Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

American Girl Doll Birthday Cake

Posted on April 11, 2014
Filed Under Birthday cakes, Cakes

Tiffany turned 8 last week. Usually, the girls pick what they want for a cake, but this year Tiffany said, “I don’t want to pick my cake this year, I want you to surprise me. My only thing is I’d like something that has to do with princess-y”.

So, the morning of her birthday, Tiffany left for school and I got busy baking.

This is what was waiting for her when she got home.

american girl doll cake4

Yes, I did put her American Girl doll Rebecca inside a cake. Yes, I know, it was a little crazy.
In all of Pinterest-searching for princess cakes, I never saw an American Girl doll in one… Barbie seems to be pretty much monopolizing the whole doll-in-cake thing. If you’re wondering how Rebecca’s cloth body fared, it was totally unharmed. Before putting her in the cake, I wrapped her in plastic wrap up to her chin and down her arms a bit. I did have to wash her hair afterwards, though, because it was against the back of her dress and the fondant tiara was sitting on it.

Tiffany loved the cake extra much because it wasn’t some random new doll… it was a doll she’d had for over a year and already knew and loved. Ok, that sounds weird talking like that about a doll, but if you were once a little girl with a favorite doll, you might understand how that can feel accurate. ???? I don’t know how many times Tiffany said, “I just feel like I have to pick her up and hug her!” and then sometimes adding the obvious “but I know it would get fondant and cake all over me”.

So, for the details, here is how I did it (not to be confused with the professional way to do it, ha). You’ll notice some winging it and some improvising and some lack of planning ahead and some details that didn’t get very good. But so what, my 8-year-old was speechless ….and yours would be too if you’d up n wing a cake like this for her. :)

First is baking the cakes…

The cake part is white cake baked in 4 pans… a 10″, 9″, 8″, and 6″ pan. I needed a hole in the middle to put the doll down thro’, so I thought why not save on cake instead of cutting out the middles, so I put a coffee cup in the center of each pan and dumped the batter in around it. Can you say “wing it”? Worked great, though! The handles were kind of a pain to work around, but my drinking glasses aren’t big enough for how big I wanted the hole.
cake baking1

cake baking2

Next step was to layer the cakes, put Rebecca in, and cover the skirt with frosting. I did no skirt carving to make an even slant, except for the very top layer so it wouldn’t be quite as big of a jutting out. And yes, the top layer did sort of break in the trimming process, in case you notice it looks a bit pieced together. For the other layers, instead of trimming, I just put more frosting where needed to fill in the gaps. As you’ll see in the picture below, I put a cardboard between layers 2 and 3, and there are skewers going down thro layers 1 & 2 under the cardboard, just in case the cake and frosting would want to settle down into each other from the weight.
american girl doll cake1

american girl doll cake2

Now the fun part… fondant. For the first time ever, I MADE fondant. I got the recipe from Around My Family Table. It was more stretchy than store-bought (which can be good or bad, depending what you’re doing), otherwise it was pretty much the same. And it tastes a lot better, so I’m kind of thinking homemade from here on out. Not sure if it would work as well for figurines though, will have to experiment. For this cake, I made a double recipe of fondant and used almost all of it.

I did not have the dress visualized before making it, so it kind of just happened as it went… deciding it needed some white to break up all the pink and just kinda messing with and adding things here and there. I need to get better at folds in fabric, like at the top of the skirt. The flowers around the neck were to hide the plastic wrap sticking up, so the other flowers on the dress were to tie in with that. Btw, I have a flower cutter set that makes those so easy, my 3-yr-old can even make them. She was making some along with me here and we kept stealing cutters and presses from each other. I think she ate all the flowers she made, though.

american girl doll cake3

After this picture, I put some water in a spray bottle that sprays a very fine mist and misted the dress to give it the look of shiny fabric. Plus, it was an easy way to get rid of the extra powdered sugar on the dress (which is on there from rolling it out because you need powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to the counter and rolling pin).
Tip: If you want to get rid of the powdered sugar without getting the shine, carefully wipe it off with a barely damp paper towel or cloth.

The lack of progress pictures is partially because I forgot, partially because my hands were always powdered-sugary, and partially because you can pretty much see everything in the done picture. For the sleeve puff, I put a chunk of fondant on each shoulder, then gathered fondant and shaped it for a sleeve. There is no cake on the top half of her… that is fondant directly on top of the plastic wrap that she’s wrapped in. The necklace is simply piped dots of frosting.

american girl doll cake5

Just a few tidbits:
— Her arms got in that position when I was wrapping her in plastic. When I was done, I was about to put them down, but instead let them up in the air like that because it looked more festive or something rather than hands boringly at her sides.
— The tiara was a bit of an afterthought. She was done and I thought “oh dear, a princess needs a tiara! I should’ve made one 2 days ago so it could be dry and hard now!” I had to go with a chunky one because a delicate one couldn’t have stood up because there was no time for the fondant to harden. So I made a ‘snake’, looped it a few times, pinched the middle loop into a point, sprinkled it with granulated sugar, and put it on her head.
— The candles… we were ready to light candles and sing Happy Birthday to You, but I hadn’t put any on! We couldn’t think of a good place to poke them in (I mean, really, who wants their dress on fire?!). Just then a light bulb moment hit and I ended up piping 8 little piles of frosting on the cake board, and stuck the candles in. Worked great! You can kind of see it on the very last picture of this post.

I’ll just add a couple pictures yet of a cut view so you can see how Rebecca was in there.

american girl doll cake cutaway

Rescuing the princess from the tower, er, oops, I mean, cake…
american girl doll cake disassembling

Happy birthday, Tiffany. Only 8 years ago, you looked like this:
tiff baby

How did you get to this already?!:
american girl doll cake rebecca tiffany


9 Responses to “American Girl Doll Birthday Cake”

  1. Rosanne on April 11th, 2014 9:12 am

    Great job, absolutely impressive!
    Did you every work with modeling chocolate? That might be what you need for figurines.

  2. Rosalyn on April 11th, 2014 9:47 am

    Beautiful cake! :) This must be a young girl’s dream cake!
    My girls are oohing and ahhing. “She is the BEST at making cakes!”

  3. Kay on April 11th, 2014 11:35 am

    Rosanne, thanks, esp coming from you, my cake-decorating hero! :) Yeah, I’ve worked with modeling chocolate and I should more! I like how you can join parts together and rub out the seam where it’s joined.

    Rosalyn, I know you have some American Girl Dolls around there… *hint hint*… you oughta try it! I know you could do it!

  4. Jo on April 12th, 2014 8:44 am

    Kay, I can’t believe this cake! Looks great.
    I met your aunt Ruthie and Uncle Dan in Haiti. They were at church with us Sunday morning.

  5. Shannon on April 14th, 2014 2:05 pm

    Wow, you are amazing. My girls couldn’t get over this. :)

  6. Kim on May 8th, 2014 11:30 am

    You ARE AMAZING! “Tiffany left for school. I got busy baking. This is what was waiting for her when she got home.” WOW! You make it sound so easy. And the 3 yr old ‘helping’ makes it even more remarkable. My 2 yr old would be the demolition crew all in one. Kristen and Shaina both have just like you AG dolls, and they would love it. Maybe til Aug I can work up my courage. :) Hey, its’ great to see you here again. It’s been awhile since I browsed. Miss you!

  7. maxine on November 3rd, 2014 1:15 am

    This is totally incredible. I am send in to American Girl Stores Manger in Houston and one in Chicago. You are the best!!!!! God bless. I did want to find someone I can trust to do this for my daughter on her 5th Birthday.

  8. Sandra on November 13th, 2014 12:32 pm

    That is incredible. I won’t even show it to Kiana because she would demand one just like it and I don’t have the talent for cake decorating

  9. stephine on August 8th, 2015 11:57 am

    thats adorable thats a really good idea good job

Puppy Cake – Happy 1st Birthday, Megan!

A year ago, I was memorizing the feel of a newborn in my arms; today I have to curl her legs up so she fits between the arms of the rocker.

A year ago, she couldn’t even hold her own head steady; today she WALKS up to me and raises chubby little arms, asking to be held.

A year ago, she wiggled her little self into my mommy heart; today she is wiggled in even deeper.

A year ago, I’d lay her on the couch and go do some work, knowing she’d stay there; today if I’d do that, I’d probably find her 3 minutes later in the bathroom pulling TP off the roll.

A year ago, I had to guess what she needed when she cried; today I still have to guess some, but she can get her point across very well when she needs/wants something.

A year ago:

3 months old. I saw this 4-generation picture in the 3-months-old category of pictures and decided to put it on here, for a few reasons… because I’m proud of my dad and yesterday was Father’s Day, because my grandma is very special to me and I’m so thankful I still have her, because some of you who know them might be interested in this picture, and because I love seeing 4-generation pictures.

And we’ll zoom in so you can see that at 3 months, Megan had some chubbies going on…
I’m just noticing that this picture is really neat… young baby skin against her great-grandmother’s aging hand.

6 months. All smiles, which was/is very typical of her…

9 months. Wanna pinch those cheeks?

1 year. And yes, she feels as sturdy as she looks. :)

My little Megan. Easy-going. Happy. Charming. Friendly. Chunky. And surrounded by love. Thank-You, God, for her.

And now for the cake. It was a puppy cake.

Here is the cake sitting beside the inspiration for the cake.

I know, so classy… dig thro’ the toybox for birthday cake ideas. Well, ok, that’s not actually what happened. First, I decided to make a puppy cake. Then, I needed a puppy to look off of. Then, I said, “Tiffany, could you please go find Sammy?”

My friend Kristen helped me with this. She brainstormed with me and we decided to make it pink and brown instead of tan and brown, so if you look closely, or more like just look… it’s not hard to see… you’ll see that everywhere that Sammy is tan, Birthday Puppy is pink, and the dark brown and white are the same on both. And then we added a bow. Kristen kneaded some fondant and made the button on the bow, the nose, and the eyes. She is 13 and she is confident and creative… two things which are very helpful when putting details on a cake!

I only have one progress picture of this cake. It’s one when it was mostly frosted and the legs are already covered with fondant.

The way to spell magic is f-o-n-d-a-n-t. ???? Doesn’t look like much, does it?

But put some fondant on and look what happens…


Yeah, I did smooth the frosting out some, but for some reason a crease showed up where the layers meet. I wanted sort of a lumpy loosely-stuffed look, but not necessarily a crease look! Oh well.


Here is a close-up of the bow.

As I was making the white part of the bow, I told Kristen we’ll need something for the middle of it and right away she started rattling off ideas, so I told her to have at it and here’s the little button she came up with. Cute! :)

The cake was sitting out on the table and one time when I walked through the dining room, this is what I saw… it was Shannon’s doings. ????

Ok… we have some kids around here somewhere. Let’s add them to the cake pictures…

Yay! It’s cousins from WI!
Tiffany, Kaitlyn, Megan, Lexi, Chad

I was planning to make a bone to give to Megan to dig in, but then that didn’t really happen, so she just got a leg of the puppy. First, she broke off a piece and tried to give it to Kara. Such a thoughtful giving person at such a young age, making sure other people get cake before allowing herself to indulge.

Then, she dug in herself…

Happy birthday, Megan. I hope you stay this sweet and good-natured forever!


9 Responses to “Puppy Cake – Happy 1st Birthday, Megan!”

  1. Shannon on June 20th, 2011 8:40 am

    Awww that is just so stinking cute!! And Megan looks so squishable! I’m gonna come squeeze her just to see (and talk) to you! :)

    Once again you did a fabulous job on the cake. Love all the little details.

  2. Cindy on June 20th, 2011 8:46 am

    yesyes i wanna pinch those cheeks…
    and squeeze those lil chubby hardly-a-baby-anymore legs!

    you are The Coolest cake maker!
    happy first birthday to megan and her mom!

  3. Freida on June 20th, 2011 8:55 am

    A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!!!! Both the cake and the girl. Btw- I MISS you! Please come back. :)

  4. Amy Burkey on June 20th, 2011 9:08 am

    The four generation picture is very nice. And your Megan is very precious! I really really liked this post. God IS good!

  5. Jenny on June 20th, 2011 9:53 am

    I enjoyed your post, liked the four generation picture very much, I have a similar one with my Dad and Grandma, last summer.
    Cute cake and little girl too :)

  6. Liz on June 20th, 2011 10:51 am

    Good job on the cake. Which I think or at least hope that I already told you.

  7. Twila Kulp on June 20th, 2011 11:49 am

    Your sweet babe is so cute! And your dad is handsome and your grandma a lovely picture of old age! Thanks for sharing pics. I do not have that kind of talent with decorating cakes, but it’s fun to look. :)

  8. Mom on June 23rd, 2011 9:51 am

    Oh my, what is it that makes a grandma cry seeing pictures like this of far-away sweet grandkiddies? I want her to know me, too, so maybe I’ll just start out for OH and not stop till I get there! See you tonight – NOT!! I love those legs sticking out the back on the puppy! He’s cute, too, and a perfect fit for Megan!

  9. Birthday Flowers on June 27th, 2011 12:13 pm

    This looks so great! The cake looks really yummy too!

Lightning McQueen Cake… Happy Birthday, Regan!

Posted on April 25, 2011
Filed Under Birthday cakes

I’m really glad I have friends who have boys. And that they let me make birthday cakes for them. Otherwise, when would I get a chance to make boy cakes, what with having only girls? I know girls love Lightning McQueen and Thomas the Tank Engine too, but when it comes to birthday cakes, a zoomin’ car or train isn’t the first thing they’d usually pick… although, while I was making this cake, Lexi said, “Mom, I know I’m not a boy, but I WOULD really love a Lightning McQueen cake next time.” I’ll bet she’ll change her mind before December 7. :)

This Lightning McQueen cake was for my friend Joe’s son, Regan. Regan turned the big 5 this past week. Here he is. Cute little guy!


And a brave little guy. He’s all smiles… on the picture, anyway.

This is the first time that I’ve ever written a Kitchen Scrapbook post that I felt like just closing my laptop and crying.

There was pain behind the smiles at the party and there is pain woven throughout this post. There was a mama-shaped hole the size of Texas at this birthday party. Regan suddenly lost his dear mama this past January. It just breaks my heart. And no 5-yr-old should have to celebrate a birthday without a mama. Thus, a little extra love was built into this cake because that thought was in the front of my mind the entire time I was making it. Deb was a dear friend and I feel very honored to have had the privilege of making a birthday cake for her son.


1-2-3 BLOW, Regan!!!!!

I didn’t ask Regan what type of cake he wanted… I was just going to do something in the cowboy/horse dept because that’s a significant part of his surroundings. But… Lexi is in 2nd grade with Regan’s older brother Riley, and she came home from school one day and said, “Riley said Regan wants a race car cake.” So, I asked Joe and he said Regan would love that, either Lightning McQueen or Dale Earnhardt Jr. By the way, did you know that Dale Earnhardt Jr and I have the same birthday? He’s 2 years older, though. Brett Favre and I have the same birthday, too… only he’s 7 years older. Anyway, that’s my claim to fame… being in the October 10 Birthday Club with them… we get together every year on our birthday and split the time in 3rds, talking about Nascar, NFL, and birthday cakes. I could be wrong on some of these details. But even though Dale Jr and I have the same birthday, we decided on Lightning McQueen because Missy was going to get party decor to go with whatever the cake is and there’s anything and everything you could ever want for a Lightning McQueen party.




I didn’t take progress pictures of making this cake because it’s made pretty much the same as the Lightning McQueen I made a couple years ago (I’ll post a link at the end of this post).

I did do something different with this one for the spoiler because the spoiler of the other one had issues and had to be propped up with toothpicks… and toothpicks propping stuff up sort of takes away from the coolness of a 3-D cake. With this one, I cut a slit in the cake and put a graham cracker in it, then covered the whole works with fondant. Here it is before it’s covered with fondant…
I think the graham cracker eventually took on the moisture from the cake and broke because at first, it was solidly in place, but after a couple hours, I could easily wiggle it. It didn’t matter though because by that time, the fondant had dried enough to hold it firmly at the proper angle.

In case you wonder what something is or how it’s done, I’ll just make a list here, hopefully answering some questions before you need to ask them. ????


