Sometimes Sewing Time Gets Trumped by Cake Decorating!

Who doesn’t like birthday cake?

mmmmmmmmmm……. yummy!

No birthday party is complete without a birthday cake. My son’s birthday is in a few days, so we had his party over the weekend. I asked him what kind of party he wanted, and being an almost 5 year old boy he said “CARS!”


Well, I am a creative person and have always found ways to express myself 3-dimensionally. When I was younger I dabbled in any medium that would produce an object I could hold in my hands – play-doh, clay, wood, plaster, metal, etc.

Now, I mostly use fabric for my 3-dimensional sculpting.

But, you know, fondant and gumpaste are really edible modeling clay, so when birthdays come up I see it as an excuse to indulge in a little edible sculpting 😉

So, when my son said he wanted a Lightning McQueen cake with a road on it and checkered flags I immediately got biz-zay!

Ta da!


Here’s a close up of the top:


The cake is two layers (the bottom is vegan chocolate; the top is non-vegan vanilla) with a buttercream crumb layer and then draped in fondant. Of course, when I say “buttercream” I would like to point out that the recipe I use for icing has neither butter nor cream in it, ha! Also, for any vegans out there, did you know that ready to use rolled fondant by Wilton is vegan? Oh yes!

The lettering is from cut outs I have, although I have done free style lettering before. The cars are also embossed cookie cutters I got from Williams-Sonoma. Sometimes when you are presented with a perfect tool, you must use it.

They are discontinued, but I picked them up on ebay for a steal.

Here’s a few side views so you can see the cookie cutter fondant cars a little better:



Aren’t they adorable?

Now, I think this cake turned out quite well, but I was relieved to find those cookie cutters.

Why, you ask?

Well, because last year my almost 4 year old son decided he wanted a pirate themed party and he wanted a treasure map cake. With a pirate ship. And, a treasure chest. And a volcano.

And an octopus.


But, then I remembered how much I liked to sculpt with modeling clay when I was younger. So, in the words of Barney Stinson I said

“Challenge Accepted!”

So, without further ado (and a year late, but you’ll forgive me since I *just* started blogging a month ago), I give you my greatest cake creation to date:

The Pirate Map Cake


My inspiration came from this cake.  I think I did fairly well, considering I am not a professional cake decorator. Just a mommy with a creative urge. I think all of the decorations are made out of gumpaste. If you are wondering the base of the pirate ship and the volcano are cardboard that I covered in gumpaste and the red treasure chest is a candle. Everything else I sculpted.

Here’s a few more pics:


I love the little cannonballs and the expression on the octopus 🙂


I wanted the sign to look like driftwood and the ship to look like real wood.  The skull and knife flanking the sign are from a pirate candle set I bought an then cut off the wicks. I also spent a lot of time making the skull and crossbones at the helm of the ship look happy.


The sand is a half and half mixture of white and brown sugar. The palm fronds are free-handed.


Here’s an aerial view so you can see the “map.” I used a toothpick and some scrapbook paper to make the pirate flag and the little tiny treasure map in the boat I downloaded off the internet, shrunk, and then printed. To get some of the color variations on the pieces I watered down icing dye and used a paintbrush.

I am really proud of these cakes, so I wanted to share them with you. I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos as much as I did making it.

Happy Cake Decorating!


4 thoughts on “Sometimes Sewing Time Gets Trumped by Cake Decorating!

  1. These cakes are amazing!! Just to clarify – you made the buttercream and bought the fondant? Just keeping track in case I want to try something like this for my daughter… 🙂

  2. What fun and so much detail! The octopus reminded me of the Ursula costume I made, way back when. (miss those days). You have certainly set the bar for cake design.

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