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Help with Unicorn Rainbow Cake (1 Viewer)

clerahi

Active Member
So the birthday cake specification is in...

Our granddaughter's answer was chocolate, rainbow, rainbow on top, unicorn on top, maltesers on top. I think the first rainbow means inside, I've seen those and thought that's a step too far. Our son added that she doesn't like fondant, which rules out my idea of wrapping it in white fondant. Does that mean a buttercream or ganache topping?

Any ideas based on this?
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Here are a few pics I found on the net.

So with her request in mind, are you looking at doing something like this in a 3D version with a fondant unicorn and rainbow on the top? Ignore the drip and rainbow bit around the cake.

1 unicorn.JPG

Or more like this? Where you get the rainbow theme with the piping?

2 unicorn.JPG

I take it when you mean the rainbow inside, you mean doing this?

3 unicorn.JPG

You may want to do a 3D unicorn even if she doesn't like fondant because she could always keep the topper as a keepsake. They go rock hard eventually, so she could always keep it as a memento from Granddads cake. Or would you prefer the buttercream cake with the piping?

If she doesn't like fondant, then buttercream would be your best bet for covering it; you will also need to dye it white; however, you need to decide how you want to do the decorations and which effect you are going for.

You could use ganache if you wanted to. However, white chocolate has a lower melting point than normal chocolate and can sometimes be temperamental and not the easiest to work with, so seeing as this will be your first cake, you might be better off with the buttercream.

As for the rainbow cake inside, that's really easy; all you do is make the sponge and dye the batter to whatever colour you like.

If you're making it chocolate inside and doing chocolate buttercream, you'll have to do a dam of white buttercream when you fill it on the inside so that that chocolate buttercream doesn't seep out onto the white buttercream on the exterior. You'll also have to build up the layers of buttercream, use smoothers and make sure you have enough height on it to get the unicorn effect.

If you're doing the fondant toppers, the cake doesn't have to be so high because the toppers will be the decoration.

You could also use some of the Maltesers around the base of the cake or the top on the edges if you like.

I hope that all makes sense. Anyway, have a think and then let me know what you decide.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
Thanks Angie,

Definitely a 3D topper.

Thinking this through, a chocolate cake (rather than a cake covered in chocolate) with a rainbow inside would need to be something like this where the buttercream is coloured?

IMG_0927ae1.jpg


Five days off after today when I can think this through and decide.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
@clerahi - So after a bit more thought because I know your granddaughter definitely has a Chocolate/Maltesers theme going on, what do you think of these?

chocolate unicorn.JPG

I know the above one is a little plain, but you could add the rainbow behind the unicorn, make the board all bright rainbow colours, add flowers and things to it to jazz it up. You could even tie a Rainbow 'Bow' around the Fingers.

This is done in a similar way to the way I made my Ferrero Rocher Cake.


chocolate unicorn 2.JPG

Or this was the chocolate covering option. I would jazz the board up so that the cake pops on the board. (Pops = Stands out more).

It never dawned on me until last night that we could use the chocolate to cover the whole thing, and all the bright colours would literally pop against the backdrop. The thing with the top cake is that the Fingers and Maltesers would hide any imperfections with the covering, and then you can decorate it.

Thanks Angie,

Definitely a 3D topper.

Thinking this through, a chocolate cake (rather than a cake covered in chocolate) with a rainbow inside would need to be something like this where the buttercream is coloured?

View attachment 5854

Five days off after today when I can think this through and decide.

As for the rainbow effect you mention above, yes, if you didn't do the cake layers in colours, you could dye the buttercream. However, the more layers you make by cutting through the cake and the more buttercream colours you put in, the thinner the cake becomes, and you effectively destroy its structure.

If you want to do this, you need a cake leveller to make very thin layers of the cake and then fill each layer and build it up. If you had a few cakes under your belt, I would say give it a go, but because you've not made many, I need to advise you on what may go wrong. (As there will be multiple layers, they will be very thin, the problem with that is when you lift and stack them they could, sag, bow or break because they become brittle). But if you're happy to do it and think you can pull it off, then yeah, go for it.