Cake board – flat cardboard box, covered with wrapping paper and a strip of tin foil for the cake to go on.
Flags – wooden skewer with white fondant square, I took a paintbrush and painted little black squares on it (my ‘paint’ was food coloring paste)
Birthday wish – piped on with red frosting, the moisture from the frosting soaked into the wrapping paper a bit… it worked fine, but you wouldn’t want to do it too far in advance because it gets worse and worse and looks like dark shadowing around the writing.
Base under racetrack – 2 white sheet cakes with a layer of melted-chocolate-chips-mixed-with-peanut-butter between… because just plain ol’ white cake is booooooooooooooooooring (that’s a fact, but you can consider it an opinion if you prefer to ???? ). The cakes are covered with a layer of white frosting. Here is a cut view…
Checkered squares around base – I love this look, but I’d do it different next time. How I did it was very time-consuming. I cut a bunch of little fondant squares, then fit them all in on all 4 sides of the cake. Next time, I’d put a black strip the entire way around the cake and then cut little white squares and put them on, spaced appropriately to get the checkered look. Or I’d put a white strip all the way around and paint black squares on like I did the flags.
Race track – black fondant with piped frosting accents, graham cracker crumbs for dirt in the middle
Car – chocolate cake carved into a car shape and covered in frosting, then in fondant. I was afraid the weight of the car would make it sink down into the frosting of the base, so I cut a piece of cardboard roughly the footprint of the car, covered it in tin foil, put the car on it, and then set it on top of the base where I had spaced and poked 5 skewers down thro’ and cut them off about even with the top of the cake.
Details on car – it’s all fondant with frosting accents except the Rusteze logo and the eyes. The brown circle on the logo is… ahhhhhh… FUDGE! and the writing is peanut butter. The eyes are painted on with a paintbrush and blue and black food coloring paste.
And you’ve gotta notice the candles! I was so tickled to find them! They fit in SO perfectly!!! :)

Now… I KNOW you’re itching to make your own Lightning McQueen birthday cake for that sweet little guy in your life ???? , so here is the post with step by step directions with progress pictures: Lightning McQueen step-by-step

And for those of you who are thinking “Oh, I could never do that!”, this post is for you: Pictures of Lightning McQueen cakes that readers have made and emailed to me. So proud of them for taking on the challenge! And a couple of them said, “It was easier than I thought it would be.” ????

Have fun being 5, Regan!


29 Responses to “Lightning McQueen Cake… Happy Birthday, Regan!”

  1. Shannon on April 25th, 2011 7:26 am

    Another beautiful job Kay! I can only imagine how it felt to make this and think about Debra! Cheers to you for doing this for him!

  2. joe on April 25th, 2011 7:41 am

    Kay….words fail me…I wish I cud interpret my tears…

  3. Katie Mast on April 25th, 2011 8:57 am

    Thank you, Thank you for so lovingly making a cake for this sweet guy. I cried reading it. So glad you could make this birthday boy cheerful inspite of him not having his mommy there. We all miss her, but thanks for doing your part. It is very well done. Wish i was closer to help out as well.

  4. amber on April 25th, 2011 9:08 am

    absolutely AMAZING, lady!! you rock!

  5. esther on April 25th, 2011 10:02 am

    Such a kind thing to do Kay, for a 5 yr old who cannot control the circumstances of his life. At one time, our family was at the mercy of friends and family for this kind of thing. My brother had his 8th birthday 2 days after mom’s funeral. He had a cake, I don’t remember who made it. But someone took the time and cared.

  6. Mom on April 25th, 2011 11:15 am

    Ditto sentiments that were already expressed above. Proud to be “mom” to a talented, but even more so, a caring, big-hearted lady.

  7. Mom on April 25th, 2011 11:30 am

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the famous part, too, besides being talented and caring – the October 10 birthday club!

  8. lisa on April 25th, 2011 2:49 pm

    this post made me get teary…jase’s next birthday is his 5th and to think of him celebrating it without me…wow. i am really crying. your kind, gentle heart has always inspired me, so that you would do this does not surprise me. but it makes me even more proud to call you a friend.

    i hope regan always holds some cherished memories of this birthday party in his heart! i wish hope and healing for him and his family!

    p.s. just LOVED your mom’s comments!

  9. Renita on April 25th, 2011 3:23 pm

    Why am I always amazed at your bday cakes? They always get better! No joke! God bless you for helping a hurting family. The birthday club-my brother’s bday is Oct. 10th but he’s a few yrs older. :) And NOT famous. :)

  10. Liz on April 25th, 2011 4:15 pm

    Way to go Kay! That is so awesome that could do this for Joe, Regan, and the rest of the family.
    And way to share a birthdy with some popular people. I just didn’t know I had such a famous SIL! :)

  11. Jana on April 25th, 2011 6:40 pm

    Wow, cool cake! Looks like you had way too much fun! :)

  12. Rita on April 25th, 2011 7:09 pm

    Kay…..thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!! I’m Deb’s sister and am so thankful that Joe and the kids are surrounded by such loving and supportive friends. You did such an awesome job on that cake. My son was in awe! So thanks again for taking the time to be Jesus’ hands in this way.
    ~RIta Miller

  13. Ruthie on April 26th, 2011 6:07 am

    What a touching post…and amazing cake! Now I know I can’t take any credit for your talents and big heartedness(I have to leave that to your Mom)but, don’t you think I should have a little credit for teaching my son how to choose a wife? =)
    I quickly serched to see if I’m in any famous birthday club, but all I could find was Henery VIII’s first wife. She was a bit older than me, so we never did get together.

  14. Cindy on April 26th, 2011 6:10 am

    wow. you are so amazing! you have a way of making it sound like anyone could do this…but i ain’t fallin for that. :) that is one cool cake.

    i can see all of the love in it for a little boy having a birthday without his mom…i am so sorry for their loss…and yours.

  15. Marylou on April 26th, 2011 7:38 am

    The cake is amazing and I’m sure he loved it. I have a friend whose 6-year-old absolutely LOVES Lightning McQueen. He would go bonkers over this cake!

  16. Rachel H. on April 26th, 2011 7:48 am

    Kay, this is just precious of you. Beautiful cake and beautiful words.

  17. Judi on April 26th, 2011 11:51 am

    You make the most amazing cakes!! And yes, Ryan’s loss put a tear in my eye too. *hugs* for Ryan

  18. Judi on April 26th, 2011 11:52 am

    make that Regan :)

  19. Kay on April 26th, 2011 3:44 pm

    JOE (INSERT MIDDLE NAME HERE)!!!!!!!! ;), go away!!!! That’ll be enough out of you! I’m just glad YOU’re not in our little birthday club or we’d be doing good to get 5% of the talking time!

  20. Kay on April 26th, 2011 2:25 pm

    Ok, you guys! I feel like I need to step in and add my own comment.
    I love your comments, and wow, it melts my heart to see that the sadness of a 5-yr-old celebrating without a mom makes you cry too, even those of you who don’t know the family.

    I just want to clarify something… some of the comments have a “helping them” twist to them, as though this was a sacrifice or noble thing on my part. I’m not sure how to explain what I’m trying to say, but it’s bumped up a level. It was simply a casual conversation with Joe about Regan’s birthday… “What about the cake?” “Not sure yet.” “Can I make it?”(thinking yay!! a boy cake!) “Do you want to?” “Yeah! I LOVE making cakes!” and that’s as far as my thoughts went.

    Once I got to making the cake then, it hit me what I was actually doing and I felt very honored to be making this cake, so it was more a thing of me being in awe that I actually got the honors to do it!!!! So, yeah, please skip the lofty comments… they make me uncomfortable. Plus, it was 100% FUN FUN FUN to make this cake!!! :) The condolences and feeling the pain right along with us are very appreciated, though! And I’m glad to hear that the cake passes inspection. :) And of course I’m very comfortable talking about my birthday buddies, Brett and Dale Jr!

  21. joe on April 26th, 2011 3:36 pm

    And just to clarify the muddy water some more…..I did talk to “junebug” this afternoon and he confirmed what most of us thot all along….I merely mentioned that “kay” seemed fine with splitting the conversation pie in thirds, and he abrubtly rolled his eyes and said and I quote “that girl can talk better then she bakes cake!”

  22. verna on April 26th, 2011 8:19 pm

    Kay, just so you know I have had occassion to insert middle name , too… Did figure out that JOSEPH in a very loud high pitched voice works , pretty well..for future reference.
    Bless, you for making Regan’s day and as a result his dad’s too.

  23. Shikha on June 24th, 2011 4:12 pm

    Wow .. I am so happy I found you .. From a very long time I was searching to how to make this cake. I have a birthday cake to bake for my nephew next week, he is turning 5 and love this mcqeen car.. When my brother asked me if I could bake one for him I said yes but was so tensed how will I do it..
    Thank you so much for sharing this, Love your website and now I am a big fan of you.. you are an inspiration… with kids around you handle it so well :)

  24. Kay on June 24th, 2011 5:02 pm

    Shikha, thanks for the comment. Same to you about being an inspiration… I was just on your website from your link here… I’ve GOTTA try that rose-shaped cake, it’s beautiful!! I saw your other amazing cakes and alot of other creativity going on over there and I know you’ll ROCK Lightning McQueen! I’d love to see a picture when you’re done! :)

  25. Shikha on June 24th, 2011 6:14 pm

    Thank you Kay, thats so sweet of you to say.. :) I shall try my best to get it as wonderful as yours.. I Was just showing this to my hubby and he was like so cool .. :) I will surely send you the pic once I finish the cake.. :) takecare

  26. Shikha on June 29th, 2011 11:24 pm

    Hi Kay,
    need some info, I just finished my cake, I was wondering can we place it in fridge, I am afraid for the fondant car.. The base is butter cream but the car is fondant.. What did you do ? Please advise thank you :)

  27. Kay on June 29th, 2011 11:41 pm

    Great! You did it! Can’t wait to see it! :)
    Almost all of my cakes do not go in the fridge because *ahem* till I finish them, it’s usually only hours till party time (that’s not on purpose, that’s just how I roll and I know it’s crazy because what if something would go wrong?! This particular cake was finished about 8 hours before the party. The closest one was the school bus cake with 45 min till party time! Anyway, why am I saying all this?!) Is the party tomorrow? Just let it sit out on the counter. If the party is later this weekend, go ahead and put it in the fridge.
    The puppy cake I featured recently, I did 4 days before the party and I had it in the fridge and then got it out a few hours before the party and set it on a table in an air conditioned room. Allegedly, if you get a fondant cake out of the fridge and set it out when there’s alot of humidity in the air, it’ll sweat. I’ve never tried it.
    Whatever you do, don’t put it in the freezer. ???? I did that with a winter wraps cake and the fondant got wet and shiny and the colors started running as it thawed!

  28. Shikha on July 6th, 2011 2:26 pm

    Thank you kay for the lovely info, I have just emailed you my cake pics, :) I had so much fun making it. I love your cakes its amazing.. thank you again for the help..
    takecare :)

Ladybug Birthday Cake – Happy 5th Birthday, Tiffany!

Posted on April 12, 2011
Filed Under Birthday cakes


Yeah, I know… you’re thinking “Ewww, a ladybug.”

Me too.

But hey, I’m just the cake-maker, not the cake-decider.

Tiffany isn’t really a cake-decider either… she had THE hardest time nailing down what cake she wanted. For awhile, it was a big huge whoopie pie cake. Then, for awhile it was a gazebo. (The difference between those 2 cakes in time and skill is like night and day!) Then, about a week before her birthday, she started switching daily… seriously, we were all over the place… castle, house, ballerina, heart, ladybug, bird nest, space shuttle, garden…

The morning of her birthday, I was ready to bake the cake. Once I bake the cake, it’s pretty much no-turning-back because depending what it is depends what I bake it in. At the moment, we were on a bird’s nest with eggs in it and a bird sitting on top (and the bird sitting on top would be sturdy and removeable so it could be played with beforehand… we weren’t planning to have a cake party, so I didn’t care if the girls played with the cake before eating it). I got the cake mix out of the cupboard, then said, “So, we’re doing a bird-on-a-nest cake, right?” She said, “No, I was just thinking… I’d rather have a ladybug.”

Oh. Ok. Uhhh. Yeah. Sure. No problem. :)

Turns out a ladybug is a VERY simple cake to make. There are 2 things I’d have done different, though.
1. I baked it in a mixing bowl and I wish I’d have picked a mixing bowl that was a little deeper, that curved more at the bottom. I thought this ladybug got too flat and wide. But, on the other hand, maybe looking LESS life-like is a good thing! :)
2. I cut about a third of the circle off for the head… should’ve cut off more like a fourth. I thought the head looked too big.

But anyway, here it is in pictures. You’ll see that it is easy… no carving involved. And you could just use black and red frosting instead of the fondant.


Cutting off excess red fondant. The other part is frosted and ready for black.

Making the line down the back where the wings separate…

Starting to look a bit more ladybug-ish. You can see the leaf on the right… I rolled out green fondant, cut out a leaf shape, and made a few indents for veins. Then, I put wads of tin foil hit-n-miss around underneath it until it dried… that way, the leaf has a bit of character to it instead of just laying totally flat.

Looked around in my cupboards for something the perfect size to cut out circles for spots. Found a water bottle lid. ????


The antennas are made out of fondant wrapped around a twist-tie… not kidding about that! I got to that part and hunted around for something to use. My first thought was to use little pretzel sticks, but we didn’t have any. Everything else is either cake, fondant, frosting, or covered cake board.


“Done, Tiffany. Here’s your ladybug.”

“Mooooooooommmmm! You forgot the mouth!”


(That did actually happen… I didn’t make up that little exchange just because the pictures look like it.)

NOW we’re done…




Tiffany’s birthday wasn’t totally party-less. She woke up to a little ribbon & balloon canopy, complete with her name and a couple of gifts. For her birthday meal in the evening, she opted to go to a restaurant with Preston and Kara (and us, of course), where the waiters and waitresses gave her a birthday wish. As we were walking out, a couple of the waitresses wished her a happy birthday again. She was surprised that they remembered it was her birthday.


10 Responses to “Ladybug Birthday Cake – Happy 5th Birthday, Tiffany!”

  1. Rosanne on April 12th, 2011 3:55 pm

    Adorable is what I am thinking!

  2. Shannon on April 12th, 2011 4:27 pm

    Now that is just plum cute, not gross at all! :) As always, you did a fabulous job! Happy birthday Tiffany!!

  3. Ida Friesen on April 12th, 2011 7:12 pm

    Kay, that is adorable! Nothing gross about it:)Happy Birthday Tiffany. You’re a lucky little girl to have such a talanted Mama:)

  4. Christy on April 13th, 2011 4:50 am

    I think ladybugs are adorable, so I love it. I like your creativity that comes out in your supplies for the cake–tinfoil balls, twisties. I remember Anita’s girls changing their minds about their cakes almost daily when they were little. :) The mouth exchange sounds like the kind of conversations we have here. You know what’s a little crazy? When I first started blogging, Tiffany and Katlyn were babies and I was pregnant. I remember one of the first pictures I saw on your blog was the one of all you moms at church lined up with your babies. Now here we are with 5 year olds!!

  5. Beth on April 13th, 2011 8:00 am

    Love it!!! These girls are going to grow up thinking all their friends have boring moms!!! jk. But seriously…you did it again. Make it sound so effortless & if I’d try it, I’m sure there would be no blogging — more like running & hiding. It also shows Tiffany’s creativity to even think of THAT many options for a cake!

  6. Katrina on April 15th, 2011 10:58 pm

    That cake is so cute and you make it seem so simple. You also look great, by the way, Kay!

  7. Di on April 17th, 2011 12:30 pm

    Awesome cake, like always. I am the mean mom that buys the birthday cakes which normally are fairly boring.

    Was looking at your diet post a little back, and WOW girlfriend YOU are looking GREAT!!! :)

  8. Emi Puglisi on April 17th, 2011 3:17 pm

    Love it! I really love you blog! It is on my favorites tab! :)

  9. Emi Puglisi on April 17th, 2011 3:18 pm

    oops meant to say “your blog” not “you blog”.

  10. Kim on April 19th, 2011 7:14 pm

    Kristen likes your ladybug cake, Tiffany! She thinks she will make one for their last day of school program because their program is about “A Day at NMS from a Ladybug’s perspective.” :) Thanks for the inspiration.
    Once again, enjoyed browsing!

Snickers Cake… Happy 8th Birthday, Lexi!

Posted on January 5, 2011
Filed Under Birthday cakes


For over 3 years, Lexi’s favorite candy bar has been Snickers. Usually, the reason a food is your favorite kind is because you’ve tried some variations and one was head and shoulders above the others. Well, not so with Lexi and Snickers bars.

