Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Stuffed Unicorn Rainbow Cake
Bea's Bakery receives all sorts of requests for sweets and treats, including cakes. Anna works to accommodate everyone's needs. So when a local school principal requested a magical cake with a touch of humor, Anna pulled out a rainbow of gel colors, piping bags, fondant, and gold dust.
Anna asked her best friends, Lily and Tessa, "What's more magical than a unicorn?"
Tessa said, "A unicorn with sparkly hooves and horn?"
Lily answered, "A rainbow?"
Anna agreed that all three should be included. Unicorn with sparkly hooves and horn? Check! Rainbow? Check! Now for the humor...
How about a unicorn who has dived into the rainbow cake and is sleeping off a sugar coma? Perfect! If you're looking for a way to rekindle your childlike silliness or maybe you need to add a bit of sparkle and magic to your day, this is the cake for you! Cut yourself a giant slice, and prepare to smile the rest of the day. Eat two of these slices, and you'll be like the unicorn: sleeping off a sugar coma (happy and stuffed).
Stuffed Unicorn Rainbow Cake
Serves 12+ (depending on size of slices)
Level of difficulty: Above average. The cake is easy to make. The fondant unicorn is a bit more challenging.
homemade vanilla cake (make enough for 3 8-inch round pans) or 2 white cake box mixes
Note: if using pre-made box mixes, following directions for how to make
gel food coloring (I used red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet)
For buttercream icing:
8 sticks of butter, softened at room temperature, using 4 per batch
6–8 cups of powdered sugar, using 3–4 per batch
4 teaspoons real vanilla extract, divided into 2 per batch
dash of salt
gel food coloring (I used pink and orange)
fondant (pre-made in colors of your choice)
piping bags for ease
How to Make
Preheat oven according to baking directions on box or according to the recipe of your choice.
Spray 3 8-inch round pans with oil and dust with flour OR use a spray that already has flour in it! I also add a circle of parchment paper into the bottom of each pan and spray the paper too. This guarantees no sticking!
If using box mix, follow box directions for mixing the cake. If using homemade vanilla cake recipe, following recipe directions for mixing.
Separate batter evenly into 6 bowls. Add one gel food color per bowl, and mix well until desired color is reached. Colors will darken as the cake bakes.
Drop even spoonfuls of colored batter into each of the 3 pans. Continue dropping in all six colors until you have used all of the cake batter. Give the cake pans a healthy tap on flat surface to release any air bubbles from the batter and to flatten the batter in the pan. Bake according to package or recipe directions. You want the cakes to pull away from the sides of the plan slightly and to insert a toothpick into the center and have it come away clean.
Cool the cakes on a rack in their pans for 10 minutes. Then invert and cool on the rack outside of their pans until completely cool. If not icing right away, wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for us to 2 days.
Beat 4 sticks of butter (softened at room temperature) in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time on slow speed. Stop after every cup and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Beat until you have incorporated all of the powdered sugar (3–4 cups, preferred sweetness).
Add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Beat.
Add in a dash of salt. Beat.
You can leave this buttercream white or you can add in a color. I left my white to use between the layers and for the crumb coat on the outside of the cake.
For initial cake assembly:
Add first layer to bottom of plate or spinning cake decorating wheel. Cut off the domed top of the cake so that the cake is level.
Add a dollop of the buttercream you just made.
Add all cake layers and repeat the process.
Apply a thick, even buttercream crumb coat and refrigerate for at least an hour.
For second batch of buttercream:
Follow For Buttercream steps above.
On step four, separate the buttercream into different bowls. You'll want to have as many bowls as you'd like colors on the outside. For this first attempt, I only wanted 2 colors. Apply food coloring of choice to each bowl (as many colors as you want).
Using a piping bag, pipe colored buttercream onto cake, using any type of piping technique that you want.
For the unicorn:
I followed this tutorial: Unicorn Fondant Tutorial
For second assembly with unicorn:
Cut a large slice out of the cake.
Prop unicorn just inside the cake. Decorate unicorn with cake crumbs.
The Baker's Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. Ebooks are also available at Barnes & Noble, iBook, KOBO, and other major retailers.