Thomas the Train Cake

by Alecia F.
(Evans, GA, USA)

My First Paid Cake

My First Paid Cake

I babysit for a living, and I was asked by the mother to bake a "Thomas The Train cake" for her son's 2nd birthday. Since she's often a "guinea pig" for my baking adventures, she told me that she would pay me for it.

Her son loves Thomas the Train, so I looked around for inspiration. I was determined to use buttercream and piping to decorate it, since I'm not familiar with fondant, nor do I like the flavor of it. My client let me do whatever I wanted, she just asked that it had tracks on it. I decided to use a toy train and track around the bottom.

Shortcuts Are Not A Good Idea

I had a week before the birthday party, so I decided to make a practice one first, to make sure I knew what I was doing. I learned a few lessons with that practice cake, so I'm glad I did it.

On the first one, I forgot to pipe an edge (or dam)of white buttercream when I used the filling, so the sides had to be frosted a few times to fill it in. I also didn't use my leveler, so the top layer was a bit uneven. Taking shortcuts since I knew this was for practice, just made more work for me later.

Piping Versus Fondant Decorations

I like to focus on great flavor AND pretty cakes, and I think that mastering the art of piping, shows the true talent of an artist; rather than cutting out fondant and using molds. I piped the green trees and bushes with the star tip, the tree trunks, hills, clouds and sun with various sizes of the round tip. I did end up making marshmallow fondant to cover the board. That was not a labor of love. It takes a long time to knead it into a usable medium.

From this cake, I received two upcoming orders for future birthday parties! The mor I make, the better I will get-practice DOES make perfect with cake decorating!!

One of my favorite compliments was when they thought the buttercream was so smooth that it was fondant. They were very impressed that I could get frosting that smooth. Another great compliment was how yummy and moist it was! They said it tasted as good as it looked!

Thank you Alecia for a wonderful Thomas The Train Cake entry and great story with lots of helpful tips. Nice piping work too. Good luck in the contest and in your future decorating Business LOL!!!Looks like that is where you are headed.

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Aug 16, 2011
Beautiful cake :)
by: Meena Mustafa

You have done a good job here. Keep up your good work.

Aug 22, 2011
by: Sarah

My son loves it! We did a Thomas The Train cake for his birthday last year...3 tiers....boy it was a rough one...only my second cake! But great job! Try the fondant...its fun! I didn't like the thought of it at first either but what a difference in opinions I have now!!

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