How to Paint on Icing – Rainbow Unicorn

Header image for painted rainbow unicorn

Painting a Cartoon Style Rainbow Unicorn

This Rainbow Unicorn is painted on icing in a cartoon style using a poster painting technique. If you know how to paint on icing you can add any images you want to a cake and this tutorial will lead you through the stages to get a great finish. This is one of the simplest forms of painting on icing and a great place to start! You use blocks of colour to build up the Rainbow Unicorn image. A little shading adds basic detail.

For this Rainbow Unicorn I have traced out the design and transferred it to a plaque using the edible pen technique (tutorial for this coming soon). You can do this straight onto your cake if you prefer.

At the end of this post you will find a video showing the whole process.

You will need:
You will need food colours, palette brushes and edible ink pen

How to mix the colours

Start by adding some icing whitener to your palette

Add a spot of each colour to the centre and mix a little into the powder using water or alcohol

You will need:

  • Pale pink for the body
  • A deeper pink for shading
  • Blue for the horn and hooves
  • Yellow, Purple, Deep Pink, and Aqua for the mane and tail

How To Paint the Body

Paint the main part of the body of the rainbow unicorn pale pink
Load the sable brush with pale pink colour. This should be liquid enough to flow smoothly as you paint so adjust the thickness if you need to. Follow the shape of the unicorn’s body and use long even strokes to paint the pink all over the body, head and legs. Add more colour to your brush when you need to.

Adding shading to the rainbow unicornThen using the deeper pink colour – this should be a few shades darker – don’t make it too dark!- add shading detail to the head, underside of the legs and body and around the back of the unicorn.

Using a little more of the pale pink blend the edges of the shading so there is no obvious line between the two pink colours.

How to Paint the Horn and Hooves

detail of hoovesUsing the pale baby blue fill in the whole area of the horn an hooves. Then darken the blue a little and paint in the shaded detail – a line down the horn and the edges of the hooves.

Painting the head detail

close up of head detailMix a little of the pale yellow with a little pale pink to make a light flesh colour and paint the muzzle of the unicorn

Add some deep pink to this and paint the inside of the ears.

Using the deeper baby blue paint the eye

How to Paint the Mane and Tail of the Unicorn

Using the deep pink paint a stripe down each section of the mane following the flow of the outline. Do the same with the tail.
Add a stripe each of purple, yellow and aqua until the mane and tail.
detail of mane and tail
are complete. Finish the tail with a thin stripe of pink on the top

Using a very pale yellow brush around the base of the unicorn so he looks like he is sitting on something rather than floating in the air!

Leave to dry completely

How to Complete the Rainbow Unicorn

drawing the outline
When the painted unicorn is completely dry outline carefully with the thicker end of the Rainbow Dust Food Art Pen. Use long strokes if possible for a smoother finish. Draw in the eye leaving some of the blue visible and add lashes. You can add a small white dot in the eye using the Icing whitener powder to add life to eye if you like.

I have used the black pen to emphasise the cartoon nature of the painting however you can use a pale grey or pink pen if you prefer a softer look.

 

If you want watch the whole process I have added a video of how the Rainbow Unicorn was painted so check that out below:

Video Tutorial – How to Paint a Rainbow Unicorn on Icing

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How To Make a Drip Cake

…and everything else you need to know.

I’ve been busy, researching the best ways to create the ultimate drip cake and I’ve found some really interesting information for you guys. The plan is for me to write it all down in one place for you!

I have found the best free tutorials, top cakey tips and fan share inspiration. I’ll also recommend the products you can use to achieve the very best results.

This video is by Rosie’s Dessert Spot and gives you a really good idea how to get started with your drip cake.

The blog that I’d also highly recommend is Craftsy’s ‘How To Make a Trendy Drip Cake’

craftsy_drip_cake

Craftsy offer a full and even more importantly free step by step guide to create this also vibrant cake.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Chilled buttercream, ganache or fondant covered cake (The chilled part is important! Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to add the glaze drip)
  • Heavy cream (aka whipping or double cream)
  • Tempered chocolate or confectionery coating
  • Gel or paste food colouring (appropriate for use with chocolate)
  • Angled palette knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Microwaveable glass bowl
  • Spatula

Do you want to achieve that gorgeous vibrant pink? Try out Rainbow Dust Pro Gel Pink! Our favourite!

Pink Day Inspiration

OK, so we’ve mastered the cake, we have a step by step… do you want to try and create a glaze drip? We’ve got you covered with this helpful video recipe from Cupcake Savvy Kitchen. Their youtube channel has loads of great, free video tutorials on it!

