Make your child's birthday special: How to Make a Race Car Track Cake

Happy Birthday

It is every parent's wish to give their child the best possible birthday. Making the cake get's you one step closer!
It is every parent's wish to give their child the best possible birthday. Making the cake gets you one step closer! | Source

Making the birthday special

Making your child's birthday special can sometimes come with a hefty price tag. The birthday presents; the party supplies; the food... but what if you found a way to cut costs without cutting the surprise.

Making your child's birthday cake can not only be a fun experience, but it will be something that they will truly treasure. With a little amount of baking skills and a whole lot of love, you can make a cake that costs a whole lot less than what you can find in the store, and tastes just as good, if not better.

How much does that cake cost?

With my son's second birthday coming quickly, I started wondering what kind of theme I should do this year. My son has been obsessed with Cars and Rango, and nothing would grab his attention faster than using something from those movies. However, going to my local Walmart bakery, the cakes came with a pretty hefty price tag.

Sure, I could have cut costs with a smaller cake, but I wanted to make sure I had enough for everybody. The cake alone would have cost at least $16 minimum, and that wasn't with anything special being done. If you start adding the decorating kits, that increases the cost. If I were to budget a cake at my local Walmart, I am looking at a bill of $25. That is a whole lot of money being digested for a cake.

So, like an insane mother... I decided to make my own.

For the race car track cake, you will need two 9 inch cakes.
For the race car track cake, you will need two 9 inch cakes. | Source

Let's get started

To make the Race Car Track Cake, you will need to start off by making your cake. You can choose what ever flavor you like. For mine, I used a marble cake. I figured it would make everybody happy. To save time, I went ahead and used a box cake mix, but depending on how much you like to bake, feel free to make one from scratch.

Pour the prepared cake batter into two 9-inch round cake pans. One standard size box will work to make both cakes, but if you would like the cakes thicker, feel free to use two boxes.

For best results, you are going to want to remove the cake from the pans and let cool completely before you frost and decorate. Use a wire rack so the cake will cool the entire way around.

Once the cake is completely ready, make sure you have a platform ready. I used a baking sheet covered in foil. This made it easier to transport and gave it a nicer look.

Put the cakes on the dressed up cookie sheet, cutting a section out of one so they fit together, almost in the shape of a large 8. The easiest way to do this is to overlay one cake and use a knife to cut around. Remove the extra piece and they should fit together nicely.

Once the cakes have cooled, you will need to make a platform for decorating your cake. Cut out a section of one cake, as illustrated above, to get the cakes to fit together in the shape of an 8.
Once the cakes have cooled, you will need to make a platform for decorating your cake. Cut out a section of one cake, as illustrated above, to get the cakes to fit together in the shape of an 8. | Source
Measure out all the ingredients and put them in a bowl.
Measure out all the ingredients and put them in a bowl. | Source

Whip it!

Once you add all the ingredients, use a kitchen beater to whip it into a nice creamy consistency.
Once you add all the ingredients, use a kitchen beater to whip it into a nice creamy consistency. | Source

Whipping up delicious frosting!

Once the cake is all set up, it is time for the fun. Now we are going to make the buttercream frosting. This is the first time I have ever made the frosting, and it was just as easy and a whole lot tastier than using store boughten.

One of the reasons I usually just like to buy a birthday cake is because of the buttercream frosting. However, once I made my own and realized that mine was just as good, I will probably never use that excuse again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. box of Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Stick of salted butter (softened)
  • Green Food coloring

Beat all the ingredients together with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Once the frosting is the desired consistency, begin adding green food coloring until it reaches a nice green level suitable for a grassy field.

Note: The more food coloring you add, the thinner the frosting will come. Don't add to much or you might end up making another batch of frosting!

Using a rubber spatula will make frosting a cake a breeze.
Using a rubber spatula will make frosting a cake a breeze. | Source

Get ready to decorate

Once the frosting is ready, cover the complete cake. Make sure to add extra frosting to the areas of the cake that might have baked at lower levels. The idea is to create an even working service.

A rubber spatula will make frosting a breeze. Make sure to cover all areas of the cake, including the sides.

