H and I made a Thomas the Tank Engine (aka Thomas the Train) cake for a 1st birthday last Saturday. The Monday before the party I tried to get everything organized so we could work on it in stages. I printed out a calendar for the week and listed all the tasks we would need to get done each day: make fondant, color fondant, make decorations, make buttercream, etc. Well, last week work was just as crazy as this week; we weren’t getting home until around 7 and I just felt drained so I had no motivation to do anything.
I showed H how to make fondant on Tuesday so he made 4 total batches on Tuesday and Wednesday. Each batch weighs about 2.5 lbs. and takes forever to make. My poor little 5 quart KitchenAid doesn’t have enough power (or space) to mix up a batch so it has to be done by hand. He was really good at working on the train for a few hours each night whereas I waited until Friday night to make the cake and buttercream. I didn’t even start until 10 pm! Needless to say, we stayed up almost all night working on the cake and didn’t finish until right before we needed to leave for the party on Saturday (which has become a typical schedule for us whenever we make these types of cakes). This was our 3rd 1st birthday cake – I think 1st birthdays are becoming our specialty.
The cake was a vanilla chiffon cake with strawberry puree and strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. It was really good – I liked it more than the perfect party cake I had made the week before.
The finished cake was adorable. I loved all the colors. My favorite part about the cake was the railroad tracks. At first I wasn’t sure about the color H had made, but I should’ve known better than to second guess him. The shade of brown went well with the other pastel colors and the tracks were cartoony and perfect.
Even though I was kind of stressing out until the last minute, I had fun making this cake. I think H enjoyed it too and I know he likes the challenge of trying to create something new.