I have made creative cakes for both of my boys, ages 5 and 2, each year for their birthday, but I think this circus train cake is most special to me because it was the very first cake I had ever created and I wanted it to be perfect for my first son’s first birthday! It took me a lot longer than I had anticipated, working on decorating it for two days! My friend had given me a Wilton engine pan to use, but the first try didn’t turn out so well because I didn’t cook it long enough apparently…when I opened the two sections, cake batter poured out of the center! Quite frustrated and wondering if I was up to the challenge of creating this cake I had envisioned in my head, I refused to give up and started over again.
As the engine was cooking to perfection this time, I took the loaf cakes I had already baked and started cutting and stacking them to make the cars and the caboose. Because I was so far behind schedule, Nana helped pipe some of the frosting on and we meticulously worked into the night! I put down a train track using licorice and chocolate wafer cookies and sprinkled crushed graham crackers for dirt. I put an Oreo cookie on the front of the train with a number “1” on it. I used cut straws and glued them together with extra frosting to create a fence for the elephant.
A piece of licorice held up by toothpicks was used as a railing on the back of the caboose and Oreo cookies were “glued” on for the wheels. I piped on some fine details including my son’s name on the side of the engine. Finally, I sculpted some cotton candy into trailing steam and inserted it into the engine. It took a lot of time but was so very worth all the effort! Everyone attending the party admired the cake and my son loved it! This is the cake that started my crazy passion for creating a new masterpiece for every birthday thereafter. My only quandary was, “how am I going to top this one?!” I have certainly tried over the years!