Recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel

Confetti Unicorn Cake

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min (includes cooling and freezing times)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: about 12 servings
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Ingredients

Cake:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans and sprinkles 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

2 cups granulated sugar 

2/3 cup vegetable oil 

5 large eggs, at room temperature 

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 

1 cup milk 

1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles 

Horn and Ears:

2 ounces white fondant

Piping gel, for the horn and ears

Edible gold dust, for the horn

Extract or clear alcohol, for the gold dust and luster dust

1 ounce white gum paste 

Edible luster dust, for the ears

Frosting:

8 sticks (2 pounds) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

8 cups confectioners' sugar (about 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract 

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk 

Black gel food coloring, plus assorted colors, for the frosting

Directions

Special equipment:
three 8-inch cake pans; an empty egg carton; a paintbrush; a 12-inch skewer; a 3-inch heart cutter; a 1 1/2-inch heart cutter; a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip; 3 to 4 pastry bags fitted with assorted open/closed French star or round pastry tips; a cake board
  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch cake pans.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then beat in the vanilla until combined.
  4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk into the batter, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2, starting and ending with the flour, until just smooth. Toss the sprinkles with a teaspoon of flour and fold in by hand 3 or 4 times until just blended to prevent the colors from bleeding. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  5. Bake the cakes on the same oven rack until golden on top and the centers spring back to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes (check the cakes at 20 minutes and if they seem to be browning unevenly, rotate the pans). Let the cakes cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
  6. For the horn and ears: While the cakes are baking, roll the white fondant into a 15-inch-long rope tapered at one end for the horn. Lightly coat a 12-inch skewer halfway up to the point with a dab of piping gel. Coil the fondant rope on the coated skewer to create the horn, keeping a little excess at the top to hide the tip of the skewer. Stand up in a cup or egg carton (punched through) to dry a bit.
  7. Once dry, mix edible gold dust with 2 to 3 teaspoons extract or clear alcohol and brush to color the horn.
  8. For the ears, roll out the gum paste very thinly, about 1/16 inch thick. Cut out one 3-inch heart and one 1 1/2-inch heart. Re-roll the remaining gum paste and repeat to make 2 hearts of each size. Secure each small heart to a big heart with a dab of piping gel so the bottom point is sitting 3/4 inch inside. Brush a little piping gel on the top of one side of one set of hearts and fold the other half in to connect and create the ear. Repeat with the second set of hearts Set them point-side up in the cups of the egg carton to dry.
  9. Once dry, mix a little edible luster dust with 1 teaspoon extract or clear alcohol and brush to color the ears.
  10. For the frosting: While the cakes cool, beat the butter and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar about a cup at a time. Once it's all been added, increase the speed to medium high and beat until white and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla until blended. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat to incorporate. Beat in the remaining milk 1 tablespoon at a time (the frosting should be fluffy and satiny); check for consistency. Divide the frosting in half; set one half aside for frosting the cake.
  11. With the other half of the frosting, remove 1/4 cup to a bowl and color a deep black. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip with the black frosting. Divide the remaining frosting into 3 or 4 parts and color to desired shades. Fill pastry bags fitted with desired open/closed French star and/or round pastry tips with the frosting. Set aside in a cool place.
  12. Assembly: Use the reserved white frosting for the cake. Secure 1 cake layer right-side up on a cake board with a dab of frosting and spread with 3/4 cup of frosting. Top with the second cake layer bottom-side up and repeat. Top with the third layer bottom-side up and frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to seal the crumbs. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  13. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting with an offset spatula to create a smooth cover. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  14. Add the horn to the cake and set an ear on either side using a dab of frosting to secure. Using the reserved colored frosting, pipe rosettes, kisses and stars to form a mane from front to back around the horn and ears. Pipe eyes and lashes on the front side of the cake with the black frosting.