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Sam’s Third Birthday Train Cake

February 9, 2013

Birthday Boy

When this little man (and my super-mum sister) requests “a train cake with tractor candles” for his birthday, how could I refuse?  Last year’s train cake was merely a training exercis as this year the Neph’ was having a party for 20  of his friends and the cake was to be party bag fodder. If you were following me on Twitter on the day I made it, you’ll know that I dithered for ages before I finally manned up and got on with it.

I used a double batch of  the BBC Good Food easy vanilla celebration cake recipe. It’s dense enough to carve and whilst I was worried that it would be too dry, the yoghurt in the mixture kept it moist and had the added benefit of stopping it from being too sickly sweet. Neph’ wolfed down two slices of spare cake the day before his birthday so I think he was a fan!

Things that are useful to know if you are going to have a go:

  • It needs 10 eggs. Yep, 10.
  • After trying to colour all my own icing last year, I knew that it was a recipe for muddy colours and cracked icing so I bought packs of ready coloured icing. I can’t tell you how much easier that made it.
  • Mini chocolate party rings are the perfect size for wheels.
  • I froze the cake before carving, then did a crumb layer of buttercream and popped it back in the freezer, taking each carriage out one by one as I iced it.
  • If you can, take a very thin slice off the top of the the cake before sectioning it up. The browned top of the cake is much more likely to crumble away when you ice it.

Sadly, the tractor candle arrived a day too late…maybe that can go on next year’s cake.

Happy Birthday Neph’!

Train cake (but no tractor candles)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2013 2:26 pm

    Oh my goodness that is beautiful! Well done!

  2. Vanessa permalink
    April 29, 2013 3:31 pm

    Total perfection !

  3. July 15, 2014 8:00 pm

    What type of cake tin did you use. My boys turn 4 in August and I’d like to try something like this for them.

    • July 15, 2014 8:55 pm

      Hi Diane,

      I used this recipe: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10860/easy-vanilla-cake
      It’s brilliant as it’s pretty failsafe and it’s dense enough to be carved. You can make it ahead, freeze it either in blocks or carved (esp if you make it in loaf tins or something) and then either carve or do a crumb-coat of icing before it defrosts.

      Do give me a shout if you’ve got any other questions and maybe show me the results?!

    • July 15, 2014 9:00 pm

      Sorry I – I’ve just re-read your comment. I used small roasting tin and doubled the cake batch so I had a large rectangular block of cake to work with.

      I think using loaf tins would work well too.

      Does that help?

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