How to Bake a Train Cake for Game Night

game night recipeIdeas for game night include serving fun snacks which connect to games being played.  If the night is going to involve playing Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder, baking a train cake to munch on is a perfect match.  Even if playing another ‘Board’ game, the train cake can have players munching what’s on ’board the train’, as they move their pieces across the game board.  Sure that sounds quirky, but it’s game night, it’s supposed to be fun!

In a previous article, Ideas for Game Night: All Aboard, other suggestions for train games are mentioned; as well as some train themed game night decorating ideas. The following are directions on how to make a train cake.

game night recipe train cake suppliesSupplies needed:

Mini Loaf Pans
Cake mix (or cake recipe)
White icing
Food colors
Writing icing
Sprinkles or beads (edible)
Assorted candies (licorice, lifesavers, p-nut M&M’s, etc.)

By using mini loaf pans to bake in, a train cake is easily assembled. It’s bake, then a small bit of forming for the look of a train, and decorate!  Three simple steps.

Boxcars for the train are the easiest. Each cake mix (follow directions on the box), baked in mini loaf pans, creates 3 boxcars.  Bake as many or as few boxcars as needed to hold an assortment of snacks.  The train can be as long or short as wanted. Once each cake is cooled, cut the center section out for the placement of treats.  Next, apply colored icing and decorate with sprinkles, beads, pinstripes, or with other creative ideas. Lifesavers are attached for the wheels.  That’s all! Children will love to help decorate boxcars!

The front engine takes the most detail.  It is made out of one full mini loaf and half of another (the leftover half makes for a small boxcar).  To form the engine, cut off the top of the rounded section from the back, in order to match and make a level surface, for the cab part of the train to be set upon.  This cab part is slightly less than half of another loaf.  Before using this half piece, a slice is cut off.  From this slice, triangles are cut to layer on top of each other to form the ‘cow catcher’.  This is positioned in front of the train.

The Engine is now ready for icing.  Use white icing and mix with food color of the desired train color.  A peppermint smoke stack is set on top, a ‘crow candy’ is used for the bell, beads are dotted along the edges, lifesavers are used for two front wheels, and a large cookie is ideal for the back wheel.  Black icing used for writing outlines a window, and lines are drawn on the ‘cow catcher.’  Feel free to add any other decorations to the train engine.

Licorice is cut and used for the train track.  Placed in front of the engine and between boxcars provides an amusing look.

Now fill with snacks!

Pretzels sticks, nuts, cookies, mints, Hersey kisses, m&m’s, and many other finger foods, all make great cargo for the train.

If wanted, some of the boxcars could be made from bread.  Spinach dip placed in one bread boxcar, with the bread pieces in another, works well.  Veggie dip, carrots and celery could fill others.

Dips for a side basket of chips could also be placed in a boxcar.  Player’s names could be written on a boxcar filled with their favorite munchies.  When game time arrives, each player can take their own boxcar to snack from.

Whatever is decided, a train full of surprises adds an entertaining touch to game night.  So get on board, bake a train cake, and play Ticket to Ride!


Jenny Kile

Admin. of All About Fun and Games. Along with being an avid collector and player of table top games, I am a writer, researcher, treasure hunter, and Founder of Kardtects ( ) I believe fun is everywhere and you are welcome to visit my other sites: (which explores mystery, adventure and the search for treasures) and (which takes building card houses to completely new levels. Kardtects is the next generation of card house building!) Email:

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1 Response

  1. January 5, 2013

    […] can be made to position in front of all the snack boxes.  Or instead of decorating boxes, a full train cake (shown above) can be made by using mini loaf baking pans.  Mix up a batter of your favorite cake […]

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