First, the cake!
And the cookies:
Okay, so now let's talk about structure. For the cake, I started with a sketch...a very rough sketch (don't make fun of me for sharing!) I just wanted to plan ahead to make sure that I cut the cake into the correct size shapes and make the right colors of icing, etc.
I baked the cakes in sheet cake pans...1 chocolate, 1 yellow, and 1 white cake. All would be covered with white frosting because I knew I was going to color them (much more difficult to do with chocolate frosting). I froze the sheet cake for a couple of hours so that I could cut the cake into quarters (slightly larger than loaf size) without them falling apart. I then stacked and frosted them.
When it came to putting together the chocolate piece (which was the oh-so-important steam engine section) I ran into a BIG problem. The chocolate cake, despite being frozen for a few hours too, was different enough in consistency that the frosting would NOT spread onto the sides. It fell apart (and I nearly did too). I had the presence of mind to take a breath, and a photo:
Okay, now, in this respect, I'm spoiled. My husband bought me the Kopycake Airmaster machine years ago and I LOVE it. I was afraid of it for awhile, but once I got the hang of it, I found it very very useful.
I painted one car blue, one car yellow, and one car red...and I painted a touch of black at the bottom (to help the cake look like it was riding on the rails of the track) and black on the top (knowing that I was going to put some candy in the boxcars and I wanted to fake some depth).
Americolor gel paste colors...very nice, concentrated colors. I added some grey "cement" to hold the cargo (some Whoppers, in this case).
The yellow car was constructed in essentially the same manner, so I'll skip it. But the engine part required some component pieces. I've worked with gum paste once before when I made a Vegas sign cake for my husband's birthday a couple of years ago. So I knew the consistency would hold up to making my smokestack and front part of the train. Just follow the instructions on the side of the canister. I like the Wilton brand.
Now, for the cookies. Much less to discuss...I used my train cookie cutter and my Americolor icing colors and created the initial cookie, which I didn't particularly care for.
disco dust! When in doubt, distract people with glitter! So, this is how they looked after the accent:
food color markers.
Finally, I bagged them all up for the kids with some little bits of train ribbon.
And there you have it! One very happy birthday boy, and a very tired baker...LOTS of training! Stay tuned next week for a Lego cake!