Thomas & Friends at George’s Birthday Party

My baby boy turns 2 this week and we threw him a party. He is totally Thomas the Tank Engine mad and so it wasn’t hard to choose a theme. I went cupcake crazy and made 40 Thomas cupcakes which went down a storm with both children and adults! They were totally delicious partly due to the vanilla sugar and partly due to the sweet cream cheese topping. I made a mixture of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with both plain cream cheese icing and cream cheese/chocolate icing. Now how to make cupcakes Thomas themed? Well, first I found some Thomas rice paper toppers on ebay so that was easy, but I wanted to do something more. Then I found Thomas silicone ice cube trays and was able to use these to make Thomas chocolate shapes to top the cakes! Here are the pictures and the recipe:

Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes


Makes roughly 20 cupcakes

  • 8oz unsalted butter
  • 80z sifted vanilla caster sugar (make this by storing caster sugar for several days with a vanilla pod to infuse)
  • 80z sifted self-rising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tbsp coca powder
  • 1 tbsp drinking chocolate powder


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°c.
  2. Make sure butter is soft and, in a large bowl, mix well with caster sugar until smooth.
  3. Add half the flour, all the baking powder, and 2 eggs to the bowl, fold in gradually and gently.
  4. Add the rest of the flour, eggs and milk, fold in gently.
  5. Test mixture, it should drop easily from your spoon, if it is sloppy add a tbsp more flour, if it is too thick add a tsp more milk.
  6. Be gently with your mixture and fold gently this will keep air in the mixture.
  7. Spoon half the mixture into cupcake cases, fill each case no more than half full or they will rise too high to ice easily.
  8. Gently fold cocoa powder and drinking chocolate into remaining mixture and then spoon into remaining cases, again only fill cases half full.
  9. Bake cakes for anywhere between 15-25 minutes this will depend on your oven*.

*A fan oven will cook cakes more evenly and quicker, but all ovens vary and you must check your cakes after 15 minutes. Try to check the cakes through the glass of the oven door (if you have a glass front) if you open the oven too early it will change the temperature and can effect how they rise. When you think the cakes have risen open the oven and test the cakes by pushing a skewer into one, if it comes out clean without any wet mixture then they should be ready – see the photograph below for the cakes straight out of the oven.

Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes



  • 500g full fat cream cheese
  • 12 oz sifted icing sugar
  • 100g dark or milk chocolate


  1. Mix cream cheese and icing sugar well**.
  2. Pipe half the icing onto a variety of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.
  3. Melt chocolate and pour into remaining icing, mix well.
  4. Pipe chocolate icing onto remaining cupcakes.

** Full fat cream cheese is needed as low fat will not keep its shape when piping.

Thomas Chocolate Shapes:

To make these shapes buy silicone Thomas ice cube trays available online. Melt chocolate and pour into moulds, cover the ice cube tray with cling film and place in the freeze over night. Pop out Thomas chocolates and make another batch. Place on top of the iced cupcakes.

Cupcake Stand:

Inspired by I made my own cupcake stand. It is really easy to make and you can read all the instructions on Annie’s blog, but I made it even easier by using some old cake board instead of starting from scratch.

My beautiful boy turns 2.

Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes

Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes

Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes Thomas the Tank cupcakes Thomas the Tank Cupcakes

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7 Responses to Thomas & Friends at George’s Birthday Party

  1. matt says:

    they were delicious well done!

  2. Caroline C. says:

    Thanks for linking me to this. I love the ice cube tray idea. Where did you find it? I need to be on the lookout!

  3. Vicky says:

    I’ve found a link for you which seems to have a US shop, I’m in the UK so ordered my ice cube tray from UK supplier. Hope it helps:

  4. Angela says:

    Delicious and looked so good too! Loved the chocolate tank engines!!

  5. Brietta says:

    Awww they are so adorable! I can’t wait to have a little boy and do the same thing for him. Well done!

  6. Vicky says:

    Thank you! You can use the idea of the chocolate custom shapes by using any silicone ice cube trays and pouring melting chocolate into them, then no need to wait for kids they could be done for any kind of party.

  7. Gill says:

    Hi, these are really lovely and such a clever idea to use ice trays to make the toppers. I will have to give that a go. The trains came out so neatly, really lovely! I have been wanting to experiment with cream cheese icing for some time so will give your recipe a go, I did not realise that you could mix melted chocolate into it so thanks x

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