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Please help - advice needed to avert imminent birthday disaster!

(18 Posts)
CakeAche Sat 30-Mar-13 09:04:09

Tis DS's party on Monday and I've promised him that I'd make him a train cake. I'm an alright baker but have always made "straight" cakes, not shaped ones or ones requiring fondant icing magic.

something similar to this looks like it would be an easier option to make for a relative novice, but I have no idea about sort of cake would be dense enough to support the icing. I'm fairly confident about following a cake recipe but I don't know what's suitable <stamps foot>.

Does anyone know what sturdy (child-frendly) cake would work best here and have a recipe they'd be willing to share? And does anyone know how I'd begin to go about doing the icing (and indeed, what sort of icing to use). And any guidance of what equipment and a rough guide to timings of when to make the cake, when to ice etc would be SO gratefully received - you'd have my eternal gratitude and love (which as we all know, coming from a random internet sprite is the best form of validation to have).

Please help! I'm panicking like a very panicked thing.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 30-Mar-13 11:10:43

I came on MN for advice re a similar cakey problem. That cake is not as easy as it looks in my opinion and the outside design IS made of fondant icing. But it's not hard to work with....the design in the pic is simple...you need to roll coloured fondant out (buy ready made in Tesco) and then cut out the shapes. Stick them down with a dab of vodka.

If you are not experienced I suggest that you go to Tesco or M&S and buy one of their plain white iced cakes....they're occassion cakes with royal icing on them. Sponge inside...use that as your main cake and stick the fondant around the edge.

totherwise these are good here

Swiss roll type train cakes...you can make carriages with sweets in them!

TobyLerone Sat 30-Mar-13 11:15:36

I've always found that madeira cake is best for fancy cakes. It's very sturdy and still delicious smile

TobyLerone Sat 30-Mar-13 11:18:28

I haven't personally used this particular recipe, but it looks fine and is a decent quantity.

Here.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 30-Mar-13 11:19:38

I heard that Madeira is good for fancy Toby but I also found it hard to bake...especially for a novice.

SqueakyCleanNameChange Sat 30-Mar-13 11:19:51

I would second the advice to buy in a plain pre-iced cake and done coloured fondant and just decorate from there.

TobyLerone Sat 30-Mar-13 11:22:15

Really? I don't know then. Probably best to buy one, then.

CakeAche Sat 30-Mar-13 11:30:42

I'd definitely outsource bits but the part I'm most confident about is baking the actual cake!

I'm going to visit my local all-things-cakey-monger and see what's available before I commit to something.

Toby that looks like what I was looking for - thank you!

CakeAche Sat 30-Mar-13 11:31:26

And thanks for all the advice - googling hasn't got me very far on this occassion!

BabyRuSh Sat 30-Mar-13 11:51:53

There's this cheat!

elQuintoConyo Sat 30-Mar-13 11:54:09

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie did you mean to type 'vodka'?

<shuffles off to make entire cake for self >

rockinhippy Sat 30-Mar-13 12:40:50

I make a lot of fancy cakes & I've never hit a problem with the type of cake I use, personally for a kids party I would go with a good chocolate cake base as I find thats what they all like best - I use a recipe very similar to this one…

Best Chocolate Cake - though I add aprox a 200g bar of mixed chopped up milk & dark chocolate - get the cheap supermarket own brand eating stuff, nicer than cooking chocolate & a lot cheaper too.

if you are adventurous you could cover it with your own fondant icing - this is a good tutorial HERE - i would spread the cake with chocolate spread for ease

theres plenty of train decorating tutorials in - HERE

but if you want something simple, I would advice just covering the cake & cutting shapes to build up a train around the side of the cake - if you are not confident, print off & cut out templates to cut around

HTH

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 30-Mar-13 12:41:53

elquint yes! grin that's what the cakey Mnrs told me to use to stick the fondant down...or gin! It floats off into the air apparently so the DC don't get smashed on their Princess cake or whatever.

TrinityRhino Sat 30-Mar-13 12:45:15

Vodka to stick the icing on! That's hilarious grin

CakeAche Mon 01-Apr-13 21:24:24

Just thought I'd do a quick update to everyone who was so kind as to pass on helpful hints!

Party was today and was lots of fun, if absolutely exhausting! Thanks for all the advice on the cake, have added a pic of the semi finished product on my profile. I added liquorice logs (couldn't find strings!) to make tracks around the cake board and the whole ensemble seemed to make DS happy, which was the main thing really.

Toby I used the recipe you linked to, and it produce a really stable, tight crumbed cake which was handy. Stayed away from the vodka though!

thanks for averting a crisis.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 01-Apr-13 21:59:46

Ooh thanks Cake but you need to make your profile public. We can't see the pics otherwise.

CakeAche Tue 02-Apr-13 00:34:55

Whoops, should hopefully work now blush

TobyLerone Tue 02-Apr-13 01:39:10

Oh, well done! It looks great smile

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