Other colours for Duggee and your Squirrels of choice
Preheat the oven to fan 180’ Grease and line the base and sides of a 28 x 35cm baking tray / roasting tin.
Using electric beaters or a freestanding mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and whisk together with a fork. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, with the vanilla extract.
Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, then add to the egg mixture, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix until well combined.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cake, comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack.
To make the buttercream, whisk the butter until light (using an electric hand whisk or a freestanding mixer). Slowly add the icing sugar and cocoa, loosening with milk, until light and fluffy.
When fully cool, level the top of the cake with a large serrated knife. Slice the cake into three lengthways, then pile the three parts on top of each other, spreading buttercream between the layers. This will be the length of your train. Slice into the top layer of sponge on the front portion of the cake, then use buttercream to secure this onto the section immediately behind (to make Duggee’s driving compartment). Make a small dent between his compartment and the carriage behind, saving the small portion of the cake to keep you going while you decorate. Smooth buttercream all over the outside of the cake and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. It should now vaguely resemble a train.
Roll the red fondant out to a 5mm thickness. Carefully drape the very front part of the train. Do similarly with the dark pink fondant on Duggee’s driving cab. You might have to do this with several separate strips of fondant. Roll out the green and yellow fondant then cut strips and lay these alternately over the back carriage of the train. Cut out four rectangles of light blue (in two different sizes) which will be the windows for Duggee and the Squirrels. Then cut out the shapes of Duggee and the Squirrels (layering different colours, if necessary) and lay these onto the windows on a flat surface. Use a damp paintbrush to help secure them, if you need. Then fix these onto the train.
Top Duggee’s cab with a rectangle of yellow fondant, and a border of purple, then use these two colours to create wheels for the drivers’ Also create wheels for the carriage. Make a grill and studs for the train, using yellow fondant, or another colour of your choice. Add chimneys and studs to the front of the train.