Take a look at these cool homemade Thomas the train cake ideas shared with us by cake decorators from around the world. Along with the birthday cakes here, you’ll also find loads DIY birthday cake-making ideas and how-to tips to inspire your next birthday cake project. Enjoy!
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Featured Thomas the Train Cake Ideas
I made this James cake (from Thomas the Tank Engine) for my son’s 7th birthday. He has always loved Thomas and since his middle name is James (and I had made him a Thomas the train cake for a previous birthday), we settled on James. This was a very time consuming cake! But the end result was worth it.
Basic supplies needed: Wilton 3D train cake pan (two pieces), square cake pan, 2 boxes cake mix, 2 batches of icing, Little Debbie Nutty Buddies and black licorice (for tracks), rock sugar (for gravel around tracks), white cotton candy and two lollipop sticks (for steam), Chocolate cream Oreos (for wheels and coal), stick pretzels (for cargo) and powdered sugar for snow.
The Wilton pan comes with directions, and baked up wonderfully (although it takes a very long time!). I carved the cake out where the wheels were, so I could insert Oreos for wheels (dabbed a bit of icing on the backs to help secure the cookies). Also cut down the steam stack to make it more like James’. You could cut the snowplow off if wanted – we wanted a ‘snow’ scene so we left it on the cake.
I also baked two square cakes, and cut them up to form the tender and cargo cars. I cut out small cake boards to go under each part of the train, and decorated each car separately before putting them together on the main board. I replaced James’ No 5 with 7, since it was Dylan’s 7th birthday. The main board is an extra long one that I put together using three 13×19 cake boards to yield one that was a double thick 13×25.5.
I secured the Nutty Buddies and rock sugar on the board with white icing. Next I placed the cars on the nutty buddies. Once the cars were in place on the track, I put on finishing touches such as the pretzels (logs) and crushed Oreos (coal). I then cut the black licorice and placed pieces between each set of wheels (for track) and between each car (for couplings).
I wrote a birthday message on the board with icing. This caked was very heavy and tipsy, so I had to use a wooden board under the cake to transport. Once we got to the party, I took the two lollipop sticks (that I had taped together and bent in the form that I wanted the steam to flow), wrapped them with cotton candy, and stuck on the cake. I also sprinkled the cake and board with powdered sugar (snow). If you do this too far ahead of time, the sugar just soaks in and even picks up some color from the icing.
At my son’s 4th birthday, all four children were thrilled to have each gotten their own Thomas the train cake!
I used a mini train mold to bake the cakes. Then I trimmed off everything except an elbow shape. I used icing and toothpicks to stick two cakes together, so they would make one train standing up, and then iced them.
The wheels and faces are made with candy melt and a circle cookie cutter, which stuck easily to the icing. I piped more warm candy onto the faces to make noses. After it hardened, I adhered the googly eyes with melted candy and drew the mouths with food coloring.
The trim and numbers were cut from fruit roll-ups. The candy and chocolate covered marshmallows were poked into the cakes with toothpicks. We celebrated the party at the park, so I put each Thomas the train cake on the top of a plastic box, and snapped the box over for perfect transportation and serving cases!
I found some great pictures on this website, and then had my amazing mom come and make this Thomas the Train cake using some of your ideas….so I had to submit it to hopefully help others. Pure imagination here, the boulders are Christmas cookies we had left over. The train face was printed off the net and laminated. I think it turned out great and our 2 year-old daughter loved it! Thanks for all YOUR help!
I frosted the top half of the Thomas the Train cake in a sky blue and the bottom half I left white. I added clouds with white frosting. I created the ground with green sprinkles. I used round sprinkles to make flowers. I made a train track and put Thomas on it. I used plastic trees and a part of a fence from a cowboy set from the dollar store.
My son is crazy about trains – especially Thomas the tank engine. So for his 3rd birthday we decided to make it a train themed party. I took ideas from this website and modified them slightly.
I originally planned to make the large Thomas the Train cake, but thought it would be fun to make small cakes so each child could have their own engine to eat. However – the ones I made were still too much for one child to eat! Each engine made about 3 servings.
I baked the base of the train and the top back piece out of mini loaf pans and the round cylinder part out of a dole pineapple juice can. The base of the train was 1/2 (lengthwise) of a mini loaf pan. I frosted it then I cut the remaining half into halves for the back of the top piece of the engine. I glued the cylinder shaped pieces on with icing then iced them and the back piece as well.
I used a mini marshmallow for the smoke stack and mini Oreos pulled apart (without the white middle) for the wheels. I trimmed the trains with black frosting and put faces on them as well. I recommend using pound cake recipe as it holds up better and doesn’t crumble when icing a cut side.
These were not hard, but I would recommend practicing ahead of time and allow yourself plenty of time. It took a lot longer to ice/decorate these than I thought it would. And mine did not turn out as smooth as I would have liked.
We also had mini candy trains (you can partially see in the picture) to decorate tables and then sent home with the kids. It took 4 packs of sugar free gum, 1 pack of lifesavers, 1 Hershey kiss, 1 caramel, and 12 unwrapped peppermints, and 2 pieces of yarn or string per train. I hot glued together.
The lifesaver pack is the engine with the caramel at the top back and the Hershey kiss is the smoke stack. Glue the string/yarn to back end of lifesaver pack and the two packs of gum glued on top of each (car) other. Then glue to another stack of two packs of gum. Glue 4 peppermints (unwrapped) onto each piece. Our family also all dressed in as conductors for the party.
