Ann Reardon

3D unicorn cake tutorial


cute unicorn drawing: 1 and 2
 

This 3D unicorn cake is a 4 out of 5 for cake decorating difficulty so if you’re just starting out you may like to try this easier unicorn cake. Or you could use the unicorn on the surprise cakes app and add it to the top of any cake.

To make this 3D unicorn cake you will need:

Unicorn Cake Template

Template for cutting the cake and fondant pieces

 
25cm (9.84 inches) Stainless steel threaded rod and 5 nuts to fit (found at hardware store, wash well in hot soapy water before use)
3 Cake pop sticks
Gold Luster Dust
Chocolate Cake (see recipe below)
Buttercream frosting (see details below)
Wooden base cake board. Mine was 50cmx45cmx1.2cm (0.47 inches) mdf covered in foil. You could use a slightly smaller one but you do want some weight in the base when making a top heavy cake like this. I also added four feet to the underneath this makes it easier to move the cake on the counter and gives room for the nut under the board. Note some hardware stores like bunnings will cut mdf to the size you request.
2 round cake boards 10cm (3.94 inches) and 15cm (5.91 inches). I suggest that the 15 cm (5.91 inches) one is wooden you can use card for the other one.
A drill – you need to drill a hole through the base board and the three cake boards.
70g (2.47 ounces) blue fondant
70g (2.47 ounces) purple fondant
120g (4.23 ounces) pink fondant
100g (3.53 ounces) black fondant
70g (2.47 ounces) yellow fondant
1kg (2.2 pounds) white fondant
80g (2.82 ounces) grey fondant
Ball tool (optional but helpful)
400g (14.11 ounces) white chocolate, sprinkles, stars cut from the left over fondant (optional, to decorate the board)

Step 1: Make the fondant details

These can be made up to a month ahead, let them dry out then store in an airtight container to stop them getting dusty.

Unicorn Horn

Roll out a snake of black fondant making it skinnier at one end. Twist it around the cake pop stick to make the horn. Check the size against the template and adults as necessary. Squashed the base of the horn flat at the back so it will sit flush against the cake.
Brush with gold luster dust and then leave to dry out.

3d unciroan cake how to cake cook ann reardon

Eyeballs

Roll a ball of black and cut it in half. Roll each of them into a ball and double check the size using the template.

Unicorn Ears

Using the template cut the ear shapes out of white fondant. Gently press a cake pop stick onto each ear. Cut the inside part of the ear out of pale pink and use a little water to stick it onto the ears.

Front legs

Roll a cone shape of white and shape it using your template as a guide, don’t make the hoof part now, we will do that when adding it to the cake.

Step 2: Bake the cakes & Make the frosting

I like to do this the day or evening before I am going to be assembling the cake, simply because cakes take quite a long time to cool completely.

Rich Chocolate Cake,

This cake is yummy and great for carving.

450g (15.87 ounces) dark chocolate
710g (25.04 ounces) or 3 1/4 cups margarine / butter
1100g (38.8 ounces) or 5 cups caster sugar
18 eggs
450g (15.87 ounces) or 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
70g (2.47 ounces) or 1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 1/2 tsp baking powder

Melt the chocolate and margarine together in the microwave. Mix in the sugar then whisk in the eggs, yes there really are 18 eggs. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix until they are just combined – do not over-mix.
Pour into three baking trays 38cm (14.96 inches) x 28.5cm (11.22 inches) and bake for approximately 15 minutes each or until cooked through. Leave to cool then if not using the same day leave in the trays and wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap.

how to cake a unicorn cake tutorial

Level the tops of your cakes and using the template cut out all the shapes that you need.

Buttercream frosting

Make four times one of the buttercream frosting flavourson this recipe page. If you’d like to use chocolate buttercream then I’d suggest only using it between the layers and then using vanilla on the outside of the cake so it doesn’t show through your white fondant.

3d unicorn cake tutorial who to

Simple Syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Heat the sugar and water in a cup in the microwave until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool.

Step 3: Assembly

Starting with body layer 1 add some simple syrup, a layer of frosting then cake layer 2 then more simple syrup and frosting. Continue that pattern until the body is complete.

Pick up the body and add it to the centre of the rod sliding it down to the base. Put the body template in front and carve down each side to match the shape of the template. Do the same at the front and the back.

Cover the body in butter cream and smooth it out and flatten the top.

Add a nut and three cake pop sticks into the cake and top with your 10cm (3.94 inches) cake board. Add a little bit of frosting then add head layer one. Screw on a nut down to be level with the cake then add a layer of frosting.

how to make a unicorn cake video

Add the 15cm (5.91 inches) round wooden cake board on top. Secure it into place using another nut and tightening it with a spanner. Add your next layer of cake, simple syrup and frosting then place the next layer on top and continue to layer it up all the way to the top.

Place the head template in front of the cake and trim around the template to make the rounded unicorn head shape. Do the same on the front and corners so that it is rounded all the way around. Cover the whole head in buttercream and smooth it out using a spatula. Take some acetate and use it to make the head totally smooth.