TOP TIP: Worried about your buttercream melting? Add a small amount of Meri-White to the mix, this helps firm the buttercream slightly, whilst keeping it light and fluffy… no sticky mess! This same technique goes for all buttercream cakes including cupcakes!

Finally lets get some Drip Cake Eye Candy on the go with some of our lovely customer shares!

We have share days on our Party Animal Online Facebook Page on Monday’s and Friday’s if you want to share any of your creations with us 🙂

Drip Cake Inspiration

★ FAN SHARE ★ Now how about this for a drip cake!! This is Wendy Palmer’s first ever drip cake and I think it is amazing!! I could tuck into a piece of that right now! Chocolate heaven!

Drip Cake Inspiration

★ FAN SHARE ★ Leaza McLaughlin has shared her tasty looking Wedding Anniversary Cake with us!
“Simple buttercream and ganache drip cake for my wedding anniversary 💍🍾. Ganache coloured with Sugarflair pink paste.” Happy Wedding Anniversary and what better way to spend it than eating cake

How To Make A Drip Cake

★ FAN SHARE ★ Mmmmm I could eat a huge slice of this right now! This delicious cake has been shared with us by Katy Chanter “Made this yummy chocolate orange drip cake. Gorgeous progel orange from your good selves.” Thanks for shopping and sharing with us Katy 

Make Drip Cake

★ FAN SHARE ★ “This was 9″ high. No dowels as the choccy is hard in this weather” posted by Cathy Taylor.

We recommend always using dowels if you are using buttercream or ganache and especially in warm weather. It will save the chance of a complete hair pulling disaster!

If you like the metallic cake finish on Cathy’s cake I recommend reading our Metallic Cake Finish Blog!

Did you know you can also make drip cakes using just Colour Melts? Read our blog Melt and Create to find out more about them.

Melt and Create

Thanks for reading and following our blogs… feel free to write any suggestions for helpful articles in the comments below.

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Traditional English Rich Fruit Cake

RICH FRUIT CAKE

This traditional English Rich Fruit Cake recipe makes a rich fruit cake that is perfect for Weddings, Christenings and other Celebrations as well as for the traditional English Christmas Cake. With the rising popularity of traditional styled and Royal Iced cakes fruit cakes are again getting fashionable!

This fruit cake recipe gives a dark moist cake, sweet and fruity. We used this recipe at Party Animal for over 20 years and it never failed to get a good response whether used for Christmas, weddings or any other special occasion.

It is best to bake the cake at least one month and preferably about 3 months before use so that it matures and the flavours develop.

This recipe makes an 8″ square / 9″ round cake approximately 3″ deep.

Ingredients

The fruit Mix

Fruit and Nut mix for Rich Fruit Cake

  • 295g raisins
  • 295g sultanas
  • 280g currants
  • 145g dried apricots
  • 175g glace cherries
  • 100g mixed peel (some people leave this out but as long as it is well soaked
    it adds an extra ‘bite’ to the mix)
  • 100g chopped nuts (I personally use a mix of almond nibs, almond flakes and chopped walnuts)
  • 12ml finely grated lemon rind
  • 35ml fresh lemon juice
  • 60ml brandy or we use what we know as ‘soaking mix’ – 2 parts sherry: 1 part rum: 1 part brandy – a perfect mix for flavour and the alcohol content is unimportant as that will burn off during cooking – that’s why you can use this even for teetotallers!

The Cake Batter Mix

Ingredients for the fruit cake batter

  • 325g dark brown sugar
  • 325g butter
  • 30ml a mix of treacle and golden syrup – I use a 50:50 mix but if you prefer a darker less sweet cake just use treacle
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 20ml (4tspn) mixed spice
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 370g plain flour

Method

Soak the fruit

Chop the apricots and cherries to taste – You can chop finely for a more even dispersion but I like to have some larger pieces of cherry in the mix as I find this give a moister taste to the cake.
Adding Lemon Juice to the Fruit Mix
Add all the dried fruit, cherries and apricots to a bowl along with the lemon juice and rind, chopped nuts, and soaking mix. Mix well and cover or place into a sealed food box.

Leave for at least overnight but preferably for 3-4 days and up to about 1 week is fine. This will allow the fruit to soak up the liquid. Shake or stir occasionally to make sure all the fruit gets soaked thoroughly. This helps with plumping up the fruit for a moist cake finish.The fruit ready to soak

Bake the Cakes

Line a greased tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment and grease well.