Crushed oreos make a great dirt road.
Crushed oreos make a great dirt road. | Source
Green tinted coconut not only gives a look of grass, but gives the cake a special taste.
Green tinted coconut not only gives a look of grass, but gives the cake a special taste. | Source

Additional ingredients for decorating

To finish decorating the cake you will need some additional ingredients:

  • Crushed Oreo cookies (with the insides scraped out) for the dirt road
  • Green Tinted Coconut for the grass
  • White Good and Plentys for the markings on the road
  • Cars to place on the dirt road

Place two bowls in the center of the cake before placing the crushed oreos. This will keep the frosting clear and give you good clean lines. Pat down the oreos to create a nice dirt road.

Next, remove the bowls. In a large bag, place the coconut with a few drops of food coloring. Toss it around to dye the coconut. Take the dyed cocunut and place in the circles and around the cake to create a grassy field.

For the finishing touches, place the white Good & Plenty's around the racetrack. Put the final touch on by either adding Cars brand vehicles like Lightening McQueen and Francesco or use a couple Hot Wheels to decorate. Add a couple racing flags and you have a complete and cool cake your child will love!

Race is on...

With Lightening McQueen being rooted on my Mater, he is sure to not only win the race against Francesco, but win your child's approval!
With Lightening McQueen being rooted on my Mater, he is sure to not only win the race against Francesco, but win your child's approval! | Source

It's easy as... cake

I was a little nervous about making my first "professional" type cake. The last time I made a cake it was the leaning tower of Christmas Cake and a complete disaster. This time was so much better.

My son was excited, but I think it was more because of the cars on top than the actual cake. After everybody got a chance to try a piece, they raved at how good it tasted. The best part was, I saved money and I have a lot more confidence for my next child's birthday.

What will you do

Will you try to make this cake?

See results without voting

The Cost:

  • Box of cake - $1
  • Box of Powdered Sugar - $1
  • Coconut - $1
  • Oreos - $2
  • Good & Plenty - $1
  • Cars - $7

With rounding the costs of the products, and not including the ingredients that most people have on hand (like eggs, butter, oil, and green food coloring), this whole cake only cost $13. Considering $7 of it was on a toy, you can't beat the cost of this homemade cake.

So, what are you waiting for. Surprise you child with a cake made of love!

Blow out those candles

The entire family gathered around to help Max blow out his candle.
The entire family gathered around to help Max blow out his candle. | Source

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Comments 25 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Awesome cake and so creative! I've always liked homemade cakes so much better than the store bought ones. This is such a huge savings too.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Cute, cute cake project=one happy little boy! :) Glad you shared this idea!


mythicalstorm273 profile image

mythicalstorm273 5 years ago

This was so perfect! I mean I already knew about the cake and everything since I was talking to you while it was cooling, but the way you wrote about it was really special!! Great hub and truly fantastic cake! I just wish I could have been there to see Max blow out the candle :-( Amazing job!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Just Ask Susan - I have to say - while the savings I showed in here were true... beware when you go shopping. I didn't have any 9 inch cake pans so I went out and bought that stuff, then I thought as long as I was getting into this whole decorating thing, I should get one of those frosting pipes with the tips. And then we bought a part of his birthday cake. The big joke is I was complaining about spending $25 on the birthday cake and by the time I left the store I had spent $50. So, next time, it will definitely be a savings... until I find more kitchen gadgets I just might need! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@RTalloni - Glad you enjoyed the cake. It was one of my best experiments to date. Of course the baking wasn't the impressive part... it was the decorating. I was super proud of it and my little boy absolutely loved it! Hope you get a chance to make it!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

It was so cute - every time Eli went to light the candle, Max would blow it out before it was even lite. Finally, we covered his mouth so he would stop blowing on it before we sang to him. Then he couldn't get the thing out again. But I am super happy, this cake turned out better than I would have expected!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

This is really clever, bbg, so I set out to make one of these cakes, too. I bought the two cakes from the bakery because I was in a hurry. Then I covered the cakes with green-colored frosting. I was hungry so I nibbled a little on the Oreos while frosting the cake. When I was ready to create my dirt (Oreo) covered road, I discovered there were only enough cookies left (3) for a patch of Oreo mud. So I ate them and covered all the green frosting with brown frosting. The icing on the cake was now a good one inch thick so when I placed the white Good & Plentys around to look like a race track, they sunk into the frosting. So did the two Hot Wheels cars. Coconut is not one of my favorites so I eliminated that stage. I won't need the cake until December. Do you think it will last if I freeze it until then?

