Saturday, October 18, 2008

Toot Toot! All aboard the Cupcake Train!!

**Warning - Picture overload ahead!!**

James's birthday party was in September and since I am not above tooting my own horn most of the people who read this blog weren't able to be there, I thought I would share the cupcake train I made for him instead of a cake. I was really pleased with the outcome.

The finished product:



It was a HUGE hit and I'm glad that we used it as the centerpiece on the main table. You should have seen the kids' eyes!! They were as huge as saucers when they saw it.


From inception to completion!

I was researching "train cakes" in anticipation of James's birthday and came across this Thomas Cupcake Train and thought "PERFECT!! James will LOVE that!!" And he did!

Now the problem was, how should I construct it?? I wasn't a huge fan of the triple wide cars and the construction paper tracks (I knew I could go way cuter! lol) so I had to come up a solution that I could live with, but that wasn't going to a) break the bank or b) make me go insane with the construction.

And then I had it! I'd use the tracks and Thomas from James's leggo Thomas set! Perfect! I set the tracks up a few different ways before I finally decided the classic serpentine was the way to go. I calculated the size of the board that I would need to use and sent my minions to Home Depot to fulfill my wishes. The larger of the minions also painted the board green for me.

Since I CAN'T just have a cake on a green board (oh no!! That makes no sense!!) It must look like (a close approximation of) an actual train bed.... which of course necessitated another trip to the Mart of W for 2 different colors of special stone texture paint! I laid the tracks out, marked the board with chalk, and went to town. (Shoulda been a tagger.... I haz MAD skillz with some spray paint!)

Once the board was done... the rest, you might say, was cake! lol I glued the tracks down (with royal icing... can't make this permanent!!) and constructed the "cars" on Thursday night before the party.



I made the "cars" out of graham crackers, graham cracker sticks, mini oreos and royal icing. I glued 3 graham cracker sticks per stack with royal icing and let them dry. I glued mini oreos on each end of each stack when they dried. I used 3 of these stacks per graham cracker (again... glued on with royal icing) to construct each individual car.




Friday night, James decorated all the cupcakes (with mommy frosting and helping of course) We had a blast and I'm reasonably sure there were more M&M's in the child than there were on the cupcakes... eh... it was his birthday, why the heck not? I *was* going to make the Thomas out of cake, but a very brilliant friend of mine told me to "Reel in the Crazy, Sharon", lol. I am STILL grateful.... I think I would have seriously lost my mind! (Thanks Tracy!)

I don't have any pics of James blowing out his candle. ~insert sad face here~ Something ALWAYS seems to happen to prevent me from getting that picture. This year it was a huge lemonade tidal wave.... but I guess that's better than his 1st birthday, when one of the guests projectile vomited all over my kitchen! lol Ahhhhh.... the memories.

And speaking of memories.... here is a short retrospective of birthday cakes past....

1st - Lion cake


2nd - "I-2 Highway" cake


3rd - I punked out and bought a Thomas cake from the commissary. The little traitor James loved it!



~Momster said...

I just saw this on the BHB...what an awesome, awesome job!! I love all of the cakes. You're very talented. :)

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, Sharon! ;)

Team Martins said...

What in the world-- have you missed an owning your own bakery calling? That train cake is awesome. We can only imagine James' face when he saw it! Good job, Mommy- WOW!

Here's an exchange for you... harvest ideas for some tips on that lion cake (Hope is SUPER into animals and after scoring some zebra and cheetah fabric for way off at the Hobby Lobby... it shall be a 2nd b-day zoo theme!) Check your e-mail for my part of the bargain! :)

And sorry about the stickers above... ouch! Kids will be kids, eh? (At least I'm HOPING that was James' doing; in my house, you never know. You know your cousin and what I'm talking about! Ha!)

Justbecauseitmakesmesmile said...

Those cakes are wonderful!!
It was my little boy's 4th brithday today and I made a Thomas the Tank cake based on the one you made with the cupcakes - thank you so much for sharing that idea.
The cake was wonderful and such fun to make too!

Vanessa said...

I just discovered this and LOVE it. Now I have to talk someone into letting me do a Thomas train for their kids birthday. My boys think they are too old at 18 and 22.

Julie said...

I am planning a 'Little Engine that Could' train party for my little man's 3rd b-day. I love the creativity of the train. Amazing@@

GatorMommyKP said...

I am doing a 'Thomas and Friends' themed party for my son's first birthday in November....Thank-you SOOO much for posting this idea! I was worried that I would not be able to make a Thomas cake (I haven't really liked any of the generic, bakery-style cakes I have seen), but now I can!!!!

Spec said...

This was a life saver for me. Thanks for a great idea.

lisampreston said...

Hi! I just want to thank you for posting this fantastic cake. I was looking for a Thomas cupcake cake idea and came across your blog. Loved the pix, and decided to plagiarize. My son's second birthday was today, and the cake was a HUGE hit with everyone - kids and adults! So easy to do, and with major WOW impact. :) Thank you so much for sharing!

Maura said...

Thanks for posting! I am going to make this over the weekend for my son's 2nd birthday. We are doing "The Little Engine That Could," so I have some new ideas to add like filling a toy train car with peppermints and lollipops and using some toys (like the elephant, clown, giraffes, etc) as some added accessories on train cars. I'll try to post some pics on my blog. I did a Thomas/James cake a few years back, using the Wilton cake pan, for my oldest son's b-day, and it was very difficult to decorate. I am hoping this will be a little easier, the kids can help me, and it will make a great center piece! I love all your cakes. I love making cakes for my kids' b-days, I have some on my blog here:

I did a baseball cake too this past May, just like the basketball, but haven't posted pictures yet.

Happy cake decorating!

Amy said...

I have been searching the internet high and low looking for the perfect train cake for my son's birthday. I've taken notes and will definitely be recreating this! :)