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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
I love that Unicorn Angie he's so cheerful looking. 😘

Thanks, Joan, I do, too; he makes me smile every time I go into the kitchen. He's just so bright and cheery. 😍 I ummed and ahhed about putting a smile on him, and after seeing him again this morning, I'm still not sure whether I should have done it or not. I asked Han yesterday, and she told me to leave him as he was, but I'm still not sure if a smile would have completely altered his face or enhanced it. Everyone seems to like him as he is, though, so maybe he's fine.

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.


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.

Hi Mike

Yeah, I totally agree about the cake being the priority because that's the thing she's going to eat. 😁 As for the toppers and the rainbow, they come in second, well they'll actually be first because you'll be making them before you do the cake that way; they'll have had time to settle and harden. Either that or it'll be Plan B in reserve.

Lol! I love the fact you're already getting tapped up by the youngest granddaughter. Wait until you start getting pictures to go with those ideas! 😍 My daughter has done a few of those.

If you are going to be making cakes regularly, it may be worth you getting a tool kit of sorts. I can recommend a few of the ones I use regularly and what will come in handy for things you are going to make. Then you may wish to buy things as and when you need them.

So, for now, I'll crack on with the tutorials; you make the cakes, and I'll have a look at what tools/equipment you'll need for this and other things you may want to make in the future.

I look forward to seeing the pics of the practice cakes.
 

clerahi

Active Member
Hi Angie, while looking online for bought topper ideas and designs, I came across a blog post that said white velvet cakes are best for rainbow layers as the egg yolk and vanilla in traditional batter will taint the colours? Any thoughts on this?
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
I've not seen the post you mentioned, so I cannot fully comment on what/did go wrong with a cake made with egg yolk and vanilla, nor do I have the recipe they used. So it may be worth asking them the question to find out what went wrong.

The word 'taint' being used leads me to believe that the quality of the products they have used may have been causing the issue. Liquid-based dyes have always been an issue for me and caused me problems in the past, which is why I use concentrated ones now. If they haven't got the shades of colour, they wanted that may have been down to the amount of dye they have/have not used. Or if they have used a water-based dye, this may have caused issues with the cake they have baked, causing a reaction with some of the ingredients which is why they don't do it anymore.

I have used concentrated food dyes in cakes made with egg yolk, the sugar flair ones weren't as vibrant, but the colour splash ones were. I've never had a problem.

I know people have had issues when painting with dyes bleeding into fondant but nothing to do with egg yolks.

You may be worth googling rainbow cakes and looking at the general recipes for the cake. Please note that as you are putting toppers on the cake, you will need a good structure cake to hold the weight of the toppers. Egg yolks create structure in a cake as well as flavour and moisture. Velvet cakes are very light and fluffy (due to the egg whites) and may not hold the weight of all the toppers you are looking to put on the top, so please ensure you bake a cake with a good structure.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
Thanks Angie, the trouble with the internet is you get so many different answers to the same question. I had a look round earlier and all the other recipes I can see use whole eggs and add vanilla, so I'll go with that. I've see plenty of recipes for white velvet cakes but no other references to rainbow cakes. I'm learning every day.

The trial run this morning with just the batter and the Wilton tins was a complete disaster :anguished::fearscream:. The main issue I think is those tins are way too shallow at just 0.95-inches (they don't even look that). All the other recipes I've now seen use at least 2-inch deep tins, the highest rated UK one I found actually uses regular 8-inch diameter tins to make 6 layers in two batches. I'm going to make two trial layers later using a third of that recipe. If they come out I may switch to an 8-inch cake and try 6 layers in 3 batches.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
So... I'm thinking the Wilton tins can only be for a recipe that uses plain flour, rather than self-raising as used in every recipe for a layer cake I've found. Unhelpfully, Wilton have lots of recipes on their website but no a single one for a layer cake using these tins.
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks, Angie; the trouble with the internet is you get so many different answers to the same question.

But if you've seen something and you're questioning it, it's always worth going to the source to find out about it. That's how you build up a wealth of knowledge. And as your on a quest to learn things, it's definitely worth the ask.

