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Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake - please help!

(50 Posts)
fillybuster Thu 31-Jul-08 22:43:07

Foolishly, I asked my nearly 3 yr old ds what cake he'd like me to make for his birthday....<sigh>

Can anyone help with guidance/shapes/cake tins or recommendations? And how on earth do I do the icing??? [panic emoticon]

Thanks!

maidofallwork Thu 31-Jul-08 22:47:47

hi there
you could do a swiss roll with chocolate or make brownies and pile the bricks to a train shape. blue flood colouring(!) or blue berries/ smarties?
good luck! surely m & s d one?? hope so, my ds LOVES thomas. sigh...

Olihan Thu 31-Jul-08 22:52:09

Basic round sponge with front view of Thomas on the top? So no modelling, just icing cut out to make Thomas' face/funnel.

Or, model a small Thomas (practice with Playdoh) out of sugarpaste, make a 10inch square cake, cut 2 inches off one side. Cover the rectangular cake with green icing then cut and shape the spare cake to make an arched tunnel shape. Cover the tunnel with grey icing, cut little squares of dark grey icing to make 'stones' for around the mouth of the tunnel.

Stick the tunnel near the back of the rectangle, make tracks out of black icing so they come out of the tunnel to the front of the cake. Pop Thomas on the tracks and receive lots of 'Oohs'!

Olihan Thu 31-Jul-08 23:02:47

To make the tunnel, cut the 2x10 piece in half, put one half on top of the other then carve the top into an arch.

You can make grass by pushing green fondant through a sieve if you want to decorate the green bit some more, or pricking it all over with a fork also gives a good grass effect.

OR, even simpler, if you look on my profile there is a tent cake.

You could do one similar to that. The tent can be the tunnel and you can do a Thomas model or toy instead of the people.

It's an 8 inch square cake (shout if you want a good, really easy recipe that stands up to being cut without crumbling) which you can cut in half, stack one on top of the other, sticking them together with butter cream, carve the top into an arch, cover with grey icing, make bricks out of darker grey and put all over the top/sides of the cake. Cut an arch out of black icing, stick to the front and put the Thomas model in front of it.

If you want to ask any thing, just ask. I'm going to bed in a minute but will be on and off here most of tomorrow.

farrowandball Thu 31-Jul-08 23:10:25

http://www.decuisine.co.uk/cookshop/bakeware/train-cakepan.html?ref=GA_TRAINCAKEPAN&kw=train%20cake% 20tin&gclid=CPPe54OS65QCFQuH1QodHGYaSw

http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/train-cake.html

g ood luck.

kormachameleon Thu 31-Jul-08 23:12:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stealthsquiggle Thu 31-Jul-08 23:16:24

previous thread

this is the book Anchovy refers to - I have it, but it is not normally one of my favourites. However, I have just been and checked and the train is simple and effective and could easily be adapted to be Thomas.

ThatBigGermanPrison Thu 31-Jul-08 23:19:12

You can buy these, and when I presented one to my ds1 on his third birthday, he visibly convulsed with delight, I will remember the expression on his face to the end of my days and it was 2.5 years ago.

The bought ones are very realistically Thomasy. I let Ds1 eat the face - he was thrilled.

cornsilk Thu 31-Jul-08 23:26:02

Just get one from the supermarket!

CJMommy Thu 31-Jul-08 23:39:10

asda

bookswapper Thu 31-Jul-08 23:57:43

tesco too

fillybuster Mon 04-Aug-08 10:26:22

Thanks all...sorry for the delay in responding, have had some laptop/internet/time issues getting online the last couple of days...

Olihan - brilliant! The tunnel sounds a bit scary, but could I please have your recipe? Quite tempted by the basic front approach...

Stealthsquiggle - thanks for the link - I was convinced I couldn't be the first person to ask MN for help on this! I've actually got the Australian book (borrowed from a friend) but am a bit put off by having to make the roll part as I've never done that before.

