August 8, 2011

Mustang Bullit Car Cake Tutorial


This Mustang Bullit car cake was commissioned by a beautiful young bride for her fanatical Mustang GT collecting groom. The cake ordered was the groom’s favorite flavor, banana with vanilla bean butter cream, and it was modeled to match the car driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 movie Bullit.

She swiped the collectable model from his trophy chest and I kept it in my possession for about 6 weeks. I was glad that it wasn’t one of the real Mustangs he had sitting in his driveway=D

This post is not so much a tutorial but a “get a clue “of how a car cake is constructed and decorated. I'll also share some of pearls of wisdom I begrudgingly gained.  

I’ll tell you from experience, it’s not quick and it’s not easy making car cakes! It takes planning, planning and more planning. Did I mention prepping?


Carving is a slow and deliberate job.  You begin with a big, stacked rectangular sheet cake and out of that block of cake should emerge a car.  Funny, right?

As I had mentioned in a previous post, a good and sturdy made-from-scratch cake is necessary for carving.  Box mixes and sponge cakes will NOT work.  Neither will recipes with nuts or chocolate chips as they tend to become “road blocks”, if you will, during the carving process. 

Chunks of cake will come off with the nuts or chips embedded in your knife and then you’ll have to plaster it back on with butter cream creating an uneven surface. Not to mention, you would have created a really messy cake for the guest of honor to cut into it and serve.  Huh-llo.

Be sure to have plenty of room in your fridge and freezer for the cake to rest between carving and applying butter cream layers, cause it’s going to be in there a lot. It took me two days!

Modeling chocolate was used for details. I really liked the way the tires turned out.  Black modeling chocolate with silver dragees for spokes!  Great medium to work with and eat!

Needless to say, the chocolate in different colors should be ready and waiting before you to begin detailing your carved cake. A ‘How to make your own modeling chocolate’ tutorial is in the works by yours truly=) So look for it in future postings!

Matching the color on the fondant was intimidating to me at the time.  I learned, the hard way, to begin with a smaller amount of fondant, achieve the color you wish THEN add it to a larger amount of fondant. You have less waste if you mess up the color initially with a small amount rather than throwing out about 15 lbs of expensive fondant=(.

Another thing I learned during this process, the value of using a foam core board instead of a couple of cake rounds to place the cake on.  When I removed the finished cake from the fridge, the weight was too much for flimsy corrugated cardboard rounds that were cut to size. 

Two very large and unattractive cracks developed at the bottom corners of the windshield. Great. I cut a piece of styrofoam, made it match the finished cake board and placed it under the hood of the car for extra support!

Once I got to the wedding location, I used Duff's, the one and only Ace of Cakes, suggestion of coloring royal icing to match the fondant, filled the cracks and smoothed it out. Done.


The bride was positively radiant and thrilled to surprise her groom!  I wish I could have seen his reaction!

Happy Decorating!

9 comments:

The Vanilla Bean Baker said...

OMG! I'm sure the groom was positively blown away by this cake. You did an outstanding job and should be very, very proud of all your hard work. Thanks for taking the time to show us how you created this amazing car.

The Harried Cook said...

Myrna! That's incredible... You have done an amazing job with the cake, and this is a fabulous tutorial! You made a lot of people very happy with this cake, I'm sure... You should be proud of putting up such a great cake! Great job :)

Jenniffer said...

Hi Myrna! My first visit to your blog and I am blown away! Excellent job on the cake! Keep up the great work!!

Myrna said...

Thanks Jenniffer for visiting and the encouraging words!! Quite a compliment coming from a person with such a huge portfolio of gorgeous cake designs!!

Myrna said...

Hi Paula! Thank you, thank you, thank you for realizing that wasn't an easy feat=D You're always so good for my ego!!! On to the next shaped cake....

Myrna said...

Hi Marsha! Yes! After dropping off the cake I finally allowed myself to feel proud! Up and until then I was a train wreck=D Thanks so much for the positively kind words=)

supu said...

I somehow feel that cakes baked from scratch are not as soft and spongy as the ready mixes... and to add to that 2 whole days of preparing the shape and finishing it.. will it be fresh and soft on the 3rd day??

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