Thomas tank engine cake(20 Posts)
I ahve been asked by a friend to amke her sone a thomas tank engine cake.
I have drawn a template lookind down on thomas as it were and was going to cut this out of a square cake and then cover in blue. then was going to cut out his round head and cover in grey? icing and then add on features like mouth, eyes nose and bumpers etc.
Does this sound ok? Any better ideas? When I have looked online most thomas cakes seem to be the whole train which would mean making a swiss role and then another cake as well which all seems to much hard work especially as I only have today and tomorrow and I am feeling a bit iffy due to starting a diet. Any other ideas? anyone ever made a Thomas cake?
DH made a Thomas cake for DS's 3rd birthday last year (I did pretty much all of the rest of the food, and he took complete control of the cake). He rented a train cake mould (its one of those things that you don't know anything about, then you look into it and find there are oooodles of places to rent cake tins from and its pretty cheap). He made a chocolate sponge mixture from the Nigella "How to Eat" book (but any sponge cake mixture will do). Make sure you make a LOT because the moulds are a strange size. Then he made some buttercream icing, which he added blue colouring to, and iced the whole thing. At this stage it looked like a strange amorphous blue blob. Then he swore quite a bit, had a couple of drinks and got out the Thomas books to have a good look at what it should look like. Then he went round the outline with some of those icing pens, to outline the wheels, the windows, the tender, add a number etc and that made all the difference: it looked BRILLIANT! We were literally up till about 2am doing it but DS adored it!
Anchovy - that is SOOOO cool that your dh went to all that trouble to make a Thomas cake!! That really made me smile!
Oh yes I was going to say rent a tin. Where do you live? There is a place in Richmond (surrey) which has about 500 different ones, I did a teddy bear for dd's 2nd birthday and she still talks about it, it was dead easy too. They have a good recipe for the sponge too.
If you google you should find somewhere local
Friend of mine made her own a few weeks ago by baking some cakes in old baked bean tins and using lots of blue and white rollout icing and icing pens. Looked fab and she swears she's not normally any good at that sort of thing..
Gobbledigook, Chipmonkey - LOL, thanks. DH enjoys cooking and once he gets a "project" going he's very enthusiastic about it!
There's a great book from that Australian Woman's Weekly series all about icing great-looking cakes. The book is only in the £5-£7 price range (I picked it up in our local supermarket) Once you've done it once and got over the fear factor I think its actually quite easy. DD (18 months) "gave" this book to DH as a Christmas present and he was genuinely excited about it, bless him! DS has already chosen his cake for his next birthday....in October!
BTW, easiest I think is to rent a cake mould in the shape of the number of their birthday and then give it a very gaudy icing and lots of candles. We did that for DS when he was 2 and made lots of 2 shaped biscuits (again heavily and gaudily decorated) and it looked great for frankly very little effort.
Do you have to make the actual cake? When we've done cakes, we've bought a swiss roll, and some Madeira Cake. Then made the Thomas shape - use swiss roll as boiler, and madeira cake for all other bits - stick together with jam, and brace with a matchmaker through each joint. Wheels can be wagon wheels, also held on with jam/matchmaker. Once you've got the shape, cover with marzipan, then use the roll out coloured icing (though ime it is too rich for the whole cake - I tend to use butter icing for the main block of colour - in this case blue), then use the roll out stuff for things like buffers. There are also writing pens for doing detail like faces, numbers, stripes on boiler etc.
My top tip would be to have a picture/model of Thomas to hand to refer to, and you can do quite detailed models.
I've done a Thomas, one Henry + tender and 3 Gordons + tenders (James will be next - for ds' 5th birthday).
I make them out of a square version of Nigella's butter milk cake. I buy a pack of coloured icing from the supermarket. However, blue is a problem, so you have to either buy the writing icing and squidge that everywhere, or make some blue buttermilk icing (which actually tastes nicer). You still need the black icing from the multi-pack of coloured icing, plus red and yellow writing cicing (to ice on his number, plus some of the red lines if you can be bothered).
I just cut it into bits and stuck it together with raspeberry jam and butter icing until I got apporximately the right shape. I then stuck black icing in the "right" places and then either draped coloured icing or smeared coloured butter icing over the rest.
A blob of black icing does well for the funnel - and then stick a wee bit of teased out cotton wool on it for smoke.
For the face, mix some black into the white icing to make a pale grey. Pull out a wee bit for the nice and carve in the mouth and cut out two wee bits of thin white icing for the eyes. "Draw" on (with a black icing "pencil") the appropriate black bits.
Alternatively, get a tin!
BTW - liquorice wagon wheels make great wheels and smarties make great bumpers.
I second the need to have a "template" to "copy" from. Although, if you use a Brio model as your template, remember that there are TWO bumpers at the front and back and not just one!
I have to admit that my trains now look quite good . The reason I made three Gordons is because this year I did a Gordon for ds' birthday itself, one for the party (the following day) and then I volunteered (!) to make one for his wee best friends' birthday a few months later. MAD!
Oooh, I did a Thos cake for DS's 3rd b-day last year ... bought a tin on Ebay and spent hours and hours icing the darn thing ... and a fortune on icing colours and piping equipment ... BUT I really enjoyed doing it and he just loved it sooo I'd say if you have the patience, go for it!
Have decided to go for the 3 D train effect after looking in the Australian party cakes book as suggested by Anchovy.
I have made a swiss roll and also a chocolate cake. Will use swiss roll as main body and cut up the sqaure cake to for the base and funnel etc. Have made some delicious chocolate frosting ala Nigella for the swiss roll and to fudge it all together. Will then decorate with blue fondant, grey for the face and decorate.
I know you can buy them, although this one won't cost that much more than seven pounds. I normally do cakes for my daughter which are much more elaborate ( with my Mum's help as she is a trained whatever the title is for a cake decorater ) To buy similar cakes you are looking at double if not triple what it costs us to make them. And more to the point I enjoy doing it and dd likes going through the books choosing her cake. I think she has chosen all of her cakes until she is ten!
The cake I am presently making is for a friends son, he is a Thomas fanatic and I think he has had the tesco one twice already. As this party is also at playgroup we find the tesco cakes a bit small as there are loads of kids and hungry mummys.
I have been and bought the wheels thankyou ladybird, although I love licquorice so I am just hoping they actually make it to the cake!
The Thomas tins, do they work? Does the cake come away smoothly?
I'll admit that in recent years, when I have had to do an engine + a tender, I have had to buy two packs of 6 licquorice catherine wheels. Six for the engine, 4 for the tender = two left over
Plus ds hasn't yet learnt to like licquorice, so we get to eat the wheels afterwards!
Hope it goes well.
I considered doing this, and in the end I just made a normal round cake and set up a little minature thomas train around the outside. I think your idea is brilliant.
PS The cotton wool for the steam from the funnel really makes the train look very special. it sticks very easily to the icing with a bit of moisture and if you use a small enough piece and tease it out nicely, it doesn't "fall down" and really does create the finishing touch. Got the idea from my mum who looked up cake decorating somewhere (it may even have been an Australian book!).
did the cake, it was easier than I thought and cost £12 and it looked fab. Even made a train track for it to go on and some grass with flowers . Made fantastic grass by pushing green icing through a sieve!
Glad it worked out well!
I might steal your idea about the train track and grass for this year's cake
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