I used the Wilton 3-D cake pan for the engine and decorated it like Henry (my 3 yr. old had to have Henry, and ironically Henry’s number is 3!). I got ideas off this website for the other cars too.
I used a mini-loaf pan and two normal size loaf pans for the cars. The coal car is the mini-loaf pan cut in half and stacked for the right size. I topped it with crushed Oreos for the coal. For the wheels on the engine I used chocolate covered Oreos for the big wheels and mini Oreos for the small wheels.
For the cars (yellow and red) I used the mini Oreos for wheels and put gummy bears on the yellow car and used pretzels for logs on top of the red car. I put a little brown frosting between the pretzels to hold them together. The only thing is I didn’t get the face quite right because it ended up I didn’t have black coloring to do gray or black. So I did my best with brown!
For my son’s 4th birthday, we had his party at the California State Railroad Museum. The theme was Thomas the Tank Engine, and I made his Thomas the Train cake from scratch.
These are the basic steps: Make 2 patches of old-fashioned pound cake batter baked in a can (like a pumpkin puree can), a large loaf pan, and a small sheet cake pan.
Cut the loaf cake so that one part (the body) was about twice as big as the other (the cab), then a small section cut in half for the sides.
Frost all 4 pieces blue. Cut the sides off the sheet cake to make a narrow base, frost it red and raise it up using Oreos “glued” flat to the underside with frosting. Put Thomas’ body together using wooden skewers to stabilize. I formed the face freehand using stiff buttercream.
Use store-bought black frosting (Cake Mate) for the front and buttercream frosting colored with paste for the rest. I discovered that the black frosting got shiny when spread smooth with a knife dipped in hot water (and frosting also a bit in the microwave), it got pliable like dough to form his eyes/eyebrows.
Detail “paint” with a pastry bag and small tip. Smokestack is a Tootsie roll, lights are gumdrops and wheels are Oreo cookies. Coal is crushed Oreos. Tip: Do not use Wilton spray-on black, it looks purple! Also: don’t try to make grey with the Cake Mate black, it comes out green.
I made this Thomas the Train cake for my nephew who loves Thomas., I made the tree using a cinnamon stick with the bottom of an ice-cream cone (not the sugar ones that are pointy). Using tip #67 I frosted the cone bottom. You can put a large stick (I used the ones for kebabs) to put inside the cinnamon stick so that you can let it stand in a glass until the frosting is hardened a little. Cut it so that you can use it to place in the Thomas the Train cake without having to stick the cinnamon stick into the cake.
For the “hill” I made a small cake using an Easter egg cake mold then used a toothpick to keep in place. I frosted with it buttercream frosting then covered it with green died coconut.
This Thomas the Train cake was made for my nephew’s 3rd birthday party. It was a very simple cake. It was a 10-inch cake on the bottom and an 8-inch cake on top. It was HUGE, but it all got eaten.
My son Max loves Thomas the tank engine. So I looked on the internet for some ideas and found out that you could buy a 3D train mold., For the Thomas the train cake I used pound cake mix. It takes one and a half boxes to fill the mold. I used the leftover batter to make one of the three troublesome trucks. For the other two troublesome trucks I used chocolate cakes.
I had planned on decorating the Thomas the train cake using a star tip, but the frosting was too watered down by the time I made the correct color even though I had used the paste. I never was able to get the correct red so I bought a tube of red frosting at the store.
I had the idea to shake powdered sugar over Thomas to make him look like snow Thomas because the cake mold is with a snowplow, but I was too afraid that I would mess it up after all the work I had done.
I baked the troublesome trucks in bread pans. I put chocolate frosting and crushed Oreos on top to look like coal and used Oreos for wheels. I lifted them up using large tootsie rolls so that they looked as though the wheels were holding them up. I drew a face on the very last truck.
When I could not get my hands on the discontinued Wilton Thomas the train cake pan for my sons birthday, I decided to use a method I had tried before to make his wish for a Thomas the train cake to come true.
I found a gift bag with a picture of Thomas facing forward (just like the cake). I photocopied the picture of Thomas and made about 10 copies (you are going to make a template with the copies). First cut out the whole picture (this will be your outline). Carefully cut out the remaining pieces from the other copies.
Make a 9×13 cake and frost with buttercream frosting. Let the frosted cake sit out uncovered 1-2 hours letting the frosting get “crusty”. Place your “whole picture” template on the cake and position where you want it. Carefully press the template into the icing (I also used a toothpick to press the edge of the paper into the icing). The paper makes the outline for you.
Gently lift the template, next start filling in the picture with the rest of the templates (lights, face, eyes and etc.) one by one making your “pressed” outline. When finished you will have a complete Thomas outlined for you. You can use as many templates or as few as you need, I personally cut EVERY piece including mouth, eyebrows and such. I felt more confident in my ability to follow the outline rather than freehand it.
Next get out your black icing and an outline tip and start to outline your Thomas. All that’s left is to “color” him in; I used a #16 star tip and just tipped it in like a Wilton cake. I referred to my gift bag for colors.
The hardest part of this Thomas the train cake is cutting the templates. This method could be applied to any kind of design as long as you can make a template of it. A quick Happy Birthday and his dream Thomas the train cake was complete! As a bonus (because you did not ruin the gift bag) you also have a bag for the present and it matches your Thomas the train cake!