Coolest Thomas the Tank Cake Ideas

My son wanted a Thomas the Tank cake for this third birthday. I used store bought cake mixes and frosting with Wilton’s Coloring. Thomas Tank is created by cutting up two loafs of pound cake in various geometric pieces (i.e. square, rectangle etc.)and then glued with frosting. His face was printed in color mounted on cardboard then the body was stacked up Oreos frosted over. He was decorated with the drop star technique.

The key is to let the assembled pound cake sit out for a day to dry out/harden a bit so it’s easier to frost and then transport him on to the cake. The train tracks under Thomas (which cannot be seen) were made with mini Hershey bars for the railroad ties and chocolate frosting. The tracks on the sides of the cake are plastic. The trees are sugar cones.

The cabin is also cut out of pound cake then frosted. I made a house template and placed it on an 8″x8″ pound cake then cut it out. The doors and windows are blue ready made fondant. The base of the cake is two layers of Hershey’s chocolate mix with frosting filling. This Thomas the Tank cake took me over 15 hours to make from baking to decorating! I have yet to take cake decorating classes; this is all just trying it out!

More Thomas the Tank Cake Ideas

Thomas the Tank cake by Kristina S., Littleton, CO

Thomas the Tank Cake

The idea for this 3D Thomas the tank cake came from a “post your cake pictures” thread on a mom’s internet bulletin board but the “design” is my own. My challenge was to make a decent-looking natural (organic) Thomas cake without using any artificial colors.

I bought my supplies at a local health food grocery store. The base for this cake was a made-from-scratch lemon cake in an 11 x 15 inch Wilton sheet pan and a 3-cup Pyrex glass bowl. I had to use two and a half recipes. After baking I placed the mountain (Pyrex bowl cake) on top of the sheet cake. With a sharp knife I cut out two 2” high openings for the tunnel (about ¼ inch deep) and covered them with dark plastic pieces I had cut out from an old office binder.

For the decoration of the Thomas the tank cake I used a cream-cheese frosting with 100% natural blue food color (if you can’t find any use the juice from blueberries). It ends up being purple as you can see. For the mountain I left the cream-cheese frosting the color it was. After covering the cake with the frosting I put it in the fridge for an hour or two (optional) which makes the frosting a little stiffer.

For the train tracks I used all-natural “fruit leather” from the Stretch Island Fruit Company and used cut it lengthwise with scissors to create the tracks. The trees are plastic cake-decorating trees I got on eBay. The confetti sprinkles and the green decorating sugar I bought at our health food store. And I used chocolate chips to decorate the mountain.

The cake was super yummy and my son absolutely loved it. Oh and I bought the Take-Along Thomas Birthday train set on clearance at Target.

Thomas the Tank cake by Linda C., Australia

Thomas the Tank Cake

I made Thomas and Clarabel for my youngest son’s fourth birthday. He’s Thomas mad. For the Thomas the tank cake I used a chocolate square cake cut in half plus a chocolate log for the front part. I covered the cake in sugar paste but had trouble getting the red and black dark enough so ended up painting those parts with food coloring.

The wheels were chocolate Oreos with blue icing piped on. His face is made out of sugar paste and I just indented for his mouth and eyes and painted the black with food coloring. Clarabel was made from another square cake cut in half covered by sugar paste and the bottom trim is a licorice strap.

Thomas the Tank cake by Jeanie S., Nashville, TN

Thomas the Tank Cake

This Thomas the tank cake was for a boy who loved Thomas and his sister who loved ballerinas. Instead of making two cakes I used the railway cake pan from Williams-Sonoma and decorated the engine as Thomas and the cars pulled some pink cars with dancing ballerinas and other primary colored cars with balls.

To make the girls feel special I used strawberry cake for their cars and iced them pink and white. When they cut into their cars they were pink as well! I used a mini Oreo as Thomas’ face and iced everything with buttercream frosting. I went to Cracker Barrel restaurant for rock candy and colored candy sticks. Most of the candy was purchased at Walgreen’s. I used skittles, M&M’s; Sprees candy mints, mini tootsie rolls as logs etc.

I iced a foil covered board green and used black licorice rope for the track. To make dirt I used crushed Oreos but brown sugar or cocoa powder will work too.

This Thomas the tank cake turned out cute and was a hit with both boys and girls! It took some time but once Thomas was done the other cars went faster.

Thomas the Tank cake by Amy L., Springfield, MO

Thomas the Tank Cake

My son loves Thomas and I decided to make him a Thomas the Tank cake for his second birthday. I found this site and looked at a lot of the other great cakes. Then I started looking for a train pan on e-bay and found a great kit.

We made the cakes and iced with ready made frosting that was colored with gel food coloring. The blue was hardest to get, you have to add a lot of blue to get it dark enough.

It was my first cake so I am very happy with it! And so was my son Morgan.

Thomas the Tank cake by Liane G., Sunrise, FL

Thomas the Tank Cake

This Thomas the Tank cake was for my son’s 3rd birthday. For the tracks I baked a large rectangle cake and cut it into smaller pieces. I then iced them using light brown, filled in the grass and the dark brown of the tracks. To make them look like wood I streaked lines in them using a toothpick.

Finally I used a star tip to fill in the rocks. The characters are made of cookies using train cookie cutters I found online. I had to trim them down a bit. They were decorated using Royal icing and cooled overnight. I made extra cookies for A-frames and used icing to stick them to the cakes. I had a great time making this one!

