How to Make a Thomas the Train Cake

Thomas the Train Cake, Thomas the Tank Engine Cake

Decorating kids birthday cakes is so much fun!  And a Thomas the Train cake is no exception.  This cake is super easy to do and looks really good too!

If you’ve never decorated a cake before, I suggest taking some Wilton Cake Decorating Classes.  You can find them in your local craft stores and they are really fun too!    

There are a couple of ways to make a Thomas the Train cake.  You can make a 3D Thomas the Train cake, which can be very time consuming and a lot more difficult, or you can use a template on your cake, or even freehand Thomas the Train onto your cake.

Using a template or if you’re comfortable, freehanding it, are the easiest and fastest methods to make a really nice Thomas the Train Cake, and I will teach you how to make it below.

Things You’ll Need

Bake and Frost the Cake(s)

Using your favorite cake recipe, bake your cake or two cakes if you’re doing 2 layers.  If you’re pressed for time, bake your cake ahead of time and put it in the freezer.  When you’re ready to decorate your cake, make up your cake board and your frosting.  Frost the cake(s) with a crusting buttercream.  While that is drying, cut out your template.

Make the Template

A ready made Thomas the Train template is practically non-existant, so I created my own, and you can too.  I used a coloring book picture from a Thomas the Train website.   There are several Thomas the Train pictures to choose from but most are too detailed for a cake.  So I found one that has a really great picture of the Thomas’ face and it is simple, with not too many lines and details.  It has the train station and conductor in it as well, but for the purposes of this cake, I only want to use Thomas the Tank Engine.

  1. So first thing to do is go over and get the Thomas the Train color book pdf file and  print it out.  If you will be placing the template directly onto the cake, (as opposed to doing it freehand) print out extra copies so that you have clean templates and also because you’ll be cutting out sections for inside the main outline.
  2. Cut Thomas the Train out of the picture of one of your copies.

Time to Decorate!

  1. Mix up your batches of colored frostings. Blue, black, red, and just a little yellow, leaving some white.
  2. After cutting out your template, carefully place it on your frosted cake, exactly where you want Thomas the Train to be.  If you’re planning on writing a “Happy Birthday” message (as seen in photo), be sure to leave enough room.
  3. Secure it with a few straight pins if needed.
  4. Then use the toothpick method to draw the outline (optional).
  5. Pipe the outline using a small round tip in black frosting.
  6. Now that you have the outline done, you’ll want to get a clean template and cut out all of the little sections, place them on the cake right where you want them and secure with straight pins.  Some of these areas, you’ll be able to do freehand, without using a template.  Just use a toothpick to lightly draw those areas, i.e. the eyes, nose mouth, etc.
  7. Now pipe the outlines and other black areas, until you have all of the details done.  Refer to the picture above.
  8. Now you are ready to fill inside the lines.  Using a star tip, start filling inside the lines with stars in the colors as seen in the picture.
  9. Now write your “Happy Birthday” message.
  10. Finish by doing a shell border on the bottom and top as seen in the picture.
  11. That’s it, you are done!

How does it look?  Come back and let us know how you did! If you’d like to share your pictures, I will be happy to post them here.

If you are interested in how to make a 3D Thomas the Train cake, Head on over to the Thomas the Tank Engine Cake Tutorial.

Filed under: Birthday Cakes