How to make a race car cake topper

race car cake topper

I have received many requests on the race car cake toppers that was on my sons birthday cake last year. So here is my tutorial on how to make a race car cake topper.

It is made out of gum paste, but I have used store bought black rolled fondant for the wheels and the helmet.

The “body” of the race car, starts with a smooth round ball!

This is what I use:
White gum paste
Black rolled fondant
Small amount of white rolled fondant
Gel paste color
Rolling pin
Cake smoothers
Tylo glue
Cornstarch (to prevent the fondant from sticking to your work board)
Small knife
Piping tips or small circle cutters in various sizes
Small paint brush
Ball tool (JEM)
Strip cutter (JEM) If you dont have a strip cutter, then you can use a ruler.
1 small plastic bag (not showing on the photo)

Step 1:
Start coloring the gum paste in your chosen color. Roll the “ball” into a cone, making sure that you keep one of the ends a little thicker (and the other end a little thinner). I try to keep the lenght of the race car to about 3″ (8cm).

Step 2:
Flatten the sides of the race car, using a pair of cake smoothers. Place the car inside a plastic bag and set aside. This will preventing it from drying out.

Step 3:
Roll out some gum paste about 2mm in the same color as the race car. Cut out the spoiler with the small knife. I cut out mine by hand, but you can of course use a ruler if you like. Make sure that the spoiler is a little wider than the race car. Set aside to dry completely.
TIP! Make extra spoilers. If the first one should break.

Step 4:
Roll out some of the black rolled fondant about 5mm thick. Find 2 different sizes of piping tips or circle cutters and cut out 1 large pair and 1 small pair of wheels. I have used round piping tips to emboss the center of the wheels. Set aside to dry.

Step 5:
Take some white rolled fondant and roll it out thinly. Use the strip cutter or a ruler to cut out 1 fondant strip.
Note: Do not cut out the fondant circle before step 9

Step 6:
Take out the race car from the plastic bag. Brush a very thin coat of tylo glue on the back of the white strip and attach it down the middle of the race car. Trimming of any excess of the fondant strip with the knife. Use the ball tool and make an indentation in the middle of the car, where the “driver” will be sitting.

Step 7:
Take a little black rolled fondant and roll it into a little ball/helmet. Make sure that it fits into the indentation of the race car. Brush a little glue and place the ball/helmet in the indentation. Cut a small strip of white fondant for the face shield and glue it on the ball/helmet. Set a side to dry.

Step 8:
When the wheels are almost dry, glue them on the race car with tylo glue. Small wheels at the front and large wheels at the back.

Step 9:
Roll two small oblong balls and glue them on each side on the white fondant stripe on the back of the race car. Brush again a very thin coat of glue and carefully attach the spoiler. Finish off by cutting out a small circle out of white rolled fondant and glue it on the front of the car.
TIP! It is easier to write the number of the race car, when the white fondant is all dry!

You now have a race car cake topper!

Please visit my tutorial page if you want to learn how to make other gum paste decorations.

Happy Caking!



  1. I made this for my son’s 2nd birthday cake.
    They look great.
    I did have trouble preventing cracking while moulding the gum paste. For my second car I ended up mixing 50% fondant and 50% gum paste. This worked, but I am wondering if you had any tips on keeping the gum paste smooth.
    Thank you for your tutorial.

  2. Louise: thanks for this great tutorial. I used it this week and made a terrific cake for a college graduate who helped build a NASCAR car in one of his classes. Would love to send you a pic. Thanks so much!

  3. Hi there,
    Your website is brilliant – such good ideas.
    Are these toppers alright to just place on a cake (standard sponge) , or is some reinforcement needed?

  4. Thanks for the detailed and instructive blog…I have a birthday cake to make next week and the theme is racing car track…I have been trolling the internet for a tutorial….and thank god I found yours….

  5. Great tutorial, thanks!
    Can I ask – Why did you use gum paste? Is it ok to use fondant instead of gum paste?
    Also, do you know approximately how much is needed per car? I’m looking at getting a pack of 4 colours of fondant – 4.4 ounces of each colour. Thankyou.

    • I use gum paste because it holds it shape better and the chances of the fondant “sinking” is minor. I cannot remember how much I used for the car. But I am sure that you can make the cars out of the 4 packs of fondant.

