I’ve been promising y’all forever that I was going to start a blog series on parties, events, and cake decorating! Well, finally, here it is!! Part 1!! If you guys follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know that we (my mom, MIL and me) just made my daughter THE COOLEST two-tiered unicorn cake for her 6th birthday. The amazing response I got after sharing that cake is what finally made me sit down & start this series!! So THANK Y’ALL!!!
I’m so excited to share with you guys over the next few weeks, some of the parties me, my mom, and my sister have hosted together and/or for each other, and for our littles over the last 5+ years! I hope y’all enjoy!!
Alright so let’s kick things off with Part 1 then! The unicorn cake!
I probably need to clarify here. I AM NOT A BAKER!! Not in any sense of the word, lol. In fact, to make this beauty, we just used your classic boxed cake mix from the bakery aisle at your local grocery store! We got the design idea from a photo we saw on Pinterest and just kinda winged it from there! So, if I can do it, you can do it, trust me!! It really just takes time and patience! Which I know, on most days, can be in short supply! 😂
Oh, and before we get started, I’d like to apologize in advance for all the janky iPhone photos (I promise there are nice pretty ones at the end of the post)! I was trying to enjoy the moment & capture it at the same time so I had dirty hands and no real camera, lol.
So basically, to make this cake we used 3 boxes of cake mix (cherry chip, strawberry, and vanilla were our choices, but obviously just use whatever you like best), two 9in round cake pans, two 6in round cake pans, 3 cans of icing, and one 5.5lb bag of fondant (we got ours from Michaels). I’ll get to the actual tools we used in just a bit.
Oh, and again, I’m not a baker, but I’ve been told that if you use parchment paper to line your cake pans, the cake will bake flat so it’s easier to apply the fondant. #rookiemistake🤦🏻♀️😂 . We used one full cake box for each of the 9 inch pans, and then split the third cake box mix evenly between the two 6 inch pans.
“PRO” TIP #1
Another “pro” tip. And by pro I mean not at all. 😂😂 MAKE SURE TO LET YOUR CAKES COOL COMPLETELY before applying the icing or fondant!!!! Otherwise it will melt into a sloppy mess!
Alright. So once the cakes have cooled, make sure you trim any areas that are super uneven or that prevent the cake from being flat on the top and bottom. From there, go ahead and slather icing all over the top of one of the 9 inch cakes. Once that’s done, stack the second 9 inch cake on top of it taking care to center it as best as possible. Fondant can be forgiving of some mistakes, but if the sides don’t line up well it will show every last dimple! Once the second layer is settled nicely, go ahead and cover the whole thing with icing (tops and sides of both layers). Once that’s done, it’s time to apply some fondant!! Now I will say….one of the most beneficial “tools” we bought for this project was the cake turntable! It was a SAVIOR while applying the fondant, icing, and just the decorating in general! I’ll never not use it for a baking project again, I swear!
If you haven’t worked with fondant before, step 1 is watching this video here. It’s INCREDIBLY helpful and explains exactly how to knead it, roll it, and apply it. Make sure you watch it if you’ve never done this before!! You can see a snap shot of how we smoothed out the fondant below, but it doesn’t give any detail, unfortunately. The video linked above is the BEST resource I’ve found to show you exactly what to do and how to do it!
So once you’ve watched that video, and covered your bottom two layers (the 9 inch cakes) in fondant. Then you can begin working with the top two layers. You will basically follow the exact same steps you’ve done so far, but using the 6 inch cakes.
From there we started working on all the little details. So, I grabbed a pencil and a pad of paper and just started sketching a unicorn in the shape we wanted. I tried my best to get it as close to the size we needed for the cake. My plan was to use it as a stencil. Once I was happy with my sketch I cut it out and laid over the rolled fondant. I then traced it with a sharp tool to cut out the unicorn shape. It actually worked like a charm!! I couldn’t believe it!! Haha! I continued to work on the details of the unicorn by molding the fondant into my desired shapes (inner ear, unicorn horn, strands of hair, etc.) and used the cake decorating tools to add any additional details and really bring it to life! I will link the tool kit I purchased here. IT HAS EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLY NEED!!! Well, at least if you’re just doing it for fun out of your home, lol. It came with fondant rollers and smoothers in different shapes (tops, corners, etc,), it came with small scalpel-like tools to cut the fondant with great precision, and it also came with TONS of stamps so you could cut out so many adorable shapes from the fondant (hearts, flowers, stars, letters, numbers, etc.). Plus, I’m sure you could use these with cookie dough as well!!
Here’s a quick little video of me working on the unicorn horn! After I rolled the fondant into the shape I wanted, I used one of those little scalpel tools to make the ridges in the horn, then I spray painted it with gold edible glitter spray mixed with just a little bit of brown food coloring.
Once that was painted I let it sit and dry while we started coloring the fondant. We knew we wanted all the colors of the rainbow, and in some cases different shades of those colors, so we just started mixing and matchin’ until we had 1-2 shades of every color of the rainbow!
“PRO” TIP #2: Food Coloring
Another pro tip comin’ at ya! — Make sure if you’re going to use food coloring to color your fondant that you use GEL food coloring!! The liquid will change the consistency of the fondant and it becomes a huge mess. You could also take the short cut and just buy different colors of fondant, but that turns out to be way more expensive. If you’re only working on this one project and don’t need the colored fondant for anything else, my recommendation is to just color white fondant with food coloring. Saved us quite a bit of money to do it that way.
The Rainbow Mane
Once we had the fondant colors we wanted, we just began cutting shapes and carefully attaching all the pieces & hair using frosting as the glue. Whenever the frosting/glue would squish out around the pieces making it look kinda sloppy, we would just use some of the cake tools to clean it up a little (like you can see in the video below).
To be honest, the hair was the hardest, most tedious, time consuming part of the whole thing. But, it also MAKES the cake, so ya know, I pushed through! 😂
Once all the hair was applied, I took one of the small cake knife tools and started making little scratches/lines that gave the illusion of hair strands. Then I curled the ends (using icing to adhere them to the cake) and tried to get them to lay as natural-looking as possible (this step was harder than it looks, lol).
From there I used this black edible marker to draw the nose and eye to form her cute little face!
After the face was added, the final step was to used the left over colored fondant and the stamps from our cake tool set to cut out cute little girly shapes. We used hearts, stars, and flowers, and then used the letters to spell out Happy Birthday to our sweet girl! We also used some fun purple chocolate candies (these are Sixlets) to border the top and middle of the cake.
Here’s a 360° view of the finished product!!
What do y’all think?? Our daughter’s favorite colors are pink and purple so we went heavy with those colors but you can get so creative with this!! You could make it monochromatic and use different shades of the same color, or only do pink and purple or shades of blue, or warm tones (red, yellow, orange), anyway, you get the idea!! Make it your own!!
As I mentioned when I shared this in my Instagram post…this was a labor of love!! Tons of work, but my daughter LOVED it and that’s what matters to me!!!
PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you guys make this unicorn cake!!! I’d love to see pics!! Also, if you have any recommendations for this novice I’d love to hear them below!!
Hope y’all enjoyed Part 1 of the series!! Look for the others coming soon!!
Talk soon buddies!
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