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Make your child's birthday special: How to Make a Race Car Track Cake
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.
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.
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.
- 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!
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.
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...
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?
- 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!