Tom requested a “dinosaur Train” cake for his birthday.
A quick trip to the bulk barn and I had all the supplies, and i even managed to find a engine shaped cake tin. After one terribly botched attempt with regular old cake mix (we iced the monstrosity and ate it for Will’s birthday) i managed a good result with a slightly altered banana bread batter.
The batter needed to be extra thick, so in addition to being doubled, I added a shot of maple syrup and a glug of corn syrup so the outer edges would be firm and I reduced the eggs from 4 to 3. Also to ensure a nice solid texture to the cake I made sure that the bananas were really mashed, puréed, really.
The ‘real’ dinosaur train is made up of an engine, a few cars, and a “dinosaur tail caboose”–With a banana bread engine, i decided to make one of the cars a chocolate cake, one a vanilla cake, and then use the leftover pieces to form the last car and the caboose. In all I used almost all of the two batches of batter we made–a standard cake mix/recipe yields about 3 to 3 1/2 cups batter–all told we used about 6 c batter (half vanilla half chocolate)–making two 8″ round chocolate cakes and two 8″ square vanilla cakes.
I am terrible with piped cake decorations, so instead I tried my hand at doing fondant.
I started with the engine–The stuff is amazing its like playdough–you knead in some colour then roll it out. All the decorations were cut out and left to dry. Everything i read said the key to fondant is making sure the surface is smooth and that the cake and fondant have good contact so the icing doesn’t slide off the cake.Butter cream icing ensures a smooth finish (besides fondant on its own isn’t very tasty-just sweet). I heated up some peach jam and painted it over the un-iced parts of the cake as a sort of glue . Then I just rolled the fondant out and draped it over the cake–