It's okay, you can laugh if you want. I know it looks funny.
I also know it made my kid very, very happy.
Have you ever worked with a 3D cake pan? I mean the enclosed kind, where you pour the batter into one side and then place a specially shaped lid on the top. The cake rises, filling the lid, and (theoretically) takes on the shape of the lid. When the cake is done, it's in the three-dimensional shape of your choice. (Note this is different than a "2D" cake pan.) My choice--my son's choice--was Thomas the Train.
Here's a bit of news: these pans come with instructions. Apparently you're supposed to use a full six cups of batter, and the recipe or mix should be for something firm like a pound cake. Did I follow these directions? Of course not! I bought the moistest, chocolatiest flavor on the shelf and dumped it all in without measuring. This made for a yummy cake but, as you can see, it was a bit lopsided. When the cake rose, it didn't quite fill the upper lid of the pan, so the left side of Thomas was a little...special. He was threatening to tip over the whole time I was working with him. I think a bit more batter and yes, something firmer, would solve both issues.
All that said, it was pretty easy to use and I'd like to try it again. Frosting was easy because the train details were already outlined, I just had to color them in. I bought the tubed pre-colored icing again (the bright blue is perfectly Thomas) and it took seven tubes: three blue, three black, one red.
You may be wondering why I put chocolate sauce and sprinkles all over the top. All I can say is it was designed by a four year old who was thinking of a beloved toy.
Here's the main thing I learned this month: when creating a kid's cake, particularly a cake designed BY a kid, it really pays to forget for a while that you're actually an adult. While decorating this cake, I remember thinking, "he's going to love this but I wish I didn't have to post pictures on the internet, it looks so badly done"...and then he came in and saw his Thomas cake, and those big blue eyes saw THE Thomas, made into cake, by his mommy who can make anything.
So yeah. I'm pleased with the way this one turned out.
Next month: springtime and flowers, of course!