Nov 21 2013


Making a Train Cake and a Search for Ding Dongs


DSC03759Our youngest, Lucas, turned three this week, and my Mom helped me put together this cake using the recipe in my blog post, The Birthday Cake: A Few Years in Review.

I think it turned out pretty well, considering I have little cake-decorating experience or ability.

For the train, we bought a pound cake and cut the pieces according to the diagram.

We hosted our Bible study group that evening, which usually includes about 30 people, so we put the train cake on top of a 9×13 cake. We were going to make a track out of Kit Kats, but there was no space. (The caboose is about to fall off the edge.)

Our search for Ding Dongs
We went to Target the day before the party to get candy for decorating the cake. The recipe also called for Ring Dings, which are apparently the same as Hostess’s Ding Dongs, but a different brand. You line three of them up on their sides for the front of the engine.

Well, I remembered looking for Ding Dongs a few years ago when I wanted to make a Lego cake for Jacob, and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I thought they just didn’t make them anymore. We ended up buying some cupcake-like things, and Mom cut them down to size, making them work.

So, what happened to Ding Dongs?
Knowing my readers would want to know if Ding Dongs still exist, I googled the subject. You probably remember the big deal with Twinkies becoming extinct about a year ago.

Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and other baked treats, filed bankruptcy in November 2012. Everyone thought that was the end of the Twinkie, but they were bought out and are now operating again under the name, Hostess Brands, LCC.

According to this ABC News article, Hostess products are now only sold through grocery and convenience stores. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t find them at Target? Safeway had Twinkies, but no Ding Dongs. They’re supposed to be on the shelves by now.

Anyway, since the cake is done, do I really care? No. I don’t normally buy that stuff. I did, however, spot some Zebra cakes–the ones that are white with brown stripes. Probably haven’t had one of those since I was a kid. Yummy, but oh so bad for you. And, we have plenty of Oreos left from making the train wheels. I just had a couple for breakfast.

What was your favorite processed, preservative-laden, highly caloric treat when you were a kid? I’d love to hear it in the comments! I’ll start.


Permanent link to this article: http://jenreginald.com/lucas-3-year-train-cake


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  1. Jennifer

    Fudge-striped cookies! Keebler is best, but generic will do.

    1. Melissa

      I always loved Ding-Dongs, and probably haven’t had one for 20 years.

  2. Melissa

    I loved Ding Dongs, but probably haven’t had one for about 20 yrs.

  3. Sarah

    Very cute train cake! As for me…I remember in grade school trading part of my lunch with Phaedra for a Little Debbie Star Crunch. Like Melissa, I probably haven’t had one in 20 years, but I can still remember that perfect combination of fudge, Rice Krispies, caramel and chocolate! Delish!!

  4. Jennifer

    Ah, yes. I forgot about the Star Crunches. Those were great. I think the zebra cakes are Little Debbie, too.

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