My son’s second birthday was last week and we had a small celebration with family. This was to keep my blood pressure from soaring and to prevent an overstimulated 2 year old meltdown. Even though it was a simple affair mainly consisting of a cake it was so special. But this was no ordinary cake, no, no nothing is ordinary when my sister, my mom and I are involved. This was a Thomas the train cake. And not just any old sheet cake decorated with Thomas, this was a 3-D Train cake!
For as long as I can remember we have decorated cookies at Christmas with zealousness, elevating it really to an art form. My mom always had some new Martha Stewart technique to try out or new shape to test out. We proudly displayed our cookies and watched with horror as hungry guests at our yearly brunch would eat the head off of a charming Santa or munch on the perfectly decorated Christmas tree. how could they eat such beautiful cookies was beyond us. Yes, we did set them out but really we wanted them to be admired, not eaten. Well it seems nothing has really changed. We made a beautiful cake but this time we didn’t eat it. That’s right, we made cupcakes instead and just admired the amazing train. In fact he is still standing and on display.
Now, I say we but really I mean my sister transformed the chocolate train, into the distinctive Thomas the train. I baked the cake, my mom designed and made the base with the tracks and my sister did the icing. She sat diligently studying the Thomas examples and trying to replicate it on the cake. The cake pan was just a generic train cake and she made adjustments here and there to turn him into Thomas.
Here are some shots of the process.
Here are what we used to create this cake:
Wilton Choo Choo Train cake pan (not official Thomas)
2 cake box mixes (extra made cupcakes)
2 store bought frosting, one chocolate, cream cheese
Wilton gel icing colors (royal blue, no taste red, golden yellow)
Red rope licorice
Black licorice (cut in half lengthwise)
Coconut (tinted green)
Powdered sugar icing (tinted sand color to attach coconut to surface)
Pretzel rods (broken in half)
Picture of Thomas’ face from the internet
FYIs: The cake slipped out of the pan remarkably well and I forgot to dust the Criso with flour. The cake overflowed massively so a collection tray was a must. The recipe suggested pound cake but we used dark chocolate cake instead. We live at a high altitude where things seem to love to expand so I am not sure if this is why it overflowed so much. There was no harm done though.