And then there was the child called Arnav who loved Lightning McQueen. So his mom ordered a Lightning McQueen cake from my sister, Sarah for his 4th birthday. So Sarah set out on her voyage to craft a one and a half kg Lightning McQueen cake with her trusty sidekick, me 😉 The tricky bit wasn’t just the outside, but the inside too. Arnav loves chocolate sponge. So Arnav’s mom Akshata asked for a checkerboard sponge on the inside.

Happy-Birthday-Arnav - thewingedfork
Lightning McQueen – Courtesy Akshata Kore

Creating the sponge checkerboard 

Sarah started out with three bright colored sponges – blue, yellow and pink.

Now if I know anything about checkerboard cakes, it’s that they require time and precision, and are almost always round. So a rectangular checkerboard was interesting to work on.

Sarah cut the sponge into long strips, most of them flat and some of them with a mound in the center. She then created a finishing line base of fondant and started building the cake on it.


Ganache and fondant

She worked on lathering the strips with a chocolate ganache to hold them together, while I worked on stealing away spoonfuls of ganache when she wasn’t looking. Good working together! The ganache was followed by a fine layer of cashew marzipan to mould the car. You’d think that ganache and fondant might not go together, but they actually taste amazing.


The marzipan layer was covered by a layer of red fondant. Yeah, I know the fondant pic looks like it came out of a Friday the 13th movie. That’s why I had to have it on here, despite Sarah’s voiced protests.


Crafting the car

Anyways, post that I was put to work on creating doors, windows and eyes for Lightning McQueen. So I couldn’t take any pictures. Anyways, the final product did look pretty good! And I managed to take pictures from different angles before Arnav’s dad came over to pick it up.


The next couple of pics were sent across to us by Arnav’s mom. He looks really pleased with the cake.



She took this picture after they were halfway through the cake. Poor Lightning McQueen getting all gobbled up! We were told that the cake was as much fun to eat as it was to make!

Checkerboard-Cake - thewingedfork

If you want to read about the balloon heart cake too, click here!

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