Since posting about the Toddler Twosome's Birthday and showing a few pics of their train cake earlier in the week i have had a few enquiries as to how i put it together, so i thought i would share how i made this one for those that are interested in making their own!
I made 2 basic butter cake loaves …you could also buy pre made large square sponges to cut to size if short on time. You can of course make your favourite recipe but this is the recipe i use for Birthday cakes! You do want a fairly firm cake.
RICH BUTTER CAKE
2 1/4 Cups SR Flour
1/2 Cup custard powder
2 Cups caster sugar
( yes i know but it IS a birthday cake!!)
1 Cup milk
4 Eggs (lightly beaten)
250grams softened butter
2 teaspns vanilla
Combine sifted flour and custard powder with remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
Beat well until thick and creamy (an electric mixer or beater will give you the best result)
Pour mixture into 2 greased or paper lined bar/loaf tins (i used one large and 1 smaller)….bake in a moderate oven for about 50 mins…depending on your oven and size of tins.
Let stand in tin for 10 minutes (really important or it will stick and crumble)before turning onto rack to cool.
This recipe is enough to make part of the engine plus 2 large carriages…you could make 4 smaller carriages from the one bar loaf.
Once cool, begin to cut your cake and assemble. You will need to have a board prepared before you ice….we just used an old wooden plank and covered it in alfoil but you can be as fancy as you like….i have seen some made with paddlepop sticks lined up for tracks before placing the cake on top!
In the pictures below (i am sorry about the quality…it was late at night and i wasn't taking very good pics it seems!!!) you can see you also need a jam roll which i just brought from Coles! Cut a thin layer from the top of the large bar cake to leave a flat surface…use that layer to prop up underneath the jam roll which forms the engine.
Cut your large bar cake in half as shown lying cut side down. Cut a small slice of your smaller bar cake from one end and turn to stand on this cut end against the jam roll.
Cut a small piece of jam roll from the front of the roll to use as your smoke stack (i also unravelled one layer to make it smaller) and then stick something through to hold the stack to the engine as shown. I just used one of the girls craft sticks!
As you can see…no need for perfection….going to be covered in icing and lollies anyway so just try for the general shape! My engine actually had a pretty shocking lean to one side by the end of decorating but the toddler twosome never noticed i'm sure!!!
If you want more carriages you just need more cake or cut smaller pieces from your large bar cake!
Then you can start icing with whatever colours take your fancy! Miss Teen loved getting in on the act to help…can't believe i once made one of these for her and now she is old enough to help ice her sisters!! By the way….those wine glasses aren't hers…..Me and the boy needed a little of mummy's helper to keep going throughout the night hehe!!!
This icing recipe makes enough for the engine and 2 large carriages…obviously you may need more if making more carriages!
250 grams butter (softened)
3 Cups icing sugar
4 Tbsp (approx) milk
Food colourings of your choice!
Beat butter with a mixer until white…gradually add icing sugar and milk until you have a smooth consistency you are happy with. Divide into bowls and colour as you wish…remember you will need more for the engine and to fill in gaps!
Once iced you can begin the fun part of decorating (here's where the wine came in handy…you know, creativity and all that!)…..You are only limited by your imagination here…there are no rules, just do what you think works!
I used marshmellows threaded onto the smoke stack….mini wagon wheels and smarties for the wheels, freckles, smarties and musk sticks for general decoration, some thin licorice strips for outlining and some jelly rings linked together to join the carriages.
I also added lots of little zoo animals to the carriages as both girls love these at the moment and i knew they would have fun with them afterwards! You could have anything you wanted in the carriages though…coloured popcorn looks good too! I added a few dabs of green icing around the board to hold a few more animals!
See the lean on the carriage…i told you!!! Ah well!
And there you have it….a train cake…see…easier than you thought isn't it?
Very hard to get a good pic of though due to length…so sorry about the sewing in the background…the machines are living on the kitchen table at the moment in the hope that i will finish off some projects…soon!
I really had fun making this and it reminded me that i am now back to the stage of making birthday cakes for little ones again….and it's lovely….shame they don't eat cake…or icing…or lollies…..
But the joy on their faces when we brought it out was worth every moment of making it (have you ever tried to stop twins picking up lit birthday candles…fun!)….and Dad has had lots of cake to take to work this week in all pretty colours hehe!
One of the reasons i chose this design is because i knew they wouldn't want to eat the cake (they don't really eat sweet stuff)….but they would love picking off lollies and animals to play with…and that way they got to enjoy their birthday cake as much as everyone else did…it was for them after all!
Obviously these are only very basic instructions…i would like to do step by step but unfortunately just didn't have the time to take all those photos as i was rushing to get cakes baked and icing made before 2 little girls woke from their nap but if you have any questions at all…just ask and i will be happy to answer. Just give it a go is my advice…and have fun decorating….and try to not have the lean i did!
No, it wasn't perfection but it was made with love and i will hold that look of joy on their faces at seeing their first ‘real' birthday cake close to my heart for quite awhile (and probably need to remember that feeling when i have to make next year's cake!).
Do you like making birthday cakes for your kids? What has been your biggest success….or failure?!!