Volkswagen Beetle Cake

 

A sculpted cake to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday

 

The Excuse:

My beautiful friend Paulyne is turning 30 this coming Tuesday. When she messaged me to invite me to her birthday party, I immediately offered a little cake for her. A tiny one, as her parties bring dozens of people and I knew I wouldn’t have time to make a big cake. So, a cake big enough for her and her cat was what I had in mind. But then she said her cat is too fat, and she wouldn’t share the cake with the poor kitten…

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Meet Gracie, The Fat Cat! … No cake for her! 😛

 

So, Paulyne told me about her favorite flavors and then revealed the theme she wanted for her cake: A VW beetle that would look just like the car she owns!

 

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Here is my friend Paulyne, all bundled-up in her VW beetle. She sent me this photo so that I could look at her car to create a 3D cake for her 30th birthday!

 

The Cake:

Paulyne’s favorite flavors are Lemon Cake and Vanilla Buttercream. So I got started with 2 8in lemon cakes and a batch of the most delicious Swiss Meringue Buttercream (a recipe courtesy of DyannBakes on YouTube! My life has been so much better ever since I found her video tutorial! Thanks Dyann!!!)

Now, I have made a couple of carved cakes before, but I had never sculpted a car out of cake! I had to learn quickly! As in: 10 minute session kinda deal! Thankfully, YouTube had the solution to my dilemma and after watching this video a couple of times, I had a better idea on how to approach this project.

The first stop: blueprints for the VW beetle, so that I could get the proportions right. This site from the Netherlands has a blueprint for anything you can think of: boats, airplanes, trucks, cars, and even humans! …  WHAT??????? LOL

So, here we are:

  • A self-taught CakeMaker born in Costa Rica (moi!)
  • Following the blue prints from a website from Amsterdam for the blue print of a car made in Germany
  • Learning how to carve a cake from Ann, who must live somewhere in Great Britain (I’m not sure about her location)
  • Using the recipe for buttercream from Dyann who lives in New Jersey
  • So that I can surprise my beautiful friend from Brazil! …

The effects of globalization applied to cakes! LOL

 

So, I began the process by baking and chilling 2 lemon cakes (8in diameter) and then, I found the blue prints for the VW beetle that my friend owns, enlarged the image and printed several copies of each view as I would have to cut and trim some sections for reference. I also built a cake base out of foam board, making sure I left 4 cut outs where the tires of the car would be placed:

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VW Beetle blueprints 🙂
The long piece in the middle was used to trace a cake board with space for the tires.

 

Then, the carving began… A serrated knife was used to shape the car. The cake spent a few hours in the freezer (wrapped in a plastic bag to preserve moisture) before I could start trimming. 

Instead of stacking cakes horizontally, I took advantage of the circumference of the cake and cut sections to match the proportions of the car.

My geometry teacher would call these “secant lines” … But fear not! You won’t be required to solve this equation to find out the measure of this segment line.

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Instead, you simply follow your blueprint pattern and trim your cake away! 😛

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Use the circumference of the cake to outline the roof of the VW beetle

 

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Stack 3 pieces of cake to form the main body of the car. The cakes will sit of the flat “secant” line.

 

Then comes the tricky part, as you must begin to trim at an angle to shape fenders, doors, hood, etc.

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Carving out the cake to make room for tires. The cake board was made so it looked as the car was detached from the floor and the “tires” were really supporting it.

 

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Filling in some sections with cake crumbs to match the outline of the pattern

 

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Using the blueprint to trace the VW fenders

 

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Carving at an angle to get the correct placement of the doors

 

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Carving done!

 

It really was easier than I thought. Having a blueprint made all the difference! And soon I had a cake with great potential!

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Crumbcoating the cake with a thin layer of buttercream

I crumbcoated the cake (thin layer of buttercream to capture all crumbs, seal moisture in the cake, and bond all pieces together) and it went to the freezer one more time, to chill.

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Chilled and smooth! 🙂 The smoother you get the cake at this stage, the better it’s going to look once the fondant goes on!

 

Next, I rolled out a large piece of white Marshmallow Fondant and started smoothing it on the sculpted cake, trimming here and there…

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Rolled fondant goes on the cake

 

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Trimming excess fondant

 

To get around bumps and curves, I used one of my sculpting tools to smooth and define the cake even more:

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Detailing and smoothing

 

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Fondant done! Ready for details! 🙂

 

I let the fondant dry at room temperature and started working on the tires which I made out of Rice Krispie Treats:

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Making the tires out of Rice Krispie Treats. (I could have used just fondant, but that would be a big thick chunk of sugar paste to eat!)

 

I covered the treats with black fondant and added some details to simulate the wheels:

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Set of tires completed

 

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I used this tiny petal cutter to print the wheels on the tires. Then added details in silver lust.

 

 

 

I also took this time to work on the VW logo that goes on the front and the back of the car: Little circles of black fondant with hand painted lines of silver luster dust +orange extract for edible “ink”:

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VW logo was made by cutting little tiny circles of fondant and hand painted lines

 

And then, it was just a matter of adding details: Red fondant for tail lights, orange fondant for turn signals, a couple of license plates (personalized with my friend’s name, on the back, and her age on the front plate) and headlights that made the car look almost like it had eyes!!!!! So cute! 🙂

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First details on the back of the car included a license plate with my friend’s name on. The gas cap was made with the wide end of a small piping tip.

 

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Working on the front of the car… The headlights are almost like its eyes! 😀

 

Wrapping up the details, I rolled out a little bit of grey fondant and cut out windows and sunroof following the blueprint pattern one more time:

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Trimming windows, front and back shield, as well as sunroof out of grey fondant

 

Finally, I cut out a piece of white fondant and added a “hood” on the front of the car. I felt it really needed more definition and this extra piece made the trick.

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Last fondant details included the hood on the front, the rear view mirrors (pieces of white fondant attached to the car with the help of a thin wire), the antenna bump (on the back of the roof) and addition of the tires.

 

The last step was to hand paint details on the car which made it look like a cartoon, and helped me define doors, hood, and other sections of the car. I used black food colorant diluted in orange extract to trace lines all around:

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finishing the car with hand painted lines of black food colorant

 

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Back of the car: Final look

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Front of the car: Final look (the license plate number indicated my friend’s birthday: 30. I used a couple of sugar sprinkles in the shape of a heart for a touch of color on the plate.)

 

And here is the final result! 😀

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VW Beetle Cake

 

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VW Beetle Cake

And last but not least a photo of my beautiful friend, holding her little VW Cake next to the real beetle in her garage! 😉

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My friend Paulyne holding her cake next to the real VW beetle

 

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VW Beetle: From blueprint to a 3D cake!

 

Paulyne & I

Finally, here is a photo of the birthday girl (left) and the Cakemaker (right) posing next to the awesome little cake! How come she is wearing a sleeveless dress and I look like I’m ready to hike the Everest? LOL HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAULYNE!