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Unicorn Cake

Whenever I have an occasion to make a fun cake, I jump at the chance. This spectacular unicorn cake I baked for my coworker’s daughter’s birthday. I have seen this cake made on other blogs and watched how-to videos on youtube, and had been itching to make it for quite some time. However, as a 30-something year old, I really didn’t have a good excuse to make it that would justify the time, money and energy that went into this super fun, Lisa-Frank-esque cake. 

Thankfully, my coworker’s young daughter and I share a great love of pastel unicorns. She wanted a unicorn cake for her birthday and I leapt into action. I had the fondant, the silver spray and a plan as to how to make her vision come to life on the outside of the cake; I also wanted to make a multi-layer pastel-colored cake bursting with sprinkles so that it was as fun to slice and eat as it was to look at from the outside. Plus, this is a darned delicious cake to boot! 


Vanilla Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/12 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
pastel food dye (green, yellow, purple, pink, blue)

Prepare five 6 by 3/4 inch round pans with butter, flour and parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder,  and salt.

In a jug combine the vanilla extract, vegetable oil, sour cream and milk. 

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Divide the mixture into 5 different bowls and tint each one with a pastel dye. Put in the 5 pans. 

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Level the cakes with a knife if they baked with a dome.

Vanilla Buttercream:
8 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream

In a standing mixer fit with a paddle attachment, add the butter and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until light, white, smooth and spreadable. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined. If the frosting is too thick, add heavy cream once tablespoon at a time until spreadable.

Remove circular holes from the center of the 3 interior cakes layers. Spread frosting between each layer and crumb coat the cake. Before you place the final layer, fill the center with sprinkles. Top with the final layer and finish the crumb coat.

Put the cake into the fridge for a 1/2 hour to set. Frosting with white buttercream until you achieve a smooth white surface. Chill the cake again.

Divide the remaining frosting into 3 equal portions and tint with blue, pink and purple food dye. Put each into pastry bags fitted with star tips.

Black fondant
White fondant
silver decorating spray

A few days before you intend to bake your cake, you can get going on your decorations.

Pinch off a small amount of black fondant and roll it into small lines. Shape as closed eyes. Add another piece of fondant for an eyelash. Repeat for the other eyes and set aside. 

To make the ears, roll out 4 pieces of white fondant. 2 should be slightly larger and 2 slightly smaller. Roll to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the large pieces into ear shapes and the smaller pieces to fin inside as inner ear shapes. I used tear drop shaped cutters. Spray the inner ear parts with the silver spray. Once dried to the touch, wet the insides of the out ear parts slightly and place the silver inner ear part on, putting a skewer in between. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, curve the ears and allow to harden.

To make the horn, roll one large tapered long of fondant out. Wrap it around a skewer leaving extra length of the skewer to sink in the cake. Spray with the silver spray and allow to harden.

Once the cake is frosted white, add the eyes to the front of the cake and skewer the ears and horn on. Pipe the main onto the cake between the ears and around the horn and falling down the back side. Present and enjoy!


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