A Train Birthday Cake for the Neph’
Choo Choo! All aboard for a 2nd birthday celebration.
The neph’ was 2 on the other day and Mr B and I were very excited to be able to celebrate with him. We bought him a super-cool ride on vintage style car (I think it was as much for us as him….if only I was little enough…) and I was tasked with baking a birthday cake and sausage rolls for the big day.
I um’d and ah’d for quite a while about what kind of cake would befit the occasion best and would also be achievable with limited time. In the running were: Hungry Caterpillar shaped cake, train shaped cake using a tin, a number 2 shaped cake and even a Gruffalo was suggested (though I veto’d this for fear of it resulting in a rather unappetising looking brown mess). The winner was a round cake with trains round the edges. Big-sis (aka neph’s mum) had requested a fairly simple effort and I thought this would be easy to divide up and to store if not eaten on the day. The cake was inspired by this rather excellent specimen:
I baked a double size Madeira Cake because I knew it would rise well and be sturdy enough to handle the icing. Instead of the standard citrus Madeira I made it vanilla by leaving out the lemon zest and putting a vanilla pod into the batter instead. Then, I sliced the dome off the top, cut it in half and filled it with raspberry jam and a little lemon buttercream. I also used the lemon butter cream to do a thin layer of icing over the whole surface of that cake (or crumb coat). If you are using buttercream rather than marzipan to create a smooth surface for icing, I think a little lemon in it really helps stop it all becoming overwhelmingly sickly. Then began the fun…icing it. I coloured all the icing myself. The result was carnage in the kitchen, but it was worth it. Annoyingly, the icing did crack a bit. I suppose it must have dried out while I was working it, but it didn’t feel like that at the time. Any ideas? Does blue crack worse than other colours normally?
I used the left over sponge from the dome of the cake to created the number 2 on the top. The actual design is really easy to do – just lots of rectangles and circles really. I’m just not very neat so my colours got a bit muddled together sometimes.
I hope you like it. I was fairly pleased with my first attempt at birthday cake decoration. I think I need to start planning the 3rd birthday cake now though.
So, happy birthday neph’. Love you lots.