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DIY Thomas Cupcake Cake

You'll love this tasty 3-D Thomas!

What's better than a Thomas cake? A cupcake cake! A few smart ingredients (like donuts for wheels!) complete this cute dessert.


• 16 regular-sized unfrosted cupcakes

• 2 jumbo-sized unfrosted cupcakes

• Vanilla frosting

• Chocolate frosting

• Red, blue, and black food coloring

• Red, blue, black, and white sanding sugar

• 12 thin chocolate cookies 

• 6 mini chocolate doughnuts

• 2 candy eyes

• 1 yellow gumdrop


1. Set aside enough frosting to fill the 6 mini chocolate doughnut holes. Then tint a small amount of vanilla frosting grey for the engine face. Tint another small amount of frosting black. Tint half of the rest of the frosting red and the other half blue.

2. Frost 8 of the regular-sized cupcakes red and the other 8 cupcakes blue. Roll in respective sanding sugars. Frost one of the jumbo cupcakes chocolate and roll in black sanding sugar. Frost the other jumbo cupcake with the grey frosting and pipe on chocolate edge. Pipe on vanilla nose and mouth. Gently roll in white sanding sugar.

3. For the smoke stack and eye brows, use a small serrated knife to remove a half-inch in on either side of a chocolate cookie, tapering slightly to create the shape. Use one of the small trimmed pieces and cut two 1/2 inch triangles to make the eyebrows. Press into engine face (or attach using a tiny bit of frosting) and add candy eyes. Insert the small end of the smoke stack into the top edge of the cupcake.

4. For the wheels, pipe frosting into doughnut holes and press into blue sanding sugar.

5. To assemble, arrange the 8 red cupcakes into two rows of four. For support, press a chocolate cookie on top of six cupcakes, leaving out the two in front. Arrange six of the blue cupcakes on top of the cookies. Place four chocolate cookies as more support, covering the open space between the cupcakes. Arrange the black jumbo cupcake in the back of the top row, followed by the two remaining blue sugared cupcakes.

6. Add doughnut wheels on each side of the assembly with a dot of dark chocolate frosting, blue sugar facing out. 

7. Place the remaining chocolate cookie over the opening in front on the red cupcakes as the head support. Pipe a dot of dark chocolate frosting on top of the chocolate cookie. Place the head cupcake on its side, securing it to the frosting.

8. Add the finishing touches by piping on a few red lines on top and adding the yellow gum drop.

Alan Richardson and Karen Tack are the bakers and best-selling authors behind Hello, Cupcake!, What's New, Cupcake?, and Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My!

Crafts with small parts are not for use by children under three.