Ann Reardon

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.


To make this Thomas Cake you will need:

The Cake & Fondant Template


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 356F (180 degrees Celsius) 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, so 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 overnight. Whip together with the buttercream, use to cover the outside of the train before adding fondant.

Equipment needed for train cake:

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

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. You will need a very strong cake board that is at least 35cm (13.78 inches) long and 20cm (7.87 inches) wide.

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

5. Enjoy the birthday boy or girl’s face when they see their Thomas cake. Don’t forget to take photos!
by Ann Reardon



I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can purchase your very own copy:

All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

786 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5


  2. Rating: 4.5

    Hi i have downloaded the jpeg for the Thomas cake templates and was wondering how to down scale these for a cake to feed about 15 people. I know you said it could be down scaled but cannot fine how to do this.

    Thank you

    • Rating: 4.5


    • Rating: 4

      Hi Susan

  3. Rating: 5

    Thomas Is Great

  4. 1collusion

    • Thomas Is Great

  5. Rating: 3

    Hi just wondering after purchase of a template how long does it take to recieve it.

    • Thanks I Love Thomas The Tank Engine

  6. Rating: 5

    Hi I’ve purchased the template and can’t wait to make this for my twin boys 4th birthday in May. Just a question about the cake. How much buttercream do you need to fill the cake abs how much do you need to mix with the ganache to cover the cake before adding the fondant? Thanks Bex

    • Rating: 5

      This is my finished cake, boys loved it.

    • could i have the ingredients and the equipment needed to down scale the size to 20 people what size tins etc and how long would the template take to be delivered to uk

  7. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,

    I love this recipe so much, it is so initiative and educational it was exactly what I needed. By any chance do you have the a template for any other of the Thomas the Tank Engine characters such as Gordon?

  8. Rating: 5

    Ordering today, I cannot Wait to make this cake!

  9. Rating: 5

    buenas tardes compre las plantillas de la tarta del coche de Rayo McQuenn tengo en mi ordenador las plantillas pero el video no lo puedo ver, clico en la zona donde pone video y me deriva a otra tarta de un tren necesito urgentemente poder ver el video ya que e de hacer la tarta para dentyro de 4 dias

  10. Rating: 5

    I made this for my toddler and it turned out beautifully. Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial and template. I left it a bit late starting the cake 2 days before the party so I added tylose to the fondant and dried it out in my dehydrator which worked well.

  11. Rating: 5

    I want to make this but it’s very hot and humid where I live and i don’t think fondant would dry out. Would you use cmc added to the fondant to help it harden?

  12. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, These instructions look fab and I’d like to have a go and buy the template etc. The only problem is that we can’t have a party because of covid so I’m keen to make it a little smaller. You say in the description that you can scale it down if you have fewer guests but how would that work with the template? Is there anything else I would need to adjust? Many thanks. Anna-Marie in England

  13. Rating: 5

    Thank you for the amazing recipe. Made my son’s second birthday so special as we couldn’t have a big party due to COVID!

  14. Rating: 5

    Hi could you tell me how deep each of the 5 rectangle cakes need to be to get the required height over all please. As it only states 25x38cm tin required.

  15. Rating: 5

    What size baking tins do you use and how deep are they? Thanaks Patricia.

  16. Rating: 5

    How much is the final price?

  17. Rating: 5

    Thanks Ann!
    The cake came out perfectly and my son was so excited!

  18. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    I just wanted to thank you for this perfect tutorial! I made this one for a friend of mine. Her son turned 2 and wanted a Thomas Train cake. I was a little desperate until I found your tutorial. It doesn’t look as great as yours, but I think it turned out quite well. I couldn’t have done it without your very detailed and very useful tutorial and template! So, thanks a lot!

    Cheers from Berlgium!

    • Looks fantastic, well done hannelore ??

  19. Rating: 4

    How deep are the baking trays you used for the cake?

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