My soon-to-be 3 year old son is obsssesed with trains and he requested a steam engine cake for his birthday.
I wanted to make a cake that didn’t have alot of artificial ingredients. I didn’t see any cakes on the internet that would work for me, so I made up my own. My child loves chocolate so I thought a chocolate frosted steam engine would look the most realistic.
I used a chocolate pound cake recipe and baked it into 2 loaf pans and one green bean can (for the boiler). I used Pillsbury baking spray (you could also use Wilton Cake Release) to make sure my cakes came out the the can and pans easily. I filled the pans and can 1/2 way with batter. I put a baking dish under the batter-filled can in case of overflow.
After they were finished baking, I let the cakes cool on a wire rack. I then put them in the fridge for a few hours to get them nice and sturdy for carving.
I squared the long ends of each loaf and made 2 diagonal cuts in the front of the loaf to make the cow catcher. I carved the tender by inserting my knife about half way into the top of the loaf pan and cutting at a 45 degree angle all the way down. This cut made a nice shape for the tender and the overhang on the cab of the engine. I cut a square in the top of the tender (about 1/4 inch down) for the coal storage area. I used a small amount of frosting to glue the boiler to the loaf that would be the bottom part of the engine. I added some of the trimmed pieces behind the boiler to give the cab end some height. I glued the cab on the trimmed pieces with some frosting. I then frosted the whole cake with a crumb coat and put the cake back in the fridge.
The next morning, I frosted the whole cake with more chocolate frosting. I then piped a white outline to add definition to the engine and tender. I uses chocolate cookies (Newman’s Own brand instead of Oreos). I used one of the halved cookies with the icing on it for the headlight and decorated it with yellow sugar for the light. I filled the tender with Raisinettes for the coal. I VERY CAREFULLY transferred each part to a white cake board. I then piped chocolate frosting tracks in front of and behind the train.
My son absolutely loved his cake. He was truly speechless. The look on his face when he saw the cake for the first time was all I needed to justify the time it took to make this. It was definitely worth it! I don’t know how I am going to top this cake next year!