There’s a great article in the latest issue of Gurgle magazine on how to throw the perfect party. I was pleased to see that Big Brother is ahead of himself, having a Thomas the Tank Engine themed party at the grand old age of 2!
We knew that we wanted to make a special cake for his birthday and that it would probably be train-shaped. My husband’s mother set the bar really high, making my husband a concorde birthday cake when he was little. I have to admit that we had a bit of help with the cake from the book – Children’s Character Cakes by Debbie Brown (2009). It’s a great book and contains a list of materials and equipment you need, as well as a step by step guide to putting the cake together and icing it.
We picked up all our supplies from Iced Inspirations, my favourite cake shop. The first step was to make the sponge cake a couple of days before the toddler’s birthday so it had time to cool down properly. It was a 5 egg sponge so pretty big!
The next step was to cut the cake into a train shape which was then held together with butter icing.
Finally we were ready to start covering it with icing. Broken down into steps it actually wasn’t too hard.
Then it was on to the detail. This was the scary bit and getting the face of Thomas was the hardest part. The icing was only pliable for a short period which is why it looks a bit distorted. If I made the cake again (and my husband has already said I can’t!) I would make a couple of faces until I was really happy with it.
We decided to simplify the finished cake so didn’t need as much icing as we bought. I think we could make three more cakes with the amount we have. Big Brother of course loved it which was the most important thing. It also tasted rather nice and didn’t last long.
I also found an older version of the book in a charity shop which includes instructions for making The Fat Controller but doesn’t include the railway track – Favourite Character Cakes by Debbie Brown (1997).