Lightning Mcqueen Cake Decorations

On this page you can review a variety of Lightning Mcqueen cake decorating ideas. Cake pictures and how-to directions will help you make your own cake.

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Cake submitted by Cheryl W. from Ukiah, CA

Lightning Mcqueen Theme Cake

I made two 9x14 inch cakes with store bought cake mixes that I firmed up so it would be easier to carve.

I carved the basic shape of the car and used the pieces of cake that I cut off to stack in the back for the fenders and eye piece. I covered the whole cake in fondant and then cut out the windows, lights, number and emblems out of fondant. I had painted everything with a mixture of paste food coloring and lemon juice.

For the graduated color on the flame, I used small sponge brushes and just dabbed the color on. The tires I made from rice cereal treats covered in fondant and painted 'Lightyear' on with silver sparkle dust mixed with lemon juice. I attached them to the cake with dried spaghetti (I like to make everything edible when I can.)

The checkerboard pattern on the cake board was just done by cutting out black and white fondant squares. It took me 10 hours in all to make but was worth all the effort when my son saw it he was so excited and kept telling me how much he loves it!

Lightning Mcqueen Theme Cake1

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Cake submitted by Kim P. from Wichita Falls, TX

Lightning Mcqueen Birthday

I made a 2-tier cake with Lightning Mcqueen cake on top. Lightning was made in a 3D car cake pan from Wilton, and covered with red fondant and black accents. The different tiers were covered in buttercream icing with fondant accents.

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Lightning Mcqueen cake submitted by Cricket W. from Broken Arrow, OK

Lightning Mcqueen Cake

Any boy who loves the Cars movie will like this cake.

I made the cake to be Lightning McQueen, plus I made cupcakes on the side with the racing numbers and colors for Lightning, Chick, and the King.


  • 3D car mold
  • 2 or 3 cake mixes (depending how much you want to make)
  • Ingredients for your mixes (such as eggs, water, oil, etc.)
  • Cupcake liners - car design of some sort
  • 2 or 3 pre-made cans of white frosting
  • Food coloring (red, black, yellow/gold, light blue, green)
  • Cake decorating tips and bags
  • A model of Lightning McQueen for reference


Step 1: I used a Wilton 3D car mold for my design. I kept it simple by using cake mixes.

For the mold, you have to use about 1 1/2 mixes. The batter should come up to about a little over 3/4 full on the mold. See your instructions with the mold to be sure on baking time.

I made the rest of the mixes into simple cupcakes with car cupcake liners. Prepare your cake and cupcakes. Allow to thoroughly cool before frosting.

Step 2: Separate frosting into sections and apply food coloring to each section. You will need a large amount of red. You can use buttercream icing (recipe follows) instead, but I chose pre-made to save time.

Step 3: Place car cake onto a flat board that can rotate around (this helps the decorating of the whole car). Use either your model for reference or the picture provided.

Step 4: Using a star tip, start with the white frosting for the windshield and windows (I used black on the sides and back, but you can do all white).

Use the white for the smile on the front grill also, as well as exhaust tips between tires, and "headlights" on the hood/grill area.

Step 5: Next, use black with a rope tip for drawing tires on the sides. Save the rest of black for dots on eyes and numbers on cupcakes. Cover the rest of your car with red. (I used a star tip because it is the easiest for me.)

Step 6: Using the yellow/gold coloring, place the Rust-eze Logo on the hood, the number 95 on the top and side doors, plus the word Rust-eze on the rear bumper.

Step 7: Use the light blue for eyes, placing black dots on top of them. Put any other finishing touches on it that you feel you might need.

Step 8: Apply light blue frosting to 1/3 of your cupcakes, green to 1/3, and red to the remaining 1/3.

Place the number 43 with black frosting on the light blue cupcakes. Place the number 86 with black frosting on the green cupcakes. Place the number 95 with yellow frosting on the red cupcakes.

Buttercream Icing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening (DO NOT substitute)
  • 1/2 cup butter (DO NOT substitute)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

Instructions: Cream butter and shortening together. Add vanilla and mix well. Gradually, alternate adding powdered sugar and milk to mixture. Adjust milk to change stiffness of icing. Add color as desired.

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Lightning Mcqueen cake submitted by Marilyn G. from Tacloban, Philippines

Car Birthday Cake

First, bake a chocolate cake in a car pan. If you don't have the car pan, in a rectangle pan and sculpt it in a shape of a car. Bake the 12" round cake for the base of the car, and make some cupcakes.

Days ahead, make the gum paste cars and the traffic signs that are used as toppings for the cupcakes. When the cake dries up, paint it to the design you like for the car.

