I **really** don’t consider myself much of a baker. But I **do** know that I am crafty (well, you would hope so, running this blog!!!), so I am always looking forward to create fun cakes for my kids, that I consider to be relatively easy.. and that I genuinely believe most bakers – whether you love baking or hating – can achieve!!! The key to a fun cake is – to keep it SIMPLE. Oh and to cheat as much as possible. Enter today’s Pandacorn Cake for Beginners!!! My daughter asked for a Panda cake for her birthday.. which, though I am not keen on working with fondant icing, I though should be relatively easy. As started thinking about it in more detail, I thought, why make an ordinary panda cake…? When you can have a PANDACORN cake. Pandacorns are a “thing” don’t you know.
So here we go…. how we made our Pandacorn Surprise Cake (you can leave the surprise bit out and just make the pandacorn cake for ease if you wish… but the surprise bit is actually easier than baking a big cake.. more on that below!).
How to make a pandacorn cake – supplies
I say “supplies” rather than ingredients, as I approached this cake as a craft challenge rather than baking challenge.. and when it comes to the flowers and pandcorn horn, I actually got CRAFTY rather than bakey. I confess.. I can’t make fondant flowers. I confess.. I haven’t actually tried to make fondant flowers, and am not really interested in trying either!! My crafty flowers were SUPER quick to make.. and I think look just as cute! I digress – the “supplies”.
For the pandacorn’s cake
- make your favourite cake (see ours below)
- jame for the inside
- smarties for the inside
- good quality food coloring (optional)
- use whipped or double cream for the outside
- black fondant icing
- a small amount of white fondant icing (use white paper if you don’t want to buy white for such a small amount
- toothpicks (!!!!!!!)
For the Pandacorn Cake’s horn:
- gold paper
- ribbon (optional)
- tissue paper in different colors
- buttons (optional – beads would work too, as would scrunched up tissue paper)
The Pandacorn Surprise Rainbow Cake – detailed info
I am not going to tell you how to bake a cake (back to my point above, that I am NOT an expert baker)…. but I made 6 “victoria sponge cakes” (also known as vanilla cakes or forager’s cake)/
I weighed 6 eggs. The weight = flour, sugar and butter weight.
I made 2 batches of cake (I htink if you try and make one HUGE batch, that is where things go wrong and things don’t get mixed properly).
Yes it was labour intensive.. but you know, if you want a rainbow cake.. it is worth it.
Coloring your victoria sponge into a rainbow
So I made the 1 batch. Divided into 3 parts. Added food coloring (red, orange and yellow).
And baked it 20-25min.
Then I made the 2nd batched and divided it into three. Coloring it blue, green and purple.
And baked it again.
Then I let cool FULLY.
Now. It is labour some, yes, BUT making a cake in this manner, means all 6 layers are fully cooked and you actually end up with a pretty neat “stack”.
If you want to save on time.. I would make –
The same recipe, using 4 eggs, in two tins. No food coloring. It should be fine too!
The Pandacorn Surprise Pinata Cake assembly
As my son isn’t a massive fan of cream, we only add jam to the inside of our stack.
Take purple, using a cookie cutter make a hole in the middle (keep this).
Take the blue, make a hole and stack.
Take the green, make a hole and stack.. you get my drift.
Do NOT cut a hole in the top layer (the red)!
Fill with sweets, when you have purple, blue, green, yellow and orange.
Then add jam and add the final complete layer of red to the top.
Your basic cake is finished.
Add the white panda covering
I used whipped cream (with a little icing sugar). But you can also use butter cream icing or white fondant icing (this video is FANTASTIC for showing you how to add fondant icing to a big cake).
Making your panda cake’s features
Roll out your black fondant icing and cut out two large panda eyes and a nose.
Make two small white circle and flatten. Stick onto the black panda eyes with jam.
Add a small black dot.
Make a thing “sausage of black” for the panda’s mouth.
Apply to the side of the cake.
I found that my eyes started slipping down the whipping (I told you I was no baker!! hahahaha).
So TOOTHPICKS saved the day! I inserted them just below the panda eyes and push them all the way in, as a littl eprop.
The panda’s fondant ears
I then made two balls and flattened them for the ears.
I cut out a quarter (so you have circle, with a quarter missing).
Inserted two toothpicks per ear.
And positioned into the side of the cake – pushing them into the cream and the toothpicks into the cake, to help secure them.
Your basic Panda Cake is finished. Whoop.
Turning a simple panda cake into a pandacorn
Browse online and you will see all sorts of marvellous pandacorn creations.. as well as many NOT so marvellous creations. The unicorn’s or pandacorn’s horn at times can look quite odd! I decided not to risk a unicorn’ fail. You are welcome to try and make one out fondant or an icecream cone turned upside down. But not me.
I made a paper one! YAY!
Simple Unicorn Horn How to
Cut gold paper into a quarter circle. Roll up. Secure with tape! Done. I decuded to add a thin pink ribbon as a detail and simply wrapped that around and secured with tape.
Paper Flower How To
I cut two circles out of recycled tissue paper per flower.
Glue them together at the centre.
Got a craft button and glue that into the centre.
Then scrunched the circles up.
Done. Repeat in different colours and cut some paper leaves.
Your pandacorn dress up for the pandacorn cake is finished!
Finally…. pop the horn and the flowers on the top of the pandacorn cake. And some of the side for decoration.. and done!!
I hope you found this easy Pandacorn Cake for Beginners inspirational and that you will have a go.
Remember: keep cake decorating simple. Don’t worry if you need to cheat. And just have a go!!!!!
Other panda craft ideas: