Race Track

Another week, another party. This weekend was Liam’s birthday party with his school friends and he requested a cake with racing cars on it. As luck would have it he’s 8 this year, providing an ideal shape for a race track. Helpfully my local kitchen and cake decorating supplies shop rents out cake tins so for the bargain price of £1 I had 24 hours use of a no. 8 tin.

It’s a slightly odd style of tin which doesn’t actually have a proper base to it so the preparations involved a lot of foil and greaseproof paper

Preparations

The next question was about quantity. There was a difference of opinion in the shop as to whether a 4 or 5 egg sponge mix was appropriate. I went with 4 and hoped for the best. As it turned out it was pretty much perfect.

4 egg mix

Once it had cooled it was onto the decoration, I was a bit nervous about trying to slice and fill it but it held together well. Sandwiched together with buttercream and jam and covered with a soft buttercream crumb coat it was time for the fun bit!

I started off by turning the cake into a track with green fondant (grass) for the sides and grey (tarmac) for the top. The small circles were fiddly to cover but with a bit of faffing about it was eventually done. Now for the cars. There were going to be 7 children at the party who would obviously want a car each, preferably all different colours. The cars were fairly simple to make, if a bit fiddly due to their small size. Edible glue (bought from Lakeland) was very definitely my friend here. It requires very little pressure to stick so allows the tiny pieces to stick together without being squashed out of shape. A slightly flattened pear shape made up the main body of the vehicle with a block on the back for a spoiler. Small but thick black circles made up the wheels with tiny white hubcaps. Then a small ball of icing in a different colour made a helmet and a white circle on each bonnet ready for a number. After they had dried overnight I used a black icing pen to write on the numbers and draw visors onto the helmets.

The track didn’t need too many details. I used white chocolate writing icing to draw a white line all round the edge of the track and also a start finish line. The bends were marked with crescents of white icing with stripes painted on in red food colouring. That just left positioning the cars and securing them in place with more edible glue. Cue the checkered flag!

track

bend

overtaking

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Angry Bird

Liam’s 8th birthday and a very simple cake for his family birthday tea. After the Alice in Wonderland challenge I decided that the Lakeland hemispherical bowls were a must have and particularly well suited to Liam’s current Angry Bird obsession. This was just for a family tea of 6 people so I went for a medium bowl sized cake and just a single hemisphere (rather than making the fully spherical bird). As advised on the Lakeland website I used a 3 egg Victoria sponge mix baked for about an hour at just 150deg and plenty of cake release spray. This was actually very effective. I also tried the often recommended approach of buttercream as a crumb coat under fondant icing which also worked well.

The decoration as usual used pre coloured fondant in the main. I had enough tan coloured fondant left over from the dormouse to make the bird’s breast and there was a tricky moment when I realised that I didn’t have any black but I improvised with food colour and a paintbrush and there you go. Simple yet effective.

angry_bird

He does look very, very angry.