My First Unicorn Cake

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of making a unicorn themed birthday cake for a friend at work. It was the first one I had made, but after nailing the technique for covering a cake in ready roll fondant (or so I thought) and watching many YouTube tutorials, I was feeling pretty confident.

Again, I was working to a slight brief. The cake needed to be chocolate flavoured and use the Menier Swiss dark chocolate, plus the cake (be it the sponge, icing or decoration) needed to have a touch of purple.

I prepared the fondant horn and ears the night before, allowing my focus on the day to be the cake. I had never used the Menier Swiss dark chocolate before and although it provided a chocolate flavour, the colouring of the sponge was lighter than other brands of dark chocolate I’ve previously used. Despite having practiced with ready roll fondant, I made a few errors and ended up with a few tears here and there. The final element not to go as planned was the buttercream icing. For some reason (whether it was the butter used or the new food colourings) it wasn’t quite the same consistency as usual and my piped swirls were breaking. Despite this, one side of the cake was worse than the other when it came to the torn fondant, so that became the back of cake, to be hidden under the icing. The slight tears at the bottom on the front were hidden with edible pearls made to look like a necklace and to account for my tricky icing, the mane was a simpler design.

My friend was thrilled and actually for my first attempt, so was I. I’m looking forward to expanding my techniques and who knows, maybe I’ll do another unicorn cake before the year is out.

Unicorn Cake

Ingredients:

For the chocolate cake:

225g unsalted butter

180g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

4 eggs, beaten

225g golden caster sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

80g dark chocolate, melted

For the buttercream icing filling:

Note – this made more buttercream icing than was needed to fill and cover the cake so you could use this as part of your decoration if it fits with your colour scheme

120g dark chocolate, melted

300g unsalted butter

400g icing sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the decoration:

A large packet of white ready roll icing

Pink ready roll icing

Black ready roll icing

Glittery silver spray

Bamboo stick

80g unsalted butter

150g icing sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

As many food colourings of your choice as you like

Edible pearls

How to…

Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C if using a fan assisted oven) and grease and line three 6” cake tins

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy

Add the beaten eggs, vanilla essence, melted dark chocolate, flour, baking powder and caster sugar and mix well until combined

Menier Swiss dark chocolate

Divide the mixture between the three tins and bake for 35-40 minutes

Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled turn the cakes on to a wire rack to cool completely

My first unicorn cake - sponges

For the buttercream filling, cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy

Add the melted chocolate and mix well until combined

Spread the buttercream filling on top of your base cake and repeat this step until all three sponges are on top of one another. With the remaining buttercream icing, spread the mixture around the sides and top of your assembled cake

On top of a lightly dusted surface (using icing sugar) roll out your white fondant ensuring it is enough to cover your cake

Lay your fondant over the cake and pull out the ruffles and smooth the sides until you get to the bottom, then cut off the excess icing

To make the ears, roll out some white fondant and using a heart shaped cutter, cut out 2 heart shapes

Then roll out some pink fondant and using a smaller heart shaped cutter, cut out 2 heart shapes

My first unicorn cake - ears

Place each pink heart on top of the white heart and with the point of the heart facing upwards, roll the hearts into the middle so that the sides touch (use water to seal the edges)

My first unicorn cake - earsIMG_4110

To make the horn, roll a long line of white fondant and then brush it with water

Wrap the fondant around a bamboo stick and roll it between your hands to finish the shape

Spray the horn with silver glitter spray

Insert the stick with your horn into the cake and using water to wet the base of the ears, position them by the horn

Next cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract

Split your buttercream icing between various bowls and add your desired colours to each one

Using 2-3 types of nozzles, pipe you buttercream icing in a fancy design around the ears and horn and down one side of the cake to make a mane

My first unicorn cakeMy first unicorn cake

Roll out some black fondant icing and using a sharp knife, cut out 2 half circles and flick one end of each to create the lash of the eyes

Using water, wet the back and then stick these in position at the front of your cake

Then wet the very bottom of your cake from one end of the mane to the next and stick some edible pearls in a long line to resemble a pearl necklace

My first unicorn cakeIMG_4157IMG_4159

 

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