Ann Reardon

3D Lightning McQueen Cars Cake Tutorial

lightning mcqueen cars cake  

To make this Lightning McQueen, Cars Cake you will need:

cake pans 11inch (27.94 centimetres) x 15inch (38.1 centimetres) (I had two so I could bake two sheet tins at a time)
chocolate cake x 3
This quantity will make about 40-45 serves.

Template for cutting the cake and fondant pieces



2 x my chocolate buttercream recipe
3 x ganache recipe cooled in the fridge

750g (26.46 ounces) Black fondant (I used Bakels Black Pettinice)
1 kg (2.2 pounds) Red fondant (will be just enough if you are new to decorating you may want to get a bit extra) I used Satin Ice RED
150g (5.29 ounces) White fondant for eyes and windscreen (get 500g (17.64 ounces) and split it up leave some white & colour some yellow/grey/brown)
250g (8.82 ounces) Yellow fondant for side logo
50g (1.76 ounces) Grey fondant for windows (mix a small amount of black fondant with some white)
50g (1.76 ounces) Brown fondant for ‘Rusteze’ symbol

Powdered food colour in red, orange and yellow
silver luster dust
metal piping tip for cutting out eyes – you can use something else round in a similar size
Drinking straws for cutting circles.
circle cutter
thick card to cut for cake board
Platter or cake board to put cake on (see cutting templates for indication of cake size)
Oreos or other flat cream filled circle shaped biscuits x 8

Step 1. Do ahead of time for your Lightning McQueen, Cars Cake

Allow approximately 6 hours to make these well, I like to make extras of things so I can choose the best one.

Print and cut out cake cutting templates

Cut cake board out of thick card and cover with alfoil or tape to waterproof

Make up some Simple Syrup using 1/2 cup or 108g (3.81 ounces) sugar amd 1/2cup or 125mL (4.23 fluid ounces) water.
Heat until the sugar is dissolved then leave to cool. Store excess in the fridge.

Make the fondant details for the car that can be made ahead, see video for instructions:


silver dots x 4
eyes x 2, (I made four so that I could choose the best two)
‘Rusteze’ symbol for bonnet x 1 (I made two and chose the best one)
’95’ x 3 (for each side of the cake and the top)
brake lights
Back of the car with details
Side windows
Back windows

disney cars cake tutorial


Step 2: Making the Cake & Frosting
Bake your chocolate cake x 3 this will make six sheet cakes of which you need five.  In the trays this cake takes 15 minutes to bake (swap top tray to bottom and bottom to top half way through cooking).  My cake tray is 26cm (10.24 inches) x 39cm (15.35 inches)
Make your frosting: double quantity of my chocolate buttercream
and triple quantity of ganache. Cool the ganache in the fridge until firm and then whip into the buttercream.  I had plenty left over to use with the cake scraps to make cake pops, or you can put the excess in a ziploc bag and freeze it.

Step 3: Assembling & Carving your Lightning McQueen, Cars Cake
Watch the video to see this demonstrated.
Set up your cake board to sit 1cm (0.39 inches) above the platter in the middle and 1 1/2cm (0.79 inches) at the front 3cm (1.18 inches) at the back
Using your car template cut out 4 of the layers and assemble with ganache between on top of the cake board. Cut your 5th sheet cake in half and stack on top in the centre. Use your side of car template to check that the cake is high enough in all places and then carve using the side template as your guide.

Place the top of car template 1 on top lined up with the base of the windscreen and cut around to the level of the front bonnet.  Then put the smaller roof template in place and trim across to meet the outline that you just made.

Trim down the centre of the bonnet and the centre of the back of the car.
Cut out the wheels holes deep enough until you reach the cake board.

Cover the whole cake in frosting smoothing as best as you can and the refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Step 4. Decorating your Lightning McQueen, Cars Cake

Make your wheels using fondant and oreos, see video for instructions.

Take the cake out of the fridge and use paper towel to smooth. Put the white in place for the teeth, cover with some non-stick baking paper in the shape of the smile. Cover in red fondant, cut out the smile and then add your pre-made details.
Make and add front windscreen and the side lightning flashes. Clean the cake board and lastly add your wheels.

Step 5. Photo Time
Smile, you did it! Take a photo and upload in the comments section below. Photo Tips: It is hard to get a good photo of the cake at the party so take a photo with the birthday boy or girl before any of the guests arrive.  Pay attention to what is in the background of your picture.

by Ann Reardon How To Cook That


My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

1,136 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    My boy just loved the cake!
    See picture!

  2. Rating: 4

    Thanks for the tutorial. Purchased and used the templates, but used my own cake variation and marshmallow fondant. Started on the cake two days before the party, so a little stressful, but very thankful for your video.

    • well done Donna, it looks awesome!

  3. i will send you an email on this veronica

  4. Thanks for this video I really enjoy it. It was hard to cut.

  5. I made McQueen for my son birthday I really loved it. The part more hart was to cut it.

  6. Hello ,I love your video so much and I want to make the cake for my son birthday ,but I do not know where I can fin the letter and the number ,please if you help me Thank you ,

  7. Hi Ann. Thanks for the amazing video tutorial. I can’t seem to pay for the download though as I get a ‘card rejected’ error when I tey. Really need it asap for my son’s birthday on Sunday. Please Help!

  8. Ótimas dicas, os moldes são perfeitos, só tive um probleminha com os detalhes que fiz com antecedência como mostra no video e eles rececaram e quebraram. Mas no final deu tudo certo.
    Muito obrigada.

  9. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you Anna for such a great cake! My son and his friends loved it, for his 3rd birthday party.

  10. Rating: 5

    Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial. We did lightning mac queen for my sons 3rd bday and he was one happy kid. Thank you once again.

  11. Rating: 5

    Thank you so much for your awesome video! It was my first time making a 3D cake and your instructions was so easy to follow. I made this cake two weeks ago for my son’s 2nd birthday and he was thrilled to see his ‘car cake’ and cutting it was so much fun. He went straight for the wheels and ate it.He’s been asking me for a car cake almost everyday now……oops what car am I to make next?! 🙂 Thanks once again!

  12. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you for your tutorial! It was my first time with fondant and first time making a 3D cake. It took an all nighter, but my 2 year old loved his birthday cake, all thanks to you!

  13. Rating: 5

    Thank you so much for your awesome tutorial. This is my first time to do a 3D cake, I’ve always wanted to try it and 2 weeks ago was our son’s 5th Birthday wanted to surprise him. After watching your videos for I don’t know how many times (lose count of it)

  14. Rating: 5

    My finished cake so proud and one happy boy

  15. Rating: 5

    thank you for your wonderful tutorials and for the template. i will be making this cake for next week. thanks a lot!

  16. Hi 🙂
    Ann You are awesome the cake is amazing! I really don’t know how can i get the template but i wish to do this cake for my god son in his 4 th birthday:) I am Polish


  17. Rating: 5

    Merci beaucoup!

  18. i payed for the pattern and cant find how to get it..can anyone help me

  19. How many ppl do you think this cake feeds??

  20. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you so much for your tutorial! I’m so proud of my cake and I cannot wait to see my little boys little face on his birthday!

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