  6. Hi Louise!
    Thank you so much for sharing your tutorials, they are really helpful! I’m a beginner in cake decorating so sorry for my “silly” question… How do I avoid cornstarch from sticking on the gum paste, especially when I’m working with dark colors? I’ve just made a dark blue car race and there is some cornstarch stuck that I can’t remove…
    Thank you!

    • Hi, You can use a brush with clear alcohol and then “wash it off” when using alcohol it will evaporate very quickly so that it wont get sticky. You can’t taste the alcohol and it’s so easy to use.

  7. This is my first cake that I am attempting so you will have to excuse my ignorance….when you say dry out, how long do I need to do this for? is it overnight? and I heard it is better to dry out in a carboard box, is this correct? thanks

  8. Tack för steg-för-steg!
    Nu har jag gjort bilen, den blev ju förstås inte hälften så fin som din. Men jag gjorde min i vit sugarpaste som jag sen sprayade med guldfärg. För fyller man 2 år så är man guld värd 🙂
    Tack än en gång!

  9. I saw your pics being used on Facebook Page , seemingly without your permission. They have even watermarked your pics with their own name……….just thought of letting you know. Here’s the link for it

  10. I just finished making this for a Hot Wheels themed birthday cake. This tutorial was so easy to follow and the topper looks amazing! It was my first time attempting a fondant figure, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Thank you!

  11. Hi Louise,
    The cars are adorable! I want to try my hand at cake toppers, it looks so easy when you do it 🙂

    **I would like to know if I could just use fondant instead of gumpaste? My son always wants to eat the toppers. I am not sure how the gumpaste tastes? I thought fondant held its form quite well, so I am a bit confused to why I would need to add the tylo powder or use gumpaste for the body of the car.

    I am new to your site, i hope I’m not asking something that you have already answered. I did peek through the comment but couldn’t find a similar question.

    • Of course you can make it out of only fondant. The reason why I use tylo is because I am sure that it will keep its shape no matter what. If you know that your son eats the decoration then just use fondant.

  12. thank you soooo much for the tutorial. I have tried make 1 does not look as good as yours 😀 Will try again. Hopefully I can make it as good so I can make 2nd bday cake for my son. Thanks again!

  13. Thanks SO much for the fab tutorial, I scaled it down for a batch of cupcakes for a 3 year old’s birthday party and they went down a treat!!

  14. I LOVE your site – I just started cake decorating a few months ago, and the tutorials are wonderful! I made the race car topper for my son’s 4th birthday cake – it was a big hit. He loved helping me, too – it was lots of fun for both of us! Thank you – it turned out EXACTLY as pictured!

  15. If you use mini loaf pans you can make each kid their own race car cake instead of just a topper. you can have them decorate their own too.

  16. Hi there, This is wonderful! I was just wondering if you could do a tutorial on how to make your Disney Cars cake or send me a step by step guide. I am a cupcake lady but it is my sons birthday coming up and would love to try and make this for him as my first big cake (except for my Giant cupcakes I have made). Your help would be so appreciated. By the way LOVE your website. Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful tips!

  17. I was just wondering if you were planning on doing the train tutorial soon? I have to make a cake with a train topper next week. It would be great to have some help on it.

  18. Who would have thought it was this easy. Wow, you sure are creative at making things hard into easy projects. Awesome creativity. I LOVEEEEEEE your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  19. En mi búsqueda de información sobre cómo decorar galletas he encontrado tu magnífica página. ¡Fantástica!. Estoy gratamente impresionada con tus creaciones y tutoriales. Muchos de ellos me vendrán muy bien. Muchas gracias por compartir tus conocimientos con [email protected]

    Un saludo desde España.

  20. Thanks for sharing…it will be very handy since m making a car shaped cake for my son’s bthday next week…..will try to make few of these to garnish the cupcakes.
    As always luv ur step by step tutorials.

  21. Oh this little race car is adorable! You do make it look so easy!
    I find boy ‘cake/cookie/cupcake’ ideas kind of challenging in that they’re usually uninspiring to me; but this one is perfect; so cute! Thanks for the idea!

  22. Hi Louise your creativiti is amazing,I loved your work and tutorials are easy thanks you are my teacher in cakes,cupcakes .thanks for sharing

  23. hi louise,
    thank you very much, great timing for next month is my grandson’s 5th birthday, so this can be the topper…
    gr, paula


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.