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Animal Tracks Cake

The circus train’s pulling into the station! Create the engine and critter-carrying car using a Choo Choo Train Pan cake and a 9 in. x 5 in. Loaf Pan Cake. Load the train with pipe-figured royal icing animals and passengers


Difficulty: Somewhat Easy



Cake serves 24.


Step 1

In advance: Figure pipe royal icing heads on waxed paper-covered boards. For boy, pipe a tip 1A dot, 1 1/2 in. diameter; flatten and smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch. For animals, pipe a tip 1A dot, 2 in. diameter; flatten and smooth. For boy, pipe tip 3 pull-out hair and dot nose, tip 2 dot eyes and outline smile. For bear, pipe tip 2A ears and muzzle. Pipe inner ears using tip 3; pat smooth. Outline ears with tip 3; smooth. Pipe tip 2 dot and outline muzzle, eyes, nose and mouth.

Step 2

For tiger and lion, pipe tip 8 ears (shape with finger); pipe tip 3 inner ears; smooth. Pipe tip 3 outline stripes and pull-out mane. Pipe tip 2 dot and outline eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers. For elephant, pipe tip 2A trunk; blend top with damp brush. Pipe tip 8 pull-out dot tusks and tip 2 dot eyes. Make ears separately. Outline and fill-in two 2 x 1 in. deep hearts without point; pat smooth. Outline and fill in center using tip 3; overpipe tip 8 outer edge. When dry, attach ears behind head.

Step 3

Make fondant wheels. Tint fondant: 10 oz. violet, 6 oz. green, 1 oz. blue, 1 oz. yellow. Roll out 1/8 in. thick as needed. Cut 10 rounds using medium cutter from set. For spokes, cut 2 1/2 x 1/8 in. strips; attach using damp brush. For axle, roll small ball and press onto center. For rims, cut 10 medium rounds; use top edge of smallest round cutter as a guide to cut away center. Attach rims to wheels. Position 2 wheels side by side; attach a 3 in. candy stick connecting rod with royal icing. Let dry on cornstarch-dusted boards. Reserve excess fondant. And: Make rooftop scallops. Cut 1 round using large cutter from set. Cut in half and trim each to 1 1/2 in. high. Cut 2 rounds using medium cutter. Cut in half and trim all pieces to 7/8 in. high. For large spirals (make 2), roll yellow fondant into 4 x 3/16 in. diameter rope. Roll violet into 4 x 1/8 in. diameter rope. Lay ropes side by side then wind into spiral. Flatten slightly for a 1 1/4 in. wide spiral. For small spirals (make 4), roll ropes 3 in. long for a 1/2 in. wide spiral. Attach spirals to scallops, flat side up with damp brush. Reserve excess fondant.

Step 4

Bake and cool train cake using firm-textured batter such as pound cake. Trim off bell. For train car, bake and cool 2-layer loaf cake (trim cakes to 2 1/2 in. high for a 5 in. high cake). Trim sides straight.

Step 5

Use toothpicks to mark 2 1/4 in. square windows, 1/2 in. from top edge. Use tapered spatula to ice smooth in black. Pipe tip 8 outline borders; pat smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch. Use knife to score corners.

Step 6

For engine, divide cowcatcher into 5 parts; using tip 10, pipe in areas in alternating colors. Pat smooth. Mark 1 in. wide stripes. Cover cake with tip 16 stars. Roll 1/4 in. diameter fondant balls; attach around cab roof and smokestack. Attach boy. Attach wheels. Roll out remaining yellow fondant 1/8 in. thick. Cut star using smallest cutter from set; attach to front.

Step 7

For train car, cover cake with tip 16 stars. Attach wheels and animals. Position scallops on roof. Connect cakes with candy stick.

*Combine Violet with Rose for violet shown. Combine Lemon Yellow with Golden Yellow for yellow shown. Combine Leaf Green with Lemon Yellow for green shown. Combine Brown with Red-Red for brown shown.