When we decided to make a train cake for Luke's birthday, I got on pinterest and google to see what other mom's had done. I came across this blog post and was totally inspired. Then we incorporated Luke's favorite book, Freight Train , and felt pretty confident that it would turn out...and not be too hard.
Well, in August, we finally got neighbors (trust me - there's a point to this tangent). We had them over for ice cream a few weeks ago, and mentioned Luke's birthday and our idea for the cake. It just so happens that our new neighbor stays at home with her daughter and decorates cakes for a hobby. So she offered to help! Little did I know she's GOOD. And has a tackle box, completely loaded with cake decorating stuff (bags, tips, books with directions and pictures, and a piping gun!). She was a lifesaver. Mainly because Matt and I had tried a "practice cake" - and were completely clueless. Dirty frost and let it dry - had never heard of it. Thin the frosting to dirty frost. Thicken the frosting to pipe. Have more than one bag for piping.
And to top it off, she was an engineer - so she's detail oriented! Every time I said, "that looks so good" she said, "oh - well, what if we pipe on some more detail here". Okay. Done. So, what was a fun idea to start with turned into this really incredible and gorgeous cake! Thank you Kim.
I used the cake and frosting recipes from the blog I already mentioned - and they were great. The cake was incredible; moist and dense enough to stick together well. For this project I made a double batch, which from the picture below you can tell was almost too much for the trusty Kitchen Aid.
We used the Wilton steam engine cake pan, and I followed the accompanying directions to a T.
The cake, dirty frosted. The cars are from mini loaf pans, filled with approximately 8 oz of cake batter. That turned out to be too much batter. When I took the cakes out, the bottoms fell off most of the mini loaves because there was just too much cake in the pans. I think 6 ozs would have worked much better. The double batch of cake batter made enough for 10 mini loaves (which the extras were great - because it guaranteed enough cars were in tact enough to utilize.)
Oreos as wheels, and 1 oreo with the white frosting as the light.
Twix as the "hitch" between cars, and the railing on the cattle car.
Pictures of the final product (before we finally mustered up the courage to cut it).