Here is how Lexi came to like them… Once upon a time, when she was 4 years old, we went to our small hometown county fair, a county fair in which there are veggie races (“Will the corn beat the cucumber? Oh look! The potato is taking the lead!”) and a cornbox (as opposed to a sandbox) and pig swimming races (I didn’t even know pigs could swim, so that I had to see!) and, of course, pony rides. Like all good dads, Lexi’s dad gave in to her big brown eyes when she asked for a pony ride. There was a line of kids and a circle of ponies. When Lexi was at the front of the line, her dad helped her up on the next pony as the man in charge of the pony ring told her with a smile, “YOU can ride on Snickers!”. It was surreal, a dream come true, she was sitting on a REAL pony… and she wasn’t even dreaming!
Sure, she had sat on ponies before, but they were always hard cold pretend ones on a carousel, and wow, this was more fun than a carousel! It was a little scarier too, but sometimes scarier goes with funner, like ponies vs. carousels.
She talked about Snickers for days. One day, I said, “Did you know there’s a candy bar that’s Snickers?” The poor Snickers-candy-deprived child said, “No! There is? What does it taste like? Can we get one?” I said, “Sure. Remind me next time we go to town.” She did remind me and during her first bite, she declared it her best candy. And they lived happily ever after. Just between you and me, I’m pretty sure Snickers knocked M&Ms out of the favorite candy slot BEFORE she even tasted it… beloved ponies can have that effect on little girls.

On to the cake…

First, I baked a sheet cake and then cut it in 3rds and then stacked it up with frosting between the layers. The reason I did that is because a 9×13 would’ve been just the wrong dimensions to get the length and height I wanted.



Next, I melted caramel (just plain caramel, I didn’t mix any milk or anything in). It was a caramel loaf (consistency of wrapped candy caramels) from a bulk foods store. Then, I mixed peanuts into it. Then I waited til it was still soft enough to spread, but hard enough to not drip down over the side of the cake.

And there it is. All spread out. And not dripping out over, although some was kind of threatening to at the ends.

Now, it’s time for…. THIS!!!
*be still, my beating heart*
It’s 2.7 lbs of pure milk chocolate, which I chunked up and melted.
Side note: I purposely chewed gum during this cake project so I wouldn’t gain 10 lbs from snitching!

I lined a cookie sheet with tin foil because it holds its shape when bent, which will come in handy in a bit. I made a chocolate pond on it, then set the cake on top, then poured some over the top.

Then, I bent up the tin foil, which made the pooled chocolate have no place to go except up the side of the cake… exactly where it was supposed to go. :) I let it sit there for a bit til the chocolate hardened, which didn’t take long because I had put it in the fridge for a bit while I took care of my baby, with the hardening faster idea in mind.cake6.jpg

When I pulled the foil down, this is how it looked…

Then I repeated the process, but used tin foil AND Saran wrap. Not sure why the Saran wrap. It was just a whim. And when it hardened and I took it all off, it looked like this. Oh, before it hardened, I swirled the chocolate on the top. I did smooth out the chocolate on the side a bit between this picture and the next one, by using a hairdryer on Low to soften it WHILE smoothing it with a knife.

Now, let the fondant fun begin. I colored the fondant brown and rolled it out. Then, I rolled out some white and laid it on top, which was actually the underside… because I wanted to flip the wrapper back and wanted it to be white inside, not brown. The ‘glue’ for fondant to stick together is water. Easy enough.

Then I put it over the cake, with enough extra to wrap underneath too.

Next, I tucked it underneath, folded it in the back, trimmed it evenly, and crimped it with a fork. Fondant is pliable until it dries out, and I wanted that back part to stand out, not point down, so I poked a few toothpicks into the cake in under there to hold it up. Then, I trimmed it unevenly in the front and pulled it back a bit. What you can also see here is how I did the lettering. I printed it out and could actually sort of see thro the fondant to trace it on. I mixed up some watery blue mixture, but it was too light, so I just ended up doing it right out of the food coloring paste can. I used a small paintbrush.


Then, I put the white part on (with water ‘glue’), piped the white ‘shadowing’ on (that REALLY made a world of difference! Compare the writing on these 2 pictures.), and made a ‘snake’ with red fondant and put it around the white (‘gluing’ it with water). Then, I piped “Happy Birthda LEXI” on it. Yup, there’s no Y, but an A is hiding under the wrapper.

Then, I laid a paper towel on a cooling rack, covered it all with tin foil, ‘scribbled’ blue and green on it for a festive/kid look, and made an 8 out of fondant and put the top of a taper candle in the middle (yeah, I know, cheesy, but in all my cake-ingredient shopping, I didn’t think to put candles on the list and I didn’t have 8 on hand and I didn’t think it was worth running for some. I did get a pack of 8 little Snickers though, which were each going to hold a candle, sitting around the cake like they are.) This is a view from towards the back so you can see the crimping on the back of the wrapper.

There’s nothing on the back of the bar. I could’ve written “Hungry? Grab a Snicker bar!” or some other slogan that they have on wrappers, but I decided not to mess with it anymore. Plus Tiffany ate some of my frosting and there wasn’t enough left to pipe it.


Here’s my FAVORITE picture of all! :)


24 Responses to “Snickers Cake… Happy 8th Birthday, Lexi!”

  1. Amy Burkey on January 5th, 2011 1:05 pm

    I just really love your cake ideas! I wonder if I shouldn’t learn how to use that playdough stuff sometime!

  2. Twila on January 5th, 2011 1:22 pm

    Amazing!! This cake is so cute!!

  3. carmen byler on January 5th, 2011 1:32 pm

    you are amazing!!! i did a fondant cake for Elyse’s first bd and pretty much decided never again.
    Wow, you could def win a contest w/ this one!!

  4. Shannon on January 5th, 2011 1:41 pm

    Kay! You are an amazing woman, I tell ya!! :) Beautifully done and explained. I’m with Lexi, if I have to eat a candy bar, I’ll eat a snickers! :)

  5. Ruthie on January 5th, 2011 2:10 pm

    Kay! tell Lexie that Snickers is my favorite bar too, but I haven’t had one in oh so long —

  6. Amber S on January 5th, 2011 2:28 pm

    That is an amazing cake.

  7. Berneice on January 5th, 2011 2:49 pm

    Wow! I am once again in awe! It is beyond cool!

  8. Rosanne on January 5th, 2011 3:01 pm

    I love this creation!!! And was that a big block of Wilber chocolate!!? Woow you got me thinking what to make for my daughters 12th birthday. Maybe a candy bar cake.
    Love it!!
    Great Job!

  9. Liz on January 5th, 2011 3:10 pm

    Oh, wow! That looks so good! Wish I could have tasted some. And I’m still impressed with your cake decorating abilities even if you think it’s not that hard.

  10. Freida on January 5th, 2011 3:50 pm

    Words fail me. That is just way beyond neat!

  11. Beth on January 5th, 2011 4:20 pm

    You are a genius. I can’t imagine dreaming up something like that. I would also like to say that her invention tasted delicious. That caramel layer was awesome! Love the line “be still, my beating heart” that went with the 2.7 lbs. of chocolate!

  12. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on January 5th, 2011 5:23 pm

    Beautiful! You are the cake master! Wow! I’m amazed!

  13. Vicki on January 5th, 2011 7:42 pm

    You did an excellent job!

  14. Rosalyn on January 5th, 2011 9:07 pm

    Wow! Truly amazing! I want one now! ????

  15. Christy on January 9th, 2011 10:14 pm

    KAY! This is amazing!!!!!! You really need to enter it to Taste of Home or Family Fun or somewhere. Seriously!!!!! When I saw the first picture, I thought, “but the sad thing would be it looking so good, and tasting like cake and icing.” But it didn’t. The fact that you put the carmel and nuts in there and covered it with chocolate puts it over the top. Wow, Wow. Wow. The logo looks perfect, too.

  16. lisa on January 9th, 2011 10:50 pm


    makes my pregnant self crave a snickers bar.

  17. amber on January 9th, 2011 10:58 pm

    A-MA-ZING!! Kay~ i am so impressed! i had no idea you did this sort of thing. wow. i’m learning all about your secret talents this week!! ????

    that last shot is great!

    love ya

  18. Rachel on January 10th, 2011 5:59 am

    this is AWESOME!!
    you should teach a class!
    your children are very lucky to have such a creative and giving mommy!!
    happy monday!

  19. Becky on January 10th, 2011 2:24 pm

    oh my gosh. that is just fantastic, kay!! looks so real! have you ever watched that show on tv about cakes??…cant remember the name of it offhand.

  20. Paul on January 10th, 2011 7:26 pm

    Wow. I’m not sure if you watch the show Cake Boss, but you should definitely be on it! Excelent job once again.

  21. Jessi on January 11th, 2011 7:09 pm

    What an amazing job!!!

  22. cindy on January 19th, 2011 10:06 am

    that is the coolest cake ever! my word girl. you are aMaZinG and clever in sooooo many ways! ????

  23. Judi on January 28th, 2011 2:55 pm

    WOW!!! that cake is amazing… talk about work. I’m sure Lexi just LOVED it! Just like she loved Snickers :)

  24. Nicole on February 3rd, 2011 9:33 pm

    These instructions were easy to follow. The pictures were very useful. The taste was amazing, adding that layer of caramel and peanuts was a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Introducing… Our Newest Little Cupcake

Posted on August 19, 2010
Filed Under Birthday cakes, Tidbits

Her name is:


She’s not sugar-free… she’s full and overflowing with sweetness.

Here she is…


She’s a bundle of pudge and coos and smiles and wiggles… well, ok, and some crying and blowouts too.

Lexi & Tiffany adore her. Here they are when she was brand new…

And here they are just recently…

Megan’s middle name is Lydia. Megan Lydia. One reason we wanted to use it is for a namesake of a dear grandmother… Shannon’s grandma’s name was Lydia. Another reason we wanted to use it is because on the day we found out that we were expecting Megan, we also got the news of Grandma passing away. It was a life and a death notice all in one day. Bittersweet.

Speaking of Grandma Lydia, the ABC blanket under these cupcakes was hand-quilted by her for Lexi (who is now 7). Someday, I’ll probably have trouble deciding whether to pass it on to Lexi who it was made for or Megan who is her namesake. :)


megan3.jpg Sleeping… she goes 5-hour stretches at night and a few times has slept ALL night! Not bad for 2 1/2 months! I’m quite proud of her!

I wish somehow I could put a cyber-squish on here so you could hold her for a minute, especially for my mom who lives miles away and hasn’t gotten to cuddle her for awhile. ????

She weighed 7 lbs 12 oz at birth and tipped the scales to 13 1/2 lbs at her 2-month check-up… no wonder she grew out of some of those adorable little clothes before I got to wear them on her enough!

And that’s our Little Cupcake. A Little Cupcake that is to blame for my blog suffering over the last year. A Little Cupcake that’s pretty much the boss around here, but we’re fine with that because we think she’s the darlingest thing around.

Speaking of cupcakes, here are the real ones up close… decorated with fondant and frosting. My little Cooks in Training helped make the stuff on top. We sat down and had what Lexi called a “girl’s meeting” to discuss what to put on top of the 12 cupcakes and the name and these 7 things is what we came up with. As we were making the things, Tiffany (4) kept calling the fondant Play-doh. And when she wasn’t calling the fondant Play-doh, she was asking if she could eat some more frosting.

Hopefully, you can tell what they all are, but just in case you can’t, they are: a bib, a blanket, a bottle, baby feet, baby face with a pacifier, rattle, and baby blocks.










19 Responses to “Introducing… Our Newest Little Cupcake”

  1. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on August 20th, 2010 4:02 am

    Well I think you have the best excuse ever for not blogging! Congrats!! She is just beautiful! Missed seeing your posts!

  2. Doris High on August 20th, 2010 4:14 am

    She is a sweetie – and I love the cupcakes.

  3. Arla on August 20th, 2010 5:31 am

    Hi Kay,
    Such a perfect dolly. Thanks for sharing your cupcake. I LOVE the cybesquish idea. We’ve been hugging our little Jubilant for almost two months now while he’s home from Thailand because when he goes back there’ll be no more chances for squishes.

  4. Michelle on August 20th, 2010 5:32 am

    That picture of Megan sleeping with her arms up over her head is just so, so cute! I love how babies do that! Adorable cupcakes, too! I loved the “girl’s meeting.” It made me feel all nostalgic about mom and us girls sitting down to discuss fun stuff.

  5. Shannon on August 20th, 2010 7:00 am

    Oh my word… it’s been to long since I’ve seen her. Can’t believe how BIG she is!! She looks more like your other 2 now! Adorable cupcakes by the way, esp the one with the blanket!

  6. Twila on August 20th, 2010 7:46 am

    Congratulations, Kay! It’s so nice to see photos of your sweet bundle. In the top photo I sure think she looks like a little Schrock. :) I imagine that Lexi is a good baby-watcher for you. Y’all enjoy your precious gift!

  7. Traci on August 20th, 2010 8:09 am

    I’ve MISSED YOU!!! Congrats on the beautiful baby girl! I have 3 girls also….wouldn’t change a thing! She is precious!

  8. Liz on August 20th, 2010 4:31 pm

    Aww. She has some of the same looks as your other girls. What a neat way to do the first post in not sure how long.

  9. Katrina on August 20th, 2010 10:44 pm

    Aw, CUTE! Congrats.
    Love the cuppies.
    Love that term–cybersquish!

  10. Katie Mast on August 21st, 2010 12:46 pm

    How i missed your cooking. But i truely understand. your little bundle is so cute and your other girls have grown so much. You got some good helpers there.

  11. Connie Sue on August 21st, 2010 2:34 pm

    Congrats on the birth of little Megan! She’s a sweetie. I had my third boy on June 7… when was little Megan born? Take care, Connie Sue

  12. Kay on August 21st, 2010 3:07 pm

    Oh yeah, Connie, I guess I didn’t even say when she was born! June 1. Wow, so we have babies only about a week apart!

  13. Mom on August 21st, 2010 6:38 pm

    YES!! Perfect post in every way! Love you and all your three girls! You make them so fun. Mom and Grandma

  14. Freida on August 23rd, 2010 11:08 am

    oh my goodness. she IS big!! She looks like Tiffany, I think.

    CEEUUTTEE cupcakes!

  15. Cindy on August 23rd, 2010 12:57 pm

    such a sweet little cupcake indeed! i love all of the memories and meaning to her name. what a precious connection between the generations of people that you love.

    it has been weeks since i was able to skuh-weeze her and i can’t believe how much she has grown! wow! hooray for sleeping at night!

    blessings to you Kay!

  16. Cindy on August 23rd, 2010 12:59 pm

    oh! and the edible cupcakes here are real neat too! tell your little cooks that they did a super job! you too! :)

  17. Bobbi on August 23rd, 2010 6:24 pm

    Congratulations! She is so cute! I stopped by for a recipe and you had updated. yeah.

  18. Cordy on September 14th, 2010 6:46 am

    Congratulations Kay! I missed your posts so much. I wondered if something serious had happened that you weren’t on here anymore! So happy to read it was something wonderful – your adorable little (not so little!!) Megan! She’s a precious GIFT from God.

  19. Kim on October 25th, 2010 8:52 am

    So good to hear from you again and see pics of your sweet li’l bundle! I missed your posts, not just cause of the food… because I missed hearing from YOU. You are one-of-a-kind creative.

School Bus Birthday Cake – Happy 7th Birthday, Lexi!

Posted on December 10, 2009
Filed Under Birthday cakes

Some of you may have already seen this on my Facebook, so excuse the repeat!


When Lexi started Kindergarten last Spring, she decided that she wanted a school bus cake for her next birthday. She had also made a bunch of new friends and wanted them all to come for a REAL party instead of the low key family parties she’s had so far. So, unlike all her other birthdays, this one was planned well in advance. That doesn’t mean I didn’t go party shopping earlier than the day before or finish the cake earlier than an hour before the guests arrived! :( Sigh. Oh well, it all worked out great and the party was a success and was a lot of fun for all involved… well, maybe my husband wants to speak for himself on that one. :)

Anyway, the birthday cake. There was a bit of an issue getting started. I decided I wanted the bus elevated a bit to look more realistic and my problem was HOW to do that! So, I looked around the house for something to use. I found these 2 square lids and put them down first. Tiffany saw this and said, “So, you’re using my candy box lid, huh?” I confidently said, “Yup.” and she didn’t protest. Whew!

They were red though, so I taped strips of black paper around the edges. Then I cut a piece of cardboard the size I wanted the bus to be, cut notches for the wheels and put it on top of the lids. I know, not professional, but it worked great! :)

Then, I took the lids off again and made part of the bus on ‘ground level’ (on the foil-covered cardboard though).


The first 2 layers are the full length of a 9×13 cake. It’s 5 or 6 inches wide. I used 3 cake mixes for this. The top layer… there’s no reason for that extra little piece on there except that after I cut and stacked it, it looked like the nose of the bus (is ‘nose’ what that part is called?) would be a little too long. Also, it looked a little too tall, so I ended up cutting about a half inch off of the bottom (shown on the next picture). I was glad to get rid of those crazy big holes down there too! Not sure why that happened!