With regards to the tins, did they not come with a recipe book? When you say disaster, what does that mean? You used too much batter in the tins. The cakes haven't cooked properly? The layers are too thin/overflown? Have you got pictures? What recipe/quantities are you using?

Rainbow cakes are supposed to have thin layers, not thick layers, so the layers need to be in proportion. Otherwise, all you'll be making is a massive tower. Which won't give you the effect you're looking for.
 

clerahi

Active Member
With regards to the tins, did they not come with a recipe book? When you say disaster, what does that mean? You used too much batter in the tins. The cakes haven't cooked properly? The layers are too thin/overflown? Have you got pictures? What recipe/quantities are you using?
The tins didn't come with a recipe book, I thought Wilton might have had one on their website. Every recipe I can see uses at least 2-inch deep tins. I filled each tin between half and two thirds, after 10 to 12 mins at 140 fan they had risen to far bigger than the tin but were part cooked. I used this recipe for the batter (which I found online):
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 225 g soft margarine
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 6 drops vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp milk
 
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clerahi

Active Member
The recipe for the 8-inch tins is:
  • 360g butter, softened
  • 360g caster sugar
  • 360g self-raising flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40ml milk
Different proportions and no baking powder.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
The tins didn't come with a recipe book, I thought Wilton might have had one on their website. Every recipe I can see uses at least 2-inch deep tins. I filled each tin between half and two thirds, after 10 to 12 mins at 140 fan they had risen to far bigger than the tin but were part cooked. I used this recipe for the batter (which I found online):
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 225 g soft margarine
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 6 drops vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp milk

Oh wow! After looking at the internet, there are mixed reviews on these tins when it comes to baking and add to that the fact that it doesn't come with a recipe book, then that doesn't help matters either, so on that note, I'm sorry about this.

As for the recipe above, you're going to get much more of a rise out of the cake with the added baking powder. The recipe itself is pretty much a victoria recipe as it's equal parts butter, sugar and flour, but if it suggests adding baking powder, is that because you are using the all in one method and bypassing the aeration stage?

I use Wilton for many products, especially tools and piping nozzles, so when you asked about tins, they were my first thought because I've seen the pans banded about all the time, especially for rainbow cakes.

When the cakes rise quickly, that leads me to believe that the amount of batter in the tin is too much, which is causing the peak. Did you line the tin, and did the cakes come out of the tin okay? Did you put 225g in each tin or split the batter 5 ways?

The recipe for the 8-inch tins is:
  • 360g butter, softened
  • 360g caster sugar
  • 360g self-raising flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40ml milk
Different proportions and no baking powder.

According to Tesco, the recipe above is for 6 layers which would equate to 60 grams of equal amounts of butter, sugar and flour, and then an egg per tin, which would be quite shallow in an eight-inch x 2inch tin.

When I make a Victoria Sandwich, I split a 150-gram mix between two 7 inch x 1-inch tins, and they have a good height.

Aha! I've found a recipe using the Wilton tins - it uses plain flour and egg whites.

Are you going to try this and see if it works? I get the point of the plain flour so as not to get a high rise, but for all the recipes I've seen, they use self-raising but probably bigger tins. I think Lakeland have put the recipe on because of the mixed reviews on their site for the pans, which is great if it can help people out. What you need is a tried and tested recipe that works for these. Fingers crossed, this may do it.

Although please note there is no topper on the picture, so you need to ensure that the cake, if it works, will be able to take the weight of the toppers and not cause a dip.
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
I also found the tins on Lakeland... very mixed reviews, some similar to my own experience.

I know that's the reviews I've just seen/mentioned; 🙄 Lakeland seems to do their own version of tins with much better reviews. However, they are much deeper tins. So the cake would be quite sizeable.

Lakeland Layer Cake

There are still options for making the perfect Rainbow cake. It's just a matter of working out what is best for you.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
Oh wow! After looking at the internet, there are mixed reviews on these tins when it comes to baking and add to that the fact that it doesn't come with a recipe book, then that doesn't help matters either, so on that note, I'm sorry about this.

