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Cake experts - to spend £10 on a Thomas cake, or to make one for a fraction that might look a bit rubbish?

(31 Posts)
bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 11:09:13

I love baking, and the thought of spending £10 on a bloody sponge cake galls me, especially when I could probably make a nicer homemade cake for far, far less.

However, here's the thing. Am nearly 39 weeks pregnant and not exactly overflowing with energy. I could make any old cake, but I know DS, who will be 2 on Monday, would prefer a Thomas the Tank Engine cake, because I showed him a load the other day and that's the one he liked.

Could I make a Thomas cake myself? Cake bit, fine, decorating it, not so confident. Is it worth all the faff finding blue icing and attempting to create a Thomas face myself (art was never my strong point!) or should I just cut myself some slack, grit my teeth and buy it?

ThePettyandIllinformedGoat Thu 07-Aug-08 11:12:18

he is 2, just make a plain old chocolate cake. cut out apicture of thomas and stick it on top ...remove before eating.

Moomin Thu 07-Aug-08 11:12:37

am no cake expert, but I have made one or two for the dds birthdays in the past and I know how much effort goes into it. Plus I wasn't 39 wks pg at the time, so....

Really? I'd buy it. You don't need the hassle - ds will whoop with joy, everyone's a winner (except your purse!)

Moomin Thu 07-Aug-08 11:13:49

or what Petty said grin

whatever, just choose the easiest route

DeeRiguer Thu 07-Aug-08 11:15:40

cover a swiss roll in blue rolling icing and cut shapes in other colours for features?

i hate sponge ds likes to see the cake but was caught stuffing handfuls into bin this year! tbf biscuits are his thing so i make them too lemon ones lovely and simple to do..

i do know what you mean tenner bit much for these shitty cakes they just do it for me
why is birthday cake sponge mainly its gag dry horror if not done really well..

happy birthday to your ds!

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 11:16:42

cheers for replies.

Moomin, I was wondering if the work might outweigh the price!

Do you know, is it possible to buy like a rice paper picture or something so it's sort of edible? Or do you mean literally, get a paper picture?

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 11:19:43

Ha - just googled and found a thomas cake decoration for £9 without the cake!! Hmmm...

Moomin Thu 07-Aug-08 11:21:19

You can order a rice paper picture on eBay - I will try to find the link for you. You'll probably be able to get a Thomas one ready made. You can also send photos in and they'll out it on rice paper - did this with the dds christening cake - it certainly saved me some work!

MatBackFack Thu 07-Aug-08 11:22:13

Make - you will get more satisfaction. the children wont notice but the other parents will and will be impressed. take lots of photos so when they are grown up they will retrospectively appreciate all your hard work.

The shop sponges taste preety rubbish as well. (plus full of enumbers of course)

Moomin Thu 07-Aug-08 11:22:39

these are a bit cheaper!

midnightexpress Thu 07-Aug-08 11:23:33

He's two. He will only prefer a Thomas cake if you give him the option. If you haven't already mentioned it, I'd just make any old cake (probably chocolate, icing, buttons, blah blah.

Moomin Thu 07-Aug-08 11:23:56

Under normal circumstances, MatBackFack, I would agree but all that fannying about at 39wks pg....?

Molecule Thu 07-Aug-08 11:24:16

Easiest is as Petty said, make a standard round cake and buy a toy Thomas to put on top. that way you get a yummy cake and he gets a toy to keep. I make cakes semi-professionally and the last James cake I made took ages and used loads of expensive coloured fondant. It looked great but at £55 was considerably more than the supermarket ones. Recently my customers have all opted for the Petty solution.

Overmydeadbody Thu 07-Aug-08 11:27:03

If you're going to make a decorated Thomas cake, it won't cost a fraction of £10 really will it. You'll probably end up spending close to £10 on all the bits and peices, then add in your time, electricity or gas to heat the oven to cook the cake...

you might as well buy one.

Slouchy Thu 07-Aug-08 11:27:08

My take:

Standard round or square sponge
Make some track (would curly wurly work? or matchmakers?)
Put bits of Brio - Thomas/a siding shed/some other bits on top.

He will love it, it will taste nice.

Overmydeadbody Thu 07-Aug-08 11:28:08

or, as molecule said, make any ond cake and plonk a thomas toy on top.

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 11:31:24

Thank you for all the advice (and the link Moomin!)

Birthday lunch thing is on Sunday, so don't have long to decide. Also I should probably factor that if baby decides to vacate in the next couple of days the whole party will be off anyway!

ShePeeTeePee Thu 07-Aug-08 11:31:48

How about? :
Basic home-made, iced sponge cake. Track around the edge made with chocolate matchstick sleepers or something similar. Small toy Thomas stuck on track. Candles

Blow out candles, eat cake, keep toy.

If anyone fails to look impressed give them your best 'having a labour twinge' flinch.

Alternatively, if there is ever a reason to buy a store cake, hosting any sort of party at 39 weeks is it.

Good luck.

ShePeeTeePee Thu 07-Aug-08 11:32:42

Ooops - thought it was an original idea when I started typing!

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 11:33:36

Made me laugh though ShePee, re twinge flinch!

MommyUpNorth Thu 07-Aug-08 14:09:18

Agree with ShePee... I did a chocolate sponge with some red icing for DS's 4th birthday. He was desperate for a Lightening McQueen cake which they didn't have at the shop. So he was totally upset thinking he wasn't going to get one, but on the top were the 3 (real toy cars) versions of Lightening which of course he got to keep rather than eat. I think that was the best kiddie cake to date! Tasted great too!

Cappuccino Thu 07-Aug-08 14:14:18

make a cake

buy dolly mixtures and smarties

stick butter icing on

let him shove on his own decorations

no two year old will turn their nose up at this

Fizzylemonade Thu 07-Aug-08 14:19:38

Agree with others, make it, curly wurly for track and stick a real thomas on top that he can keep and play with.

I am hoping your ds is potty trained as when they chomp through that bright blue icing from a shop bought one their poo is a lovely colour grin

OR - play on the fact that you are heavily pregnant and get kind friend to make nice chocolate cake.

Asda sell readymade blue icing in a tube with different pipey nozzles, if you do feel up to it. I'd just buy one though, at 39 weeks preg! No-one in their right mind would blame you for not making one right now.

I'd peel off half the coloured fondant icing bits before serving though, cos I'm mean- and black icing gives you black poo! (darth vader cake, summer 2006) hmm

FluffyMummy123 Thu 07-Aug-08 14:31:36

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