Make a train cake for a birthday party or other special celebration for a vehicle-loving child or an adult train enthusiast. Make a realistic-looking train from a batch of cupcakes baked in rectangular cupcake pans or make the train from traditional round cupcakes for an adorable alternative. You can decorate the train with icing colors that coordinate with the party’s color scheme and add candy embellishments and an icing train track for a professional-looking party centerpiece.
Prepare a cake mix according to package directions. Pour the batter into a lightly greased rectangular cupcake pan. Bake the cupcakes according to the cake-mix instructions.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan. Let cool on a tray or wire rack for 1 to 2 hours.
Cover each cupcake in a thick layer of buttercream icing, and smooth with an icing smoother. You can use the same color for each car of the train or use different colors for a bright edible centerpiece.
Arrange the cakes into a train shape on a large plastic or glass tray. You can make a train track on the cake tray first by using a pastry bag with a round icing tip and chocolate icing.
Decorate the train cars. Press a chewy round candy into the front and back of each cake to make the wheels. Decorate the tops of the cars with licorice sticks and piled-up candies. Stack chocolate-covered peanut butter cups at the top front of the head car for a chimney, and use gumdrop candies for the headlights.
When using traditional, round cupcakes for the train, do not bake the cupcakes with paper cupcake liners. Cover the entire top and sides of the cupcakes with icing, and decorate in the same manner as the rectangular cupcakes.