This cake nearly drove me to a mental breakdown.
This cake nearly got thrown out of the window at 11pm.
This cake caused me to cry five times and bleed once.
This cake almost lead to me cancelling my daughter’s sixth birthday.
But some of you asked me for the recipe, so here you go.
It involves a lot of butter
For the cake
600g salted butter (room temperature)
600g golden caster sugar
3 tsp vanilla bean paste
12 medium (free-range) eggs (lightly beaten)
600g self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
For the buttercream
500g salted butter (room temperature)
1kg icing sugar
2tsp vanilla bean paste
For the horns, ears and mane
Ice cream cone
Ready to roll royal icing (it took under half a pack)
Extra buttercream in pastel colours (half the above measurements)
Tube of black writing icing (for the eyes)
Edible gold lustre spray
Edible glitter spray
2 x 8″ round cake tins, buttered and lined with baking paper (don’t skip the paper, learnt that the hard way)
Round cake card (bigger than 8″…obvs)
Large piping bag with star shaped nozzle
For the cakes
First of all, do this in two stages. The recipe I was basing it on did not advise this and the bowl wasn’t big enough and it added all kinds of drama and oh god flashbacks…
Anyway, you’re doing this twice through with half the ingredients listed above, to make four layers.
Set the oven to 200°c, 180°c for a fan oven, gas mark 6.
Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla paste with mixer on slow, then up the speed to high until light and fluffy.
Add the beaten egg, about a quarter at a time. Mix this in slowly until fully combined each time.
Gradually sift in the flour and baking powder, a quarter at a time, with the mixer on slow. Don’t mix too vigorously – your cake will go hard and grim.
Separate the mixture evenly into two tins and put in the centre of the oven.
Timings can be a bit difficult here, set an alarm for twenty minutes then check every five if they’re not done. They’ll be golden brown and springy, and a metal skewer inserted will come out clean.
One cooked allow to cool on wire rack.
Repeat these steps to make the other two layers.
Beat the butter and vanilla until soft, light and creamy.
Gradually beat the icing sugar in beating well in between each addition.
For the buttercream for the mane, then separate into different bowls and beat the colourings you want for the mane.
Roll out the royal icing, then roll into a long sausage shape (it’s like playdough but less likely to get trodden into the carpet).
Flatten slightly with your hand.
Wrap around the ice cream cone until completely covered. Twist to a point at the top (careful here, it can end up looking slightly phallic).
A little water will help it stick better if needed.
Once set spray over with gold lustre.
Roll out some more royal icing until about 1cm, and cut out two ear shapes (you can make a stencil out of card to ensure they’re even).
Knead some pink food colouring into another bit of royal icing, roll out thinner than before and cut two smaller, inner ear pieces.
Wet the pink and stick on to the white.
Push a cocktail stick into the bottom of both ears and allow to dry.
Flowers for the mane
Colour some more royal icing and roll out thin.
Cut into flower shapes (I have a tiny flower shaped cutter, that’ll help!).
Spray with edible glitter and allow to dry.
To assemble (deep breath)
I had to trim the cakes a bit to get rid of some burnt edges, so I used one trimmed cake as a stencil for the other layers. (Then I ate the trimmings!)
Stick the bottom layer of the cake to the cake card with a little buttercream, centre.
Spread a layer (this is just the first layer) of buttercream over the bottom layer and add another, repeat with all four layers.
Using a palette knife cover the sides of the cake with a generous layer of buttercream. Fill in any gaps. Don’t worry about any crumbs going into the buttercream.
Once the sides are even add a layer to the top. It looked messy as HELL for me at this point and I nearly cried, I promise it gets better with the next layer!
Put in the fridge for about half an hour (you’ll probably need to remove a shelf, this cake gets tall!).
Once the first layer is set add a second coat in the same way as before. Try and neaten this up as much as possible.
Push the horn on to the top (pick the neatest side to be the front).
Place the ears either side.
Pipe on the mane detail one colour at a time, pipe in small circles to create the swirl detail covering the top and down the back.
Add the flowers through the mane, pushing in gently.
Pipe simple eyes to the front of the cake (this bit is worse than winged eyeliner tbh, practice on a cutting board for about 187 hours first).
Spray the ENTIRE thing with edible glitter. The more the better!
Neck an entire bottle of gin.
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t flawless, but it looked pretty good, tasted pretty great, and put a massive smile on the Tiny Idiot’s face. That’s what matters!