Preheat oven to approx 140°C
cake batter for rich fruit cake
Cream together the sugar and butter then add the eggs. Mix in the remaining ingredients including treacle, spice, almonds and flour. Mix until smooth and then stir in the soaked fruit and any juice that is left. I find this is a good time to get clean hands involved! It is much easier to mix evenly using your hands when the fruit is added.
The finished rich fruit cake mix ready to bake
Fill the prepared tins with the rich fruit cake mixture and smooth with a damp spoon. (A good trick to make sure the mix is even is to bang the tins down a few times which should remove any air pockets.) The damp spoon should leave the top damp. This will help the top surface to cook without drying out.

Bake in a preheated oven at approx 140°C. for about 3 - 3½ hours.

Ovens vary greatly so if you find that the cake is beginning to peak or crack turn down the oven and cook for a little longer.

To test - press surface of cake lightly - it should feel firm to the touch. Take out cake and listen to it! If it sings (whistles) it is not quite ready so pop back in for a minute or two.
baked-fruit-cake
Leave to cool in the tin until you can pick up the tin easily without gloves. This gives the cake time to settle and set up a bit. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Store

Brush the cake surface with some brandy or other spirit. You will need about 60ml. We usually use what we term our 'feeding mix'. This is 2 parts brandy: 1 part rum: 1 part sherry and gives a good flavour to the cakes. Unlike when you are soaking the fruit, you will need to use fruit juice or sugar syrup to feed your cakes for teetotallers as the alcohol remains in the cakes. If you pierce the cake surface with a fine skewer before feeding you will get the feeding mix deeply into the cake.

Cut some greaseproof paper for the top of the cake and then wrap in foil. Finally wrap in Cling Film and store in a cool dry place.

Rich fruit cakes can be stored for up to 6 months before using. From time to time open up and feed with more feeding mixture to add more flavour and keep moist. Do not overdo it or your cakes will be soggy and difficult to decorate.
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fireworks-cake_banner

Novelty Firework Cake – Bonfire Night

Novelty Firework Cake

Finished_novelty_fireworks_cake

This novelty firework cake is perfect for a bonfire night tea. Shaped as 2 fireworks with ‘exploding’ stars it will make a great centrepiece, and when it is cut each person gets their own little Catherine Wheel cake. You can’t get much more bonfire themed than that!

What you will need

Tools

    • Rolling pins – one for rolling out the paste and a small pin for the decoration
    • Marzipan spacers are useful for making sure your paste is the correct thickness
    • Small and medium circular cutters
    • Sharp knife
    • Baking Parchment for templates
    • Non-Stick board
    • Star Cutters – I used the FMM Star Set
    • Alphabet Cutters – I used the FMM Art Deco Tappit set
    • Shell tool for embossing the board to give a grass effect.

Method – Preparation

Step 1: Bake your cake. You can find the recipe and instructions for baking a Fat-Free Swiss Roll here.
Colour your sugarpaste. You will need approx. 400g Purple, 250g Red, 250g Green and 100g Yellow. Cover your board with the green paste and emboss using the shell tool.

Embossing the cake board
Ideally it is best to do this step the day before so that the paste and cakes set up a little to make it easier to work.

Step 2: Make the stars – This could be done a few days ahead to make sure that they are completely dry but they certainly need to dry overnight at least.

Cut the metallic wires to the variable lengths. Roll out the white Squires SMP thinly on a non-stick board and cut out a variety of stars using the FMM Star Set of cutters. Dip the end of the wire into edible glue and fix each star onto a wire.

Either leave flat to dry or place in oasis or polystyrene to dry. Personally I like to dry them standing because it gives a bit more shape to the stars rather than them being flat although they are delicate at this stage so take care. Leave to set up completely.

Make the stars

When set brush with edible glue and dip in the glitter. I use a piece of parchment paper under them as that way it is possible to tip a lot of glitter onto each star to ensure they are well covered. Any glitter remaining on the paper can then be tipped back into the pot when finished.

Set aside and leave to dry thoroughly.

Method – Covering the Firework cakes

Step 3: Cut the swiss roll into 2. One should be approximately twice as long as the other section. This will make 2 novelty firework cakes. Using parchment paper make a template for your covering.

Mask the cakes thinly with buttercream or ganache and stand on end.

Cut the cakes and make the templates

Step 4: Roll out a small piece of purple paste and cut 2 circles using the larger circle cutter – you should chose a cutter the same size as the cake surface. Place the cut paste on the top end of each cake.