I definitely have to make, not buy, the cake (personal preference anyway, but also driven by various dietary issues...), but anyway there will be about 15 children plus assorted parents at ds' birthday party, so its going to have to be big enough to feed everyone - and imo the supermarket cakes are always a tad on the small size.

stealthsquiggle Mon 04-Aug-08 11:42:37

If it needs to be home-made cake then as an alternative to swiss roll (v. hard to make one which will actually be round) you could make madeira or similar and bake it in washed-out tins (2 or 3 so that you still have plenty even after trimming them flat)

Otherwise if you are going to carve cake my strong advice would be to freeze it first as it is far easier to carve (it also gives you breathing space between the baking and decorating phases - I routinely bake and freeze cakes a week or two ahead of time so that I can clear up and take a deep breath before decorating them grin)

stealthsquiggle Mon 04-Aug-08 11:43:45

by 'tins' I mean baked bean tins or similar..

Olihan Tue 05-Aug-08 14:24:44

For 8inch square madeira cake:

450g S/R flour
400g Caster sugar
400g bu#ter/marg
7 eggs
3.5 tablespoons milk

Grease and line tin, sift flour into bowl and add all over ingredients. Mix on slow speed until everything is combined then mix on high speed for 1 minute.

Pour into tin and bake at 150 degrees C for 1 3/4 - 2 hours. (I tend to find that they're cooked by 1hr 45 so keep an eye on it!)

Leave in tin for 5 -10 mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

If you need anything else, just shout!

(If you want to make a 10inch, add 100g extra flour, 115g extra butter, 115g extra sugar, 2 more extra and 0.5tbsp milk. Will need another 15-30 mins to cook)

fillybuster Mon 11-Aug-08 12:38:21

You ladies are both marvellous and I apologise for my increasingly erratic mumsnet access....! I have dug out the Australian cake book and reckon I can do something with a single large rectangle, cut into 2 pieces for base and back and a single baked bean tin for the front. When dh and I examined my son's Thomas train last night we realised that I could probably get away with a lot more straight edges than we though and then add some curves with icing or a bit of shaved off/added on cake above the side sections....

Off to find some cans - yes, fully intend to bake and freeze in advance - might even bake, assemble with butter icing and freeze, then decorate the night before. Anyone want to place bets on how late I'm up that night?! wink

fillybuster Mon 11-Aug-08 12:38:23

You ladies are both marvellous and I apologise for my increasingly erratic mumsnet access....! I have dug out the Australian cake book and reckon I can do something with a single large rectangle, cut into 2 pieces for base and back and a single baked bean tin for the front. When dh and I examined my son's Thomas train last night we realised that I could probably get away with a lot more straight edges than we though and then add some curves with icing or a bit of shaved off/added on cake above the side sections....

Off to find some cans - yes, fully intend to bake and freeze in advance - might even bake, assemble with butter icing and freeze, then decorate the night before. Anyone want to place bets on how late I'm up that night?! wink

fillybuster Tue 26-Aug-08 13:07:46

Olihan - are you there? I'm hoping to make a 11" by 14" cake to use as a base....any idea on quantities????!!

Thanks!!

frasersmummy Tue 26-Aug-08 13:15:12

our ds demanded roary the racing car last year.. we home made the cake and then just got an icing topper from ebay.

baiscally you make and ice your own cake and then place picture onviouslu your icing .. merges with the icing and becomes part of it ..

the icing topper was only about £3...

fillybuster Tue 26-Aug-08 13:33:59

Was that a 2 or 3D cake, frasersmummy?

I'm going with the 3D version, just need to work out quantities for the base which I'll be cutting up and icing on...I hope!

Olihan Tue 26-Aug-08 13:36:46

Hang on, I'll just go and dig out my book and check quantities for you......

fillybuster Tue 26-Aug-08 13:38:11

Olihan, I love you Will you be my friend for ever and ever please?! grin

fillybuster Tue 26-Aug-08 13:40:57

Am planning to do a practise run today...still not sure whether I'm going to do the baked bean can thing or wimp out and buy a swiss roll from somewhere. DH was taking the mickey out of me last night, as he (correctly) pointed out that I will do dry run today (have a few hours sans dcs) which will be semi-ok and will then repeat on thurs (when I have a few more hours!)...obviously I should just leave until Thurs....

PandaG Tue 26-Aug-08 13:41:07

fill a tin you know how many eggs worth you need with water

measure how much this quantity is

fill large cake tin with water to the depth your cake mix would be

measure how much water this is

work out how many multiples of the first amount it is iyswim

PandaG Tue 26-Aug-08 13:42:09

baked bean tin is easy - I have done it before.

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