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How to Make a Pull-Apart Thomas the Tank Engine Cake

This oh-so-easy cake is a big hit with train-loving kids!


12-15 cupcakes

1 can vanilla frosting

Black food coloring

Green food coloring

Box of thin chocolate-covered cookie sticks, pretzel sticks, or black licorice strands


Resealable sandwich bag 

Rubber band

Drinking glass


Large serving tray (about 12” x 18”)


1. Scoop ⅓ of the frosting into a small bowl, and tint it black with the black food coloring. Tint the remaining frosting green.

2. Frost all of the cupcakes with the green frosting.

3. Arrange the cupcakes on the serving tray in the shape of a number.

4. Cut the cookie sticks, pretzel sticks, or licorice into 2” pieces (you'll need 3 pieces for each cupcake). These will be your railroad ties.

5. Place 3 railroad ties on each cupcake.

6. Put the plastic bag in the glass, open it, and fill with the black frosting. Use the rubber band to tie off the top, and snip a small hole off the tip. You now have a piping bag!

7.Pipe the black frosting onto the cupcakes for the railroad tracks.

8. Enjoy!

Jodi Levine is a crafter and author. Her books, Candy Aisle Crafts and Paper Goods Projects and her craft website are all about crafts made from everyday supermarket materials. Jodi contributes to national magazines and television shows and works with brands such as Fisher-Price and Mattel.

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