This past weekend my sister, my mom and I surprised my dad for his 60th birthday. After calling him and reporting a fake plumbing emergency, my dad and neighbor (who was in on the surprise) rushed over to my house to find 30 of his closets friends and family yelling surprise.
One of the first cooler days of the season, the weather was perfect for an outdoor barbecue. I was a little nervous about the appearance of my home, as a section of my backyard is a little unsightly, where we are DIY filling in an in-ground pool the previous home owners had abandoned. But the 10 or so kids and 20 adults did not mind the site and we had plenty of room on the “nicer” side of the backyard lawn for the party. Plus, it was a great talking point for my dad, as he jokingly told nearly every guest that he had been mad at me earlier in the day because I told him my husband was not available to work with him on my backyard that day.
Thanks to Pinterest and Instagram, my current birthday cake obsession is baking and decorating number cakes. My sister’s 30th birthday was my first time using the molds and my dad’s birthday was the second. My dad loves to restore old cars, so I thought a car-themed cake would be fun.
I used one box of chocolate cake mix for the 6 and one box of vanilla cake mix for the 0. Then I got started decorating!
- One box of Oreo cookies
- 2 Cans of vanilla icing
- Kelly Green food coloring
- Green Sixlet candies
- Automobile candy mold
- Candy Melts in the color of your choosing
- Microwave-safe mug
- 3 large Ziplock bags
- Offset spatula
- Tooth picks
A couple days before I baked the cakes, I started to make the candy melt cars. I found this candy mold on Amazon. I was a little concerned that the candy cars would be too big for the cake, but at 2 and 1/4 inches long and 3/4 inches wide, they ended up being the perfect size.
I chose to make yellow, red and blue cars. I picked up these Wilton candy melt packages at my local Michaels Craft Store. Since I wasn’t exactly sure how many cars I would need of each color, I made a full tray of each (8 cars per color). Since we were also having an ice cream bar at the party, I figured the kids might enjoy eating them with their ice cream.
Making the candy cars was very simple. I put a handful of the round candy melt chips into a microwave-safe mug. Then I put it into the oven for a few seconds, stirred, put it in for a few more seconds, stirred again and repeated the process until I had a smooth texture free of lumps. (Use caution when removing your mug from the microwave! You may need an oven mitt if the handle is hot or to let it cool a moment before removing.)
Then I used the spoon to distribute the melted candy into each car mold. I often had to melt additional candy to make sure I had enough, but wasn’t making too much. Once all of the molds were full, I lightly tapped the tray against the counter so that the candy would settle and any air bubbles would escape.
After letting the candy sit overnight to harden, I would pop out the completed candies and store them in a ziplock bag before moving onto the next color.
Another project I completed prior to baking the cake was creating the “road.” I separated Oreo cookies, scooped out the cream with a spoon and dropped the cookies into a ziplock. I used about half of a Family Size Oreo package (1 lb 3.1 oz). Then I sealed the ziplock bag, squeezed out all the air and began lightly hitting the bag with the side and back of the spoon to break the cookies into little pieces. Since I wanted my road to be very fine Oreo crumbs, it took a bit of time. Or you can use a food processor (which I ironically was given for my birthday two days after my dad’s party). I ended up using the rest of the whole Oreo cookies for the ice cream bar. I broke each cookie into several pieces and put in a bowl as a topping option.
Once the cakes were baked, I let them cool and then mixed the icing. I used a spatula to scoop two cans of Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Vanilla Icing into a large bowl. Then I added kelly green food coloring with a toothpick. As I began stirring and blending in the food coloring, I added about three more rounds of food coloring to achieve the green color I was looking for.
Once the icing is adequately mixed, use an offset spatula to ice the entire cake.
Now it’s time to build your road. Cut a small hole in the corner of the ziplock bag that you crushed the Oreos in. Then, carefully spread the Oreos along the top of the cake. I then used a spoon to press the crushed Oreo into the icing and to make sure the road was as smooth as possible.
Use the green sixlet candies to create a row of trees lining either side of your road as well as to outline the bottom of the cake. I used just about an entire 14 oz bag of kiwi green sixlets from Party City for the outlines.
Place the cars on the road and you are all set to serve!