I have done a racing theme twice. This first one is pretty straightforward. My son was fascinated with cars and the number eight, so I thought I'd make a figure eight race track cake.
I cut a 9"x13" cake in half and stacked it to make one smaller cake. I made the checkered flags with toothpicks and colored sugar for grass. I would have used coconut, but I didn't have any on hand. When my son blew the candle out, sugar went flying everywhere! I tried to sneak some of the leftover green sugar into some pizza dough and the dough came out with a drab grey color! :-p
The next year, he wanted a race car cake. This is what I came up with:
I decided to shape one from a loaf pan. A denser cake, such as banana bread or pound cake, works best for this type of cake. I made banana bread with this one. My son got sick right before his birthday and this was the first time we had invited friends. So this is actually the second (and better) cake made a week later. For the first one I tried covering it with red marshmallow fondant. Given it was my first time, I ended up with another late dinner (maybe I'll write about my red fondant experience in another post). Mini peppermint patties were used for the wheels as well as the steering wheel. Life savers were used for headlights and dashboard. I meant to put an number 4 in the circle, but inadvertently put his initial there instead. Who cares?
Anyway, I went to shop for my son's birthday present and I got my inspiration from a car in the dollar section: