A friend of mine offered to loan me her Wilton 3D Cruiser cake pan. So I decided I could make it into a VW beetle cake because my son is just crazy about them.
This was the most I have ever put into a cake, but I enjoyed making it (primarily because I made it before, not on, his birthday) and he really loved it. I didn't want to do all that piping, but I couldn't smooth out the icing without hiding the detail from the pan.
Two days ahead of time, I baked the cake using my banana bread recipe (I think I tripled it). This turned out to be a great choice because I had done the bamboo skewer test for doneness (a toothpick was too small) but when I went to level the cake it revealed that the inside was definitely not cooked through. I put it back in the oven until it was really done. If it were a regular or light cake, it would have collapsed in the middle and I would have had to start over. I also made and colored the icing that night. I baked the cake ahead of time because I wanted to be sure it was cooled enough to ice it.
The next evening I decorated the cake. I raised the cake a bit by placing it on a smaller board, then on the main one. I iced the windows with grey icing, then I covered it with wax paper (actually the butter wrappers) cut out in the window shapes to prevent it from getting smeared by the red icing. Next, I spread a thin layer of red icing. That step is probably not not necessary if you are piping the body, but I was trying to get a smooth layer initially.
(before, with the wax paper templates)
(After the wax paper was removed)
Then, I piped the body with red icing and added the details. I had hoped to use some of the cake scraps to make the domed top, but it wasn't working well, so I used a heap of icing instead. I also put the cake back in the fridge quite frequently so that the icing wouldn't melt (I made buttercream icing with just butter because it's trans-fat free, tastier, but melts easier).
If you notice in this picture, I iced the contours (such as the headlights and the hood detail) first and filled in the rest. I think this defined the areas more and helped when I did the final touches.
Now, for the detailing...
- Tires: Oreo cakesters, split in half (I would have preferred the cookeis, but I didn't want to buy a whole pack of oreo cookies and the cakesters were available in a snack pack) I then piped the centers with red icing.
- Front red and rear lights: Gummy Life Savers. The red lights were cut in half.
- Rear view mirror: Red licorice circles from a bridge mix at a bulk candy bin. I iced them with the grey icing and stuck a toothpick in them. You might want to get more than two of these because they can crack. That way you can pick the best two. I wonder if Hershey's Kissables would work.
- License plate light, door, and trunk handles: licorice rods from the same bridge mix (I really don't remember what they are called)
- Headlights: I also got these from the bulk candy bin. They were big gummy circles. I think they were Sunkist brand.
- License plate: Wrigley's gum. I trimmed it to size and then piped my son's name on it with a small round tip (can't remember, maybe #5).
If you try this, please leave feedback on how this worked out for you.