The ‘nose’ is carved (maybe that called a ‘hood’?), and the top of the bus is slightly rounded. Doesn’t look too promising, huh? This is where I felt like dumping it in the trash and running to the local bakery.

It’s times like this when I love frosting! Now it’s looking more promising!

Now the yellow fondant gets rolled out… think that’s big enough?
7th10.jpg Sprinkle plenty of powdered sugar on the table/counter and on top of the fondant. Roll it out. Then roll it up around the rolling pin, take it over to the cake and starting at one end, unroll it off of the rolling pin onto the cake. By the way, to get yellow fondant, I bought white ready-to-use fondant and put yellow paste (NOT liquid food coloring) on it, then mixed it in by hand… you’ll see the messy process of doing the black soon.

Ah, it IS big enough! Tuck it in and cut off the excess.


Now, I’m going to leave you hanging with this picture and flip to something else… the setting for the bus, which is, of course either a highway or a school. I chose the highway. And it’s stopping to pick up Lexi.

First step was to make the road. Here’s the tar. I know, gag. But this technically is edible. Nobody tasted the road though. That stuff actually does wash off, but I think next time, I’ll put plastic gloves on my birthday party shopping list!

Next I rolled it out onto the ‘cake board’, which was actually an upside down baking sheet with tin foil on it.

And now, we have a BIG jump in the progress because I either I was so entralled with my project that I forgot to take pictures or I didn’t feel like stopping to wash up to photograph each little step. And the setting is done.
It’s all made out of fondant (road and white & yellow lines and mailbox), graham crackers (driveway), frosting (grass, plus some under the driveway to hold the graham crumbs in place), and a tootsie roll (mailbox post).

And now back to the bus again, which is another big jump in progress. The reason for the big jump here is because the clock was galloping and party time was drawing near and I was in a hurry.
7th14.jpgThe wheels aren’t on yet (chocolate covered mini donuts). The black and gray are fondant. The letters are frosting piped on. The ‘people’ are flavored tootsie rolls cut into 4ths, then smashed, then stuck on with frosting and a face piped on. The ‘mirrors’ are pieces of graham crackers.

And the cake is now DONE! 45 minutes till party time and my kitchen looks like a tornado hit! Don’t even ask questions like what I’d have done if it would’ve totally flopped because the answer is that I don’t know and that I’m just SO thankful it turned out ok.

school-bus-cake3.jpg Yeah, so I forgot the lights on the back!



Lexi had her seven 1st grade friends over. Supper was pigs in blankets, Pringles, cheese slices, and layered finger jello. I was in the kitchen and heard a bunch of quacking coming from the dining room. Here, they were making duck bills with their Pringles! :)

And here they all are with the cake.
Back row, left to right: Emily, Victoria, Kaitlyn, Samara
Front row, left to right: Alexis, Candace, Lexi, Sarah

And here’s the aftermath:
First thing to go was the donut wheels, then they picked off the people in the windows and ate them, then had cake and ice cream.

This bus was pretty easy… very little carving. It was just rounding the top a little and shaping the nose/hood/whatever it is. I only bought one box of fondant (I forget the oz, but it was the smallest of the 2 sizes that were there). Oh, and by the way, the girls standing there is just a toy… not edible! Let me know if you try this! :)


11 Responses to “School Bus Birthday Cake – Happy 7th Birthday, Lexi!”

  1. Aug on December 11th, 2009 6:04 am

    Wow! I am so extremely impressed. Something like that would NEVER turn out for me. You have quite a talent and make it look so easy!

  2. Katrina on December 11th, 2009 10:33 am

    Fabulous cake bus!

  3. Twila on December 11th, 2009 12:30 pm

    I just told my 7 y.o. son whose birthday is coming up soon that he should not ask me to make one like this because I could NOT do it! It’s SO cute!!!

  4. Charlene on December 12th, 2009 6:37 am

    Nice Job, I made a bus for my oldest 7th birthday, but it didn’t look that nice,
    My children had fun picking out the girls they knew on the picture!

  5. Liz on December 12th, 2009 10:10 am

    Great job, Kay! Hard to believe you had your doubts if it would turn out ok. You are so good and creative at making cakes. I’m sure your girls love you for it.

  6. Jo H. on December 12th, 2009 5:53 pm

    You make some amazing cakes! loved your recent updates :)

  7. Ruth on December 13th, 2009 7:30 pm

    You cake turned out great. I’ve never worked with fondant, but would like to try sometime. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Hope everything goes well.

  8. Beth on January 14th, 2010 12:29 pm

    I put Alexis’ pic of the girls & bus cake on our refrigerator & Trevor saw it this morning. He pointed at the picture & said “that’s the cake I want for my birthday”. :)

  9. Sarah on May 28th, 2010 2:50 pm

    I LOVE THIS CAKE! I would like to make it for my husband, a school bus mechanic, for his birthday. I’m confused about this part of the instructions, and they seem important. Could you clarify?

    “Then I cut a piece of cardboard the size I wanted the bus to be, cut notches for the wheels and put it on top of the lids. I know, not professional, but it worked great!

    Then, I took the lids off again and made part of the bus on ‘ground level’

    The notches are for the donuts to go in?
    Why did you take the lids OFF?

  10. Kay on May 28th, 2010 3:43 pm

    Yeah, the notches were for the donuts to go in… otherwise they (the wheels/donuts) would’ve been on the outside of the bus instead of flush with the side of the bus. And I’ll bet your bus mechanic husband would know that’s not right! :) The reason I cut notches instead of making the whole cardbord piece narrower is because I thought the extra stability would be good if the cardboard would come all the way out to the edge of the bus.

    About taking the lids off was just a rambly useless piece of info. I think i thought it would slide around on them while I was working on the cake and end up tipping the bus over, so I did the stacking and icing before putting it back up on the lids. Hopefully, you can find something better than odd things around the house (like my lids)! I’ll bet a piece of 1×4 board cut to the right length would be perfect.

    Let me know how it turns out! :)

  11. Tracy on July 11th, 2011 7:54 pm

    I cannot thank you anywhere near enough for posting this!!!! My sister and i are in the process of creating a short bus for my daughter’s 13th birthday and so far are winging it and had pretty much the same thought of doing it the way you have laid out here. You have given me hope that my cake will turn out as beautiful as yours. Thank you for the step by step pictures.

Check this out! – Lightning McQueen again

Posted on August 24, 2009
Filed Under Birthday cakes

Look at this cake! Does it look familiar?


But… the one I made says Happy Birthday Jordan and this one says Happy Birthday Christian.

It totally made my day over the weekend when I got an email from Theresa with pictures attached. This is the very reason that I like to post birthday cakes from start to finish, including the pictures where it looks hopeless of ever turning into something recognizable: so you all can see there are no tricks and you can see how to do it yourself! I don’t personally know Theresa, and it was just so refreshing to hear a confident ‘I could do that.” And it turned out GREAT!!!

Here are a few things about Theresa:
— She is a mom of 3.
— She has never made a birthday cake (before last week).
— She has an 8-wk-old baby.
— She saw the Lightning McQueen cake post and instead of thinking “I’ve never made a cake. I couldn’t do this.”, she thought, “My little guy has a birthday soon. I’m gonna try this.”

Did I mention she has an 8-wk-old?! She didn’t say, but I’ll just bet that some of this was done one-handed while holding a baby! ???? And if not that, then imagine all the interruptions!

And another thing I wanted to stress is that this was Theresa’s first cake ever! Talk about a crash course in fondant and cake decorating! In her email, Theresa said, “Trust me, while I was sculpting the cake, I said to myself (and my husband) …”I can’t do this!” I just had to laugh when I read that because I know the feeling! I don’t think there’s been a cake yet that I haven’t thought, “What did I get myself into here?!”


I think we should give Theresa a round of applause for her awesome cake! What do you say?…


Editted Sept 28 to add another cake! Yvonne made this cake.

You did an awesome job, Yvonne! Turned out great!

Look how she personalized it! I think Adam is turning 3, what do you think? ????




August 9, 2010… This is Jen’s cake for her son’s 3rd birthday!

Jen has a couple good tips for us… she bought pre-colored fondant (with her Michaels 40% off coupon, hooray for those! ???? ) and pre-cut letters and shapes and a squeeze tube of black icing. That all would really cut down on time!

Here are the pictures she sent. GREAT job, Jen!!!!




December 6, 2010 …this cake was made by Jo from England for her twin boys turning 3.

Well, actually, she said it was a joint effort. Grandma and her daughter and the neighbor and her daughter helped out. Sounds like fun! You guys did super!!!

Here is the cake…



March 31, 2011 …this is Nazy’s cake she made for her 4-yr-old son. He loved it and wanted to eat it right away. :)

Nazy never did anything like this before and she didn’t have many tools. But she tackled it anyway! You did a great job, Nazy!!!




April 21, 2011 …Fiona from Malta (Europe) made this cake for her 2-yr-old son.
There are 3 things that Fiona mentioned in her email that I could SO identify with… she wasn’t sure about making a cake with an active 2-yr-old running around (yep, I know all about that, little fingers trying to get at the cake or Mom’s hands messy from mixing fondant when the 2-yr-old decides to spread powdered sugar on the floor or getting bumped during a delicate part of the decorating). :)
And another thing was that after spending all that time on the cake, she couldn’t cut it, so her dad did it for her (do I ever know what that’s like! Cutting is THE worst! I wince every time and sometimes I hold the knife over the cake, then start chatting with the kids a little so I can put it off a leeeeeetle bit longer.).
And the other thing is that it looked difficult, but she decided to give it a try anyway, thinking oh well if it doesn’t turn out, she’ll make something else. Love that attitude! :) And look what it got her… a cute Lightning McQueen cake, exactly what she set out to do! Nice job, Fiona!




June 5, 2011 …Donna made this cake for her sister-in-law’s sister’s son’s 1st birthday. Donna is probably being modest by not saying this, but I’ll bet she rocks cake decorating because if SIL’s sisters are coming to her, well, that doesn’t just happen out of the blue. ???? Another clue might be because this cake looks a.w.e.s.o.m.e!!!!! And I love all the bling around it. *tucking away the ‘celebration spirals’ idea for the future*




June 20, 2011 …Niccy from Canada made this cake for her daughter. She used frosting instead of fondant and it is absolutely amazing how smooth it got. Her secret? Hot wet knives. Very creative, Niccy! And I’m lovin’ the tire idea… she took Oreos and iced over the white cream filling with black frosting! She also personalized it, instead of the regular logo and #. Thanks for the great ideas, Niccy, and you did great on the cake!!!! :)




June 29, 2011 …Tanisha made this cake for a Cars 2 party, complete with watching the movie. Does it have real working LIGHTS, Tanisha?! Wow!! That really ups it a notch! :) Super job on the cake! I love the license plate… great idea! And the cake board is just way too cool!



January 20,2012 … Kate and her sister made this cake for Kate’s son Levi’s 2nd birthday. This is my favorite kind of reader who looks at the tutorial and says, “I could rock that cake”, which is what these girls thought… and then they did just that! Kate told me a couple little tidbits that I could relate to… they didn’t have a clue what they were doing and there were little kids running around eating cake crumbs and fondant pieces in the middle of it all and it was so fun. Yep, that’s pretty much me when I’m making a cake too. ???? Oh! And I forgot to mention along with that “we could rock this” thought… they had not worked with fondant or made a 3-D cake before! Kate, you guys did an AMAZING job!! And I like how you personalized it to Levi and wrote actual readable letters on the tires!


February 1, 2012 Joyce made this cake for her son Ethan’s 6th birthday. She made it a Cars 2 Lightning McQueen. I totally get what she said about what the hardest part is… it’s NOT the baking, decorating & details, or the sacrificed sleep… it’s the ‘wrecking’ it… like throwing it away or cutting it up. Yep, that’s me too, very much! Awesome job on the cake, Joyce! And I like how you put cake under the racetrack, too! :)

Visit Joyce’s blog… she blogged the making of this cake! Read more details and see her progress pictures: Joyce’s Lightning Mcqueen Cake



February 6, 2012  …Diana made this cake for her son’s 4th birthday last year. I like how she made the racetrack… just a partial one under it, not getting the whole racetrack on. She also sent me a darling little tidbit: After the party, she asked her son what his favorite part of his birthday was and he said “the back”. The back?! She asked more questions and figured out he was talking about the cake and his piece of the cake was the spoiler. :) Then, a couple months later, as they were driving, just out of the blue he said, “Mommy, thank you for making me my Lightning McQueen cake.”…what a sweetie. You did a GREAT job, Diana! It’s looks like a real toy!



April 27, 2012 …Deborah from FL sent me this cake that she made for her Cars-lovin’ son’s birthday. She never decorated a 3D cake before! And wow! It turned out amazing! My favorite part is the smile… looks like he actually has cheeks. :) She got some of her inspiration from Donna’s cake above. I still want to try that party bling sometime. So festive! Good work, Deborah, and thanks for sending me pictures!



Anybody else make a Lightning McQueen cake from the step-by-step instructions? Email me a picture (! I’ll add it here! :) And please let me know if you emailed a picture and I missed putting it on here! Or if you blogged about it, I’d love to put your link on here.


12 Responses to “Check this out! – Lightning McQueen again”

  1. Liz on August 24th, 2009 8:36 pm

    Wow, first decorated cake – i’m impressed! And with a 8 week old, make that double impressed! Way to go Theresa!

  2. Marilyn on August 25th, 2009 4:15 am

    Wow! I’m impressed!! Super job Theresa!!!

  3. Berneice on August 25th, 2009 8:03 am

    way to go!!! Looks great!!!

  4. Cheryl on August 25th, 2009 8:16 am

    Three cheers for Teresa!!!!and for Kay too!!!

  5. Rosalyn on August 25th, 2009 8:49 am

    Yay! :) It looks great! :)

  6. Traci on August 25th, 2009 11:36 am

    APPLAUDING!!!! I love this blog!!1

  7. Marylou on August 25th, 2009 12:26 pm

    Way to go, Theresa!! Great job!

  8. Elsie on August 26th, 2009 6:18 am

    WOW, it’s just awesome for your first cake, Teresa! I’ve never used fondant before, but use drop stars of frostening. I love the fondant look. I thought Kay’s cake was awesome too.

  9. renita on August 28th, 2009 6:38 am

    1st cake ever?! Totally amazing Teresa! I hope Christian enjoyed it as much as Jordan did. And great teacher, Kay!

  10. Jay Cook on September 8th, 2009 12:28 pm

    Wow. First cake ever and it’s a nice one. I feel so incapable now. Loved the movie Cars BTW. Our family has seen it a bunch of time. Think I’m going to attempt a movie-based cake.

  11. andrea on February 18th, 2010 9:40 am

    How did the cake taste? I have never had a cake with fondunt (spelling?) on it but my son wants a lightning mcqueen b -day party

  12. Tammy on October 18th, 2011 1:12 pm

    So following the guide and doing one for my friend’s three year old!

Lightning McQueen Birthday Cake

Posted on July 23, 2009
Filed Under Birthday cakes

I made a birthday cake last evening for my friend Renita’s 6-yr-old son, Jordan. His birthday is TODAY! The cake is a Lightning McQueen cake. I was thinking of updating as I make it, but decided not to this time. (That way, I don’t get icing all over my mouse and keyboard. ???? Just kidding, I have to wash my hands to handle my camera anyway.)

Here’s a list of what all I used:
–chocolate cake mix
–store-bought white fondant ($6 at Walmart)
–red, black, yellow, and blue food coloring paste
–buttercream icing (recipe featured in this post, you’ll need to scroll down a little)
–graham cracker crumbs
–small piece of thin cardboard
–small bamboo skewer
–2 toothpicks
–6 candles

It’s all very common/inexpensive things, no molds or anything, so I hope that after you see this cake being made, you can see how easy it is to do one yourself. :)

I started by baking a 9×13 chocolate cake, cooled it and froze it (easier to carve that way), then cut out a section about 11×7 and placed it on the cake board. By the way, the cake board is a piece of foam board cut in half, stacked, and covered with tin foil. Renita gave me that little car to look off of. Very helpful!!!!


It took awhile to get the fondant red. See that little can of red paste? It was brand new and I used at least 3/4 of it! This is when I was starting to mix it…
And then I never got a picture of it after it was red. *rolleyes* The way to mix it is to pull it, twist it, knead it, and whatever till it’s all uniformly colored. It’s easy to do swirly designs with fondant too!

Ok, now the carving starts. I took another smaller piece and stacked it on top for the cab. Is it called a cab when it’s a race car? I can’t think of what else to call it. Anyway, the part inside where you sit. This doesn’t look too promising so far, does it?

Ah, but frosting helps SO much and covers lots of imperfections! Not to imply that there are no imperfections here!!! But at least it looks like now it actually has a chance of becoming a race car.

