How to make a train cake topper

train cake topper

Trains are always very popular among boys, my own son included. So I thought it would be time for another tutorial for the boys. I have made a sweet little train cake topper inspired by one of my sons “old” birthday cakes. I have tried to make the train very simple in the design, so that even the beginners in cake decorating can have a go with it. I hope that you will enjoy my tutorial on how to make a train cake topper.

This is what I use:
Gum paste
Rolling pin
A pair of fondant smoothers
Cornstarch duster
Small knife
Tylo glue
Veining tool (Jem) (if you dont have such tool, then just use a knife)
Paint brush
Gel paste colors
Round piping tips in various sizes. (circle cutters can also be used)

Tip! If your gum paste is little too soft, then knead in a little tylo powder. This will help the gum paste to thicken and hold its shape.

Step 1:
Start by coloring in the gum paste for the trains “body” in your chosen color. Take a piece of gum paste and roll it into a smooth ball without any cracks. Then place the ball on your work table and roll it into a thick sausage about 3″ long. This will be the “base” for the train. Take your pair of fondant smoothers and flatten all the sides.

Step 2:
Flatten one of the short ends with the fondant smoother (see photo). Set aside to dry a little.

Step 3:
Take another piece of gum paste, again roll it into a smooth ball. Then roll it into a short sausage on your work table. It should cover about 2″ of the “base”. Flatten the ends with the fondant smoothers. Brush a little tylo glue on the “base” and attach the “sausage” on top of the angled end. This will be the front of the train.

Step 4:
Next, roll another smooth ball of gum paste and form it into a block. It should be slightly taller than the “front” part, and about 1″ wide. Flatten the sides with the fondant smoothers. Attach with a little tylo glue.

Step 5:
Roll out some gum paste thinly and cut out 2 small windows for each side of the train. Glue them on with tylo glue.

Step 6:
Roll out some gum paste (about 4-5mm thick) and roll it out large enough to cut, both wheels and roof for the train. Find 2 different sizes of piping tips or circle cutters and cut out 1 pair of large and 3 pair of small wheels. I have used round piping tips to emboss the center of the wheels. Set the wheels aside to dry. Then cut out a square piece of gum paste for the roof and glue it on with tylo glue.

Step 7:
Now it is time to decorate the front “base” of the train. Roll out some gum paste (4-5mm thick). Cut a strip of fondant and cut the ends slightly slanted. Next make indentations in the gum paste with either a veining tool or a knife. Glue it on the angle front with tylo glue.

Step 8
Glue on the wheels.

Step 9:
Take a small piece of gum paste. If it sticks to your hands, then rub hands with a little cornstarch. First roll a small ball, and glue it on with tylo glue on top of the train (not shown). Make the chimney by rolling some gum paste into a large pea size ball and then roll it into a cone.

Step 10:
Rub some more cornstarch on your fingers. Slowly pinch the “thick” end of the cone all the way around. While you pinch, press down in the middle of the cone with your index finger. So that it get slightly hollow (see photos) Trim a little of the end, so that the chimney can stand upright. Attach it on the train with a little tylo glue. Set aside and let the whole train dry completely.

Step 11:
If you like, you can make small train wagons aswell for your train cake topper. Make them out of a ball of gum paste, that you shape into a block. Flatten all the sides with the fondant smoothers and attach some wheels.

Tip! It looks very sweet placing birthday candles on the train wagons.

Happy Caking!



  1. Love this topper! Can I use fondant instead of gum paste? Went to the shop today and bought fondant! How many days in advance can I do it? I This will be my first encounter with fondant! Thanks in advance for any tip!!

  2. If you are trying to get rid of cracks it’s less is more really. Work the icing as little as possible. Keep the icing you are not using in a bag away from the air. And also a black gel colouring is bad for cracking added to white you are best buying a pre made black. DON’T LET THE ICING DRY OUT! I hope this helps

  3. Fantastic! I am a novice at this but just what I was looking for and so easy to make….thank you sooo much. Do you have a book available to buy?

  4. I am a total amateur at this… how do you get rid of all of the cracks? I am having the hardest time with this part… Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

  5. Thanks so much for this, easy to follow with clear pictures and instructions. The train looks really good and saved me buying a ready made decoration for my friend’s twins baptism cake. Thanks again

    • You need to cover the cake with buttercream before you can cover with fondant. It will not stick to the cake otherwise.

    • Aww.. How sweet 🙂 I made train themed cakes for my son from his 1st year to his 4th. Then it was car’s and now Lego and Beyblade are the big thing 🙂 I haven’t decided what I will make for him next month….

