Monday, October 6, 2014
Enchanted Unicorn Cake
My daughter was set on a Frozen themed birthday party, but I just couldn't bring myself to create yet another one of those cakes. So, I sneakily encouraged her to change her mind by searching the internet for girl party themes. All it took was for her to see the Enchanted Unicorn Party Supplies. She absolutely loves horses and unicorns! And, I found some great ideas for the cake online:
Unicorn Cake by sweetbrantleys on CakeCentral.com - I like the ribbons and pillows idea.
Swirls, Flowers and Roses Cake on CakeCentral.com - I liked all of the elements on this cake, but would have done it in purple, pink and blue.
Unicorn Pink and Purple Cake - This was my favorite. I might have actually done it exactly like this, but changed the colors a little bit.
But, at the last minute, I allowed Lalo to have a "say so" in the cake, and she changed the whole thing. LOL Here was her initial concept:
Coolest Unicorn Rainbow Cake
The Unicorn Topper
I think both of my children have figured out that if they request actual figurines as toppers, they have toys to play with after the fact. So, naturally, Lalo requested that her topper be an Enchanted Unicorn Cake Topper. So, that part was the easiest.
Ideally, the rainbow would be made one to two weeks prior to the cake being baked so that it could harden and stand up properly. However, we had a very busy month with lots of back-to-homeschool field trips, and I simply couldn't make it early enough. Thus, I had to cut a Wilton 6-Inch Cake Circle in the shape of the rainbow and use that as my backing. Then, I cut some 12-Inch Bamboo Skewers and stuck them into the backing for support. You can faintly see four spots for the skewers in the cake board. And, to be honest, it's not very appealing to the eye to leave it this way. You can see the icing making the cake board look very greasy. So, if you think ahead and have time, it is better to allow your fondant time to set up and/or find something less absorbent than cake board.
I had already planned to not cover this cake with fondant, so I didn't want to make an entire batch for just the rainbow. However, I'm not at all a fan of the store bought variety of fondant. The taste is horrible, it is not easy to soften, and it comes in too big of packages. But as I browsed the cake aisle of our local retail store, I found some tiny fondant packets that actually felt soft, were labeled Vanilla, and really didn't taste that bad at all! I grabbed one packet of white and decided to just color my own rainbow. I simply divided the fondant up into six of the same size balls (with some white leftover), colored each one a different color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple), rolled them out into tube shapes, placed them onto the cake board backing, and cut the ends to fit the backing. Then, I took the leftover white, rolled it out into a smaller tube shape, then curled one end one direction and the other end the opposite direction (to form the clouds).
Since I was pressed for time, and wasn't making homemade fondant, I also decided to skip making the flowers. My initial idea was to find edible flowers that were purple, pink, and blue. But, when Lalo saw the Wilton Rainbow Colored Icing Daisies, she chose those. Thus, a rainbow unicorn cake was born. And, these were a hit too. Each little girl at the party wanted some on her slice of cake!
The Cake and Icing
The cake batter flavors were alternating chocolate and vanilla. The top tier is a six inch, double layer cake and the bottom tier is a ten inch, double layer cake. Both are topped with buttercream icing. A great tip I've found for smoothing out the cake icing is to use Viva Paper Towels after the icing has set or dried. Viva paper towels are soft like cotton and have a smooth surface, thus they don't leave indentations in the cake. You simply lay a paper towel over top of the set/dried icing, and smooth with your hand.
If you take a second glance at the back of the cake (see "The Rainbow" section above), you'll see a "mess up" at the bottom of the blue tier. I accidentally touched the icing after piping the grass, and I opted to not go through the trouble of fixing it. All I would have needed to do was scrape off a little of the green piped grass, smooth out the blue icing with the paper towel, then pipe the grass again (with a Wilton Grass Tip) in the same spot to cover where I had scraped it off. I had actually touched the cake icing many times, and fixed it every time, and just got tired of fixing it. That is why I prefer to cover my cakes with icing and then fondant on top of the icing. The fondant can be touched and won't mess up the same way icing will mess up. And, if you're worried about others not wanting to eat the fondant, they can peel off the fondant and still have the icing underneath.
I hope this post has given you some pointers on how to create your next cake! I enjoyed making it and Lalo was very pleased. :)
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