Now we roll out the red fondant. By the way, whenever you do cakes, please use concentrated paste, NOT liquid food coloring. Concentrated paste makes the end result such true vivid colors. Sprinkle the table with plenty of powdered sugar. Flatten the fondant a bit and sprinkle powdered sugar on it too, then simply roll it out like you would a pie crust.

To pick up the fondant, I rolled it around the rolling pin, then unrolled it off of the rolling pin over the car.

lm7.jpg Kinda blurry, but you get the idea. There was a powdered sugar issue because it was really sugary on the bottom and then when I rolled it up onto the rolling pin, it got sugary on part of the top. I thought, “Oh no! Now what?!” because when I tried to brush it off, it didn’t want to come off!

By patting and tucking, fit the fondant to the shape of the cake. Then, trim off the excess.


Roll out some white fondant and cut out the windows and the smile. To cut the fondant, I used either a sharp knife, a scissors, or a pastry cutter, whichever seemed like it would work the best for what I was cutting. Pieces of fondant don’t automatically stick… you need to wet the back with water a little bit first, then they’ll stick.

By the way, remember all that powdered sugar that was on the red when I first put the fondant over the car? The problem took care of itself… the sugar melted or something and dissolved into the fondant. I love when problems take care of themselves like that.

Now we’ve got eyes. I know, one is bigger than the other. Oh well. To make the eyes, I used a small (clean) painbrush and black and blue coloring paste and painted them on.

Now we’ve got wheels. They are made out of  black and red fondant. To put them on, I cut into the fondant, icing, and cake, making a wheel-shaped hole, then tucked the wheels in. I thought it might add a little character to turn the front wheels to give it a ‘rarin-to-go’ look. ????


Now we have decals, ‘lettering’ on the tires, and headlights.

Now with the Rust-eze logo, the spoiler, a flag, and a racetrack, Lightning McQueen is DONE!


The track is rolled out black fondant. Everything here is completely edible except the bamboo skewer on the flag, a thin piece of cardboard inside the spoiler, the 2 toothpicks under the spoiler, and of course the candles. (The spoiler kept settling instead of staying at the proper angle, so I had to prop it up with toothpicks.)




Happy birthday, Jordan! Have fun being 6!

Edited to add: Several readers have been inspired to use these instructions and make a Lightning McQueen cake themselves! See their cakes here: Lightning McQueen cakes that readers have made They all did an awesome job! If you want to do it, I’d love to see your cake! :) Email it to and I’ll add it to that post!! :)

Edited April 25, 2011: I just made another Lightning McQueen birthday cake last week. It’s posted here: Regan’s Lightning McQueen birthday cake.


75 Responses to “Lightning McQueen Birthday Cake”

  1. Christine Martin on July 23rd, 2009 12:36 pm

    You don`t know me but my parents went to church with Shannons parents years ago :) I often check out your recipes and this cake is too cute, my children loved it!! Cody, 7 yrs. wishes you would live close enough to make him one. :) i`m not that talented…keep up the good work!

  2. Freida on July 23rd, 2009 1:44 pm

    You are totally amazing!! I will never cease to be amazed at your decorating skills. Tucker says- She should make me one like that. :) He LOVES anything Lightening McQueen. Good job, lady!

  3. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on July 23rd, 2009 1:54 pm

    Great job! You are so talented. I bet Jordan was one happy little boy!

  4. Shannon on July 23rd, 2009 1:54 pm

    Wow Kay, this is beautiful! You do an unbelievable job. My girls are totally amazed going from one picture to the next!!! They say, “Did you read the instructions? Can you make one like this now?” Noooooooooooooo, your mama is not that talented. :)Good Job!!!

  5. Marissa on July 23rd, 2009 3:20 pm

    My sons are a bit envious of whoever gets this awesome cake……… WOOoooooW!!!

  6. Traci on July 23rd, 2009 5:19 pm

    Shut UP!!! How cute is THAT??? I have got to show this to my friend who’s son is a CARS FREAK!!! Two thumbs up on this one girl!

  7. Katrina on July 23rd, 2009 10:54 pm

    Fabulous job, Kay. I just could not do that! You rock cake decorating!

  8. Marilyn on July 24th, 2009 5:19 am

    Wow! awesome job on decorating the cake, looks great :)

  9. Amber on July 24th, 2009 6:46 am

    Amazing! When looking at the picture on the link on xanga, I thought you set a car on top of a board! Wondering where the cake was… :) Too cute!

  10. Rosanne on July 24th, 2009 7:20 am

    Great job, Kay! I’ve been playin with fondant a little and your instructions were helpful. I haven’t attempted anything like this but maybe I should for Cody’s 6th birthday in Dec. Is the lightning on the side more fondant or just painted?
    Keep up the great work!

  11. Janice Y. on July 24th, 2009 8:06 am

    My son’s reaction, “Man, you should make one!” Love the graham cracker crumb idea for dirt. I’ve tried using nestle’s quik already and it melts soon. I’m guessing Jordan’s mom was happy, too!

  12. Kay on July 24th, 2009 8:22 am

    Rosanne, the lightning is fondant… I made yellow and orange fondant, then pressed them together, twisted them to blend just in the very middle, then rolled it out. The 95’s are also cut out of that. Then, I colored regular icing black and piped around it all.

    To all of you, seriously, if there’s a little boy in your life who’d like this, you really oughta try it! Just plan to take your time and keep tweaking it till it gets right (this took me a little over 4 hours, not counting baking and cooling the cake). And don’t say you couldn’t do it (unless you’ve tried it) because you’ll be surprised how forgiving and imperfection-hiding that the icing is! ????

    …And when you try it, tell me about it and email me a picture! :)

  13. Berneice on July 24th, 2009 9:47 am

    Umm can you ship cakes to Haiti?? :) Landon is having a b-day Sept 2nd and he would love a Lightening Mcqueen cake! :) Good work!!

  14. renita on July 24th, 2009 11:23 am

    Well Kay, we had one very Very VERY happy birthday boy!!! First thing Jordan said was SWEET ~Lightning McQueen!!! He didn’t want to eat it right away. :-)
    Thanks SO much Kay for all your work and fitting it into your schedule! I definitely appreciate it and it’ll be one cake not ever forgotten. I think the other boys were just as excited and slightly jealous. They kept saying what they want for their b-days.

  15. coleensr on July 25th, 2009 5:30 am

    That is so-o-o-o-o impressive!! I made birthday cakes for my children through their 12th birthdays, but mine sure weren’t this nice. I’m sure Jordan was impressed with his mom!!

  16. Liz on July 25th, 2009 3:03 pm

    Wow, impressive! I know you say it’s not that hard, but it looks hard. I ought to try messing with fondant sometime. Never tried it. You’re going to have to start a business soon. Bet you’d be able to make some money that way. Well, until you start counting your time.

  17. Angela on July 26th, 2009 1:47 pm

    Woo-hoo, Kay- that’s awesome! Looks like you have the makings of a business here. =) I enjoy decorating cakes, but I prefer instructions! There’s no way I could have looked at that toy car and ended up with anything that looked like it! Great job!

  18. Rosalyn on July 28th, 2009 5:55 am

    Wow! :) another gorgeous cake!

  19. Carmen on July 30th, 2009 7:55 pm

    That is just so cute. You are very talented. I could try what you did, and it would not look like that. Great job. (All of your cakes have been really neat.)


  20. CottageGirl on August 2nd, 2009 1:00 pm

    You are amazing!

    Love your web site!

  21. Michelle on August 5th, 2009 7:13 pm

    WOW!! Good job on the cake! I’d love to make one like that for my little guy! What are the wheels made out of?

  22. Michelle on August 5th, 2009 7:14 pm

    Okay, nevermind about the above question. I saw now that they’re made out of fonduant.

  23. Emily on August 9th, 2009 7:49 am

    Wow! Kay, you are amazing and inspiring!!! Would love to watch you work. Great cake!

  24. janae on August 13th, 2009 5:19 pm

    how cute, Kay!! i haven’t been on for awhile, so it was fun to catch up!!!!

  25. Lori on August 14th, 2009 9:51 pm

    Kay, you are simply amazing! I like but they often said they used fondant and I never saw an explanation on how to use it til now. Looks like fun. I love visiti ng your site. Keep up the great work.

  26. Theresa on August 17th, 2009 11:26 am

    Hi Kay . . .what a great cake! You’ve inspired me to make this cake in a couple of days for my little guy’s b-day party. Everything looks pretty self-explanatory, but I wanted to know if you used brown fondant color for the “Rusteze” logo, or if it was icing? If it was brown fondant, is there any way to get the color brown by combining colors . . .or do I have to buy the Wilton’s brown? Thanks, and I’ll send a picture when it’s done (if it turns out) :)

  27. Kay on August 17th, 2009 11:46 am

    Go for it, Theresa! And yes, I’d love to see a picture of it when you’re done! :)

    The Rusteze logo is both fondant and icing… The dark brown circle is rolled out dk brn fondant, then cut out in a circle with a cookie cutter. The tan letters and outline circle are piped on with icing, tinted with just a little bit of brown paste.

    I bought brown, but I think if you combine equal amounts of blue, red, and yellow, it makes brown. OR you could add melted chocolate or cocoa powder to the icing/fondant to make it brown.

  28. Yvonne on September 23rd, 2009 2:07 pm

    Thank you so much for the step by step. I have just made a version of this for my son’s birthday tomorrow and I am sure he is just going to love it. More than happy to email you a photo if you like.

  29. Kay on September 23rd, 2009 2:35 pm

    That’s fun to hear, Yvonne! I’ll bet your son will be tickled with it. And… of COURSE I want to see a picture! :)

  30. Missie on September 28th, 2009 10:08 am

    Ok, first terrific job. I think you did awesome. Second, your page was very helpful! My boyfriend and I have been trying for weeks to perfect a Lightning McQueen cake for my son (who’s turning 2 this Sunday)and it always seemed like we were missing something…I still have a questions though. How did u easily transfer the lightning mcqueen? Was it being that the cake had been previously frozen it was more sturdy or did you hide a board under the cake itself or what? We try to move our cake (which is bigger than your in size) and it bends like it wants to fall apart. Could you help???

  31. Kay on September 28th, 2009 10:37 am

    Missie, that’s great that you made a Lightning McQueen cake! :) I’d love if you’d email me a picture!

    Uh! Transferring it is the worst thing! I didn’t transfer this one… I did it right on the cake board. I have transferred plenty of my cakes though. It usually takes 2 people and 4 hands and a couple large pancake turners and LOTS of steadiness! I don’t have any secret techniques or anything, except grease the board/pancake turners/whatever tools you’re using to do the transfer. It’ll slide easier. And, if you get it transferred without having to do any touch-up, you’ll have done better than I ever have. ????

  32. Debbi Beard on September 30th, 2009 3:45 am

    Hi Kay
    Wow what a brillent cake. My son’s 7th birthday is coming up and my husband and I decided we would make him a Mcqueen car. Your site has given me the information I needed to make the cake. Chris my husband is the decorator so I will show him this site when he gets home. Thanks for showing how you made this.

  33. Debbi Beard on September 30th, 2009 4:07 am

    Hi Kay
    Forgot to mention we live in England so I will be making the cake from scratch as cake mixes over here are not that good. We have made other cakes before so the chocolate cake is not a promblem we made a Treasure Chest last year for my son’s 6th birthday we had a pirate party. It was my husbands first time at decorating and he did a great job. I had hurt my leg so couldn’t stand so I was sitting in the kitchen giving him instuctions on how to bake the cake ( first time he had made a cake). Told him what the design needed to look like and left him to it. He enjoyed it so much that we hope to go into business ourselves in the next three years we prefer novelty cakes and have made a few for family and friends over the past year.

  34. Ruth on November 23rd, 2009 10:09 am

    Hi. I live in Brooklyn and have been desperately trying to find a baker that will bake a cake for my nephew’s 1st birthday party. Its on December 5, 2009. I would like it a bit bigger than the one you made.Is there a possibility that would be able to do so. What is the cost? Thank you

  35. Kay on November 30th, 2009 9:38 pm

    Ruth, I am not able to ship cakes… not sure how to do it without them getting damaged. I really hope you’ve found someone who can make one for you. Or is there anyone in the family who would be up for a challenge? Have him/her make one! :)

    Debbi, how did your cake turn out?

  36. CristyLynn on January 29th, 2010 2:54 am

    Thanks for such clear directions on this cake. I realize you did this one a while ago, but I was just doing a search for Lightning McQueen cakes for my son’s 4th birthday next week. We live in Russia, and I’ve never seen fondant sold here. I have found a recipe for marshmallow fondant that I’m willing to try (don’t really care for the taste of store-bought fondant anyway). Have you ever worked with MMF? I had never heard of it. The recipe said that it tastes good. If you have time in the next couple of days to respond, I’d love to try this! Can you put regular icing on fondant, or does it slip off? I was thinking of doing the red with the MMF, and then doing the other details with buttercream frosting. I thought that might be a little simpler for me.
    Thanks for any advice!

  37. maegan owen on February 2nd, 2010 11:31 am

    You have helped me out so much! Thank you for your inspiration and guide! I look forard to making a lightning mcqueen cake!!!!

  38. maegan on February 3rd, 2010 6:00 pm


    I really want to try this Lightning Mcqueen for an upcoming birthday party. The event is on saturday and today is wednesday. If I carve the car and put icing on it…cover it with clingwrap and put it in the freezer…will it be ok for saturday?? thanks, maegan

  39. Kay on February 3rd, 2010 11:38 pm

    CristyLynn, Yes, it works great to use reg icing on fondant, but make sure it’s pretty stiff… if it’s too soft, the liquid seeps out (or that’s what it looks like happens anyway, the fondant looks wet around the base of the icing). It would sure be faster to pipe the details on! That was a bit tedious to cut all those little things out of fondant! I’ve never tried marshmallow fondant, but hey, if it allegedly tastes great, that would be a plus! :) I don’t like the taste of store-bought fondant either. When I eat a piece of fondant covered cake, I peel the fondant off.

    Maegan, I’ve never tried that, but as long as you don’t put the fondant on, I’m pretty sure it would be fine! One thing I learned the hard way is that fondant and freezer don’t mix. ???? It’s fine until you get it out, then as it’s thawing, the colors start to run. Aaaack! I wonder if you should be sure to let the cake totally thaw before putting the fondant on because maybe it’s fondant and cold that don’t mix… I’ve never put it in the fridge to see if the colors run when it gets back to room temp. Let me know how it works for you. It’s a great idea, one that I’d probably use sometime because birthdays come around whether it’s a busy time or not and sometimes it would be handy to pull a partially finished cake out of the freezer and only have to decorate it!

  40. Shannon on February 11th, 2010 12:15 pm

    Thank you so much! I made this cake for my son’s 3rd birthday and he absolutely loved it! So much that he stole the wheel and ate it before we made it to the party. LoL Here are the pics if interested.

  41. Kate on March 12th, 2010 3:24 pm

    I am planning to make this cake tonight. I have a question- for the Rust-eze logo which is brown, the Happy Birthday lettering and sme of the outlines, did you use the fondant or something else?


  42. Kay on March 12th, 2010 4:41 pm

    Hey, good for you, Kate! Let me know how it turns out! :)

    The dark brown circle on the Rusteze logo is fondant, the light brown part of the logo is buttercream frosting piped on.

    The happy birthday lettering, the black around the lightning, and the ‘lettering’ on the tires is also all piped on. To do piping, I just put the frosting in a plastic bag and snip a little bit of the corner off. Or you could use a round decorating tip too.

    Good luck!

  43. gandygirl on March 16th, 2010 12:04 pm

    this is awesome I am making my first fondant cake ever for my sons bday – lightning mcqueen! and this is so helpful! you did a GREAT job!

  44. Bill on May 28th, 2010 9:21 pm

    Thanks for these photos. I am doing almost exactly the same thing, only I am using pound cake. A bit stiffer, and less crumbly, than sponge cake.
    I didn’t read all of the comments, so someone may have already told you this. A quick trick I have found for getting the powdered sugar off of fondant (especially an issue on black fondant), use a spray bottle filled with vodka. The vodka soaks up the sugar, and then the alcohol evaporates. Since the vodka has little, to no, flavor other than the alcohol itself, it has no effect on the flavor of the cake. This works quite well. BUT, make sure you have gotten it all smoothed out, and all, before you spray. It will moisten the fondant, like water, and make it difficult (impossible) to smooth the fondant.

  45. Darci Meier on July 5th, 2010 10:01 am

    Love this cake!!!! You made it look so simple to actually do….the step by step pictures are great! My question….how do you get teh red fondant so red???? Do you use gloves when you are mixing it??? My hands are always colored for days….any tricls??

