I’ve gotten some pretty specific cake requests in the past, but this one was the cutest! This little 3 year old birthday boy loves trains. He gets a train cake for his birthday each year, but this year he needed a very specific train. He is obsessed with the Acela Express Train. He goes to the train yard and watches this specific train so the cake had to be right. His mom wanted the cake to look authentic, not too cartoon like.
I was nervous about making this cake because the train is so simple and clean, I really couldn’t make any mistakes! I baked a rectangle cake for the base and covered it in green fondant. This gives the cake a larger look and adding servings to the cake without having to make the train unbelievably large. The train itself was about 4″ wide and 10″ long. I stacked the train out of a few sheet cakes and carved it down to the proper shape. I covered the train in gray fondant and then airbrushed it with silver color to make it look shiny and metallic. Then I added all the other details.
I cut the Acela logo out of thin blue fondant and a paper template I printed. The little fondant trees were really fun to make. I shaped some green fondant into a cone shape and then used a tiny scissor to snip into the fondant in an uneven pattern. These never actually dried out so I was able to insert a paper lollipop stick inside to help them stay in place on the cake.
I made gravel to surround the train out of different shades of gray fondant. I just cut the fondant into tiny pebbles and let them dry. Then I glued them to the cake with royal icing. You really can’t tell that there are 3 or 4 colors of gray here but it makes all the difference. If I had used all the same color, it would have looked a bit flat. The railroad signs were made out of fondant and attached to lollipop sticks. The sticks start out white so I just colored them black using an edible food coloring pen. The last detail the cake needed was the mountains for a backdrop. I cut mountains out of fondant or gum paste and let them dry. Then I attached them to lollipop sticks and placed them behind the train to really set the scene. Happy 3rd birthday!