Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Train Cake & Construction Site Cake

Happy Birthday Zachary! I love you more and more as each day goes by and your personality develops and shines through. I am constantly amazed and amused by the things you do and the talents you have. Thanks for sticking out the past 3 years with me :)

So... Today is my son's 3rd birthday. I still remember being pregnant, worrying about delivery, being HUGE and waddling around - lol. I can hardly believe 3 years has gone by and my baby boy will be starting preschool next week. I feel like the time is moving too quickly and I'm not doing enough of the things I should be doing for him. As (most) moms probably do, I worry that I'm not a good enough mother.

But for now... let's eat some cake!!! This year he was very much into trains. The Thomas set we have takes up way too much floorspace in our living room and has me constantly tripping over trains, but I guess it's worth it for the smile on his face.

How I made the cake:
  • Baked the cake 1 day in advance and refrigerated it to make handling easier.
  • Piped melted chocolate for the rail-road track.
  • I baked a regular yellow cake in 2 loaf pans and a soup can. To remove the cake from the can, just open the other side of the can and push the cake through.
  • For the engine I used 1 loaf. I cut off 2" from one end and stacked that on top of the loaf and held together with a skewer pushed all the way through. Level one side of the cylinder so it sits better on top of the loaf cake.
  • Used a marshmallow for the smoke-stack.
  • I cut the second loaf in half for the 2 smaller cars.
  • The circus car cage bars are finger-type cookies and the top of the cage is made from a graham cracker.
  • The wheels are Oreo cookie halves.
  • I frosted this cake with a no refrigeration needed frosting, recipe below. I fell in love with the consistency and ease to work with. It's not too sweet either.
  • The assembly took 3 hours (baking time excluded).

    I also made a second cake, construction site themed, for the party at his preschool. It was such a huge hit especially amongst the little boys who started digging at the Oreo "dirt" with the toy vehicles on the cake. Compared to the train cake, this one was a breeze. I used a sour cream chocolate frosting, recipe here.

    No Refrigeration Bakeshop Frosting
    Makes 3 cups | adapted from KittenCalsKitchen

    1 cup shortening
    1/4 cup powdered coffee creamer (Coffee Mate)
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    16 oz. confectioners' sugar, sifted
    1/3 cup water (approx.)
    food coloring as needed

    In a large mixing bowl beat the shortening creamer and extracts. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar. Little by little add in enough water until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add food coloring until the desired shade is achieved.


    Cheri said...

    How cute is that! He must have loved it soo much!

    Chin up. I think pretty much every parent feels that they're not doing enough or wonders if they are good enough. I think that's a sign of a good parent. One who cares enough to want to be better. :)

    Pamela said...

    Yeah! Happy Birthday to Zachary! You're right, the time does go much to quickly and I'm with you on feeling like I could use some improvement in the mommy department. But they love us so good, don't they? Nice job on the cake!

    Megan said...

    Happy Birthday to Zachary!

    You made a beautiful cake - he must have loved it!

    Liz said...

    SO cute! What a lucky son you have. Hope you took lots of pictures, it looks great.

    Anonymous said...

    So cute! You did a fantastic job!