The inspiration for this Thomas the Train Birthday Cake is our son, Hunter, as he is absolutely in love with Thomas the Train. He sleeps with a Thomas the Train blanket, wears Thomas the Train clothes, and exclaims "Thomas" each time he sees him. It only seemed fitting to make him a Thomas the Train cake for his second birthday!
I would like to share with those who may seem timid about cake baking and design that this cake was my first attempt to ever dive in to such a project. I had a vision in mind that I hoped would turn out. I am not sure if I followed proper cake baking and design rules, yet I am very happy with the final product.
My goal was to make things easy on myself. Before heading to the store, I made sure I had milk, vanilla extract, food coloring (red, yellow, green, blue), and shortening. I also tracked down from a co-worker a Wilton frosting decorating set with bags. I then went to the store and bought 2 boxes of cake mix and the necessary ingredients, 5 small tubes of black frosting for writing, and a 2 pound bag of powdered sugar.
When I returned home, I first put together and baked two cakes using the boxed cake mixes. The first cake was rectangular and 13 inches x 9 inches. The second was a round 9 inch. I baked each according to the provided directions. I then mixed up homemade frosting. I used 1.5 pounds of powdered sugar, 1/3 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of shortening, and 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract. I made extra frosting so I could allocate a lot to each frosting color in case my estimate of the amounts needed was off.
After the cakes were done, I took them both out of the oven to cool. I left the rectangular one in its pan, as the final cake was going to have to be transported and I felt it to be the most stable option for the base of the cake. Before beginning my frosting, I removed the round cake from its pan. Next, using a picture of Thomas the Train, I carefully created an outline to cut out as one piece of Thomas' face and front body. I then cut out my cake outline and carefully placed it on some wax paper.
Next, I used some of my homemade frosting without food coloring to coat the rectangular cake. In other words, I created a white background. I then carefully removed the face and front body cake cut out from the wax paper and placed it on the upper middle half of the frosted white rectangular cake. From there, I used the little tubes of black frosting to create an outline of Thomas' face and front body by referring to the Thomas the Train picture on my countertop.
Once the outline was in place, I mixed blue frosting using the provided directions. I used a number 16 Wilton frosting tip to place small stars directly around the elevated face and front body (on the surface of the rectangular cake) to create Thomas' body. Next, I mixed gray frosting to create small stars to fill in the elevated face and portions of his front body. I carried the gray stars down the sides of his face and front body (please see cake photo).
I then mixed red frosting and used small stars to fill in the remaining part of Thomas' lower front body. I also used the red frosting to write our son's name on the bottom portion of the rectangular cake. After that, I mixed yellow frosting and created small stars to make the circles found on Thomas' upper body. Where any cake remained unfrosted, I used the black frosting from the small tubes to cover the cake. Lastly, I mixed green frosting (for Thomas' friend, Percy) to create small stars to make a border around the entire cake.
Choo choo! I hope you agree this Thomas the Train cake is cool! What I want our son to remember is that a lot of love went into this cake!
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