Marshmallow Ghost Pops

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve shamelessly neglected my blogger duties this past year. But a new job, and setting up one’s apartment in a New York can be, well, awfully distracting. But as I walked past classic brownstones … Continue reading

Winter warmers: Comforting breads and desserts to beat the cold

Glazed cinnamon rolls recipe

It’s the middle of Winter. Sigh. Christmas is long gone and it seems like there’s nothing to look forward to (I mean seriously, what goes on after Valentine’s day?). I long for Spring blooms and the day that I can … Continue reading

Train Cake

When I was a little girl, I’d spend long afternoons flipping through my Mom’s Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book”. Not a recipe book per say, just a collection of pictures with simple instructions to achieve colorful cakes usually covered in gummy bears or M&M’s.

Children's Birthday Cake Book

Children’s Birthday Cake Book

I LOVE this book. Every year before my birthday I’d sit down and carefully select the cake I wanted, innocently asking my Mom “can you do this one?? …and this one?“. I’d always be surprised when she’d say Yes.

The most memorable cake my Mom made from this book was the “Train Cake” on the last page for my brother’s birthday.

Each car was filled with different kinds of candy, popcorn and cookies. When you’re a kid, that’s the best of the best.

So years later, the family tradition continues. My Nephews come over one day and the oldest, Ryan, picks out the tattered Birthday Cake book from the book shelf. He flips through it and when he gets to the last page his eyes go wide. Immediately he jumps up and announces that he wants the train cake for his 6th birthday. Needless to say, I was super excited.

Original train cake from the "Children's Birthday Cake Book"

Original train cake from the “Children’s Birthday Cake Book”

The original train cake (left) in the book is frosted with colored buttercream and decorated with candy. For my version, I went for the smooth look by covering the cakes in fondant. For the wheels I used chocolate cookies and filled the cars with brown peanut M&M’s to resemble coal.

I’m glad to say that my Nephew loved it and I’m even happier that our family cake book is out of retirement.

Train Cake

Train Cake

Train EngineTrain car cake

Train cakeTrain engine cake

Jakers! Cake

I was asked to make two similar cakes for a birthday boy who loves to watch the cartoon Jakers!. Since he was only turning two, I wanted to keep the design simple and focus on molding the characters to resemble the cartoons as much as possible.

I really wanted him to recognize the figures, and, well… basically go bonkers when he saw the cake. When the cake was presented to him I’m happy to say that he got very excited, started pointing and immediately proceeded to yank Piggley Winks from his comfortable and delicious seat.

Finished cakes:

Jakers! Cake

Jakers! Cake nº1

Jakers!

Jakers! Cake nº2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For cake nº1, I created and apple tree motif  and for cake nº2 I added wood plank detail, grass and daisies.

Jakers! Cartoon

Jakers! Cartoon

Jakers! Sugar paste figures

Jakers! Sugar paste figures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the cake itself, I made a light sponge cake with strawberry jam filling. Kids seem to prefer sponge cake; I’ts sweet and airy and not as heavy as a butter or chocolate cake.

Jakers! Sponge Cake

Jakers! Sponge cake with jam filling