Or, as another option to keep the rainbow effect, do something like this.

choc rainbow buttercream.JPG

Then you wouldn't have to coat the outside of it, and then you could just put the unicorn on the top.

If you made a normal sponge rather than chocolate, there are many ways of making it colourful, but because you're looking at chocolate, you're limited to what you can do. If you're intent on the rainbow inside then, I would dye the sponges and not the buttercream. If you scroll down the below tutorial, you will see how to dye cake layers.


However, you could get the best of both worlds if you do this. (Tip 60 of my book).

choc sprinkles.JPG

You get the bright rainbow effect she's looking for with the chocolate covering. You could then add sprinkles to the outside of it. If you covered the rest in chocolate like the below cake, you could add rainbow sprinkles to the base and place random bits on the cake as shown.

choc rainbow buttercream 3.JPG

You could also take elements from each of the above cakes and make your own version. It would be best to think about what you can do, how much time you have to do it, what equipment you'll need etc. Please be aware that cakes/decorating do take a lot of time.

The good thing about your cake is you can make the decorations first and then make the cake another day.

Once you've finished at work, have a look at what I've suggested. (You may come up with something completely different).

When you have a clear picture of what you want to make, I can then advise you of the cake, sizing, models, and colours you'll need.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
Ok... which cake we do has been decided for us. My son sent me a message tonight saying our granddaughter is very specific about what she wants - Rainbow inside with chocolate then maltesers and a unicorn and a rainbow on top. He also sent me this picture as an example, can you help me make what she wants please? I'll definitely do a trial one.


IMG-20210403-WA0004.jpg
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
You're most welcome.

Right, first things first, let's start with the cake.

You are going to need a Wilton Cake Pan Set or a set of sandwich tins that are all the same size.

wilton cake pan set.jpg

You can get a set off Amazon; the ones I have found below do them in a 6-inch and 8-inch, so depending on how big you want the cake, you have options.
You will need dyes for the cake, so I have two options for this. You can buy concentrated sugarflair dyes in pots (like the ones I showed you in the surprise inside cake post above), or you can buy the colour splash ones.

Colour splash cupcakes  (2) - Copy (Medium).jpg

I tend to opt for the Sugarflair dyes because they have fewer additives, and the colour splash ones contain milk, soya, nuts and sulphites. But if you're looking for drama and serious colour pop, then the colour splash ones are fab.

You don't need a lot of the dye either.

You can buy food colours from the supermarket, but they are in liquid form and have caused me hassle when I first started out; hence I opt for the concentrated ones.

Please note that less is definitely more, and you only need to put the teeniest amount of dye in the mix for it to change colour.

I always remember letting my baking friend/colleague use some for red velvet cupcakes. She added tons of the stuff and had a 'Carrie' massacre around her kitchen! So you have been warned. 🤣

You can use another lot of dyes, which are the colour mill dyes; these are something I have come across recently, and they work really well with anything fat-based. I've used them with chocolate but not yet in batter. However, they're a bit on the expensive side, so for this, I would go for the cheaper options. They do last seven years, though!

Colour Mill Dyes Review by Help Me Bake (Medium).jpg

Please be aware that dyes will change the taste and consistency of whatever you put them in, so please use them sparingly.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
You can get a set off Amazon; the ones I have found below do them in a 6-inch and 8-inch, so depending on how big you want the cake, you have options.

5 6-inch Wilton tins ordered...

You will need dyes for the cake, so I have two options for this. You can buy concentrated sugarflair dyes in pots (like the ones I showed you in the surprise inside cake post above), or you can buy the colour splash ones.

I tend to opt for the Sugarflair dyes because they have fewer additives, and the colour splash ones contain milk, soya, nuts and sulphites. But if you're looking for drama and serious colour pop, then the colour splash ones are fab.
Thinking through the dyes... 🤔 . There are rainbow sets of Sugarflair and Colour Splash ones on Amazon for around £10. A few places sell them individually, as do Amazon, they work out more expensive though, around £15 for 5 separate tubes, the advantage being I can pick the colour. Should get that sorted and order later today, it will all come in time for the weekend for a practice 👨‍🍳.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Excellent, so the tins are done.