  46. Kay on July 20th, 2010 10:51 am

    Darci, I used LOTS of food coloring paste to get the fondant so red. I’ve used gloves already, but most of the time, I just knead the color in there with my hands, then wash up right away with hot soapy water.

    Gandygirl, I hope your cake turned out well! :)

  47. Jen on July 22nd, 2010 1:32 am

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this step by step with photos “how to” page! I’ve never done a fancy cake at all — I’ve never worked with fondant — but thanks to you, I’m going to give this a try next week for my son’s 3rd birthday.

    Question: How much fondant did you use? To simplify my life, I’m thinking to get some pre-made red and it comes in 2 lb containers. Will one be enough, plus I’ll get a second one of white? Also, how did you make the black? Did you just mix all the colors?


  48. Kay on July 22nd, 2010 5:50 am

    I’m glad you’re trying it! :) I hope it goes good for you!
    I forget what the oz are in the size of package that I used, but I think it was 1 lb. There are often 2 sizes available at the store and I used the smallest size. I got white, then mixed all the colors with Wilton food coloring paste (not liquid food coloring), the paste comes in little cans about 1 1/2″ tall. They have all sorts of colors, including black… that’s what I used.
    Not a bad idea to get pre-made red… I do NOT like mixing color into fondant! It takes a long time to get it evenly colored… something tye-dyed would take less time. :)

  49. Lori on August 8th, 2010 6:45 am

    Thank you! Your photos and instructions were great and made this much less intimidating, so we decided to try it. Our cake turned out fantastic and it was our first try working with fondant. Now we are ready to try another for my older son’s birthday and he wants Spongebob. Whew! At least Spongebob is square-lol. I can’t believe we were able to do this and it is thanks to your fantastic photos and tips. We found using the shortening to be much easier for us to work with the fondant and Wilton even has a coloring gel “Cars” kit now with all the necessary colors. I cheated and used a black Wilton gel frosting tube to write all the letters and outline the numbers etc., but at 3am it was helpful.


  50. Rachel on August 17th, 2010 8:20 am

    Hello Kay
    Many thanks for posting this step by step guide. Your Cake is brilliant. My sister has asked me to make this cake for my nephew and your instructions are really going to help. I have only made 2 fancy cakes before and I normally cover them with Apricot Glaze. I see you have used a white frosting to cover the cake before the icing. what is that? Would it replace the glaze? Im still only a beginner and would love to hear from you.
    Best wishes

  51. Katie on August 26th, 2010 8:51 pm

    Your cake is amazing. I have never attempted anything like this before! My sons 4th birthday party is tomorrow night and he absolutely loves Lightning McQueen, so I’m going to attempt to make this beautiful cake! Here goes nothing!!

  52. Sarah on September 20th, 2010 12:12 am

    This cake is so creative and cute. I would love to try this out for my nephew’s 2nd birthday.

  53. birthday cake in car shape, lightning mcqueen car cake | Food Tale on September 24th, 2010 11:51 am

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  54. Sunehra on February 8th, 2011 8:03 am

    Hi, your cake really inspired me to make one for my 2 year old who just loves Lightening Mcqueen. The cake came out pretty good too. Thanks a lot.

    Wanted to share photos of my cake – how do I do that?

    Thanks again

  55. Lisa on February 8th, 2011 8:52 am

    Hi Kay i am just admiring the mcqueen cake that you have done, Awesome really. It is my sons 4th Birthday on valentines day so i was going to give this cake a go, I was just going to ask for the spoiler would you be able to tape the cardboard on to 3 tooth picks & then press them into the cake so that it wont flop.I’ll still give it a go & send you some pics of it

  56. Kay on April 30th, 2011 12:09 pm

    Rachel, I’m late in replying here, but yes, I use regular buttercream icing instead of apricot glaze. I’ve only tried glaze once. It worked fine, but I like the icing better for taste and because it does better at hiding flaws. ????

    Sunehra, I’d LOVE to see pictures of your cake! Email photos to I’d love to put them on my post of people who’ve made Lightning McQueen cakes! :)

    Lisa, that idea sounds brilliant for the spoiler! Is that what you ended up doing? And did it work?

  57. Donna Dolendo on June 5th, 2011 8:11 pm

    Hi Kay, Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I made one and followed your instructions. It turned out great! thanks! I will send you a photo of the cake I made.

  58. TOSHA on June 14th, 2011 12:14 pm


  59. Niccy on June 20th, 2011 11:24 am

    Thanks so much for great instructions and ideas! I used your basic idea and instructions – made a few changes because I am a chicken! – I don’t like working with fondant, so used regular icing and hot, wet knives to make it smooth, I cut the spoiler at the back out of cake and iced that too, changed the number and name to mean more to my girl!, made the tires out of oreos and just iced over the white cream filling with black, I did still do the windows and decals out of fondant, and painted the decals with a kids paintbrush and food colouring instead of trying to mix colour in. – It was a huge success – thank you for all your help in getting the shape right and giving me so many ideas! – am emailing you with photos!

  60. Dal on June 23rd, 2011 4:50 pm

    I haven’t checked all the previous comments but if I make this the day before my son’s birthday and put it in the fridge will it be okay?

  61. Kay on June 23rd, 2011 4:59 pm

    Dal, that should work great. I put a fondant-covered cake in the fridge for 3 days just recently and it was totally fine. When I got it out of the fridge, I put it in the coolest air-conditioned room to come to room temp. Don’t put it in the freezer though… I did that one time and when it came to room temp, the fondant got all shiny and wet and the colors started running!

    Donna and Niccy, I got your pictures! So exciting! Thanks!!! :) Nice job!! I’ll add them to the Lightning McQueen Again post in the next day or so.

    Tosha, go for it! And send me pics! :)

  62. Melissa on June 28th, 2011 9:55 am

    This cake is fabulous! I too am a SAHM who loves to bake and make all of my boy’s b-day cakes! It is very relaxing and the joy of the look on their faces are priceless! Thank you for the step by step instructions. I plan on making this cake for my son’s 3rd birthday in Aug. Can’t wait to get started!!!

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  65. Jorden on July 21st, 2011 1:50 pm

    my little nabers think that this cake is sooooooo cooollllll!you sould have sale there faces when they saw the cack

  66. jorden on July 21st, 2011 1:51 pm


  67. Tianah on July 24th, 2011 4:22 am

    Hey, Im 16 and I had an assignment to do on a ‘catering buisness’. It was for Food Technology. We were also required to make a cake for this and my theme was ‘Cars’ for a boys 5th birthday. I stumbled upon this website and thought…”Wow, this lady is talented!” So i decided to follow your instructions, and guess what? My cake turned out absolutely fabulous and I got a top mark! I’m from Australia, by the way. I just wanted to thankyou sooooo much for this cake. The instructions were easy to understand and I ended up with a beatiful cake. xoxo Couldn’t have found a better site.thankyouuuu ????

  68. Erin Lemon on July 25th, 2011 5:43 pm

    I’ve been dreading making a lightning McQueen cake, but yours makes it seem like “It CAN BE DONE”. Thank you for your step by step guide! Wish me luck!

  69. Jennifer on September 10th, 2011 12:23 pm

    I don’t know if anybody else has given you this tip but to get fondant a nice bright red without having to use a whole container of dye is to replace some of the icing sugar with a package of jello crystals (strawberry, cherry, whatever). Not only does is give the fondant a nice flavour but it will give your fondant some color and then you can add your dye to get whatever intensity you are going for. Great cake btw!

  70. Loraine on September 10th, 2011 1:55 pm

    Do ou recommend freezing the cake before carving?

  71. giddy tigress on September 28th, 2011 5:30 am

    This is gorgeous, and I am thinking of attempting this one soon! Just a quick question though…What did you use for the lightning at the sides, the orangey and yellow part? Is it fondant?

  72. Samantha Kjell on November 4th, 2011 11:27 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to take pictures and do a step by step guide to building this cake. My son is turning 2 and is OBSESSED with lightening McQueen. I cant wait to tackle this cake and hope it looks at least HALF as good as yours!! :o)

  73. Giddy Tigers » That Cake I Made on February 1st, 2012 11:57 pm

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  74. Presha on March 11th, 2012 4:21 pm

    Just want to know where r u based. B’se I’m planning to order a lightining McQueen b’day cake for my son in April. Therefore would like to know. We live I’m Australia.

  75. Kay on March 11th, 2012 9:46 pm

    Presha, I live in Ohio. I’d suggest you’d check with Planet Cake… they are in Sydney and make AMAZING cakes! :)

Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday Cake

Posted on May 21, 2009
Filed Under Birthday cakes

I am planning to make a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake for Trevor this afternoon. Here he is:

He’s my friend Beth’s little boy and he’s turning a big whoppin’ 3 years old! The party is tomorrow.

I’ll be taking progress pictures and hopefully this pile of miscellaneous stuff will have turned into a Thomas the Tank Engine cake by this evening. :)

thomasthetankenginestuf.jpg (Hopefully, the upside-down Whoppers don’t bug any perfectionists out there… just noticed it now and I don’t feel like taking another picture.)

Next step is to bake the cake. Or cakes. I’m actually not sure if it’ll take one or two, so I’ll probably make 2 right away so I for sure have enough. I’m planning to make the engine, a caboose, and 4 cars in between.

I’ll be back after the cakes are baked and cooled…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Back again, but not with cake yet. For anyone who thinks I have my act together here, I’ll admit a little tidbit that I could easily hide. And the only one who would’ve discovered it is Beth, after they’ve eaten the last of the cake and she’s throwing away the thing it was on.

I was about to start and then thought, “Oh! What am I gonna put this train on?!” Usually, I buy those little cake board things or cover my cutting board with something, but a train requires something strong and long. So, I wandered thro’ my house looking for something. In the storage room, I saw a sturdy Dewalt cardboard box. So I cut it up till I had 6 rectangles, stacked them in 2 stacks of 3, and covered them with aluminum foil. Sounds crazy, I know. But the result is a sturdy cake board that’s the right size (but doesn’t all fit on my 4′ dining table!)…




By the way, those pieces of cardboard on there are just for an idea of how the train will fit on. Who knows what it’ll actually end up looking like or what size the cars will be, but that’s just something to go by. I’m going to leave the cake board in 2 pieces for easier moving around and transporting to the party. Ideally, when they’re pushed up against each other, it won’t be too noticeable where the crack is.

You know, I was just thinking… I don’t think I’ve EVER used the word Dewalt before in a birthday cake post! Or in a cooking post of any sort.

Now, I’m gonna go make some frosting…

Here is the frosting recipe that I always use:

Wilton Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 Tbsp. milk

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk. I do this step for the frosting I use to frost the cake. Then for decorating, I either save some frosting out before adding these 2 extra Tbsp. of milk or add some powdered sugar.


After a bit of stacking cake and carving, meet Thomas:






Thomas the Tank Engine is done. I don’t like the face. I messed around with it for quite awhile, trying to texture it (as in 3D), but just couldn’t get it to look right, so I just made it flat and piped a face on.



Thomas, coal car, circus car…

I’ll post the rest in the morning.

Good morning! :)



Thomas the Tank Engine, coal car, circus car, tanker, boxcar, caboose.


And now for some close-ups (you can see all the flaws better, but I’m fine with that)…








You know that pile of misc stuff up there? Well, some of that was a total guess of what I’d need. I didn’t use all the stuff, but I used some stuff that wasn’t on the pile. Like, speghetti, a carrot, and popsicle sticks. ????

Ah, what fun this was to make! Hope Trevor likes it! Happy birthday, Trevor!



36 Responses to “Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday Cake”

  1. Beth on May 21st, 2009 11:34 am

    What can I say? You do stuff the right way! I never dreamed it would take all that to make a Thomas train. I’ll definitely keep checking for updates. :)

  2. Freida on May 21st, 2009 11:41 am

    THIS will be interesting!! :-)

  3. Rosalyn on May 21st, 2009 12:05 pm

    wow! :) lots of interesting ingredients!! :) can’t wait to see your progress! ????

  4. Ruthie on May 21st, 2009 12:39 pm

    This should be exciting! I will be checking back to see how it is going for you! =)

  5. Shannon H on May 21st, 2009 1:59 pm

    Just checking in on Thomas. :)

  6. Cheryl on May 21st, 2009 3:53 pm

    Oh Kay…I admire you….cheers for you and Thomas.

  7. Monica on May 21st, 2009 5:45 pm

    Oh, this is so neat!! Can’t wait to him when he’s all done!! :)

  8. Beth on May 21st, 2009 7:22 pm

    It looks great…Trevor is going to be so impressed!

  9. Beth on May 21st, 2009 7:26 pm

    His exact response was, “yum, yum. That’s my Thomas cake. yum, yum.” Now he’s getting mad cuz he can’t see it anymore. :)

  10. Arla on May 21st, 2009 8:09 pm

    Wow! Kay, what a lot of time and work AND talent. I’m going to send this link to Gillian Lattin. She loves to see cakes in the making.

  11. Cheryl on May 21st, 2009 8:39 pm

    Wow….and backwards…Wow. Good going.

  12. Kay on May 22nd, 2009 6:49 am

    Great! We’ve got some positive feedback from Trevor! ????

  13. Berneice on May 22nd, 2009 1:20 pm

    I can only dream of doing something like this. I just keep wowing! :p

  14. Bobbi on May 22nd, 2009 1:47 pm

    That looks great!!! He will be one happy little boy. :)

  15. Monica on May 22nd, 2009 2:57 pm

    So very nice!! Did you come up with this idea on your own or did you have something to go by? So creative…….:)

  16. Liz on May 22nd, 2009 6:17 pm

    Wow, I am way behind the times. I am just now seeing this. Looks good. Did you have a picture to go off? wonder how long it will be till i’ll have to do a thomas one for my little guy. Maybe it’ll have to be sometime when you are around.=)ha!

  17. Kay on May 22nd, 2009 8:19 pm

    I printed a couple pictures off of a Thomas website. We are probably one of the only households in America that doesn’t have anything Thomas! No toys or books. :rolleyes: So, I just went off of those pictures to do the cake. I couldn’t find any with the back of the engine on it, so I just kinda made it however. The cars were just kinda whatever too. I think I should’ve had a passenger car because I think that’s what Thomas is mostly pulling. But, oh well, I didn’t catch onto that little tidbit in time. Now Lexi and Tiffany are all into Thomas. :)

  18. Katrina on May 26th, 2009 8:20 am

    Great job. What a lot of work! I used to make cute theme cakes, but when my kids don’t eat it and end up throwing away a lot of cake, it makes it annoying to do all that work. Awesome cake!

  19. Shannon H on May 26th, 2009 8:08 pm

    Wow wow wow. You did a splendid job. I think you could start a business.

    All at once tonight I rememebered that I hadn’t checked on Thomas again. My poor girls are looking wide eyed and saying, “Mom, could you make….” and I shut them off before they even asked. ???? No, I can’t! We’ll just call Kay! :)

  20. Shannon H on May 26th, 2009 8:10 pm

    Ok they say if that’s the case, we don’t want Thomas, we want a girly princess one. ????

  21. Anneta B on June 1st, 2009 8:28 pm

    Wow! What a lucky birthday boy to have a friend who would use her creativity to bake such a cake! I am sure it will one of the highlights of his childhood. Congratulations on a job well done! I hope you or his mother took tons of photos to memorialize this fantastic gift. You know he will be increasingly proud that someone cared this much.

  22. Mariann on June 1st, 2009 9:57 pm

    Kay, you are amazing!! That is one adorable Thomas cake.:)

  23. renita on June 3rd, 2009 8:33 pm

    Ok, I don’t think I’ll let my boys see this one. But on the other hand, maybe you just got a job for the next birthday. What an awesome talent you’ve got! I’m glad you live close to me!

  24. Judi on June 4th, 2009 12:34 pm

    I’m sure Trevor absolutely loved it!! You did a great job and your hard work really show.

  25. Kim on June 7th, 2009 6:41 pm

    What a Thomas cake! Jared had one for his bday, too, but I did mine the easy way…I put on a Thomas train toy and made the track with pretzels. I thought it looked pretty nice… till I saw yours. I won’t let Jared see the one you made, then I should be safe. =)
    I never know how much to write here that’s not cooking-related.
    Any chance you’ll be at the Midwest mtgs this summer? If not, we’d like to see you somehow. It’s been awhile….

