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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146 Responses to 3D Thomas Train Cake Recipe

  1. Liz says:

    Wow, thank you for an amazing tutorial, I will print buy the template and print it a bit smaller say 2 3rds of your size as my oven is smaller and largest tin is 12 by 12, if I need to do one your size I think I woul need to bake an extra cake. It’s my first carved cake (other than a hello kitty and a butterfly shape which don’t really count). Wish me luck.

  2. Tyra says:


    I’m making this next week for my wee boys 2nd birthday, so making the bits this week out of fondant!! Wish is luck ha but I’m wondering what size cake board you used??



  3. Luis says:

    Good afternoon estimated.

    Today I bought the template to make the cake thomas the train in 3d, for my nephew. Please could you tell me a guide of instructions written in pdf, to have clearer ideas and to make a nice cake like yours.

    Or you can tell me where I can find more instructions than the video. I’m from Ecuador, I have not much experience. Please for many people is the cake? Do you have the recipe for vanilla cake? What are the measures cake thomas the train?

    Best Regards,

  4. Kerianne says:

    Thank you so much for this template!! Just brought mine :)
    Love all your videos!!! Your amazing!!

  5. Saràh Bushell says:

    Hi Anne,
    Thanks for this tutorial, your cakes are amazing!
    What size board and cake box would you suggest for the 3D Thomas cake fit into?


  6. kara says:

    Hi when baking the rich chocolate cake what gluten free flour did you use.

  7. Tracey says:

    Hi Ann

    Could you please tell me the diameter of Thomas’s face please

  8. Chelsey says:

    trying to post picture…hopefully it works this time.

  9. Chelsey says:

    My first attempt at a 3D cake and never used fondant before. Followed template and directions. fairly easy…but sizing was a bit off for me. Overall turned out better than expected!

  10. Ashely says:

    Is 2lbs of Blue Fondant enough?

  11. Sue Williams says:

    Hi Ann , is was going to try this cake, however just wondering how deep are the cake trays. You mentioned 38 x 25cm. My trays are 36 x 24cm, but they are not very deep
    Thanks. ,Sue

  12. Tracey Collis says:

    Hi Ann, i tried the Thomas cake and it turned out ok in the end, but when i pre made the parts for the sides and bumpers they dried and became very brittle and broke. What kind of fondant should be used please.

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