Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thomas the Train Cupcakes & Croley Lobo Biscuits

One of my more popular posts has been the Thomas the Train Birthday Cupcakes.  I first posted about this from several years ago when blogging simply just served as a digital journal for me.  Since I first posted it, I have received numerous e-mails from moms who are requesting DIY step-by-step instructions.  (I must apologize for the bad lighting/quality of the photos... as I've said, taken ages ago :) )
There are a lot of version of Thomas the Train cakes and cupcakes going around.  But my version offers a very simple approach on how to take it on.  I've always enjoyed the hands-on preparation for my kids' birthday celebration, and this is one cake where even the most novice of bakers can make.  There are no gumpaste or fondant to roll.  All you need is just a simple cupcake recipe and a quick swirl of buttercream frosting.  Or, you can just simply put-in store-bought cupcakes!

As you can see, the attraction of the birthday cupcakes really lies on the collection of Thomas the Train sets which my son has accumulated.  If I remember it correctly, we bought each character set for about P700 (this was way back in 2007).  I am sure if the birthday boy is a Thomas the Train aficionado you have a lot of these lying in your playroom baskets.  

To make the base:
materials needed:
~green felt paper
~heavy duty tape

1.  First, gather up the train sets that you would want to include in your train station.  
2.  Purchase a styrofoam board in a size that is large enough to accomodate all the trains, and the "cargo" of cupcakes.  No need to put all the cupcakes for the party on this board.  You can just put the extra cupcakes on a tray or pile them high on a cupcake tower.
3.  Wrap the styrofoam with green felt paper, making sure to tuck and secure the excess.  Secure with heavy duty tape on the underside to make sure the felt paper doesn't slide off.

To assemble the cargo:
materials needed:
~graham crackers
~small round biscuits, such as Croley Foods' Lobo Biscuits
~excess frosting to hold crackers together.  (if you do not have excess frosting, you can also use jams)

1.  Stack three crackers on top of each other, filling the bottom-side of each cracker with frosting/jam as you pile them up.  Do not forget to spread the bottom-most cracker with ffrosting before you place it on the felt paper.  This serves to glue your crackers together for a sturdy "train cargo."
2.  Do the same steps with the frosting/jam as you put in the "wheels" of the train.  
3. The same way, put in a dollop of frosting/jam on the underside of the cupcakes before placing them on the "train cargo".  Depending on how big your cupcakes are, a pretty good estimate would be to place two cupcakes on one cracker.
Here is another view from the top

For the photos in this post, I used the small-sized Ritz crackers.  However, Lobo Biscuits, a locally-made product which comes in the same size and is relatively cheaper, is a good alternative.    It comes in three variants for you to choose from.
left-right:  Lobo Biscuit,  Lobo Choco Cookies, Lobo Cookies Original

Thanks to Lobo Biscuits and Croley Foods for sponsoring this post.  Croley Foods is the company behind Sunflower Crackers, the school baon staple of my generation. :) 

If you would like to know more about Croley Foods and its products, visit its webpage right here