Decide which side is the front of your unicorn and drape the fondant over the head smoothing that side first. shape and trim around the head. Watch the video for a demonstration. This is the step most people find the hardest. Dealing with large pieces of fondant without tearing them takes practice. When you are lifting it to move it to your cake rest it on your forearms instead of just your hands so the weight is spread out and it is less likely to tear.

Wrap a rectangle of fondant around the body and smooth it into place. Trim off the excess and tuck it under so that it is rounded.

Cut the grey mouth shape using the template and add it to the front of the face using a little water to make it stick. Use a ball tool to make the nostrils. Make an indent where the eyes are and add the eyeballs into place. Add a small dot of white onto each one.

how to make unicorn cake

Make the grey hoof for the front legs and add them into place. Then make the two back legs and wrap them around the side of the body.

Poke the ears and the unicorn horn into the head.

Roll some snakes of coloured fondant getting skinnier at one end and add them along the template for the hair and add that down one side of the face.

unicorn cake youtube best

Repeat on the other side then make another piece for the tail. Twist the tail together and add it at the back of the unicorn cake.

Cover the board in melted white chocolate one section at a time and add sprinkles over the top.

Take a photo of the birthday boy/girl with their cake before the party guests arrive. It is hard to snap a good shot kids excitedly squeezing in close to see the unicorn.

amazing unicorn cake how to cook that ann reardon

Copyright © 2017 Reardon Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. How To Cook That

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can pre-order your very own copy: http://bit.ly/ARcookbook


All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

53 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    L

  2. Rating: 5

    So so helpful! Thanks a ton for the amazing tutorial!
    My forst time making a proper structure. Apparantly, i did not secure the boara for the head properly. But it made a unique cake!

  3. Rating: 5

    Thanks Ann. We love your work. ☺

    • Ann

      Awesome cake Renee, really well done 3d gravity defying cakes are not easy ??

  4. Rating: 5

    I got this far using Anne’s template and instructions but then had a major cake fail. In the extreme heat, the cake started to melt and fall apart. A few tips for other amateurs:
    – maybe if I had covered the cake in ganache instead of buttercream, it might have held up (the buttercream almost liquified around the head).
    – alternatively, I could have put the constructed cake in the fridge and then only covered it in fondant and finished decorating as late as possible close to the party. I was so happy I didn’t leave it right to the last minute (covered late Friday night so I could finish on Saturday for a Sunday morning party), but it had a whole day in heat and air conditioning for the buttercream to soften, and fondant to both soften and crack. Important for hot days or if you’re in a hot climate.
    – I couldn’t find the right length threaded rod from hardware stores and couldn’t cut it, so ended up using food safe cake structure parts – a base flange, 4 inch rod, coupler (for the body), washer (for 1st cake board), 1 inch rod (1st head layer), another washer (2nd cake board), and another 4 inch rod, coupler and 1 inch rod for the rest of the head. It was well supported, so that’s not why it fell apart.

  5. Rating: 5

    Hi, I am going to be making this cake. Can I please check the size of the 2nd (wooden) cake board for the head? The instructions state it is 13cm (and I just purchased this). However, from looking at the video and the size of the layers above this board, it looks significantly larger and almost the size of layer 1 of the head – at least 6 inches (and maybe bigger?). I’m worried that 13 cm is going to be too small as there will be a lot of cake in layer 3 (and 4) hanging over the edge of that board. I would appreciate if you could please clarify.

    • Ann

      Hi Julia, 6″ cake board will be fine to use instead.

  6. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann

    I took your unicorn template and changed a few details…. hope you don’t mind…
    love from Switzerland

  7. Rating: 5

    Hello,
    I am hopeful you will see this and be able to respond. I love this cake and will be purchasing the template to make for my daughter’s birthday on December 9th. My issue if I have only found a 6.5in by 0.13in (165mm by (3.302mm) circle board with no way to cut it down…will this still work for the cake? should I use 2 of the boards? Also will the latter’s cat how much of the rod to put into the base?

    Thank you so much!

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Amanda, You could purchase the right sized board online, because you do need a strong board for this 3D cake and it would reduce the guess work for you. I would suggest following Ann’s recommendations and using 2 boards, 1 being heavy card (cover with food grade wrap) and for the one that should be wooden (if you can’t locate a suitable size), then you may need to create a thicker /stonger board by using several layers of the card reinforced with paddle pop sticks inbetween the layers or something similar. Again cover it all with food grade wrap or alfoil. It needs to be very strong and able to hold the weight of the cake.

      • Rating: 5

        Hi thank you so much for the response! My husband says a friend can cut the boards we found down for us With the size I mentioned above would 2 layered be thick enough or would I new more? Also what size eggs are used in the cake? I’m making my shopping list and noticed it just says 18 Eggs.
        Thank you so much I appreciate the help <3

        • Admin HowToCookThat

          Hi Amanda, Medium (this is what An uses) to large eggs will be fine. I think 2 would be fine

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