May is a month of birthdays in our family, and it all started with E’s second birthday. Obviously, I made a cake; I love making birthday cakes for my children, and it is a tradition I really want to continue as long as they want me to – you can see some of my previous creations here!
It was clear that this specific cake had to be train-related, as they are most definitely E’s favourite things. But, having given it some thought, I decided that it had to be a track of some sort (preferably in a number ‘2’ shape), rather than a train itself. I found a few ideas scattered around the internet, put all the best bits together, and voilà, this was my morning’s work:
And, if you would like to recreate this masterpiece in your own home (I mean, why wouldn’t you?!), here is a step-by-step guide (no moulds or anything like that needed; Paul and Mary would be proud!):
- Start with two round sponges, and trim the tops as required:
(I loosely followed this simple way of making a number ‘2’ cake, which advised making a round sponge and a square sponge. However, I only have round tins, and so round tins I had to use. Admittedly, a square tin may have made it slightly easier, but it worked fine without).
- Cut a small circle out of the middle of one of the cakes, then cut the remainder in half, and then cut one of the halves in half again (are you still with me?):
- Cut a large rectangle out of the middle of the other cake.
- Assemble all bits as follows:
This is where a square tin (or indeed, a slightly larger round tin) may have been better. The rectangle I cut was slightly too small and so I had to fill up the space by cutting further bits off the offcuts. However, once iced, no one will know!
Also, as you will see, this particular cake had a wonderful background made from green and blue royal icing, thanks to D.
- Ice with buttercream (I eventually decided on chocolate buttercream)
You have to understand that a lot of thought went into this icing, so much so that it changed three times as I was making it: I initially thought I would just do it plain white, with vanilla extract, but then saw blue food colouring in the cupboard and decided to make it blue to look like the sky. However, I ran out of food colouring before it was complete, and, before I had chance to run to Sainsbury’s, spotted some cocoa powder in the cupboard and decided that a ‘mud-look’ would be the way forward, so added that too. I dread to think what it tasted like to actual people, but everyone was suitably complimentary about it / being too polite to rubbish my day’s work.
I used Fizzy Cola Lances for the sleepers and Cola Laces for the rails, added one of E’s trains (Edward, number 2, of course) and, with D’s help, made a few embellishments from royal icing. D did manage to put me to shame by contributing an entire moorhen family, complete with yellow beaks and even the red bits.
- Light the candles and blow!
10 days later it was D’s turn for a birthday, and he, luckily, was happy with this mess:
It was a ‘Mrs Solomon’s Chocolate Cake’, simply iced with melted chocolate and decorated with Smarties. This is literally the simplest cake I have ever made and it is a perfect cake to make with toddlers! It looks a complete mess but I think it tasted ok!