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Race Car Birthday Party Cake

Raceway cake

Photograph by Dana Gallagher

Our turbo-charged cake was inspired by a similar confection that Marion, Indiana, reader Brittani Schmidt made for her son, William.

You will need:
2 (16-ounce) cans white frosting
4 (8- or 9-inch) round cakes
2 cake boards (available in the cake aisle at craft stores; we used 14-inch circular boards)
Black sugar sheet (available in the cake aisle at craft stores)

1. Frost the tops of 2 cakes, then stack an unfrosted cake on top of each.

2. Cut 1 layered cake in half and place the pieces on a cake board, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Repeat with the second cake and cake board.

3. To make the tunnels, open the top and bottom of a cake-mix box (or one of similar size), then cut it in half lengthwise. Place a box half between the cake pieces and cut the box to fit. Repeat, using the other half of the box for the second tunnel.

Raceway cake

Photograph by Mark Mantegna

4. Cover each tunnel with aluminum foil, using tape to adhere it inside, and place them between the cakes, as shown above. Trim the cake boards to the size of the cakes, if you like.

5. To make the checkerboard decorations, measure the height of a cake and add 1/4 inch, then divide that measurement in half -- that's the size of the individual squares you'll need to cut from the sugar sheet. We used 16 1-inch squares for each cake.

6. Frost the cakes and press on the sugar squares.

7. For the finish line, print the template from familyfunmag.com/printables. Cut out the flags and attach them to a piece of string with a glue stick. Tie the string to 2 12-inch bamboo skewers and place them in the cake. Place the trophy and toy cars on the cakes and set up the racetrack to run through the tunnels.

Originally published in the March 2014 issue of FamilyFun