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Circus Train Cake

Every birthday party should include a little clowning around! Here our clown engineer is rolling into the station on a Circus Train cake carrying a load of bow-tied presents.


Difficulty: Medium


Step 1

Prepare Icing
We suggest that you tint all icings at one time while cake cools. Refrigerate tinted icings in covered containers until ready to use.

Make 5 cups buttercream icing:
Tint 1/2 cup icing green (thin 1/4 cup with 3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup)
Tint 3/4 cup blue (thin 1/4 cup with 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup)
Tint 1/2 cup red
Tint 1/2 cup yellow
Tint 1/4 cup orange
Reserve 2 1/2 cups white (thin 1 1/4 cups with 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup)

Step 2

Decorate in Order

Ice sides and background areas smooth in thinned white icing.

Step 3

Use tip 3 and green icing to outline freight car.

Step 4

Use tip 3 and green icing to pipe in freight car (smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch).

Step 5

Use tip 3 and blue icing to outline front engine.

Step 6

Use tip 3 and blue icing to pipe in front engine (smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch).

Step 7

Use tip 3 and yellow icing to pipe in hubcaps, bottom of smokestack, cowcatcher and front engine trim (smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch).

Step 8

Use tip 12 and red outlines to pipe wheels, trim on top and bottom of smokestack, roof of engineer's cab and rosette light on front of engine.

Step 9

Use tip 3 and yellow icing tip pipe zigzag garlands on freight car.

Step 10

Use tip 3 and white icing to pipe dots on beginning point of garlands; use tip 3 and orange icing to pipe orange dots on top of white dots.

Step 11

Use tip 3 and orange icing to pipe dot trims on smokestack and wheels.

Step 12

Use tip 3 and blue icing top pipe hubcaps on wheels.

Step 13

Use tip 3 and white icing to pipe cloud below engineer's window; use tip 3 red icing to pipe number on cloud.

Step 14

Use tip 12 and white icing to pipe ball border.

Step 15

Roll out spice drops on surface dusted with granulated sugar and cut out gift packages; position on freight cars.

Step 16

Use tip 3 and yellow/green/blue/red icing to pipe bows on gifts.

Step 17

Position derby clown head in window and circus balloons in smokestack.

Step 18

Baking Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F or temperature per recipe directions. Your cake will unmold easily, without sticking, when you prepare the pan properly. Grease the inside of pan using a pastry brush and solid vegetable shortening (do not use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable oil). Spread the shortening so that all indentations are covered. Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons flour inside pan and shake so that flour covers all greased surfaces.

Turn pan upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour. If any shiny spots remain, touch up with more shortening and flour to prevent cake from sticking. (You can use vegetable oil pan spray or vegetable oil pan spray with flour, in place of solid shortening and flour or use Wilton Cake Release, for perfect, crumb-free cakes!).

Make one 2-layer cake mix according to package or recipe directions. Pour the cake batter into pan, and if necessary, spread the batter around with a spatula to fill all areas of the pan evenly. Be careful not to touch sides or bottom of pan.

Bake cake on middle rack of 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until cake tests done according to recipe directions.

Remove cake from oven and cool on cake rack for 10 minutes. While the cake is still in the pan, carefully slice off the raised center portion of the cake. This allows the cake to sit more level and helps prevent cracking.

To remove cake from pan, place cooling rack against cake and turn both cake rack and pan over. Lift pan off carefully. Cool cake at least one hour. Brush loose crumbs off cake.

To transfer cake to serving board, hold a cake board against cake and turn both cake and rack over. Lift off rack. Hold another board against bottom of cake and turn cake over. Be sure to hold cake, rack and board close together while turning to prevent cake from cracking.

We recommend hand washing pan in hot, soapy water.