  26. Suzanne on June 9th, 2009 12:19 pm

    I decorate cakes too and just have a question after I saw yours. How do you get such true colors of blue, red and black. I have such a problem with that and can’t figure it out. Could you please give me some tips because I can’t keep decorating cakes forever without using those colors. Thank you so much

  27. Kay on June 9th, 2009 12:33 pm

    Suzanne, I use Wilton concentrated paste icing colors. It comes in little cans about 1 1/2″ tall (there are actually some sitting around in a couple of the pictures above) and can be found in the cake decorating section at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc. Also, I buy the actual colors I’m going to be using (for example, I don’t mix blue and yellow to make green, I buy green paste). I used to use food coloring (the liquid stuff) and since I discovered the paste, I’ll never go back to food coloring for cake decorating! If you use this paste and still aren’t getting the true colors, then add more… even tho’ it’s really concentrated, it’s amazing how much you have to use sometimes! Happy cake decorating! It’s fun, isn’t it?! :)

  28. Lisl Lattin on June 13th, 2009 6:52 am

    The cake is truly a work of art, Kay. I only have one question–and I suppose if I were a maker of cakes I would know the answer. But I’m not. How did you transport Thomas, and all his cars, from the surface you decorated him on, to the train track? I can just imagine the dreadful things that would happen if I were to try to figure out how to scrape him gracefully from one location onto another. Help! This shall boggle my mind until I know the answer!

  29. Kay on June 13th, 2009 11:31 am

    Ha, Lisl. You’re very perceptive. The maneuver you mentioned was VERY nerve-wracking!

    When it was time to move Thomas over, I just stared at it for awhile, not wanting to do it, and wondering what would work the best. I have a huge knife (with Chinese writing on it) that has a 4″x8″ blade. I sprayed it with cooking spray for easier sliding. That worked great by itself for the cars, but for Thomas, I had someone help me and used the knife on one end and a pancake turner on the other end.

    When we were putting Thomas over, I got a bad case of the giggles, which zapped me of my steadiness and strength. :rolleyes: Have you ever done that at in-opportune times? I was thinking, “I can’t laugh!” and that made me laugh all the more! Sigh. But miraculously, it made it on there and I only had to do minimal touch-up around the bottom edges. :)

  30. Rebecca on July 7th, 2009 4:46 pm

    Now that is a birthday cake!

  31. Larna on June 23rd, 2010 5:00 pm

    Hi, I found your blog and was inspired to try this for my son’s 3rd bday despite not being a baker! Yikes! I have one question, though, which is can I leave the frosted cake in the fridge uncovered overnight? I have to frost the cake the day before due to time constraints, and the cake is going to be too big to cover, but I am worried about the frosting drying out in the fridge overnight? Any thoughts? Thanks! Your cake is awesome!

  32. Kay on July 20th, 2010 10:47 am

    Larna, I’ve put cakes in the fridge overnight and the frosting stayed just fine!

    If you’re using fondant though, I wouldn’t put it in the fridge… I made an ice cream cake base with fondant-covered cakes on top and so it had to go in the freezer. That does NOT work!

    Regular frosting should be fine, though.

  33. Thomas the Train Table on September 9th, 2010 9:08 pm

    That is a awesome Thomas birthday cake! Great job! I am sure Trevor absolutely loved it!

  34. Shane on February 5th, 2011 9:11 am

    That is simply amazing. My son Chase loves Thomas. We are having a Thomas themed second birthday for him today. I was going to just draw the front of him on a cake. Not anymore! I have six hours to do what you did. I better get started. Thank you so much for giving me a great idea and for making my sons birthday that much better. Great job!

  35. Sara on August 31st, 2011 2:27 pm

    How creative! I made a train cake similar to this for my daughter 3 years ago, but I love how you did your track and rocks! Now my son is turning 3 and wants Thomas also. I was just going to do the tank engine, but I am inspired now to do all the cars that go with it, complete with a caboose! Great job!

  36. Helen on October 1st, 2011 8:06 pm

    That cake is AWESOME! My daughter asked me to make a Thomas cake for her son’s 2nd birthday so I was looking for ideas – yours are great!
    One question where did you use the spaghetti, carrot and popsicle sticks. Must be well hidden, can’t see it anywhere but I’m wondering if that is how you held pieces together. Please let me know. Thanks so much

Tiffany’s 3rd birthday cake, Noah’s Ark…

Posted on March 30, 2009
Filed Under Birthday cakes

I’m going to do this cake a little different. Instead of making it and updating when it’s done, I’ll keep editting this post and update as I go. So far, we have the animals and a baked 9×13 cake.



So, if you want to watch it develop into a whimsical little Noah’s Ark, check back now and then! At least we hope that’s what it’ll develop into anyway… ????

Next update: I cut 2 pieces from the cake (approx 5″x the width of the cake) and stacked them…

Now it’s shaped a bit and has a door… yeah, frosting covers alot of imperfections!
By the way, Tiffany dug into the top of it, if you see a hole in the top. She said, “Well, I just wanted to taste it. You can mix the hole up again so we can’t see it.” Huh?

Now we’ve got some frosting on…
I know, the door didn’t get in the middle. I did that on purpose. ???? Just kidding, I was trying for the middle. *roll eyes*

Now the top part is going on…
Know what’s between that chunk of cake and the graham cracker ‘roof’? Frosting. Lots of frosting. I just piled a whole bunch on top and squished the graham crackers down over it. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
Tiffany said now she wants water for her boat.

Lexi just got home from school (she’s in Kindergarten)…

Got some trim on…
bday9.jpg The animals are chompin’ on the bit to get in their ark. :)

The grass is started…

Here’s how far I got with the grass till my hand was sore AND I ran out of green frosting. So, instead of trying to make more and match it, I decided to just make ‘dirt instead. I was actually going to make the whole thing dirt because it was, after all, a construction site. But, the cake was colorless enough with the brown ‘wood’, so I thought grass would brighten it up a bit.

The girls are pairing up the animals. Soon, I’ll turn them loose with putting them in the grass and up the ramp.

The animals are going on…


And the cake is DONE!

Here’s the birthday girl. The party is tomorrow.

Roxanna asked in the comments where I got the animals… I got them at JoAnn Fabrics. My SIL Liz found them for me.

Other birthday cakes:
winter scarf, hat, boots, & gloves cake
doghouse cake and Legos cake
coloring book cake
cake with roses and ribbon
123ABC blocks cake, snowman cake, ice cream cone cake, & house cake


Now it’s the next day. The birthday party is over. Editting to add a couple more pictures…





33 Responses to “Tiffany’s 3rd birthday cake, Noah’s Ark…”

  1. liz on March 30th, 2009 1:30 pm

    looks good so far! i’ll be checking back later that’s for sure. got to love the thinking of a 3 year old.

  2. Shannon on March 30th, 2009 1:35 pm

    Lookin’ good so far. :)

  3. Michelle on March 30th, 2009 2:36 pm

    Looks good! I just made a baseball cake for Jadon for his 3rd b-day. It was alot of fun!

  4. Monica on March 30th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Cute!! I love interesting birthday cakes!

  5. Victoria on March 30th, 2009 3:28 pm

    That’s the cutest cake I’ve ever seen!

  6. Roxanna on March 30th, 2009 3:49 pm

    I’m impressed! That is sooo cute! I think even I could do that! Where did you get those animals?

  7. Sandra on March 30th, 2009 4:17 pm

    You did such a great it!!

  8. Rosalyn on March 30th, 2009 4:21 pm

    wow! that is very cute! :)

  9. Mom Martin on March 30th, 2009 4:39 pm

    Very clever! You sure are creative! Tell Tiffany Grandma’s worried about her two alligators. they’ll need water…indoor pool?

  10. Shannon on March 30th, 2009 4:48 pm

    The girls are having fits over it. M wants to know if I can make them one. “Noooooooooooo” :)

  11. Monica on March 30th, 2009 5:00 pm

    I love it!! I’ll have to put that in my “birthday cake” file!! :)

  12. liz on March 30th, 2009 6:17 pm

    what is the dirt?

  13. Kay on March 30th, 2009 6:39 pm

    The dirt is cake crumbs, but that looked too dark, so I crushed graham crackers up and sprinkled some on top of the cake crumbs.

  14. Ruthie on March 30th, 2009 7:32 pm

    Neat! So can we come to the party tomorrow? =) How did you make the ridge on top?

  15. Barb on March 30th, 2009 7:43 pm

    Very cute cake…

  16. Kay on March 30th, 2009 8:09 pm

    Ruthie, yeah, come! :) For that ridge, I just put frosting in a plastic bag, snipped about 1/2″ of the corner off, and piped it on. I thought it would be round, but was pleased when it turned out more vertical.

  17. Cheryl on March 30th, 2009 8:51 pm

    So cute… I think that I’ll try it. But I’m far too lazy to make grass out of frosting. I think you can put coconut and a drop of green food coloring in a ziploc bag and squish it together and use that. But then the animals might not stay standing. Guess I’ll have to think about it awhile. I have til June.
    Cheryl Weaver

  18. Rene on March 30th, 2009 9:01 pm

    That is so adorable!!

  19. Amy on March 30th, 2009 9:04 pm

    That is absolutely ADORABLE!!!! I’ve never tried doing a cake, but this is just too tempting and I know my daughters would LOVE it. =)

  20. Rina on March 30th, 2009 9:50 pm

    That’s amazing!! GREAT job!

  21. Beth on March 31st, 2009 4:42 am

    All I can say is you are one amazing lady! GREAT JOB! Happy Birthday, Tiffany! And have fun at your party.

    I did have to smirk a little bit that she dug into the cake. If I would have tried to make that cake, Trevor would NEVER have been able to sit there mildly watching me frost. And your girls just sit there so calmly waiting to put the animals on. :)

  22. Freida on March 31st, 2009 6:48 am

    Wow! That is amazing, and ever so cute. Did anybody ever tell you that you really should do cakes for a living…. seriously. Good job! Happy birthday, Tiffany!

  23. Lorrie on March 31st, 2009 8:04 am

    Great job Mom! It looked like a lot of work, but that smile on that last picture must have made it worth it.

  24. Lisa on March 31st, 2009 10:25 am

    How adorable! Great job and Happy Birthday Tiffany from Rhode Island!!!

  25. Renita on March 31st, 2009 8:36 pm

    WOW! I know who I’ll be asking to ask to do my b-cakes. You are too good and so close. YOU ARE HIRED!Happy Birthday Tiffany!

  26. Alva on April 1st, 2009 8:29 am

    Wow you are amazing and so creative! Your children are so lucky to have you for a mom! I think a cake like that is a dream come true for most children!

  27. janae on April 3rd, 2009 11:11 am

    awww! kay the cake is adorable!! Brianna is sitting on my lap and drooling for a cake like it!!it is very very neat!

  28. Katrina on April 4th, 2009 10:16 pm

    What a great cake! Awesome!
    I love the elephant behinds going in the door!
    Tons of great photos!

  29. Mariann on April 6th, 2009 8:49 pm

    So cute!! My 4 year old son was thrilled with all your cakes.:) Of course he wants one too, but his Mom is not good with cake decorating.:(
    How much icing do you make to decorate an average cake? Do you have your icing recipe on here somewhere?

  30. Kim on April 27th, 2009 7:07 pm

    NEAT cake, Kay! Jared has been begging for a Thomas cake, but when he saw Tiffany’s cake he changed his mind! He only has a few days to decide! Hey, I haven’t browsed your site for ages, but it made me miss you like crazy!! (gulp!)…you’re one of a kind! (In a very GOOD way!) You really need to come back to WI for a visit!! Just maybe we’ll see you in OH this summer?! Shaina says “Hi” to Lexi!

  31. Melanie (Durban, South Africa) on November 26th, 2009 11:10 am

    Love the cake. going to make one for my daughthers 4th birthday this weekend.
    Thanks for the lovely photos.

  32. taree on April 26th, 2011 2:13 am

    thats a A plus for me !!! thank you :) you are very clever i like to decorate cakes tooo its real fun

  33. taree on April 26th, 2011 3:21 am

    ummm… can you list some ingrediants im goin to try make a ark wish me luck

Let it Snow! – Happy 6th Birthday, Lexi!

Posted on December 8, 2008
Filed Under Birthday cakes

Lexi turned 6 yesterday. The big 6. She’s got a loose tooth and she starts Kindergarten in March, then 1st grade next Fall. Life is pretty exciting for her right now.

Actually, what she’s exclaiming about here is the mini kitchen set that she got from her cousin Krista. I think we’ll have a kid’s cooking post coming up soon… she’s anxious to try it out. It IS really cute.

And here is her birthday cake:

It was an attempt to match her hat, gloves, scarf, and boots. She gets all excited every time it snows, even though we haven’t had much yet. The colors didn’t exactly match, but it was obvious at what I was trying for.

Especially because I had her put on her snow stuff for the picture:


The base is an ice cream cake, covered with Cool Whip. I was trying to copy the cakes that Dairy Queen makes, you know, with vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream layered on either side of that to-die-for fudgy layer. If I’d do it over, I’d get regular vanilla instead of French vanilla because I think it’s whiter.

I lined a 9×13 pan with plastic wrap (so it would turn out onto a tray easier), then put a 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream in, then a layer of crushed Oreos, then about 2 jars of Smuckers hot fudge topping, then a 1/2 gallon of chocolate ice cream, then froze it for awhile, then turned it out onto a tray, then covered the top and sides with Cool Whip.





And now for the fun part! ????
The things on top are just carved out of a baked 9×13 chocolate cake, then covered with fondant (a roll-out icing). The gloves got carved to about half that size… they wouldn’t have fit on the cake being that big.

The scarf shows the fondant process the best. To make stripes, the fondant (which is pure white) is tinted different colors, then rolled into ‘sticks’, lined up against each other, and rolled out flat…



6bday12.jpg The fondant is soft and pliable, but dries out pretty fast, so it was pretty easy to get a the-scarf-was-just-thrown-over-there look by lifting up one edge and putting a ball of tin foil under it and then flipping the other end over. Then, instead of covering it, I let it out to dry and it hardened in that shape. The fringes were piped on later.

Here is a progress picture and then the finished product. It was fun to make and I learned alot about using fondant! One main thing is that it you need to keep it tightly covered because as soon as it dries out even a little, it breaks instead of bends. I do think I’ll use it more often though. It’s fun! :) The only other time I used it was 5 years ago to cover the building blocks on Lexi’s 1st birthday cake. But that time I bought it and just let it white, no tinting it.

6bday14.jpg If you see that jar of jelly in the foreground, they say fondant holds to the cake better if you spread jelly on the cake first.


Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was the snowflakes… I melted white chips and then piped snowflakes onto plastic wrap on a cookie sheet and chilled them till they were hard, then placed them on the cake. They were fun for the kids to pick off and pop into their mouths. :)

Enjoy the snow if you have some! We’ve got a little bit on the ground here.


19 Responses to “Let it Snow! – Happy 6th Birthday, Lexi!”

  1. Shannon on December 8th, 2008 8:43 pm

    YOU, my lady, are absolutely unreal!! Want to start a business? My girls are just in awe of this cake and I agree, it is just completely cute!!

  2. Freida on December 8th, 2008 8:48 pm

    You are completely totally amazing and I am standing in complete awe!!! Wow! I agree with Shannon- you really should start a business.

  3. Traci on December 8th, 2008 9:19 pm

    You are so much more a better mother than me! I don’t think I would have had the patience for that. You did an amazing job!!! Pat yourself on the back. I would have had to framed the cake…ba haaaaa….NO TOUCHY!!!

  4. Twila on December 8th, 2008 9:37 pm

    It’s ever so cute!

  5. cretora on December 8th, 2008 10:28 pm

    wow. that is really neat!

  6. Karen Layman on December 8th, 2008 10:36 pm

    Impressive! Really really cute.

  7. Charlene on December 9th, 2008 5:27 am

    WOW! looks cute, May I ask how long it took you??

  8. Audrey on December 9th, 2008 8:34 am

    That is a beautiful cake and Lexi should certainly appreciate the time and effort that went into it…although she probably won’t appreciate it fully till her little girl wants her to make a cake that is so tough. I can guarantee you this…if I had tried it, it wouldn’t look 1/2 that nice. Great job!

  9. Berneice on December 9th, 2008 10:57 am

    Brooklyn wants a cake like that for her 5th B-day. There you have your fisrt order! :) It is beautiful!! Btw, her b-day is in March

  10. Loretta on December 9th, 2008 1:23 pm

    You did a great job. I am not a decorator at all, so it looks extra hard, I do love to bake.

  11. Marilyn on December 9th, 2008 1:55 pm

    Wow! great job on the cake, it is so cool! :-)

  12. Sharon on December 9th, 2008 2:15 pm

    Neat cake! You are one creative Mom! I love spending a little extra time to make special cakes too. That fondant looks a little complicated, but maybe I should try it sometime. Can you still eat it after it hardens? Why does it look shiny? And HOW did you make the pom pom on the hat?

  13. Kay on December 9th, 2008 3:00 pm

    I’m going to answer some questions on here, and thanks for all your nice comments.

