Birthday Cakes Part 2: Train Cake

Train Cake

As my son is a big fan of all kinds of vehicles, I came up with the idea of  making a nice vehicle cake for his 3rd birthday. A fire truck and a tower crane wouldn’t be that easily manageable for me, so I chose to make a train cake. It doesn’t matter at all what  basic dough you take – every Ruehrkuchen (Stirred Cake) recipe will work, as will cake mixes . You just have to make sure you have enough dough for two loaf pans.

My kids LOVE our traditional “devil’s cake” (I loved it when I was a kid, too), so I used this recipe for the basic dough (if you just want a plain devil’s cake without the whole train stuff, half the recipe and use 1 loaf pan):

  • 500 g (4,4 sticks) butter
  • 500 g (2 cups) sugar
  • 600 g (4,8 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites (leave the remaining egg whites for the egg white/powdered sugar mixture)
  • 8 tbl.sp cocoa powder
  • 400 ml (1,7 cups) sour cream
  • 2 teasp baking soda

Melt the butter. Stir sugar, egg whites, egg yolks and melted butter. Add flour, cocoa and baking soda and stir well. Add sour cream and stir well. Portion the dough to two loaf pans and bake about 45 minutes at 200°C (400°F). Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake: if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Let the 2 cakes cool off for about an hour. Cut off the top of both cakes (be careful, you’ll need some of it for the roof). One of the cakes is the bottom of the engine. Cut the other cake into halves: one of the halves is the middle part of the engine, the other half is the railway car. Stick the middle part on the bottom part with some egg white/powdered sugar mixture. Put the roof on top. Connect the engine and the railway car with some kind of chocolate stick (pretzel stick will do, too, but may taste a little weird). Decorate the wheels (see below). Stick the wheels, the chimney and the carload on the engine and the railroad car with some egg white/powdered sugar mixture.

For the decoration I took

  • M&M’s for the wheels and the area around the chimney
  • 8 sandwich cookies with chocolate filling (but any other sandwich cookie will do, e.g. Oreos) for the wheels
  • 7 chocolate kisses/ chocolate coated marshmallows for the chimney and the railway carload

The base of a chocolate kiss is a round waffle, the foam in the center is made of egg whites and sugar, and the whole things is covered with either white, milk or dark chocolate. There are tiny ones (like the ones I used) and big ones. They are hard to get in the US, so you could use Mallomars instead, even though the base is a cracker and not a waffle.

My son took this cake to daycare and everyone loved it!


7 responses to “Birthday Cakes Part 2: Train Cake

  1. Hi there!

    Thanks for the link to the train cake! I love it and you are so creative! Where did you get the chocolate coated marshmallows? I’ve never seen them in stores here in California, US.

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Hi, I’m from Germany, so it’s no problem at all to buy the chocolate covered/coated marhsmallows. Here, you get them EVERYWHERE because they are really popular. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that in the US you can get them in stores that specialize on German food. Ask for “Schaumkuesse” (foam kisses), “Schokoküsse” (chocolate kisses), or “Dickmanns” (that’s the most famous brand here). Here are some links so you know what the packages look like:
      There are some online sources that order the stuff in Germany, too, but as they are soooo fragile they don’t ship well (the chocolate shells will explode at high altitudes). Anyway, I’ll ask some of my American friends if and where they have seen them in the US and let you know about the results ;o).

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  4. LOVE it! My son is also a train guy . . . I found a great train mold on clearance a couple of years ago, so I used that last year with a basic yellow bundt cake recipe. I’m definitely going to borrow some of your decorating ideas for his train this year!

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