Front of the cake
I made this train cake for a little girl's birthday party that she was having at a train station. They wanted a marble cake with buttercream frosting.
I needed a cake that could withstand carving, so I used Betty Crocker cake mixes. I used yellow cake mix and devil's food cake. Follow the instructions according to the package, except I also add extra pudding to mine.
So for the yellow cake mix, I added a box of french vanilla pudding and for the Devil's food cake mix I added chocolate fudge pudding.
For the bottom of the cake, I baked the cake in two 9-inch round pans, and for the top I baked it in one 6-inch round pan. To achieve the marble effect, I alternated between the yellow cake mix and the chocolate cake mix, the carefully pull a butter knife through the mix to give it the swirl effect.
Bake the cake according to package directions. While the cake baked, I made a marshmallow fondant so that it had time to set up.
To make this fondant, I microwaved on high 16 ounces of miniature marshmallows in intervals of 30 seconds until it started to melt. Then I stirred in about 4 tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of vanilla until the mixture was smooth.
Once smooth, I mixed in (using a mixer) powdered sugar, about 2 pounds with reserving about a cup of it. Once the mixture gets sticky you will need to knead it.
Rub your hands in a lot of butter and knead the mixture on a surface covered in powdered sugar (the reserved 1 cup). Knead for about 10 minutes or until it is smooth and not sticky anymore. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator overnight.
Tip: I made this the night before so that it had the time to set up, then just pull it out and let it get to room temperature.
I then made a buttercream frosting to go between the layers of the cake and the outside before adding the fondant layer.
To make the frosting, I creamed together 1/2 cup each of shortening and butter (room temperature). I then added a teaspoon of vanilla and 4 cups of powdered sugar (that I had sifted) a cup at a time. When it's all mixed up, I added about 2 tablespoons of milk to make it a little creamier.
Once the cakes cooled, I stacked the two 9-inch cakes on top of each other, with frosting in between them. I used a serrated knife to carve the "train hill" on the side of the 9-in cakes, leveling it off at the top.
I frosted all of it and then placed it into my deep freezer to harden just a little bit. I placed the 6-in cake on a 6-in cake board and frosted it as well. Then I pulled the cakes out and added another layer of frosting and then let it set on the counter to set up!
Decorating the Train Cake:
I used food coloring paste to color the fondant in the colors that I needed. I rolled out the fondant in green to cover the bottom portion of the cake. I did the same for blue fondant for the top portion of the cake.
Once both cakes were covered in fondant, I placed the smaller cake off centered on top of the larger cake. I then just started coloring fondant in "girly" colors. I created the train by making rectangles and using the buttercream frosting to "glue" the pieces together.
The train tracks were made from fondant as well and then I piped black buttercream frosting for the lines. The flowers were created by using a small piece of fondant and the end of a paintbrush to shape them.
I rolled out various pieces of fondant and using a fondant cutter, cut the shapes for the castle, mountains, and trees. I used a large piece of yellow fondant and shaped the sun.
To get the sun's rays I shaped triangle pieces of fondant and inserted them into the sun by using toothpicks (which is how I attached the train as well). I adhered all the decorative pieces using the buttercream frosting.
There you have it, my train cake!