    Shannon, no, I don’t want to start a business, I’d have to charge too much to make it pay. ????

    Charlene, I didn’t time how long it took (thankfully!), but at least 5 hours, I’d say. *gasp* Oh well, I won’t start justifying it. At least it’s fun. :)

    Sharon, yeah, the fondant is a bit complicated, BUT yeah, you should try it sometime. ???? Yeah, you can eat it, it doesn’t get rock hard. It’s made out of egg whites, light corn syrup, and powdered sugar (I guess I didn’t post the recipe). Mixing in the color takes FOREVER, but with kneading it so much, it gets soft and pliable (that’s how you mix the food coloring in, by kneading it). The shiny part was because of a mistake on my part… I found out that fondant and freezing does not mix! After I took it out of the freezer at partytime, it got shiny, then the colors started running! Ack! But it had to be frozen because the base was ice cream. So, I will never put fondant and ice cream cake together again. For the pom-pom, I put a chocolate covered cherry on top of the hat (you can see it on the one progress picture before it’s covered), then piped little dots all over it. Should’ve made all the dots pink, not sure what I was thinking because Lexi’s pom-pom has no brown in it!

  14. Katie Mast on December 9th, 2008 7:04 pm

    WOW! how cool. You are amazing. I have only made a few cakes for my kids. The ice cream cake i made for our oldest looked a lot like yours, but i only put cool whip right on top and put a space shuttle candle and space candles on it. Very easy compared to yours. I would love to play around with the fondant, i may need to come up with a idea to use it. I love your cooking ideas.

  15. Ruthie on December 10th, 2008 11:06 am

    Glad I could personally see and taste the cake. Thanks for the snack. Lexi looks so happy. We thought about her on Sunday.

  16. Katrina on December 10th, 2008 2:31 pm

    GREAT cake! I would not attempt something like that. Looks great. What a great mom!

  17. JoAnn on December 11th, 2008 8:38 am

    Very, very cool cake!

  18. Judi on December 11th, 2008 2:41 pm

    Wow! you went to a lot of work. Your Lexi better appreciate you. That is absolutely adorable! Bet it was positively yummy too. There’s that word again ‘yummy’ lol

  19. Christy on December 17th, 2008 2:44 pm

    That’s an adorable idea!!! The fondant looks like so much fun. I’ve wanted to play with it, but just haven’t done it, yet.

Woof! Woof! It’s Tiffany’s birthday cake…

Posted on March 31, 2008
Filed Under Birthday cakes

Before I had any children, I decided that I want to make them special birthday cakes. Some people look at it as a waste of time. I look at it as FUN! Fun without costing alot of money.

Tiffany just turned 2. I made her a doghouse birthday cake. I used a house-shaped pan that I bought at our local Michaels store. I use the term ‘local’ loosely… the closest Michaels is an hour and a half away. It’s good I live that far away from it, I’d spend alot of time (and money) there. I’ll bet I could spend all day there (if I didn’t have kids in tow, that is).

I started with a cake mix. Pillsbury Moist Supreme pudding-in-the-mix.

I always use this kind of cake mix for birthday cakes and it always gets rave reviews. So, I figure why make a cake from scratch?! I really don’t remember when the last time was that I made a cake from scratch. Oh, probably a red velvet cake last year sometime. I always make red velvet from scratch. But that’s the only kind I make from scratch.


When baked, the cake fills the pan up perfectly. Cut the rounded part off the top with a long-bladed knife.

Now comes the apprehensive part of flipping it out of the pan… will part of the cake stay with the pan? Will I have to dig around at it with a knife? Will it be so bad that I have to start over and go to the store for another cake mix? Before dumping the batter in, I sprayed the pan with PAM cooking spray. Here’s how it came out! Perfect!

I did not wipe any cake remnants out of the pan before taking this picture. I’d definitely recommend PAM if you ever make something that needs to be baked then flipped out of the pan!

We’ve got siding on the first side now.

I spread frosting on the cake first to make it flat because it had impressions on there for the windows for a regular house. Um, I don’t think I’ll have to wade thro’ calls from construction companies asking me to join their siding crew! It is pretty much seamless though, so that’s good.


Now all the siding is on, although you can’t really tell it.

bday2-6.jpg And we have a roof.


A bit more trim and a name for the dog… SPOT, yeah, I know, so original. But, any other dog name (like Maxwell, which is what Lexi wants to name her first dog) would’ve been too long to write. Rex would’ve fit good, too. My first puppy was named Rusty. He was  a pure-bred Collie. Ok, he wasn’t actually MY puppy… we had a pair of pure-bred Collies, (beautiful dogs!) and they had pups and so each of us children claimed one and named it. We had them until someone bought them. I had mine the longest and I was tickled when it was my uncle who got Rusty because I could still see him now and then. You don’t know how wonderful that was unless you know how nostalgic I am. My uncle named him Rex, so I really like that name for a dog, except he, of course, was always still Rusty to me.


That’s brownies under the cake (made with brownie mix, of course). I’m not a cake fan, but brownies I can’t leave alone, so that layer is for me. I realized I’m in the minority because the cake was pretty much licked clean and most of the brownie layer was left. Those brownies were just a 9×13 pan, then I cut irregular borders to add a casual look to the cake. The ‘cake board’ is my cutting board covered with tin foil and taped on the bottom. I just wrapped it up like you would a gift.


Here is a close-up of the grass. This was time-comsuming. And my hand got sore. But it looked pretty neat on there… made me anxious for Spring! It is, by the way, snowing outside right now. The grass alone took about a half hour. The entire cake took just under 3 hours.

Here are the tips I used. Started from the left: the tip for the grass, for the trim, for the little flowers in the yard which you’ll see on the finished cake below, for the roof, and the one for the siding. For the stuff that you’d think I used a round tip for, my round tip fell on the floor and got stepped on and smashed awhile ago, so instead of getting another one, I just put frosting in a sandwich bag and snip off a bit of the corner. Works great! And no tip to clean!

Here’s the finished cake…


Here’s the back of it…

bday2tiff.jpg And here’s the birthday girl!

This is Tiffany’s second birthday. For her first birthday cake, I made her Lego blocks, pictured below.

The house pan I used for Tiffany’s doghouse is the same pan I used for the house for Lexi’s 4th birthday, except for hers I put 2 together to make it a more realistic-shaped house. To see Lexi’s cakes: birthdays 1 – 4 and birthday 5.

If you ask any questions in the comments, please check back because I’ll reply in the comments. I’d also love to hear from you what birthday cakes you’ve made. And if you have some pictured on your blog, feel free to leave a link so we can go see it!


17 Responses to “Woof! Woof! It’s Tiffany’s birthday cake…”

  1. Shannon on March 31st, 2008 12:26 pm

    Very, very cool. I think you could start a business! :) My girls are spazzing out. :) “Can you make me a cake like that? How do you make a cake like that? When can we have a cake like that???” My answer. “Um, probably never, your mom can’t do that.” :)

  2. Liz on March 31st, 2008 12:30 pm

    I think you have a knack for that kind of thing. I would probably have to read directions for what kind of tip to use for what. Even though I did take a basic cake decorating class. Maybe I just need a fancier decorting kit.

  3. Heidi on March 31st, 2008 12:36 pm

    soo cool you did a great job on it! how did you get it to stand up tho?

  4. barb on March 31st, 2008 12:39 pm

    How did you get that doghouse to stand up? It looks so narrow to stand up on its own.

    That is a really cute cake. I have never even seen a tip like the one you used for the grass. I am going to have to get one of those. That grass was really neat.

  5. Kay on March 31st, 2008 12:58 pm

    To get the cake to stand up, when it was laying down (like the 1st siding picture), I cut the bottom at a 90 degree angle. I didn’t measure, I just cut till it looked straight. We were a bit worried about it though. But it survived carrying it out to the vehicle, driving 15 miles (slow around corners!) and carrying it into the house and then some moving it around in the house too. It’s made to be proportioned right to stand on its own, but yeah, still made me nervous!!!

  6. Freida on March 31st, 2008 1:50 pm

    Like usual, you flip me out. What can I say? You are a wonder woman! :-) Cee–uute cake!!

  7. Angela on March 31st, 2008 1:51 pm

    I agree on your philosophy for making birthday cakes. Birthdays are something I want to make special every year as a way to celebrate not only the day, but the child as well! For the 2nd year cake, I’ve made it a tradition to make a cake of the child’s first real word. Since Julia’s first word was “hop”, she got a bunny cake, and since Elise’s was “woof”, she’ll be getting a dog cake (but that’s not until May, so I haven’t figured out details yet). I’ve also done a butterfly cake, Larry the Cucumber, and a small fish for a 1st birthday.

  8. Denise on March 31st, 2008 8:44 pm

    Wow!! I love that one. Wish I was as good as u r at decorating cakes. Our little guy loves our dog so it would be so neat to make a cake like that for him for his birthday.
    Well done!!

  9. Marilyn on April 1st, 2008 5:49 am

    Wow!very cool cake! Great job, love all the ideas you come up with for birthday cakes. I always make cakes for my children’s birthdays too, it’s something special for them and it is fun :-)

  10. Twila on April 1st, 2008 5:52 am

    That cake is really cute!
    I always made my kid’s special cakes for their birthdays too. I still make them although now that they’re older the girls get cakes with flowers. I made Tyler a cake with Garfield on it his last birthday. One year I was just to busy to make a cake for one of the girls so I decided I have to buy one. I thought it would be special, since they never had boughten birthday cakes, but oh my, that little girl was not happy. She wanted mom to make it!

  11. barb on April 1st, 2008 7:58 am

    I guess I am just plain stupid, but I still don’t understand how you got that thing to stand up. (You should have posted pictures of that:) If you can explain it any better I would love to know, because I might try making one for my son. Thanks, Barb

  12. Kay on April 1st, 2008 8:22 am

    Standing the doghouse up (better explanation): First of all, the dimensions are 3″ deep x 8″ wide x 8″ tall. The 5th picture (with all the siding on) shows the width better than any of the other pictures.

    I baked the cake in the pan, then flipped it out, let it cool, then when I was ready to stand it up, I thought it looked slightly slanted on the bottom, so I trimmed off a little wedge to make to bottom look totally flat. Then (while it was still laying down, as in picture #4), I took a ‘pancake turner’ and put it under the top part of the house and lifted it (the top) up till it was in an upright position (as in picture #5). The worst part was getting it off of that little cutting board onto the brownie layer… I couldn’t touch the top or sides at all because it was all decorated, so I got 2 ‘pancake turners’ and put one under each side and lifted it over onto the brownie. Mine isn’t anchored to the brownie layer with any toothpicks or anything. We moved it around (carefully) quite a bit and it didn’t fall over.

    You’re right, I should’ve had pictures of standing it up… nothing like a picture to help explain something. :) Let me know if you need more details or anything. Yeah you oughta try it! It was fun to make! :)

  13. Regina on April 1st, 2008 9:26 am

    Wow, way to go on the cakes! You do quite an impressive job! I made a castle cake for my daughters 3rd birthday, and there are a few pics of it on my weblog…nothing that great, but thought you might like to check it out beings you’re interested in them. I always love to see new designs and get new ideas!

  14. Sharla on April 1st, 2008 1:37 pm

    hey i was wondering where you get ideas for 1st birthday cakes…my daughter is turning 1 later on this month and i don’t know where to start looking..

  15. Kay on April 1st, 2008 3:32 pm

    I’d Google it, Sharla, and see if you come up with anything. For the 2 I made, the building blocks one was original, the Lego blocks one was one that my SIL saw online and told me about.

  16. Sharla on April 2nd, 2008 12:20 pm

    thanks!! i found that has LOTS of ideas…ppl posting pics of cakes they have made..

  17. Judi on April 4th, 2008 2:47 pm

    I always made special cakes for my kids when they were little too. At that time I’d taken a Wilton decorating class and bought a few of their pans. They had four mini pans that took one cake mix. I think there is a bear, train, dolly and don’t you know the last one is escaping me at this very moment. I had them all then when dolly came into mind it typed that and the other one left. lol. I used the train a few times because we have a train in our backyard (for real). Also did BigBird one time. That too took a lot of time making all the feather looking things. Fun Fun

Coloring Book Birthday Cake


I saw Crayola candles while shopping one day last month and thought they were so cute, so this is how I decided to use them.

9×13 chocolate cake (pudding-in-the-mix cake mix)

Book carved…

Frosted, but needs another coat…

For the pictures, I looked off of those 2 pages in the picture above and toothpicked them on each side, then piped the outline with black frosting. In this picture, the one picture is already piped on and the other one is just ‘toothpicked’…


I wish I would’ve let it looking more half-colored instead of coloring in so much. Might’ve looked more like a coloring book that way. The crayons laying around are candles with the wicks cut off.

And here is the birthday girl…


One Response to “Coloring Book Birthday Cake”

  1. salma! on March 6th, 2010 11:02 pm

    oh my gosh that is SO CUUTE!

The Making of a Birthday Cake for the Teacher

Posted on March 29, 2007
Filed Under Birthday cakes

What a day! I got up this morning and mixed up some frosting for a birthday cake for one of the school teacher’s birthday party this afternoon.

The first thing that happened is that I splattered red food coloring on my housecoat (bummer, no more fun baking before getting dressed)… then things got worse from there. I was piping roses onto toothpicks and this being I think my first time doing that, you can imagine how good it went! I soon lowered my standards on how nice the roses had to look and the whole rose-making process went faster from there.

I went out of the kitchen for about 2 minutes for a bathroom break when Lexi said, “Mom, Tiffany got into the sugar. Oh, now she dumped some on the floor. Mom, can we play in it?” I came back to the kitchen as soon as I could and this is what I found…

They were both licking sugar off the floor! Lexi said, “This sugar isn’t very good not on anything, but we like it anyway.” They were so sticky, so I put them in the tub while I cleaned up the floor (not like I had alot of extra time for that!). The sugar, by the way, is stored in a canister in that bottom drawer in front of them.

I had to run to Walmart because I wasn’t sure I had enough powdered sugar for all the frosting I was going through, plus I had to get ice cream, chips, and drink yet to round out the party. I got Lexi some popcorn chicken at the deli for her for lunch and as I rounded a corner in the store, I felt myself step on something at about the same time Lexi said “Oh, no!” 3/4 of her chicken had spilled and went down thro’ the holes in the cart and they were all laying on the floor behind me. I hurry picked them up, not looking around at other shoppers.

When we got home, Tiffany was kind of clingy, so while I was trying to carefully write “Happy Birthday Miss Hershey”, she was tugging at my skirt. Poor girl hadn’t had much of mom all morning. And while I was carefully and meticulously putting the flowers and leaves on, Lexi (who was standing on a chair beside me) would once in awhile lean on my shoulder and say, “That looks very beautiful!” How can you say “DON’T BUMP ME!!!” after something like that?!

Anyway, I had to leave by about 2:00 and I got done with the cake at 1:53, so it was a rush of changing the baby, getting on shoes and jackets, getting everything out to the car and when we got to the school, I got everything around, ready to go, and was as cool and composed as could be on the outside, but on the the inside it felt like I was still in high gear. On the way to the party, just out of the blue, Lexi said, “Mom, you are a very good mom.” Oh, I love that girl!!!! I said, “Oh, thankyou. Sometimes it seems like I rush us all around so much and forget to be nice.” She said, “Yeah, you do, but you’re still a good mom.”

So anyway, here’s the making of the cake…

I did the roses on toothpicks, then poked the toothpicks down thro’ a grater and a colander and pulled them out the bottom. Then, I put the roses (still on the colander and grater) in the fridge to get hard, then transferred them to a plate.

Putting the ribbon on. I had always wanted to try that, and it worked great. I did it right after frosting the sides so the ribbon would stick.

The bow is separate, stuck on there with a dab of frosting.

A bit of trim and some writing. The cake is starting to look promising, even though things are hectic around here.

The roses are placed on… I think I made too many, but put them on anyway.


leeanne8.jpg And here is our top notch 1st grade teacher.

As I was at the party among all the excitement, trying to relax inside, I realized that some things in life just aren’t worth getting stressed over. Things like a totaled kitchen waiting at home and the horror of the girls licking sugar off the floor and the spilled popcorn chicken and the bumps and tugs while decorating a cake. There’s more to life… like excitement, laughter, friends, and those 2 sweet girls I can call my own.

4 Birthday Cakes

Lexi’s Birthday Cakes

1st birthday    Dec. 2003


cake 1

2nd birthday     Dec. 2004


cake 2

3rd birthday   Dec. 2005


cake 3

4th birthday    Dec. 2006 


cake 4


One Response to “4 Birthday Cakes”

  1. salma! on March 6th, 2010 11:06 pm

    oh my gosh you’re like a professional!!! right?!?