Thomas the Tank Engine

Flashback -

Originally posted January 23, 2008

It was another Golf Course cake day, this time for a 40th birthday. Every time I make this cake I think of how much my Grandpa would enjoy it. He plays golf during his summers in Iowa and winters in Florida, and tells me he keeps track of his score by the number of golf balls he loses. He would get quite a kick out of it. As the now self-appointed “Queen of Finishing the Golf Course Cakes,” I have decided to run a little competition with myself. Each time there is a new one, I plan to see how quickly I can get it done…without sacrificing any of the quality, of course. Today I was done before 11:25 am. I’ll keep you posted on the next one.

The only hitch in the action today was a bit of a spill during the air brushing portion of the golf course. For one reason or another, I tend to get excited about putting the color on the green. This usually happens after I am nearly finished with the rest of the cake, so when my arm starts moving quickly and green food coloring spills onto the side of the cake with a sickening plunk, it means a few minutes of panic and running around the kitchen trying to figure out where to set down the nearly-full airbrush followed by another few minutes of sheer agony trying to clean up the mess. I was lucky today since Ritzy happened to walk into the kitchen and patiently showed me how to mop up the mess with alcohol and water, blend in the edges, and cover it with color to make it look like new. This allowed me to pretend, when all was said and done, that I was calm and in control during the entire process.

Since the golf course was done before noon, my next task was a Thomas the Tank Engine cake. The first step was to make a 6” round cake into a 7” round and cover it smoothly with ganache. A few of the artists at Planet Cake carve the face of Thomas out of cake. My technique for the day was to build up the face from icing on top of the smooth ganache. I had to begin by studying how Thomas looks. My inspiration: Thomas the Train books, toys, and previous cake pictures.

Inspiration - Thomas Cake - Talk Sweet To Me

After that I began sculpting the face. It looks sort of creepy like a skull if you glance at it quickly, but then again why mess with nature when the skull forms the foundation for every face we see?

Thomas Structure - Talk Sweet To Me

After covering with grey icing, I had to do a bit of re-sculpting. Next time the lips need to be a bit smaller but more pronounced, the teeth further in toward the back of the mouth, the cheeks less prominent, and perhaps the eyes a bit bigger. You learn something every day…the nose was good though!

Thomas Covered - Talk Sweet To Me

A strip of black icing around the bottom, covering the board with red, and a blue rope around the base were my next steps, followed by the smokestack.

This was made from Styrofoam with a small dowel inserted into it, covered with black icing and a black rope around the top. All that was left were a few finishing touches – smoke coming from the smokestack, piping the message on the board, and a couple of candles.

Thomas the Tank Engine - Talk Sweet to Me


Signature -


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s