Guess who’s back, back, back… feat. Unicorn Birthday Cake

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Well hello there guys! It’s me, Maddie, hello. It’s been a while! Like, a hell of a while! Sorry!

The build up to Summer was a hella busy time for me; I was preparing for my summer exams, then doing my summer exams, then working full-time for a month as part of an internship. At last, I am now back in my home town of Chorley and looking forward to a reasonably quiet month when I will be able to dedicate some more time to my blog. The quiet time will not last long though, September will be an exciting month for me; not only will I will be turning 21, but Jason and I will be celebrating five years together by a trip to Rome.

Yes- my 21st birthday, which is super scary because it means I’ll be a proper adult and I’m still not very good at adulting, despite having lived alone for the majority of the past two years. Buuutt it does mean that I’m getting things ready for an awesome 21st fiesta, so keep your eyes peeled for some cool DIYs and party decorations up on the blog over the next month or so.

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First up though, today’s post is featuring this awesome cake that I made last week! Jason’s mum asked me to make a unicorn themed birthday cake for one of her friends and I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Like, I’m no cake decorating expert, so I’ll be the first to say it could definitely have looked a little neater, but hey, I think it gives the little guy character.

I had a great time making this cake. It was the first bit of baking I’ve done since Christmas- and it was a great way to get me back into the swing of things! Despite being a bit of a mammoth project to begin with, I think the outcome was definitely worth it. Sadly I’ve no photos of the inside of this cake (I couldn’t cut into before the birthday girl after all!), but it was made with three layers of pink vanilla sponge cake, sandwiched with pink buttercream and lots of sparkles!

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The mane of the unicorn was created using buttercream in four different pastel shades, while I used regal icing to make the horn and ears. I painted these gold by using a mixture of golden baking dust and almond extract- this part smelled so good you guys.

Unfortunately we’ve been having freakishly hot weather in the UK this Summer, and the day I made this cake was no exception! This did lead to some of the butter in the icing oozing out as it melted, which is the yellow liquid you can see on some of these pictures. This was a problem that I’ve never encountered before in my baking, but I’ve since been wondering about how to avoid this happening in the future. Does anybody have any methods to avoid this with their bakes? If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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If you’d be interested in seeing a step by step post on how to make this cake, please let me know in the comments! I’d be happy to create that for you guys.

I hope you’re all having great summers, and perhaps also looking forward to some of my upcoming posts!

Maddie.

Chocolate and Peanut butter celebration cake- It’s my birthday!

This celebration cake is perfect for the peanut butter lovers in your life!

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY GUYS! πŸ˜€ As some of you may know I turned 20 today, so naturally that meant that I spent the entirety of yesterday in the kitchen, baking till I could bake no more! No, seriously, I spent seven hours in there- I was exhausted by the end of it!Β 

I’d been toying over what type of cake to make for my birthday for a while. My birthday cake is my one big bake of the year; the one when I don’t feel guilty about going completely over the top with the edible glitter and food colouring! I’d originally been considering a rainbow cake, but after a bit more thinking I decided on a peanut butter and chocolate cake creation! πŸ™‚

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I lurrrvvvee chocolate cake. I’m not a big chocolate eater on its own, but somehow in cake form I become obsessed with the stuff. Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, I love it all.

Unlike my inherent love for chocolate cake, my liking for peanut butter was something that I hadn’t discovered until recently. Like my obsession with old school Taylor Swift, my discovery of peanut butter flavoured confectionary is something that I owe to Jason. (That boy is a hell of a Swiftie, I’ll tell you that much).

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So that was it, I decided to go all out on a chocolate and peanut butter cake. This over the top bake was complete with alternating layers of peanut butter and chocolate buttercream, sandwiched between THREE moist chocolatey sponges; all slathered in a thick layer of homemade peanut butter icing and coated with a milk chocolate ganache. Not to mention topped off with homemade toffee, edible golf stars and Reese’s peanut butter cups. You only turn 20 once, after all.

If you fancy making your own peanut butter and chocolate cake, I’ve written my recipe below!

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Ingredients (makes three 8″ diameter chocolate sponges):

For the cake:

  • 12oz unsalted butter or Stork margarine
  • 12oz caster sugar
  • 10.5 oz self raising flour
  • 1.5 oz cocoa powder
  • 6 medium eggs

For the icing:

  • 14oz icing sugar
  • 7oz Stork margarine or similar
  • 1/2tbs cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 2tbs peanut butter
  • A splash of milk

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/356F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line three 8″ cake tins. (I only own two and so have to do this in two steps, no worries if this is the case! Simply bake two of your sponges and when they are cooling pop your third in).
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each. Sieve in your remaining flour and cocoa powder and combine.
  3. Once your mixture is thoroughly mixed together, distribute it evenly between the three cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.Β When your cake is fully cooked you should be able to stick a knife in the centre and pull it out clean, that is to say, without any cake mix on it.
  4. Leave your cakes to cool in the tins for five minutes before turning out onto a cake rack and letting cool completely.

Now you can make your icing!

  1. Cream your margarine and icing sugar together carefully until you have a smooth buttercream consistency. Add in the milk and combine.
  2. Spoon about 4tbs of your buttercream into a separate bowl. Add in your cocoa powder. This is your chocolate buttercream.
  3. Add the peanut butter to the remaining buttercream.
  4. Begin to construct your cake! Cover the bottom layer of sponge in your chocolate buttercream before sandwiching with another layer of sponge and then a layer of peanut buttercream. Place your final layer of sponge on top.
  5. Cover your cake in a crumb coat of buttercream and refrigerate for ten minutes. Once refrigerated, you can cover your cake completely in peanut buttercream. (Make sure you leave some peanut buttercream to decorate the top of the cake if you wish to do so).
  6. If you wish to cover your cake in chocolate ganache as I did, find my recipe here! Pour your ganache onto the top so that some drips down the sides of your cake.

Decorate your cake as you wish using peanut buttercream, Reese’s peanut butter cups and bits of toffee! Basically, whatever you fancy!

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Notes: A crumb coat is a rough layer of buttercream that you do to catch all the crumbs from your cake and prevent them from ending up in your final layer of buttercream. Your cake doesn’t have to be completely covered in icing, just a thin layer will do the trick.

That’s it for today guys, I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you’ve got any questions, I’ll do my best to help! πŸ™‚

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie x