Sunday 22 June 2014

Choo Choo Train Mini Strawberry Chiffon Cakes

My son rarely requests for bakes from me (usually is my daughter). So when he asked me to make a choo choo train cake for him, it was difficult for me to say no, even though I knew it was going to be a lot of work. However, it turned out to be one of my happiest bakes, because my two kids wiped out the entire choo choo train cake in less than 5 mins! As frustrating as it is, how the cake looks matters for little kids! :D And all the work feels worth it when you see their excited smiles and them happily munching down what you made for them :) Oh the simple joys and frustrations of being a mum...

Anyway, I fashioned the choo choo train after his homework, except that I placed the chimney in front instead as I thought it looked weird on top :p

Do the train cakes look like his homework? 

I made the train out of two cakes, one strawberry chiffon cake baked in a 6-inch square tin with removable base, and one chiffon cake with charcoal powder baked in a 9-inch square tray. 

Ingredients (one 6-inch square cake and one 9-inch layer cake)
5 egg yolks
33g sugar
65g vegetable oil
68 ml pureed strawberries in berries juice
100g cake flour
Strawberry paste
Charcoal powder

7 egg whites
75g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Wrap the removable base of the 6-inch square tin with baking paper, sticking it down with meringue. *This is important so that the base of the cake does not get sunken in when inverted during cooling. Line baking paper at the bottom and sides for the 9-inch square tray.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and strawberry puree.
3. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Scoop 13 tsp into another bowl and add charcoal powder for the black layer cake. Add 7 ml strawberry paste into the remaining batter for the red train. Mix well (left picture in collage).

5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Scoop over 26 tbsp meringue into the black batter for the black cake. Gently fold in the meringue (top right picture in collage).
7. Pour the black chiffon batter into a 9-inch square tray lined at the bottom and sides. Spread and level the batter with the spatula. Tap the tray on the counter top 3x to get rid of air bubbles in the batter.
8. Fold the rest of the meringue into the red batter in 2 additions (middle right picture in collage).
9. Pour the red strawberry batter into a 6-inch square tin, leaving 1.5 cm from the top. Tap the tray on the counter top 3x to get rid of air bubbles in the batter.
10. Bake the 6-inch square tin for 15 min at 160°C then 40 min at 150°C or when skewer comes clean, and the 9-inch tray cake for 15 min at 160°C.
11. For the 6-inch tin, allow the cake to shrink till below the top of the tin (around 5 min), then invert the tin to cool.
12. For the 9-inch layer cake, flip over the cake onto a clean baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
13. Unmould when the 6-inch square cake is cool, using hand to gently pull the cake from the sides before pushing up the removable base. Then peel off the baking paper.

After this, I cut the red strawberry cake into 1 big rectangular block and 1 small rectangular block, and 3 cubes (see below) for each of the train carriages. I used a round cutter to cut out the chimney for the train. For the black cake, I used a sharp knife to cut out rectangles for the windows, and used a straw and round cutter to cut out the wheels for the train. Lastly, I melted some white chocolate and brushed it on the cakes to glue the black and red cakes together (bottom right picture in collage above).

Here's my choo choo train! Does it look like it's ready to move? :D

Here's a slice of leftover cake from the square strawberry chiffon cake. I loved the soft, melty but springy texture!

And here are my happy kids enjoying the cake! I'm a happy mum! :D 

With lots of love,
Susanne :D


  1. So touched to read about how the cake came about. I can feel the creation filled with love. The cake next to Caleb's picture is perfect imitation. *clap clap*

  2. Hi, can you make a lighting McQueen cake? Pls reply urgently.