Seriously, this was very clever, the instructions were simple and Max and the girls are adorable.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@drbj - see that is what it is all about - improvisation to make it work for you. Glad you found this so easy to make, and brown frosting probably would do just as good of a trick as the oreos. And I have to admit, I think I had a few when I was decorating mine.

Now - here is some advice - go to the store and buy a toy tow truck... that way you can get your cars out of all that frosting. I would hate to see someone break a tooth on one... lol

As for the freezing - I don't see why not - it works for wedding cake. Although I don't actually remember eating mine a year later... so don't take my advice or feed it to an enemy first! :)


marellen 5 years ago

What a darling cake and so special. Thanks for sharing this with us. I bet he had a wonderful time at his party.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

BBG - way cute and super duper impressive! that cake looks like a bakery cake! I bought a kit once to make a castle BD cake - never took the stuff out of the box because the girls said they were to old for that kind of cake....now I know where I'll send it:) haha!

I have complained about this before - I can not bake. Not even a box cake.....I always burn it or it's hard all over or the other extreme - not done in the middle. I'm blaming the oven. I think the temp is off:)

I love the pictures - and the kids are so adorable. You got the Royal Family going on:)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Marellen - The funny thing is, I think he was the only one who didn't eat a piece of cake. Not that he didn't get one... but he just had no interest in it. He was too busy playing with his cars! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Real - I wonder if this is the same cake package that my friend had.. we thought it was a real cake and it was a plastic cake that you put real frosting on. What a waste of frosting... lol... we were going to use that to make her kids birthday cake. Instead, we ended up having to make a box cake and cutting off poor barbies legs so it could be a dress. See - I too have my baking mishaps.

I have to say though - with all the good stuff you cook, I have a hard time believing you can't bake. I too am going to blame your over! :)


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

hey BBG28...a terrific idea!!

My hubby's b'day is close by and since he is into running...I might just make him a cake with a running track :)

He sure will be amused and what a way to show that I support his hobby (wink wink)

Btw, your kid on the pix blowing the candles is adorable :)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

BBG,

Such a cute cake! I used to make cakes and it was so much fun. Haven't made one in about 7 years. Now I think I might get back in to it. Great pics too!

Sharyn


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Sharyn - This was actually the only cake that I have ever made like this that was successful. I once tried to make a cake that looked like a christmas tree... it ended up being the leaning tree of pisa with a whole lot of toothpicks jammed in. I eventaully just threw it in a bowl and called it done with a warning to watch out for toothpicks. I was super proud of this one and I think I will try to make another one for my other kids as well!


KDF profile image

KDF 4 years ago from Central Illinois

Now that is a cool cake. I'm going to pass this on to my girl who is a great cake maker and see what she comes up with. Thanks for sharing


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@KDF - Thanks so much. It really wasn't too hard to make and I had lots of fun doing it. Best part was... I finally convinced myself that these homemade cakes taste better than the store bought ones. I hope your girl gets a chance to come up with something great with this!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Another wonderful cake. It looks like your son is mesmerized by it. I love the crushed Oreo cookies as a road topping. Voting this Up and Useful.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@alocsin - It was pretty hard to control him with that cake... in fact, he didn't want anything to do with the actual cake - he just wanted the cars. But everybody else loved the cake! :) Glad you enjoyed this one!


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

A creative and delicious cake! Good to know that your son loved this cake and had a wonderful time. Your idea, instructions and tips are smart and detailed. Very economical and nothing beat home-made cakes made out of love! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up and Socially Shared.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@ishwaryaa22 - Thank you.... I am glad that you enjoyed this. I had fun making it and it definitely brought out a side of me that I didn't even know existed. I have always loved baking... but cakes and decorating where never my speciality. I think I will keep making more.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a cute family picture at the end! Something to treasure always. Your birthday cake looked great! Bet that everyone loved it! Up votes and tweeting. My HP share is still not working for some reason.


FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Now I CAN have my cake and eat it too! Great hub! I made a castle cake for my child last year! It was inexpensive and delicious!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Peggy W - That was one of the first cakes I ever made like that. I was super proud and I will admit - I was kind of bragging about it. Funny - it's almost time for his birthday again. I wonder what cake I should be making this year! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@FreezeFrame34 - That must have been a pretty cool cake. I was going to try to make a castle cake for my daughter but decided on something differently. It is still in the mix yet though so you never know!

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