Perhaps you saw our teaser picture on Facebook a few weeks ago and are still wondering what it was?
Well, a few week later than I had intended (silly beach vacations getting in the way and all), here is your answer!
One of my husband’s coworkers contacted us a few months ago with a cake pop challenge. They were looking for cake pops designed as Thomas and Friends, and as usual, we said yes! Luckily the event was a few months off, so I had plenty of time to sit and think on the idea. But that doesn’t mean it was easy! When doing some Google image searches, I couldn’t really come up with much inspiration. There weren’t any existing cake pop ideas out there that made me say “yes, that’s it.” And whenever I found a picture I kind of liked, there were no tutorials to go along with it. What this meant was that I really had to be responsible for my own creativity beginning to end on this one.
Eeek! I mean, woohoo! It also meant that I now have the pleasure of putting a tutorial out there for other people who might want to conquer some Thomas the Train cake pops.
I started by shaping the cake pops into train shapes. In the future, I would try to make the back half of the train car more squared off. I have since read that it’s easier to shape cake pops with more defined edges by putting wax paper between the cake pop and your fingers. This way it doesn’t stick to your hands, but rather stays in place where you apply the pressure.
I then dipped just the front of the train car in black candy coating and sat the cake pop on it’s back end to dry. After it dried, I dipped just the tip of it in a gray candy coating for the face. Again, I sat it on it’s back end to dry.
After the chocolate hardened, it was time to add the train car color. This part was a little tricky. Usually cake pops are round and symmetrical and you can easily insert the sticks while they’re still resting on the wax paper. Plus, you usually insert the sticks before dipping them in chocolate. In this case, we needed to dip them in their designated color, then add the stick and let the cake pop dry upright. Tricky, when trying to keep them from falling off! What I did was gently hold the cake pop by the dried front half, dip it in the train car color, and then gently insert the stick. I had to use my pointer finger to put a little pressure on the top of the train car so that the stick had some leverage when trying to insert it, but luckily that part was going to be covered with a decoration. So it didn’t really matter if the chocolate had a smudge.
After the cake pops were dry, it was time to add embellishments to make them look like Thomas and Friends. I decided to use Wilton’s royal icing recipe since I find melting chocolate to be a little tricky to work with for some details. I feel that it gives a little more control, but if you’ve mastered decorating with melting chocolate, I say go for it. And as for the faces, I used a black edible marker for those details.
Anyhow, adding the details proved to be a little tricky and here was my first draft that I was NOT happy with…
In hindsight, I have to laugh. I asked my three year old niece what this was and she said “It’s Thomas!” (I think, yes, yes, great) Then she says, “Thomas is a stinky sock!” Haha. Oh goodness. Children don’t lie, do they? Looking at it more, it really did look like a stinky sock. First of all, I had forgotten to put the smokestack on at this point. Also, those little lines that look like shoe laces have to go. And why are the wheels all the way back on his butt? Man, this guy was a mess. It’s fun to laugh at now, but in that moment, the stinky sock Thomas (which wasn’t really Thomas anyway since I showed her the red, James train car), was stressing me out. But alas, as always, we kept on chugging along (catch that pun there?) and ended up with a great end product.
I rearranged some of the details, took off those lines that just didn’t make sense, added some red trim around the wheels, and remembered to include the smokestack. And in the end, I was happy. Not to mention, individually wrapping them and arranging them in their display alongside our classic cake pops really made them look awesome. I love when customers ask us to make our cake pops in a display, because I really think it makes them shine!
And of course, our customer’s little boy LOVED them and they thought they were delicious. Not gonna lie, our cake pops are pretty stellar. If you have a party coming up with a unique theme, don’t be afraid to ask us to give it a go! We love a challenge!