Sweet Unicorn Cake by Juliet Sear

  • Total Time

    2h 15m
    • Prep Time

      2h 0m
    • Bake Time

      15m
  • Serves

    10
  • Skill Level

    Advanced
  • Dietary Needs

    NF/Veg
    • Nut free
    • Vegetarian

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I used four layers of the Fluffy Vanilla Cake for this cake, making it nice and tall – it looks really effective. I also coloured the layers, so there’s lots of rainbow fun inside the cake as well as on the outside – it looks really sweet and goes well with the rainbow mane.

Make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature.

Kawaii Cakes by Juliet Sear 

(Hardie Grant Books, £10) 

Photography by Jacqui Melville

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350 F/Gas 4). Grease 2 20 cm (8 in) round cake tins or a 12-hole cupcake tray.

  2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla or other flavourings into a mixing bowl and combine. If using an electric mixer, turn the speed to high (or if you’re using a wooden spoon, use plenty of elbow grease!) and beat until the mixture is very pale, soft and fluffy and the granules of sugar have disappeared.

    • 300g Butter (salted)
    • 300g Golden caster sugar (We like Billington's)
    • 2tsp Vanilla bean paste (We like Nielsen Massey)
  3. Add the beaten eggs, about one-quarter at a time, beating them in slowly each time. Add the flour gradually, one-quarter at a time, mixing gently on a slow speed, until it has mostly been incorporated. Then, add the baking powder. Fold with a metal spoon if doing this by hand. Take care not to mix or beat vigorously or your sponge can turn out a bit tough. Scrape the mixture into cupcake cases or lined tins as required.

    • 6 Eggs (Medium)
    • 300g Self raising flour
    • 1tsp Baking powder
  4. For cupcakes, bake for around 12–15 minutes, checking every few minutes. For a larger cake, begin checking after 20 minutes. Remember, all ovens vary so if in doubt use an oven thermometer. The cakes should be a light golden brown, springy to the touch. A sharp knife or metal skewer should come out clean and free of mixture when inserted into the centre.

  5. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

  6. To make the icing, in a large bowl, add about one-quarter of the icing sugar. To make sure the sugar doesn’t puff out in clouds and cover your kitchen, mix slowly at first. You can also place a damp tea towel over the bowl. Once the icing sugar is incorporated, beat at a high speed for about 1 minute until the mix is really creamy and pale. It will take you a few more minutes by hand.

    • 500g Icing sugar (We like Silver Spoon)
    • 250g Butter (unsalted)
    • 2tsp Vanilla bean paste (We like Nielsen Massey)
  7. Continue adding the sugar, one quarter at a time, taking care to beat it in well after each addition. Beat the buttercream at high speed for 1–2 minutes until fluffy. 

    Layering and crumb coating the cake:

    Stick the bottom layer onto a turntable if you have one. Using a little buttercream, stick the bottom cake layer onto the smaller cake drum and make sure it is centred. 

  8. Spread a layer of buttercream over the first cake layer, then place the second cake layer on top. Repeat this process with the next 2 layers.

  9. Using a palette knife, generously spread buttercream all around the sides of the cake. You can press on the top of the cake to hold it still. Fil in any gaps and smooth over. 

  10. Once the sides are covered, spread a layer of the buttercream over the top. Using the palette knife, sweep all around the cake with a firm pressure. Keep the knife or scraper straight, to smooth off the excess and make the surface as flat as you can. 

  11. With a back and forth motion, smooth over the top to neaten. Go around the edge again if you need to. Remove any lumpy areas around the top edge wit ha small sharp knife. Once you are happy with the cake, put it in the fridge to chill for an hour before decorating.

  12. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the white sugar paste to a circle large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake – about 50 cm (20 in). Pick up the sheet of icing using the pin, lift up and drape over the cake.

    Smooth it down with your hands, encouraging the icing to stick to the sides. Lift it up if it starts to fold. You can place any creases to the back or side and cover with the piped mane.

    • 1.25kg White sugar paste
  13. Once the icing is smoothed all over the cake, trim around the base with a sharp knife. Keep the off-cuts to make the ears. Place the cake onto the gold cake drum. Using cake smoothers with firm pressure, polish the top and the sides.

  14. Wrap the white ribbon around the bottom of the cake, sticking the ends together with royal icing. Make sure the join is at the back. Leave the cake overnight, before adding the other details.

  15. To make the large round eyes, thinly roll out the black sugar paste and cut out circles with the 5 cm (2 in) round cutters.

    To make the pink nose, roll out the pink sugar paste and cut into the nose shape.

    • 40g Black sugar paste
    • 60g Pastel pink sugar paste
  16. Use the white royal icing to stick the nose and eyes onto the front of the cake. Secure with royal icing. With black edible pen, make an  eyelash flick on each eye, and add the nose and mouth detail.

  17. Make the horn, take about 200 g (7 oz) of the yellow sugar paste, roll into a long sausage and flatten it a little with your palm.

    • 200g Yellow sugar paste
  18. Stick a small blob of the sugar paste on the bottom of the cone to make a secure base, then pipe a little soft-peak royal icing over the ice-cream cone to make it sticky.

    Now wind the fondant sausage around the cone, from the base to the tip, making a point at the top. Reserve any excess sugar paste for the ears.

  19. Spray with gold shimmer spray and sprinkle with a little gold glitter. Stick on the top of the cake using royal icing to secure.

Let's Bake

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