I use Wilton for many products, especially tools and piping nozzles, so when you asked about tins, they were my first thought because I've seen the pans banded about all the time, especially for rainbow cakes
Don't worry... I should have done more research, instead I was too keen to get started :neutral:.

As for the recipe above, you're going to get much more of a rise out of the cake with the added baking powder. The recipe itself is pretty much a victoria recipe as it's equal parts butter, sugar and flour, but if it suggests adding baking powder, is that because you are using the all in one method and bypassing the aeration stage?
That recipe does use the all in one method. I'm pretty sure that all the recipes I've seen have equal parts of butter, sugar and flour 🤔. I made a victoria sponge very successfully (that recipe didn't use the all in one method), so maybe I could use that? The ingredients are below (I think my wife got it off This Morning):

  • 170g melted low fat spread, cooled
  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
When the cakes rise quickly, that leads me to believe that the amount of batter in the tin is too much, which is causing the peak. Did you line the tin, and did the cakes come out of the tin okay? Did you put 225g in each tin or split the batter 5 ways?
I didn't weight the batter, which is a school boy error as I know from a cookery course I did run by a MIchelin star chef that a golden rule is weight everything. I didn't line the tins, I did grease them though, three cakes stuck to the bottom.

Are you going to try this and see if it works? I get the point of the plain flour so as not to get a high rise, but for all the recipes I've seen, they use self-raising but probably bigger tins. I think Lakeland have put the recipe on because of the mixed reviews on their site for the pans, which is great if it can help people out. What you need is a tried and tested recipe that works for these. Fingers crossed, this does it.
Not sure... I noticed the comments about the rounded shape of the layers, which is something I spotted straightaway about the tins. When you look at the recipe image close up, you can see how uneven the side of the cake is. Two reviewers said the rounded sides made it difficult to decorate. Interestingly, the other layer cake recipes on Lakeland's site use their own layer tins rather than the Wilton ones.

a60a2511-2159-4379-b329-d60438ad04e7.jpeg
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Don't worry... I should have done more research; instead, I was too keen to get started :neutral:.

Yeah, but in all fairness, I should have checked first before recommending the product, but because I have other stuff from them that's excellent quality, I didn't think I needed to.

That recipe does use the all in one method. I'm pretty sure that all the recipes I've seen have equal parts of butter, sugar and flour 🤔. I made a victoria sponge very successfully (that recipe didn't use the all in one method).
View attachment 5939

Victoria sponge is a go-to, tried and tested, very versatile recipe that I often use.😊 This recipe I can recommend until the cows come home! 🐮 It's great for adapting, too, if you need to size up or down. With the Victoria recipe, I always use the creaming method. This is the one I mentioned the more you beat; it goes from a yellow to a pale colour when creaming.

If you want to use that tried and tested recipe from This Morning you mentioned, then fine, do what works for you.

I always use:
  • 150 grams margarine/sugar/self-raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs

Cream the butter and the sugar, add the eggs one at a time and then add the flour. You can then increase or decrease i.e.
  • 100 grams marg/sugar/self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
or
  • 200 grams to a 4 egg mix, so on and so forth etc.

I didn't weight the batter, which is a school boy error as I know from a cookery course I did run by a MIchelin star chef that a golden rule is weight everything. I didn't line the tins; I did grease them though, three cakes stuck to the bottom.
View attachment 5939

Yep! Always weigh all your ingredients and definitely the batter into each pan, so you know you are getting the correct amount in each.

Always line the tins, sometimes I don't when making a Sandwich cake, and even I get caught out now and again.

Not sure... I noticed the comments about the rounded shape of the layers, which is something I spotted straightaway about the tins. When you look at the recipe image close up, you can see how uneven the side of the cake is. Two reviewers said the rounded sides made it difficult to decorate. Interestingly, the other layer cake recipes on Lakeland's site use their own layer tins rather than the Wilton ones.
View attachment 5939

The problem we have now is we are looking at all the faults surrounding the tins. But that's not going to help matters, plus some people have said they were okay so I'm going with a positive note that we're going to make them work. So all we can do now is try them. If they are still becoming an issue we may have to look at Plan B with different tins. Not what I want but I don't want you making 96 varieties of cake either!
 
