun finish line banner.
My grandson turned 3 years old last month and he decided he wanted to have a Cars birthday party. My daughter asked if I would help her make a fun Cars cake for the party.
We talked about making a checkered cake to match the checkered flags on top, but decided to make a black and white triple layer cake instead so the cake was much easier to make.
For the chocolate layers, I used the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake which my family loves, and add ¼ teaspoon of black gel food coloring to make the chocolate layers look black.
I don’t make white cake very often, so I turned to the queen of fun cakes, Amanda, from I Am Baker, for advice on the perfect white cake. She loves the white cake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. So I adapted Cook’s recipe to make a single 9″ layer for the middle layer of the cake.
The layers are iced with a luscious, easy-to-work-with Whipped White Chocolate Buttercream frosting from Comfortably Domestic. I used one batch of the frosting to do two crumb coats on the cake to completely hide the black layer. Refrigerated the cake overnight, then the day of the party, I made an additional half batch of the frosting to do the final frosting layer. After the cake was frosted, then I added additional powdered sugar to the remainder of the half batch to pipe the bottom border.
We bought the Disney Cars Cake Wrap on Amazon. It’s an edible sugar sheet image that you wrap around the cake. You just peel if off a paper and wrap it around a freshly iced cake and it becomes part of the icing. We marked a line around the cake so it would go on straight. There was just a little gap in the back where the wrap was just a little too short, but no one seemed to notice.
My daughter printed the finish line banner on the computer and we hung it on wooden skewers. The top is decorated with M&Ms, star sprinkles, and Lightning McQueen and Mater. I piped the border at the bottom of the cake with a Wilton 1M star tip and then we crushed up some of the star sprinkles and sprinkled them on the border to tie it all together.
My grandson loved his special Cars cake, and I loved how easy it was to make. I made the layers from scratch, but you could use cake mixes.
Cars Birthday Cake – Single White Layer
- ½ cups whole milk room temperature
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened but still cool
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper round. Spray the paper rounds and sides of pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract; set aside
- Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
- Add all but ¼ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 ½ minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pan. Bake 23 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,
- Let cake rest in the pan for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pan with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto a wire rack. Reinvert onto an additional wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 ½ hours.
If you’re looking for more birthday cake ideas, here’s the first two birthday cakes I made my grandson for his first two birthdays:
Chocolate Oreo Construction Cake
Thank you for such great tips…
Kindly advice me on making a Fruit cake for a wedding,which will be stored and cut after a year of their marriage.it’ll be my first Fruit cake to make,I’m nervous!Please advise….Thank you in advance!!
Hi Phyllis – sorry, I don’t have any experience with fruit cake.
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles
Super fun cake – and the recipe looks wonderful!!
Cutest Cake EVER!
What an adorable cake! Love your simple approach to a more involved cake too!
Rocky Mountain Woman
Cute cake for a cute little guy!
I’ll bet he just loved it….
All I can think is “awe” over and over and over again. This is so cute. I could never pull this off. I am so impressed. This cake is gorgeous. He’s a lucky kid to have you for a gramma. I can’t wait to share this one.
Thanks Kim! You could definitely pull it off. You’d be surprised how easy it is to make.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
What a special grandson to get a cake that fancy. Adding the black gel color really makes a difference in how the layers stand out.
Nicole Lindstrom | Simply Happenstance
Barbara this cake is gorgeous. Your grandson is so very lucky to have a grandma like you. Three is such a fun boy age and Cars is a big deal. LOVE everything about this birthday cake.
Jersey Girl Cooks
What a beautiful cake and lucky grandson!
Oh my gosh… that car is the CUTEST!!! I think you are officially the coolest grandma EVER. 🙂
wow! My 5 yr old would just love you right now! Do you do requests? Lol! You are amazing and I love the construction cake too! SOO cute
Claire @ Claire K Creations
What a cutie! Gorgeous cake Barbara!
Jess @ Sweet Menu
I love this gorgeous cake Barbara! Loving those cute layers and the look on your grandson’s face says it all! 🙂
A masterpiece, Barbara. I love that car wrap…are those two cars on top also edible?
Happy Birthday to your grandson!
Thanks Angie – it would be fun if the cars were edible too, but no. My grandson was just licking the frosting of the car.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Your cake is totally awesome mum! I remember seeing it on facebook and calling hubby over to take a look at it! You are so talented!! xxx
Awwww thanks! I love that you shared it with your hubby.
Dini @ giramuks kitchen
Love it! My nephew loves Cars too and wanted a Cars birthday cake for his birthday! 🙂 I love the hershey’s chocolate cake too it is top of my list of favourite cakes.
Happy Birthday to your grandson!!
Carol at Wild Goose Tea
Wow I know some little boys that would be THRILLED to get a cake like this! Cake wraps at Amazon, huh. Well I am checking that out I will tell you. Too cute and something I could actually handle.
A fabulous cake and cute boy!
Happy Birthday to him.