I have always had an interest in cake decorating and becoming a mom gave me a real excuse to try my hand at it.  This was the first specialty cake I ever attempted.  I was so pleased with the outcome that I was hooked!

I made this cake for my son’s second birthday.  I can’t take credit for the design – it’s from the Betty Crocker website, which has an instructional video and step-by-step instructions.  The cake itself is made from two standard-sized pound cakes.  You use one cake to make the engine and the second cake cut in 4 pieces for the cars.   I baked a chocolate pound cake for the engine and plain pound cake for the cars in order to have some variety.

I can’t say enough positive things about the Betty Crocker instructional video.  I was a complete novice when I attempted this cake and they went through every step including the basics of “crumb coating,” which really helped!

My son loved the cake!  I just have one word of caution.  All of the cookie decorations quickly got soft from being exposed to the moisture of the icing.  I used mini Oreos and mini Nutter Butters for the wheels; I also placed animal crackers on one of the cars and crushed up Oreos on another car to look like coal.  All of these decorations degraded to a soft, bread-like texture after being on the cake for just a few hours.  However, the cake was so cute that having a few un-crunchy decorations was a small price to pay!  The pretzel  “logs ” stayed crunchy!