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Birthday Train Cake

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My son is train crazy!  Ya, fairly typical.

To indulge his delights, I borrowed the Nordic Train Cake pan from my step mom.  It has 9 detailed train cars, including an engine and a caboose.  It was so much fun to make!  The morning before his party, I whipped up my favorite, stand-by chocolate cake recipe, only to have it cling and fail miserable.  The cake was way too moist and soft to pull away from the pan and hold the detail.  So, I had to try again.  After 15 seconds of research, I found the Williams Sonoma Train Cake Recipe which was much sturdier.  I modified it a tiny bit, by swapping the sour cream for greek yogurt.  It held up beautifully!  The recipe is large, and can make the train twice.  I only wanted 1 train, so I made a single 8 inch circle cake and put it in freezer.  You could also make cupcakes.  Additionally, I made a round, 2 layer 8 inch cake for the adults.

Decorating Train Cake

I covered the round cake with whipped cream frosting and made up a big batch of buttercream for piping. I used bright colors and a variety of “star” tips on the pastry bags for decorating the trains. Cost Plus had great candy for decorating!  For the foundation, I covered a piece of cardboard with paper I had painted green, then a layer of clear plastic wrap.  Black licorice and pretzels for the tracks, held with frosting.

Nordic Train Cake

Some of our party guest are gluten and dairy-free, so the cupcakes were for them.  The cupcakes came from my step-mom, and I used coconut cream and powered sugar, whipped up for a vegan frosting.

The project was a blast!  I love letting my crazy, detail-obsessed, inner pastry-chef pop out for a little while.  I stayed up late, and I baked cakes all day long, but seeing the little guy’s face in the morning was something I’ll never forget.  He is actually still telling people, “Train cake, Mommy made”.

Take a peek into my world of Eating, Gardening, Making and Mothering, authentically and with meaning. Thanks for visiting!
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