First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted a cake on this website! I got so many ideas from looking at all the wonderful cakes. This Thomas Construction Birthday Cake is my first attempt at a decorated cake, and I have to say, I am pleased with the results. This cake was for my son’s third birthday. He really likes Thomas, but he is more interested in the construction crew than the trains. The inspiration for this cake came from the Lightning Tree episode of Thomas and Friends which involves Kelly, Alfie, and Oliver trying to keep the tree from falling over. The cake also includes a Ned, which was one of the construction crew that my son did not have that served as part of his birthday gift.
The bottom tier of the cake is white chocolate raspberry and the top is a carrot praline recipe, both found on the internet. The entire cake is covered in buttercream frosting. I made both tiers a couple weeks in advance and froze them. I leveled the cakes before I put them in the freezer. I made the buttercream a few days in advance and stored it in the refrigerator. To smooth the buttercream, I placed the stacked cake in the freezer for about thirty minutes. Then, I used wax paper to smooth out any uneven areas. Once I had the buttercream as smooth as I could get it, I again placed the cake in the refrigerator for another thirty minutes. I used the grass tip to make the grass around the edges and the leaves for the trees. I also added sprigs of grass around the wheels of the vehicles and the rock piles. The trees are sugar cones with pretzel rods in them. I stuffed the sugar cones with marshmallows to hold the pretzels in place. My husband held the trees while I piped the icing. It helped to leave about an inch at the top that was unfrosted to use to push the tree down into the cake. I just piped the last little bit after the tree was in place. It seemed helpful to use a straw to poke a pilot hole where the tree went into the cake.
The rock piles are chocolate rocks stuck together with dots of buttercream frosting. The candles are cones I ordered on the internet. It took about an hour and a half to decorate the cake after the buttercream was smoothed. My husband and I finished the cake while my son was sleeping the night before his party, and he was very excited when he woke up and saw it the next morning.