Making this birthday express cake for my 3 year old son was an enjoyable experience for not only me, but also for my husband and son. Arush was so excited that he used to wake up in the middle of the night and ask me when shall I make his birthday express? (Find inspiration from many more of these train cake ideas.)
For the base of the train cake, I used a silver color plastified sheet( so that I could clean easily the extra butter cream) wrapped on a cardboard. I used Kit Kat and black licorice for the railway tracks. Sprinkled some ground Marie biscuits for the sand in between the tracks. To mention specially, my son helped me ground the biscuits.
I baked two rectangular cakes and cut out one engine and 4 wagons. For the round part of the engine I used Swiss rolls and connected some colored popcorn with pipe cleaner to show smoke coming out of the chimney. I used Oreo biscuits for the wheels and red licorice to connect the wagons.
I used colored butter cream to decorate the engine and the wagons. Yellow candies for the lights and colored candies for stones on the grass and green butter cream and green colored scrapped coconut for the grass. I used wafer roll biscuits to keep logs on the third wagon and M & M on the last wagon and chocolate sticks for the bars of the animal cage, with a wafer biscuit rolled in chocolate ganache as lid of the cage.
The railway signs were easily available on the internet. Overall, making this cake was overwhelming for me and also for my son. All my hard work was paid for when I saw the happiness in his eyes and his smile seeing the cake ready.
Thanks to all the lovely cakes on this web. I surely got some good ideas. Being a beginner making this train cake has motivated me to try more.
Coolest Red and Yellow Fondant Train Cake
My son is a huge fan of trains. That’s nearly all he plays with. After searching this site for train cake ideas, I decided to get the Wilton train engine cake pan.
I searched everywhere for an example of a train cake made with fondant with no success, so I decided to wing it. I’ve made several cakes with the marshmallow fondant recipe at allrecipes.com and it always tastes good and looks great, so I figured why not. To me, fondant is actually a lot easier than piping all that frosting and it looks much better than anything I can do just spreading frosting on the cake. And if you add enough almond extract and a little salt to tame the sweetness, the homemade fondant tastes really good, too!
I baked the engine cake in the Wilton 3D train cake mold and made two 8” x 8” square cakes for the cars. I cut both square cakes in half to make four rectangles: two were the middle train cars; a third was the base of the caboose; and from the last I cut a small section for the top of the caboose. The rest of the last cake was unused. To cover the engine, I used half inch thick fondant as I’ve found it is much less likely to tear when you are manipulating it than thinner fondant. I applied the fondant in two pieces (front and back) over a crumb coat of butter cream frosting. I later covered the seam with a yellow strip of fondant. The smaller pieces made putting the fondant on the cake much easier than I expected. After the first fondant piece was in place, I cut the applied piece in a straight line with a sharp knife where I wanted the seam. The second piece was then applied and cut to meet the edge of the first piece. The other train cars were covered with single pieces of fondant.
All of my decorations were attached with the same butter cream I used under the fondant; (I know they say you should use royal icing – but I don’t like the taste of it, and I haven’t noticed that it makes much difference for simple decorations.) The wheels were chocolate covered Oreos with M&M’s in the center. The small wheels on the front of the engine were mini-Oreos. I used yellow fondant for all of the decorations on the engine and I learned that you should use either white icing or the lighter of the two colors of fondant you are attaching.
For some reason I decided to use red frosting to attach the yellow stripes… bad idea. The frosting did not want to stay on the correct side of the yellow fondant. Oops. The second car has a multi-colored licorice twist border filled with broken up mini-Reese’s peanut butter cups for coal. I froze them first so they would be easier to work with. I put a layer of chocolate butter cream beneath the “coal”, so any gaps wouldn’t be noticeable. The third car has strategically broken candy canes holding up a fondant covered graham cracker roof with animal crackers underneath. And the caboose, much like the engine is just decorated with yellow fondant, with the roof being three fondant covered graham cracker quarters. I piped red butter cream on the caboose to outline it.
I did put tracks made from red licorice and Kit-Kats and chocolate butter cream and brown sugar “dirt” under the train, but I misjudged the size of the cakes, so the tracks are completely hidden under most of the cars.
Drew was absolutely thrilled with his train cake. He still talks about it almost two months later. And mysteriously, though Drew’s favorite color had been red for quite some time, shortly after he saw the train cake he decided that yellow was is “second favorite color”. So I guess he approved of my color choice.
Coolest Train Birthday Cake
My poor kids see me make all these elaborate cakes for other people.
So for my son Ryan’s 5th birthday I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He says "oh mom I can see it in my head, I want a train cake". There has to be a tunnel and a hill and the train has to be going through the tunnel and smoke.
I was overwhelmed by his ideas… and I did not want to disappoint him. So there’s a tunnel and a hill. The train around the bottom moves around the cake. Couldn’t pull off the smoke but he loved it anyway.
Cool Choo Choo Train Cake
I made this choo choo train cake for my son’s 3rd birthday, as that’s the age that boys are train crazy!
I baked x2 cakes in loaf tin pans using a butter cake recipe and I bought a long Swiss roll. Trim the loaf cakes so that they have flat surfaces and position one vertically and one horizontally to make the base on the cake. Position the Swiss roll on top of the horizontal cake and trim if required. Ice the train shape with green tinted butter cream icing.
To decorate I used sour strawberry straps, cut up to line the edges of the cake and used a piece of strap for the window. I found multicolored round lolly pops with the sticks cut off for the wheels and placed 3 on each side of the train and one at the end of the Swiss roll.
Used yellow and red jelly beans to decorate the edges, orange skittles for head lights, red licorice above lights and finally a long piece of rock lolly for the funnel.
I teased some cotton wool and attached to the end of the funnel to look like steam. Cute!
Coolest Train Birthday Cake
My 1 year old is mad on trains so I thought I would make him a train cake for his 1st birthday. I was a little nervous as I am not the best baker I know.
We had 6 of his friends over to our house, so I thought I would make a steam train with the same amount of carriages for them to share. Surprisingly, this cake was quite easy to make, even for me!
I firstly made a chocolate log roll with mocked cream in the middle and then cut it into equal parts (these were the carriages of the train). I did this 1 week early to save time and actually froze them until I needed to use them. I then cut out little sections from the top of each carriage and placed smarties, marshmallows, lollies in this space.
On the train chimney I placed a marshmallow to look like smoke and the driver was a tiny gingerbread man figure which I bought. The train track was made from Scotch Finger Biscuits.
I made a chocolate mold to look like a mountain and piped some blue icing for a little stream down the mountain (I got the mold from our actual train set, lol). The grass was just coconut with green food coloring. I also used a couple of props from the kids train set (helicopter and trees) as I wasn’t too sure how to make these myself.
The best part was the look on everyone’s face – all the kids loved it so much and they all got to choose which carriage they wanted too eat!
I was so nervous about taking on this project but I think it turned out really well. It was so much fun making this cake and as I said it really wasn’t that difficult as I did it in stages. My little boy absolutely loved it and so did his big brother. They still talk about the train cake now!
More Train Cake Ideas
Take a look at all the Train cake ideas on the site.