3D Thomas Train Cake Recipe

Would your Thomas obsessed pre-schooler love a themed birthday party with an amazing cake in the shape of the famous little blue train? Well, you’re not alone. Thomas the Tank Engine toys are amongst the best-selling preschool items in the US, UK and Australia. Kids everywhere love a Thomas party and, thankfully, plenty of other brave parents have paved the way (check out their party ideas here). And read on for step by step instructions to make the 3D Thomas train cake.

Train Cake Template
Template for cutting the cake and the fondant pieces (note this is a digital download you will need to print it out). After payment do not close your screen, follow the links to download the template. For tutorial click on train image.

Cake This Thomas cake will serve 40 people, you can scale it down if you have less guests.
Cake two and a half times the rich chocolate cake recipe baked into five trays 25cm (9.84 inches) x 38cm (14.96 inches) baked at 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.

thomas train cake tutorial

Fondant for thomas train cake

400g (14.11 ounces) black fondant
650g (22.93 ounces) blue fondant
450g (15.87 ounces) red fondant
30g (1.06 ounces) yellow fondant
160g (5.64 ounces) grey fondant
Note: Fondant quantities are actual amounts used on the cake allow extra for rolling out.

thomas train cake fondant ann reardon

Frosting for train cake:
Two quantities of buttercream recipe in flavour of your choice
Two quantities of ganache recipe, allow to cool completely at room temp and then whip, use to cover the outside of the train before adding fondant. You can whip any left over buttercream into the ganache too if you like.

Equipment needed for train cake:

Fondant extruder (optional you can roll long skinny snakes instead this just makes it quicker and easier).

Circle cutters
Pizza cutter (optional)
drinking straw to cut small circles
rolling pin
non-stick baking paper
spray oil
metal piping tip or something with 1.7cm (0.67 inches) diameter to cut circle

thomas train cake tutorial

To make the thomas train face see this previous post:
thomas train cake face how to reardon


1: Make the fondant details ahead of time so they can dry out (see video)

2: Bake the cakes, prepare the frosting and make the simple syrup, this can be done 2 days before the party see above for quantities.

3: Construct and decorate the cake the day before the party, see the video for demonstration.

4. If it is very hot where you live store in the fridge otherwise room temperature is fine.

5. Enjoy the birthday boy or girls face when they see their Thomas cake.


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About Ann

Hi I'm Ann, food scientist, dietitian, wife, mum to 3 boys. Join me each week for desserts, chocolate and cakes.
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105 Responses to 3D Thomas Train Cake Recipe

  1. Jodi says:

    Hi Ann

    Is there another cake recipe I can use instead of chocolate?



  2. Kim says:

    Hi Ann,

    May I know what is the size of the train? Length and width wise?
    I’m making one in 2 weeks time and it has to be 12″ long.
    Look forward to hearing from you.


  3. Felicity says:

    are the templates sent out via email?

  4. Cindy says:

    Hi Ann
    I found your website when searching for a ‘how to make a Thomas the tank engine’. After watching the video, I definitely wanted to build the cake, it’s awesome!
    My little nephew, who turns 3 next week, is a huge fan of Thomas. So this weekend, I wanted to try the rich Chocolate cake recipe. I followed the recipe step by step and although it tasted absolutely delicious, the cake did not bake very high, it stayed a ‘flat’ cake. Do you have any tips?
    Thank you from a Belgian fan :)

  5. carolyn nickell says:

    I am going to buy the template again, I was not aware that it would be sent by e-mail. Could you please send this today. Thank you.

  6. carolyn nickell says:

    I ordered the template for Thomas the train cake last week, and I have not received it as of today 4-9-14, I need the cake next week, can you let me know if the template has been shipped. Thank you.

  7. Caroline Harrison says:

    I purchased the template last Sunday (6the April) but have not received a link to download. How / when will I receive it?

    Kind Regards
    Caroline Harrison

  8. Shaunagh says:

    Not only was this the 1st time makings a 3D cake, but also a 1st using fondant (which I ran out of so thank goodness the shapes covered it) and a 1st making a cake from scratch! Thanks so much for the template & video. Easy to follow for an absolute beginner!

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