Now, statistics prove that you’ve one birthday
Imagine, just one birthday every year
Ah, but there are three hundred and sixty four unbirthdays!
Precisely why we’re gathered here to cheer
A very merry unbirthday to you
Now blow the candle out my dear
And make your wish come true
A merry merry unbirthday to you!
-Mad Hatter and March Hare, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland
To make the unbirthday cake is quite straightforward, and, if you can pipe well, you’ll have an even easier (and neater) time than what I did.
I went between a Disney book and the Disney movie. Naturally it would’ve been nicer for it to be taller, with more exaggerated angles, however this cake packs some heavy pounds, and for a beginning attempt, I wasn’t willing to risk my 3 hours of baking. I’m sure this won’t be my last try at an unbirthday cake though…
The Vanilla Cake
To get the shape, we use a doll cake pan, and begin by baking a simple vanilla cake.
The following recipe I have used over and over from taste.com.au which originally came from Woolworths Good Taste magazine – July 2001, Page 54, Recipe by Michelle Southan (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/12027/easy+vanilla+butter+cake)
Just remember to set aside about 2.5 hours to bake it.
Preheat oven to 140oC. In a mixer dump in 3 cups gluten free self-raising flour, 1 cup gluten free plain flour, 2 cups white sugar, 300g of softened butter (I often melt it before), 1 ¼ cups of milk, 6 eggs and 3 tsp of vanilla essence, and mix well.
Grease the cake pan with either butter or baking spray before filling with the cake mix.
Place on a baking tray for stability before placing on a bottom rack in the oven. Bake for 2.5 hours until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside to let cool completely (approx 1-2 hours)
The Pink Icing
Meanwhile, mix together ~600g of white rolled icing with pink colouring. Start bit by bit, softening the icing with your hands, and adding a thumbprint of colouring at a time, folding it in, then twisting and squishing until it’s swirl free. Finally, once all the icing is mixed, combine it all together and knead it so the colour is smooth and consistant. If your hands get sticky with the icing, dust them with some icing sugar.
The Buttercream Icing
In a mixer, beat together 250g softened butter (not melted!), 3 cups pure gluten free icing sugar (I love CSR’s in a pink bag. No lumps!) and 1 tbsp of milk.
The White Icing
In a mixer, beat together 250g of melted Copha (keeps it white), 3 cups pure gluten free icing sugar (I love CSR’s in a pink bag. No lumps!) and 1 tbsp of milk.
Once cooled slice 1cm off the tiny base so the cake can balance by itself. Don’t level off the top, as it should’ve risen higher in the middle, which will create the arched/curved cake top that the unbirthday cake is shown to have.
Coat the entire cake with a layer of butter icing, using the icing to fill in big gaps on the top of the cake.
Now, I know you’re usually supposed to roll out enough of the pink icing to completely drape and cover the entire cake, but I a) don’t have the counter space and b) I’m completely uncoordinated with the whole draping thing. So I did it in pieces. Probably not the neatest way, but I figured I’d be using enough icing to cover any hiccups. Doing it a second time, I’d probably try to drape, just for clean edges.
I semi-measured the cake to know how high it is, and used the cake pan to create an arched shape to work from. Suggestion: overestimate how much you need. It’s better to put more on that less and having to patch quilt your cake. Having attached the edges of the cake, I cut a circle of icing and draped it over the top. I smoothed the edges together as best I could by roughing up the edges, wetting them, then smoothing them together with my fingers. I used a spatula to smooth the surfaces of any air bubbles.
Finally, you decorate with white icing and some tiny fondant roses. Not much detail is shown for the type of piping they use, so make your own judgement on what looks good.
The Unbirthday Candle
To make the cartoon candle, mix a tiny amount of white rolled icing with blue, roll and cut out with a flower cookie cutter. Drape over a round edge to curve it and let it sit and dry.
For the candle, mix a small handful of white icing with yellow colouring and mold into a candle like shape. Don’t worry too much, this is supposed to be cartoony based afterall. To finish it off, I dusted the candle with some edible pearl powder in gold, and its flower shaped base with blue edible pearl dust.
If you feel I’ve missed anything, or if you have any questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them