As for the dyes, yes, if you mean the below set of sugarflair for about £10, then yes, they are fine.

Amazon - Sugarflair Dyes

Amazon - Colour Splash
  • Christmas Red gives you a lovely pink or red colour depending on how much you use; these are the ones I use to dye icing/fondant. (Although for strong colours such as navy/black or red, I always buy pre-coloured Renshaw Icing).
  • You will need the 'dye' colours for the mane of the unicorn too. You can just buy White ready to roll icing from the supermarket and then dye it. When I've dyed icing, I always leave it to rest for as long as possible because you've effectively worked it lots to get the colour into it so it can go a little bit like chewing gum and stringy (that can also happen if you use too much dye). Use tiny amounts because adding too much can cause the fondant to taste bitter.
  • Use cocktail sticks to add the Sugarflair dye to the icing and then knead in. Make sure you use icing sugar or cornflour to dust out with. I use icing sugar because it absorbs into the icing. I've found using cornflour can leave dust marks, so it's all down to personal preference.
  • As you are doing the Rainbow Cake the Colour Splash Ones may be a lot better for Vibrancy, and looking at the reviews they may be your better option.
Once dyed, make sure you wrap it in a zip lock bag and bag up any you are not using; otherwise, it will dry out. Don't use cling film to wrap it, either. That's because clingfilm is breathable, so the elements will eventually make the icing dry out.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
Hi Angie,

The Wilton tins arrived earlier in the week :). The sides look more rounded than my 8-inch loose bottom tins, which have straight sides 🤔. I'll give them a try at the weekend 👨‍🍳.

20210408_182016.jpg
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
I've done a Unicorn topper today, but I have a few things about this I want to mention. You will need lots of different tools/equipment to make it, and then you're going to have to spend a bit of time making it too. This took me over two hours to do.

Unicorn topper - by Help Me Bake.jpg

So with that in mind, I wondered if the below toppers and accessories would be exactly what you need for your cake and would save you a load of time, effort and money for not that much difference.
With you saying your granddaughter doesn't like fondant, she wouldn't be eating the topper anyway, and I'm not quite sure how much time you have allocated to making it either. (You mentioned you were busy with work). If you scroll down to the first cake on link 1, you can see the lady has put it on a 6-inch purple cake, so the toppers are just the right size for what you need. If you look at the second link, there are more cakes, including a chocolate-covered one.

I'm all about everyone having a go at things, and I'm quite happy to sort out the tutorial. But, I don't want you to over face yourself thinking you have to do everything when you could make a fabulous Rainbow Cake and then add suitable decorations that will look great.

Anyway, I'll leave it with you. Just let me know what you think as and when.
 
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clerahi

Active Member

I'm all about everyone having a go at things, and I'm quite happy to sort out the tutorial. But, I don't want you to over face yourself thinking you have to do everything when you could make a fabulous Rainbow Cake and then add suitable decorations that will look great.


Anyway, I'll leave it with you. Just let me know what you think as and when.
Morning Angie,

Thanks for the post :).

I've been having similar thoughts this week 🤔. Getting the rainbow cake itself right is the priority and buying the sort of toppers in the links can be a Plan B. As you say, as she's not that keen on fondant, and picks it off if there is any on, for her it probably won't matter if I don't make a fondant unicorn or rainbow (ahh rainbow, that's the next thing).

However... her younger sister does like fondant is already giving her orders out on what cake she wants for her birthday ❤️ 🤣. If you can do the tutorial that would be great, I can then practice knowing I'm not under pressure for the first rainbow cake and have time to get it right for the next one.

You will need lots of different tools/equipment to make it,
I'm ok with buying some tools and equipment, it would be great to make bespoke cakes for the girls' future birthdays and the rest of the family. The girls are always going to want unicorns, princesses or some other character, so being able to make figures would be a good skill to learn.

This weekend is all about the cake and seeing how i get on with those tins for the rainbow cake and the football one too 👨‍🍳🤞. I'll post some pictures.
 
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