I was contacted by Kristen, who was getting married in August. She was looking for someone to make a replica of a very special car: her fiancee Mike’s Camry, which was his pride and joy. He had spent hours and lots of money fixing it up and customizing it, as you can see from the actual photo of the car in the top left corner of the collage. The sad part of the story is that Mike’s car had been “retired” early, due to an accident; fortunately Mike was fine, but the car didn’t make it.
Kristen sent me a lot of photos of Mike’s car, and decided on a delicious vanilla buttermilk cake with vanilla meringue buttercream filling, covered with chocolate ganache. I took it from there. Car cakes are a bit tricky to make. This cake started as a filled rectangular layer cake roughly the size of a very big men’s shoe box. I then took out my sharp knife and began carving to get the cake into the proper size and shape of the car. The shaped cake was covered with ganache, and some details added into the ganache or with modeling chocolate (yum!). The whole thing was then covered with fondant, and the windows and wheel wells cut out. I added details into the fondant, like the lines from the doors, hood and trunk, and well as other subtle shaping; it was a time consuming process. The car was painted with an airbrush which gave it a nice sheen; the side paint pattern was painted by hand, however. Finally, the body of the car was raised off the base cake board to make room for the tires, which were also made by hand from modeling chocolate. At points, I felt like I was working in a bodyshop!
Although Kristen didn’t ask for it, I took some artistic license and added some cans from the back of the car and “Just Married!” to the back window of the car. I figured they wouldn’t mind the surprise!
When I walked into the wedding venue to deliver the cake, Kristen’s dad was sitting in the ballroom while Kristen was getting ready. As soon as he saw the cake, he exclaimed, “That’s Mike’s car!!” But Mike was the real judge, and he didn’t know about the cake, and wouldn’t see it until after the wedding ceremony.
When I heard back from Kristen after the wedding, she was thrilled. (That’s the best part of my job. I love my customers!) She said that Mike nearly started to cry when he saw the cake, and that he wouldn’t let anyone cut it at the wedding!! The guys who had done much of the work on the car couldn’t believe their eyes either. Kristen and Mike finally did cut into the cake at home a day or two after the wedding, but only because they wanted to taste it (they thought it was delicious). Then into the freezer it went (well wrapped of course) — Mike wanted to keep his cake for a while longer!!! That’s a great complement to the look of the cake, and it is the second cake I’ve made in less than two weeks that meant so much to the recipient that it was saved, at least for a little while. The irony is that I go out of my way to make cakes that taste great too, using high quality ingredients and making everything from scratch. Although my cakes will freeze well if tightly wrapped, I do hope that they unwrap, defrost and enjoy eating the cake before long — it is delicious cake, after all!!
Best wishes to Kristen and Mike for a long and very happy life together. I’m honored to have been able to contribute to your special day. Congratulations!!