Cover the larger cake with purple paste and the smaller with red paste using the templates as a guide. Leave a small amount standing proud of the top edge.

cut out top circles of paste
roll_out_covering

Cut a thin strip of the contrasting coloured paste and tuck into the join, fixing in place with edible glue. This gives a stripe down the back of each firework cake. When you cut the cake into the slices each slice will have a contrasting ‘fuse’.
covered_cakes

With the remaining purple paste roll out thickly and cut 2 circles and fix to the centre of each firework cake top with edible glue. This makes the ‘fuse’ and will be where you will fix your stars so that the wires do not go into the cake.

top_fuse

Method – Finishing Touches

Step 5: On a non-stick board roll out the black Squires SMP to make the labels for the fireworks. It is important that this paste is rolled very thinly. Cut into a strip. Rub a little cornflour under the paste to release it from the board and a little into the top surface with your fingertips to help the letters come out of the cutters easily.

Using the FMM Tapit set select the letter you need and press into the paste. Scrub it a little against the board to ensure it is cleanly cut. Lift out and then tap the end of the cutter firmly against your table top. The letter should drop out cleanly. If it sticks you may have your paste too thick or you may not have dried the top enough with your cornflour. Repeat with the remaining letters until you have all you need.

Roll out a strip of white Squires SMP paste and stick the letters onto this using a little edible glue. Trim to size and then glue the strip to the side of the larger firework cake as shown.

Making the lettering labels

Step 6: Cut out some yellow stars using the FMM star cutters and fix to the side of the smaller cake.

fireworks_with_details

Step 7: Place the cakes carefully on the covered board using a little buttercream or ganache if necessary to stick them in place. You could add a few stars to the board or else add an inscription if you prefer.

Step 8: Finally arrange the stars into the top of each cake. You can also make a few spirals using the metallic wires.
make spirals of wireSimply wrap the wire around a small rolling pin (A Cel Stick is ideal for this). Remove the wire and you will have a spiral ‘spring’. These can be used to fill out the firework topper.

Finished_novelty_fireworks_cake

So there you have your finished Firework cake with glittery stars topper.

To serve the cake cut into slices. You will end up with a plateful of little Catherine wheels thanks to the spiral of the roulade, complete with a little fuse.

Enjoy!

Variations

If you don’t want to bake a swiss roll you can of course get ready made shop ones which you can just decorate. Alternatively you could use your favourite firm cake mix baked in empty washed out cans – I love the Rich Cherry Cake for this – for 4 baked bean cans you will need about a half quantity of cake mix. Unfortunately this will not give you the pretty spirals when cut but tastes delicious!

Take care this November the 5th and enjoy the praise from all for this fabulous Novelty Fireworks Cake!

swiss-roll-slice

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Rich Cherry Cake Basic Recipe

Rich Cherry Cake

This Rich Cherry Cake recipe is one of our absolute favourite cakes here at Partyanimalonline. It can be used for celebration cakes as well as novelty cakes or simply as a lovely cake with a cup of afternoon tea! It is a rich madeira style cake with ground almonds and glace cherries, firm enough to shape and cut well, but moist and tasty.

This recipe makes a 8″ round or 7″ square deep cake.

Ingredients

Rich Cherry Cake Ingredients

  • 240g Caster Sugar
  • 240g Margarine or Butter
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 70g Plain Flour
  • 205g Self Raising Flour
  • 60g Cornflour
  • 60g Ground Almonds
  • 325g Glace Cherries

Method

Step 1: Preheat the oven to about 170°c / 325°f/ gas 3. Line a 8″ round (or 7″ square) greased tin with parchment or greaseproof paper. Lightly grease the paper.

Step 2: Sift together the 3 flours in a bowl and set aside. Cream the sugar and butter in a mixer until light and fluffy.

Step 3: Add the eggs slowly. If the rich cherry cake batter begins to curdle (separate and look a little lumpy) add a little of the flour to the mixture. Mix in the ground almonds. The batter should be at a dropping consistency. This when the mix will drop off a spoon when you give it a little shake. If it is too firm a little milk can be added to the mixture. Be careful not to overdo this however as otherwise you may find the cherries do not stay dispersed through the mix but drop to the bottom instead.

Step 4: Cut the cherries roughly in half, wash and dry well. Mix with the flour and then fold into the batter mixture making sure that the cherries are well dispersed.

Rich herry Cake Batter

Step 5: Tip the rich cherry cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1½ hours until risen and golden brown. The cake should not form a peak as it rises but should stay nice and flat. If you find that it is rising too quickly turn down your oven a little. All ovens vary and you may need to adjust temperatures and cooking times to suit your own oven.

