All aboard the baking express!

18 Nov

This week I got to make a train cake for my little cousin. A few years ago I made one using cereal bars to make the trains and it came out pretty cute:


Much as I like this cake, I wanted something different this time. So this week I bring to you:

How to make a 3d train cake!

So jump on board the baking express and lets get started.

To do this cake I made 2- 1/2 sheet cakes, but you can do this with smaller cakes. It just might be a tad harder to get the details in.

Frost one of your cakes and set aside. This is going to be the base of your cake.


Next cut your other cake into fourths short ways. Using one of the fourths create a board for your train to sit on. You want it to be slightly smaller than the 1/4th of the cake that you have. Cover the board with foil:


And frost it a little bit. The frosting helps keep the train from sliding around:


Next you want to level off all of your cake fourths. For the purpose of this cake, they need to be as level as possible.

Then stacking them leveled side down, you want to stack them cake, then frosting. You only want to use 3 of your pieces:


It’s easier to use a turn table to help with making the whole train, but don’t worry. If you don’t have a turn table, you can fashion one out of a bowl and a plate. It doesn’t work quite the same, but will make things easier for you:


Keep stacking, and frosting the tops of the cake:


And once more:


At this point stop frosting! You are going to do a tad bit of cake carving, and you will just end up carving the frosting away.

About 2/3 of the top of the cake is going to be the “barrel” of your train. So you want to round off the top two layers, leaving the bottom one in tact, and only going about 2/3 of the way back:

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So I guess I jumped ahead with the pictures there. After you get your barrel carved out, measure half of  the last 1/3 of your cake. Using part of your reserved cake, cut a section that fits that other 1/2. this makes the top of the train. Add a little frosting between the layers to make it all stay together.

Now frost over everything, taking care to show the different “ridges” in your cake. Every section should show all of its seams. This is a good time to use your frosting to help round off the barrel, if it didn’t come out perfectly round.

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Now cover the whole thing with some fondant. And press the fondant into each corner and seam to get the look you want.

Once again I failed with the picture taking. Start coloring your train. I used my airbrush, but you can use some frosting colors and a paint brush, or you can color your fondant and then attach it to the cake.

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Here you can really see the different dimensions of the cake.

Now its detail work. Some wheels:


The pieces for the front of the engine. No idea what they are called, but they start out as different sized circles. The big two black, the little one red:


And of course the “smoke stacks” that are on the top of the cake:


I apologize for this picture, the black from the airbrush kind of overtook the rest of the picture, and all you can really see is the stove top.

The base of the cake which was set aside, I covered with fondant. Then I airbrushed it green and inserted some supports for the train. The supports are key because they keep the train from smooshing the rest of the cake.

Then it’s assembly time. I got so caught up in putting the train together that I forgot to take some pictures of it, but you can see how everything goes together:

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Every detail that you put on there helps the train come together. From the yellow frosting stripes to the silver bars that are between the wheels. The more details you add, the more it will look like a train.

The birthday boy liked the train so much that we weren’t allowed to cut into it. He only wanted us to cut the other part of the cake.

So if you have a train lover in the family, why not try a nice 3d train cake for their next birthday.

If you have questions about making this cake, or if you have a version that you have made, I’d love to hear from you, so post it below!

Until next time,

Happy baking!

1 Comment

Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Cakes


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One response to “All aboard the baking express!

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