How To Create A Whimsical Unicorn Carousel Cake
December 20th, 2016
This dazzling carousel cake featuring whimsical unicorns would make a spectacular birthday cake for children and adults. You can simplify the design to create a single tier cake or even change the colour to suit the theme of your party.
Covering The Cake And Board
Covering the board in sugarpaste is not essential but it does create an elegant look. Brush the board with a little cooled boiled water, then dust your work surface with icing sugar and knead and roll out approximately 500g (1lb 2oz) of ivory sugarpaste. Lift up and place onto the board, smooth over with a cake smoother for a professional finish. Cut off any excess icing around the edge of the board with small palette knife and decorate the board with a sparkling gold ribbon, attached with double sided tape. If you prefer not to cover the board in icing, use a gold or coloured board to match the colour theme of your cake.
Starting with the bottom tier, knead and roll out approximately 1 kilo of ivory sugarpaste large enough to cover the top and sides. Use a cake smoother to achieve a professional finish all over the cake. If you want to achieve a crisp look, use a Bellissimo cake smoother to create the sharp top edge. Place the top tier on a cake card the same size as the cake and cover in approximately 500g of sugarpaste. Leave both cakes overnight to dry before assembling.
Assembling The Cakes
Carefully place a palette knife under the bottom tier, lift and place on the covered board, attaching with a little royal icing. Cut three cake dowels to the same height as the cake then carefully push them in so that they will sit in a triangle underneath the top tier (this is to prevent the top tier sinking into the bottom tier). Attach the top tier onto the bottom cake with another dab of royal icing. Finish the bottom edge of both cakes with ivory satin ribbon.
Decorating The Cake
Use a gold or white doily to make the roof of the carousel. Make one cut into the centre of the doily, curl it around and sellotape underneath to create a cone which will neatly sit on top.
We used stripy cake pop straws instead of drinking straws as they are much sturdier, enabling you to push them firmly into the cakes. If you can only get hold of drinking straws, insert long plastic dowels into them to offer some extra support. Make a quick template out of card or greaseproof paper to work out where the straws go then push three straws into the bottom tier and three straws into the top tier, cutting them all off at the same height. Make sure you cut them high enough to take the unicorn cookies on the top tier.
To decorate the sides with scrolls, use a mix of 50/50 sugarpaste mixed with modelling paste or Perfect Paste (this is already mixed for you). Dust the Rococo curl mould with cornflour, press the icing firmly into the mould, then cut off any excess with a flat palette knife. Paint the scrolls gold using a mix of metallic gold dust and pearl white lustre dust mixed with rejuvenator spirit then finish with a spritz of gold edible glitter to add sparkle. Leave for around 5 minutes then attach to the cake with edible glue while each scroll is still soft enough to shape to the curve of the cake. Always start decorating at the back of your cake in case the pattern does not match up precisely!
The Unicorn Cookies
Decorate each of the 6 unicorn cookies individually, embossing the icing with different designs. Take the first cookie and spread it with a really thin layer of either royal icing, apricot glaze or piping gel, being careful that it doesn’t spread down the side of the cookie (using a brush helps to prevent this!) Roll out some ivory sugarpaste to around 5mm thick then dab with a cornflour pouch and roll over again with an embossed rolling pin. Using the same unicorn cutter that the cookies were made from, cut out the icing and gently position into place on top of the cookie. Brush off any excess cornflour and highlight the pattern by painting with metallic gold dust and pearl lustre dust mixed with rejuvenator spirit. We used a mixture of embossed rolling pins and texture sheets to create the different designs on each unicorn. We left one plain, just using a flower and leaf shape modelling tool to shape the horn, mane and tail before painting them gold.
Leave the painted cookies to dry overnight then attach them to the straws with dabs of royal icing or Perfect Paste mixed with a little edible glue to make a sticky icing.
Lastly spritz edible gold glitter spray over the entire cake to add a touch of pizzazz!
Using Perfect Paste modelling icing gives you more time to work with the decorations as it stays softer for longer but will set firm enough to keep its shape.
For an alternative smaller cake, use just one unicorn cookie and wrap with a fabulous matching ribbon.
What we used:
5″ round sponge or fruit cake
9″ round sponge or fruit cake
6 baked unicorn cookies
To decorate –
30.4cm (12in) round cake drum
2kg Sattina ivory sugarpaste
500g Sattina Perfect Paste modelling icing
Golden sands lustre dusting powder
Gold edible glitter spray pump
Silver edible glitter spray pump
Pearl white lustre dust
Large non-stick rolling pin
Small non-stick rolling pin
12.7cm (5″) round single thick card
Bellissimo medium smoother
White or gold doily
Unicorn cookie cutter
Squires Rococo curl scroll mould
Small flat palette knife
Stars embossed mini rolling pin
Knit embossed mini rolling pin
Scroll embossed mini rolling pin
Floral textured embossing sheet
Flower & leaf shape modelling tool
Gold and white sturdy stripy straws
Soft brush for dusting
Fine paint brush for painting
Double sided tape
1m of 15mm gold ribbon
2m of 15mm satin ivory ribbon