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Lightning Mcqueen cake submitted by Anne H. from Ile Des Chenes, Canada

Mcqueen Cake

I used the 3D PT cruiser cake pan for the car. I froze the cake so I could re-shape the design of the cake to a race car shape. Then decorated the cake like Lightening McQueen.

The base cake was a simple rectangle cake cut in half and decorated with a checker board design.

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Lightning Mcqueen cake submitted by Tara M. from Oroville, CA

Cars Birthday Cake

A couple of days before you make the cake, make the fondant cutouts. I colored some fondant black, red, yellow, brown and white.

Find pictures of Lightning McQueen on the computer or from coloring books. Enlarge them on the computer to the size you need that is appropriate for the cake. Cut them out and use them as a template to cut out the shapes for the cake.

I cut out the logos that are on the side of the cake out of the fondant using an X-Acto knife. Let the shapes dry about 24 to 48 hours ahead of time, so they will be stiff enough to adhere to the cake and not peel off.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, bake 2 quarter sheet cakes using your favorite boxed cake. Bake according to package directions, and let cool it completely.

Make buttercream icing. I used the Wilton recipe doubled which is as follows: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup Crisco, powdered sugar, 4 Tbsp milk, 2 tsp vanilla.

First cream the butter and Crisco together, and add the powdered sugar. Mix until all sugar is absorbed, then add the liquids. Beat until smooth and creamy. Color most of the icing red, leave some white.

Sandwich the two quarter sheet cakes together using some buttercream. Carve out the shape of the car using a serrated knife. Be sure to cut out spaces for tires.

I used an enlarged photo of Lightning McQueen and a small toy car to help carve out the shape of the cake.

Once I was happy with the shape, I covered the cake in red icing. Be sure to make the icing as smooth as possible.

To stick the fondant shapes onto the cake, apply a small amount of buttercream to the back of the fondant shape, and adhere it to the sides of the cake.

I also made the tires out of fondant using a cup or cookie cutter. You may need to use toothpicks in the tires so they don't fall off.

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Lightning Mcqueen cake submitted by Fanny O. from Lynn, MA

Cars Cake

My son loves this movie (Cars), so this is what I came up with for his 3rd birthday.


  • 1 box Betty Crocker vanilla cake
  • Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 containers of whipped vanilla frosting
  • Food dye in red, yellow, blue, and black
  • Lighting Mcqueen baking pan.

I started by mixing all the ingredients for the batter. I added red food coloring to make it red. I baked it for about 45 min.

Once cooled off, I added red dye to one container of frosting. And in different containers I mixed all the other colors I needed, and had those ready to start.

With a star tip, just put little drops of the red frosting all over the cake where needed. Then fill in the tires in black in a circular motion, then the windshield with white, the thunder in yellow and the mirrors in blue.

Lastly put 2 dots for the eyes.

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Lightning Mcqueen cake submitted by Chanel S. from Charlotte, NC

Disney Cars Cake


  • 1 box white cake mix (for actual car cake)
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (for race track)
  • Wilton black icing (in a tube)
  • Wilton "No Taste" red food coloring
  • 1 box of "Cars" food coloring (comes in 4 colors: red, blue, orange, yellow)
  • 2 batches of buttercream icing
  • Wilton "Lightning McQueen" cake pan
  • Standard cookie sheet
  • Disposable icing bags
  • Tips for icing bags (#'s: 3, 4, 5, and 21)

Make a cake as directed on the box, use whatever flavor you like for Lightning McQueen. Pour cake mix into very well greased cake pan. (I used cooking spray, and took a small paint brush to get into all the crevices of the pan.)

Bake according to the directions. Remove the cake from the pan very carefully, and let cool completely.

While the cake is baking, make icing. Save out a cup and a half, and dye the rest red. It took both the red dyes (the one from the "Cars" box and the additional dye) to get it red enough to be Lightning!

Mix and pour chocolate cake mix onto greased cookie sheet, and bake for 15-20 min. or until done. Cool completely and set aside.

Once Lightning is completely cooled, you can begin to frost the cake. Fill an icing bag with red icing, and outline (use tip #4 or 5) the car in red. (I looked at the picture of Lightning Mcqueen - the one that comes with the pan - and used that as a guide.)

Fill in what is supposed to be red. Do the same with the other colors. It is basically a 'paint-by number' technique. There's a lot of looking back and forth between the cake and the picture to see what is supposed to be what color.

Once the car is completely decorated, you can put it on your "race track".

Carefully remove the chocolate cake from the cookie sheet, and cut corners so they are rounded. Put some white icing in an icing bag and create a "track" (a big O). Put Lighting on the track, wherever you'd like.

I had to prop him up with lollipop sticks, so that it looked like his tires were on the track. Decorate your race track with mini checkered flags. (I made mine out of paper and toothpicks.)

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