Ask any kid what they would like to have for dinner, the answer is most likely one of those fast food. I asked my son what he wants for dinner and he immediately said "PIZZA"! I knew he would say that! Since yesterday was my son's birthday, he got his wish. We went to Pizzahut for dinner. After that, we had his birthday cake at home.
Made him this "Choo-choo Train" birthday cake which was taken from Betty Crocker's "The Big Book of Cupcakes" and they called this "Snow-capped Gingerbread Train". Since mine is not as beautiful as the one in the book, I'll just name it "Choo-choo Train" birthday cake! :)
I just made the basic chocolate cupcake instead of the gingerbread cupcake. The frosting is Cream Cheese frosting. The decorations I used are Smarties, gummy sweets, marshmallows, pretzels sticks for the joining of the wheels and cheezels for the rims of the wheels.
He was happy with his birthday cake. Guess what he reached for first as soon as he has blown the candles? Marshmallows !
My baby is 9 years old! And next year there will be two numbers to his age! Oh my, we are getting older too! : o)
(adapted from "The Big Book of Cupcakes" by Betty Crocker)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar (I use 180gm)
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat oven to 350F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. (I got exactly 8 regular muffin size and 12 mini cupcakes).
- In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder, set aside. In small bowl, mix hot water and cocoa until dissolved; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about 1/3 of mixture at a time, and cocoa mixture, about 1/2 at a time, beating just until blended.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; place on cooling racks to cool. Frost with desired frosting.
(For regular size, bake for 20-25 minutes and for mini size, bake for 12 to 16 minutes)
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar (I use about 3 cups)
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 2 teaspoons of the milk with electric mixer on low speed until smooth, beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
- Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting is too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
- Leftover frosting can be tightly covered and refrigerated up top 5 days or frozen up to 1 month. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to soften; stir before using. Frosts 24 cupcakes (about 2-1/2 cups).
Assorted candies (such as candy-coated chocolate pieces, round chewy caramels in milk chocolate, chewy fruit snacks, licorice twists, hard round peppermint candies, fruit-flavoured ring-shaped hard candles and gumdrops)
To Assemble Train :
Make Cream Cheese Frosting, reserve 1/2 cup frosting for decorating. Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting leaving one regular size cupcake unfrosted. Place 5 regular cupcakes on serving platter. Cut unfrosted cupcake in half; place upside down at front of train as shown. Attach mini cupcakes to both sides of train with frosting and connect with pretzel sticks. Add additional cupcakes to front and back of train as shown. Decorate with candies, pretzel sticks and cone, as desired (attaching with frosting as needed).