  6. thank you so much for your generousity to share all your wonderful and awsomme job for all of us, May God bless all your work and your family, too…love this site soooo much!!

  7. Thank you so much, I have just followed your instructions and made this train for my sons Christening cake this Sunday, you don’t know how happy you’ve made me as I’ve been struggling for ages to know what to put on the top. Thank you

  8. Jasmine: A simple and fast way to make gum paste is knead in a small amount of tylo powder (cmc) to your colored fondant. You can immediately feel when the paste thickens.

  9. I love this train topper.. it looks so cute specially with the 2 little candle at the back … My son is turning 2 on Aug. Wish that i able to do this.. How to do the gum paste? Any recipe for it?

  10. I love it! I just color my gum paste and hopefully tomorrow I would make the train for a boy baby shower. Thank You soooo much for the step by step, very helpful.
    Thank You!!!

  11. I am so happy to read that some of you have made the train using the tutorial 🙂

    Becky: I never pay attention on the time. But if working only with this you should be able to make it whitin a couple of hours, I guess.

    Andrea: As long as you store it in a dark place you can make it weeks in advance. I would let it air dry for 1-2 days before placing it in a airthight container.

  12. I think thats a wonderful idea for a cake topper for a boy. Will keep it in mind for my next cake! Thanks again for a superb website, this is one of my favourites!

  13. Wow that is so cute. the train topper is too cute. I think I make a car topper for my nephew, maybe just tweak your design a little bit. He loves cars.

  14. Another excellent tutorial. Thank you so very much. You make cake decoration look so much more fun and effortless. Thank you again and God Bless.

  15. Really nice tutorial, it’s so easy to follow. Thank you very much for sharing this. Your tutorials are always good.

  16. You always have the best tutorials! These are adorable and you break them down and make them look so simple. Great job!

  17. A big THANK YOU!!! My son’s having a train themed 2nd birthday party a month from today and this is going to help out for this beginner. I’ve been looking for ideas the past month, so again a big THANK YOU!!

  18. imera: It sure can. It will look cute in a mix of soft pastel colors

    Connie: Ohh im not that into Backyardigans. Im sure that you can find inspiration at cake central

    Mrs. Cozy Home: They look very lovely.

    MixxieB: I have just added it to the steps. But it is only 3″ long.

  19. I love making fondant decorations. Thanks so much for the step-by-step. Simple shapes that build up into cute objects are great for children’s cakes! I love all your tutorials and am a real fan of your site!

  20. That’s gorgeous Louise! I might pinch that idea and do that for my little man’s 2nd birthday which is coming up!!! Thank you soooo much, you’re clearly a very talented person.

  21. Where was this last year when I bought a molded Wilton train pan? I’m thinking I might make my son have a train birthday again this year just to get some mileage out of it.

  22. Well done!!! This is so cute!!! I wish you made this one year back coz my son loves trains. Last year I made a cake for his B’day with Thomas the train. But I didnt know how to make a train so I just kept his toy as a model. Any way I can make this for my cousins babies later. Thanks for the tutorial. Love your work!!!

  23. A very neat train topper. Your step by step picture is great! Looking forward more of such tutorial and thanks for your generous sharing! 🙂

  24. Love your web site! !! Your step by step guide is Great…any tips on a Backyardigan cake??? my niece is turning one in june and i was asked to make her birthday cake.
    I have an idea, but I’m always opened to suggestions!

  25. Love it! I did a train cake for my cousin’s baby shower last year..would have loved to had this then! I guess there’s always the next one!

  26. I was looking for something cute to put on the top of the cake I’m planing to make for my sisters baby, but I didn’t want any car or doll or something like that because we don’t know the sex yet, this train is perfect! Thank you.

  27. NO DOUBT!You are some TALENTED lady;)Thankyou for all ur wonderful tutorials,i have learned soo much from you.God bless u….

  28. I follow this blog since the beginning and you have never disappointed me. Your posts and your ideas are so fresh and stunning in their semplicity and so sweet! I really admire you.

  29. Thanks for the tutorial. It’s too bad it wasn’t up 2 months ago when I needed it for a train cake that I needed. It looks pretty fun to make. Maybe another time.

  30. Wow!!! I think this will have to be on my son’s first birthday cake…he’s now 4 months old so I’ll have plenty of time to practice to get it looking as adorable as yours, Louise 🙂

  31. Awww that’s so cute!!! This is a wonderful website. I just discovered it on the weekend from a link in bakerella.

  32. Thank you! My firends just adopted a two year old boy and in a few weeks we are going to have a small welcome party for him. I am making the cake and wanted something sweet and simple like this to top his cake…adorable. Thanks again. Your tutorials are wonderful. This has become my favorite site.


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