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clerahi

Active Member
I also meant to ask why you were baking the cakes on such a low temp?
That's the temperature according to the recipe. The test chocolate cake I did from the same website was also 140 fan, if you remember I cooked it at 160 fan by mistake, it came out fine though. The temperature for the victoria sponge from the This Morning recipe is 170 fan. On the ingredients for that 10g of the low fat spread is for greasing the tin, so it's 160g for the cake.

Yep! Always weigh all your ingredients and definitely the batter into each pan, so you know you are getting the correct amount in each.

Always line the tins, sometimes I don't when making a Sandwich cake, and even I get caught out now and again.
I'm an idiot not weighing the batter out into the tins. When I cook I weigh everything meticulously from start to finish. I lined the tins for both cakes I've made so far, I should've just lined the base on the Wilton tins.
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, I remember. 140° seems a very low temp to bake a cake at though. I only bake on a lower temp when the cake is very deep, or it's a Christmas Cake.

Lining the tins is easily missed, so I wouldn't beat yourself up over it; the only thing to do now is to make sure we get a good cake baked.

I would like to see a pic of the cakes you have made in the Wilton Tins if you have them. It would be interesting to see the shapes of them. It doesn't matter what they look like. Have you done anything with them yet?
 

clerahi

Active Member
No pictures I'm afraid, I binned them in dispair...

Basically they were oversized and a very uneven large dome. The outside was overcooked (brown) and the bottom was undercooked. Probably a combination of the quantity of batter and the temperature.

Work should be quieter this week so I'll have time to do some baking in the evenings.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Help with the Wilton Cake Pan Set

Hi Mike

So today, I have been playing about with the Wilton Tins.

Wilton 5 Pan Tin Experiment by Help Me Bake (1) (Medium).jpg

After reading about the issues you and everyone else seemed to be having, it seemed only fair that I bought a set and found out what exactly was going on with them.

So today, I've done a few bakes to weigh/time and work out what is going on with the tins/batter and whether they work properly or not.

Wilton 5 Pan Tin Experiment by Help Me Bake (2) (Medium).jpg

I ordered the same batch that I posted for you.

I decided that I would use my normal Victoria Sponge Recipe; however, I only had large eggs, so I ended up tweaking the recipe slightly and tried weighed batches of the ingredients in the pans. You can see the 'pancake' type cakes on the left-hand side.

Wilton 5 Pan Tin Experiment by Help Me Bake (3) (Medium).jpg

I baked various 'weights' of batter ranging from 80 grams to 120 grams per pan. The bottom left is the one I made using 120 grams; this got me to a layer similar to a sandwich tin. So I decided to make another batch (sent my husband for some medium eggs) and then tried again.

The cakes on the right in the pans are my normal Victoria Sandwich 150 gram (butter, sugar & self-raising flour) mix with 3 medium eggs. I also used Cake Release spray on the tins and lined them on the bottom.

Once the batter was mixed, I then.
  • Weighed 150 grams of the batter into 3 Wilton Tins
Wilton tin Experiment by Help Me Bake Medium.jpg
  • Baked in a Fan Assisted oven on two shelves at 170°C for 18 minutes.
  • Once removed from the oven, I left to cool for 5 mins then ran a large palette knife around the edge of the cakes before I turned them out onto a wire rack. I then carefully removed the lining paper.
Wilton 5 Pan Tin Experiment by Help Me Bake (4) (Medium).jpg

I then stacked them on top of one another, filled with jam and sprinkled with icing sugar.

Wilton 5 Pan Tin Experiment by Help Me Bake (5) (Medium).jpg

I'm now curious about your thoughts.
 
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clerahi

Active Member
Hi Angie,

Thank you so much for doing this, I really appreciate it. I had a rare trip out for work today and spent most of the drive up and down the M1 thinking about batter recipes and tins...

The cakes you made look great, nothing like the ones I did, which does give me more confidence over using the tins. With two more layers it would be around 8cm to 9cm high.

Looking at the photo of the finished sponge, is the top layer domed, or is it just the photo? Also are the sides curved, if they are do you think this will cause a problem decorating the cake (particularly me doing it) as a couple of reviewers commented?
 
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