Step 6: When cooked place on a wire rack still in the tin until it is just cool enough to pick up without gloves. This will allow time for the cake to firm up before turning out. Do not let it cool completely or it will be difficult to remove from the tin and a thick crust may develop on the outside of the cake from sitting too long in the tin.

Step 7: Leave to cool completely before decorating to suit. This cake is firm enough to cut and shape for novelty cakes.

Variations

You can use other glace fruit such as pineapple or ginger in place of the cherries or if you want to make a light fruit cake dried currants, sultanas and raisins can be added. When using dried fruits it is advisable to soak overnight in orange and or lemon juice to plump up the dried fruit and keep the cake moist.

suagrflair_food_colours

Mixing Sugarflair Food Colours

Mixing Sugarflair Food Colours

I’m not sure if you’ve seen this one on Mixing Sugarflair Food Colours on our YouTube channel yet, it’s from about 3 years ago now but the concept remains solid! We get asked quite a lot about the shades and variations that can be produced with professional food colours. We used Sugarflair as our example brand as they are one of our best selling food colours alongside Rainbow Dust Pro-Gels.

There’s two really helpful videos we put together to show you how to get the most out of mixing sugarflair food colours to create a range of colours.

Mixing Sugarflair Paste Colours

You can do this with our Beginners Sugarflair Set!

Part 1: Mixing with Sugarflair Colours.

Part 2: Mixing with Sugarflair Colours.

We hope this helps!

Don’t forget we have loads of great discounts on Sugarflair Paste Colours all available on our online shop!

 

Teddy Bear Cakes

Teddy Bear Cakes

Teddy Bear Cakes

Here’s some teddy bear cakes for you to admire! It’s national teddy bear day tomorrow, so what better day to show them off!

I’ll be filling this blog with inspiration, teddy bear tutorials and cool teddy bear cake decorating supplies for your homemade cakes.

First up we have this stunning hand painted cake by Time for Tiffin, Liz does so many awesome designs and this has to be one of my favourites! Mix up your edible paint using Sugarflair Paste colours and a touch of vodka or rejuvenator liquid!

Teddy Bear Cakes

I stumbles across this cute design on Pinterest… I love it on there! Gorgeous pallet of colour on this one by Torty a la Myska.

Teddy Bear Cakes

Personally I’m a big fan of those who go the extra mile with creativity on the board! The wood effect on this cake really makes it stand out and it can be created so easily with Impression mats and a little food colouring. Cake by Crafty Confections.

Teddy Bear Cakes

This airbrushed cake looks so cool! I love the golden shimmer added to it! Created by passioni di zucchero.

Teddy Bear Cakes

How about a nautical themed ted? This is simply beautiful by Bella’s Bakery. You can create realistic shells using a range of moulds and modelling paste. I personally love the shells and starfish mould by Alphabet Moulds.

Teddy Bear Cakes

I can tell a Shereen’s Cakes & Bakes cake from a mile away, Shereen just has the most awesome way with colours! I mean how cute is this?!?!

Teddy Bear Cakes

Romantic Ted! McGreevy Cakes has outdone herself with this one… gorgeous decoupage design. I’ll have this one for Valentines Day please! 😉

Teddy Bear Cakes

Cute Teddy Bear Picnic Cake by The Cupcake Lady. Create the floating balloon effect using a strong wire or dowel… gravity defying!

Teddy Bear Cakes

Tea Break for Ted! How adorable by Bake-A-Boo. Love the biscuits on the side!

Teddy Bear Cakes

Julie Cains Cakes has always really stood out to me! I love Julies individual style of creating texture. Amazing to know: each piece of sugarpaste is rolled to create hundreds of fury spikes! Now that’s dedication from a talented cake artist!

Teddy Bear Cakes

We love this wonderful design made by Marion Frost. The teddy on top was made using the Patchwork Cutters ‘Make a Teddy’ cutter! Fab ay!

Teddy Bear Cakes

Again the last contribution to our blog is by Marion Frost over at Patchwork Cutters. Marion has used the large number cutters and teddy bear cutter from the ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ set to create this simply stunning cake. Loving the daisy detail on the big 3!

Teddy Bear Cakes

A cute simple Teddy Tutorial found on Pinterest.

teddy_tutorial1

Check out this vid by Just Cake It on how to make a teddy! It just gives you the ideas to start practicing yourself and remember we have loads of goods to help you on our Online Store so feel free to pop on for the ‘live’ chat option too!

If you liked this blog you can check out our Teddy Bear Cakes Collection here for loads of goodies that will help you with your Teddy Bear Cakes! For more inspiration visit our Teddy Cake Board on Pinterest!