Thomas the Tank cake by Patricia M., Houston, TX

Thomas the Tank Cake

I did get my idea for a Thomas the tank cake from this site! And I thank you so much! I am so proud the way my cake for my son’s second birthday turned out! I got rave review from all my girlfriends and even other moms going and coming from the Event place.

I used the 3D Wilton Choo Choo Train Pan (1983) and I used Mini Loaf Pans from Wilton; I went the easy way out on the icing and just purchased the big bucket of Decorators Icing and all I did was stir up my colors!

The Engine was Cherry Burst flavor and the boxcars were Cinnamon Swirl and Devils Food! I planned my cake ahead of time and even did a practice “Thomas” cake one week ahead.

I used one of my son’s Thomas to just try and match the color and design. The face I just went thick on the grey icing and I piped in grey cheeks and white eyeballs! It was a joy to see my son’s eyes on his special day! I too used Licorice Rice Krispies and regular sized Kit Kat’s, drizzled honey on Rice Krispies to keep it all in tack!

Thomas the Tank cake by Sarah G., Oxford, UK

Thomas the Tank Cake

This is the Thomas the tank cake I made for my four year old’s birthday party. I made it using two 2lb loaf tins and froze the cakes before cutting them for a neater and sharper cut.

I used ordinary butter icing to glue the cake pieces together and then refrigerated before icing. I used fondant icing to cover the cake and large grained sugar with black food coloring for the coal – tip: don’t use too much coloring; it goes a long way with a bit of sugar.

Thomas the Tank Cake

The face was copied from a model engine my son had and I made slits for the cheeks and nose and inserted a small ball of grey icing underneath and recovered them for a neater finish. I made this in advance and let it dry then stuck it into position with some water. It took me about four hours to complete the icing and I was able to make the cakes in advance as I was freezing them.

Thomas the Tank cake by Sarah S., Tucson, AZ

Thomas the Tank Cake

The Thomas the tank cake is triple chocolate with cream cheese frosting. Both were store bought varieties (three boxes of cake and three jumbo tubs of frosting). I felt this was justifiable considering how much time I knew I would spend decorating the cake.

I assembled the train track a day before the cake to spread out the work. The tracks were made out of vanilla wafer cookies and licorice string. The gravel between the tracks was made of Cocoa Krispies and the grass was coconut that I dyed with green food coloring. All of the items were ‘glued’ (using a simple powdered sugar and water glaze) onto a foil covered piece of thick cardboard and laid on top of a sheet of particle board.

The Thomas part (the first train car) was made out of a sheet cake that I baked in a 9×13″ pan. I then cut two 7×3.5″ pieces which I stacked on top of one another (with a layer of frosting in between). I then carved the stacked cake into the Thomas shape. The face section was actually a Ding Dong (I have to give my friend credit for that suggestion) which I decorated and attached later. It was the perfect size/shape and could be eaten separately which I thought would be fun.

The chimney stacks on Thomas the tank cake were made from frosted gum drops that I attached separately. The Thomas car was (not surprisingly) the most difficult train car to create so I made it first when I was still ‘fresh’ and had plenty of energy/enthusiasm. I made the individual train cars using 10 disposable mini loaf pans (note: one box of cake will fill 12 mini loaves so I had two left over). I made the final train car (the caboose) by cutting off about a 2″ piece of cake from one of the mini loaves and attaching it to the top of the train car. If I had it to do over I would probably have positioned that extra piece of cake in the center of the loaf creating a more traditional-shaped caboose.

The train cars were decorated with various shades of frosting (I just used food coloring to dye my cream cheese frosting) and decorated with gum drops, M&M’s, jelly beans, Hershey kisses, peanut butter cups and gummy bears. All of the wheels were made of Oreo cookies (large ones for Thomas which I frosted with blue frosting and minis for the other cars).

The train cake was amazingly easy to transport and made it safely to its destination which was a three hour drive away. This cake did take a lot of time (about 12 hours) if you include prep-time, baking, decorating and clean-up. This however was my very first attempt at ANY type of frosted cake so I was inexperienced. I really enjoyed making this cake and everyone just loved it…even strangers felt compelled to comment on it. I’d definitely do it again!

Thomas the Tank cake by Martha M., Layton, UT

Thomas the Tank Cake

My nephew loves Thomas the Train and I love making cakes. So for this Thomas the tank cake I used a large bread loaf pan for the base and two small bread loaf pans for the top.

I carved out the basic shape and then used fondant to cover. The back is filled with fondant “coal” pieces. The other details were done with regular store bought frosting and a round tip.

Thomas the Tank cake by Stephani L., Windsor, ON

Thomas the Tank Cake

My girlfriend’s son Ryan was turning three and she wanted to have a different Thomas the Tank cake for him (she has an older son and he has had them all). I offered to make a cake and this is the end result.

I baked two 9×13 cakes and used a small mixing bowl to bake his face in. This cake turned out better than I had imagined it could be. Ryan absolutely loved this cake and that was my ultimate goal!

Thomas the Tank cake by Belinda M., Melbourne, Australia

Thomas the Tank Cake

I made this Thomas the Tank Engine cake for my son Campbell’s 2nd birthday. I used a rectangle cake and cut it into the shape of Thomas. Thomas’ face is raised so I used a small round tin for this. Thomas’ eyes are mints with black icing gel tube and there is a licorice strap around his face.

Colored butter cream icing covers the cake and black outlines are licorice straps cut to length. Licorice straps were used as a track for Thomas to sit on and to write (albeit poorly!) a greeting.

Thomas the Tank Cake