Thomas Train 2nd Birthday Cupcakes

Just a couple of weeks ago my nephew turned 2 years old. It's amazing how fast he's grown. (Check out his first birthday here). All of a sudden it seems like he is talking nonstop and running around everywhere, it's so much fun, and super cute! My sister-in-law Lindsey once again asked Lara and I if we would be willing to make some cupcakes for his birthday party. Of course I said yes! It's only one of my all time favorite reasons to bake. I love baking cakes and cupcakes for birthdays and other special occasions. They are so fun to make, and can be so festive and celebratory. 

Since the theme of the birthday party was going to be Thomas the Tank Engine she asked that we just make a couple dozen cupcakes of any flavor and frost them simply with red and blue frosting to match the theme. This was simple enough to do of course. I just went to my trusty Martha cookbook,

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

 and picked out her yellow and a chocolate cupcake recipes and whipped them together. Simple and delicious! Lara frosted them in the Thomas blue and red and then Linsey finished them off with some super cute Thomas flags. I think they turned out adorable, and at the party Lindsey had them arranged as the cars of a Thomas train, super cute. It was a wonderful party and a great way to celebrate Tyce's second birthday!

Yellow Butter Cupcakes


  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to blend well and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into lined cupcake pan. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17-18 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. 

Yields: 12-14 cupcakes

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (100g) dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water


Preheat oven to 350F and line or spray two standard 12-cup muffin pans. 

Sift into the mixer bowl: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, yolk, milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. 

Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. The batter is quite runny and if you overfill them they can make a mess as they rise in the oven. 

Bake, rotating pans halfway through the baking time, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in the pan for a little bit and then transfer onto a wire rack or board to cool completely.

Yields: 14-16 cupcakes