Baking Tips & Tricks for Unicorn Food Lovers!
I’ve been learning baking tips from my mother since I was a little kid. My sister and I would spend all weekend cutting sugar cookies and making cakes in her cherry colored kitchen. Many of my favorite memories happened right there in that kitchen. For my 37th birthday, we made our first rainbow cake, and that’s why I wrote the Easy to Bake Unicorn Cookbook, to give people the chance to make a little magic with their own families! Interested in more fun ideas? Check out our Unicorn Cookbook!
Named Best Kids Book of 2018 by Red Tricycle!
Here are a few egg-cellent baking tips and techniques for Unicorns before you start!
Your confection will always rise better if your eggs have been left out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Chilled eggs can’t make a real flop. Room temperature eggs keep your batter more even and make for a fluffier texture.
Always use unsalted butter! Double check at the store because salted butter can turn a cake into a true baking faux pas. A quick save is to flip your dish on its head, and turn it into a salted caramel masterpiece. Add extra vanilla to help cut down the salt, and then grab about 20 caramels to melt them in the microwave using a teaspoon of water for 30 seconds. Stop, stir, then 20-30 more seconds. When it’s thinner and melted lightly, mix it into your batter.
Ding, ding, ding, if the recipe says “softened,” then wait until it’s at room temperature. Otherwise, everything will be lumpy: butter, cream cheese, etc. Just wait until it’s at room temperature. You’ll for sure be super upset with lumpy no-bake mermaid cheesecake or clumpy bunny batter, believe me.
If you want your food coloring to really pop, use egg white in your white cake mix or vegetable shortening (Crisco) in your frosting. Now, butter will always taste better, but we will sacrifice some taste to get an ultra bright hot pink color!
All-purpose flour is fine, but if you want light and fluffy, always look for a self-rising flour or cake flour! When baking cake, it truly is worth the extra effort! We coat our cake pans with vegetable shortening (Crisco) and flour, but you can also place a circular piece of parchment paper at the bottom of your cake pan for the ultimate ease in helping it pop out of the pan unscathed!
General rule of thumb — stick a toothpick in the center of a cake to test its readiness; if it comes out clean, it’s done! This trick is great for cakes and brownies!
When rolling out sugar cookies, a lot of people use flour on their countertop. To save ourselves a ton of cleaning, we lay down wax paper first. Then, to roll your cookies out to the perfect thickness, we have this paint stick trick that works wonders. Take 4 paint sticks from any hardware store (you probably have them in your closet), and hot glue gun 2 pairs together. Once they are dry, lay them down on your wax paper about 8 inches apart. Place a small ball of dough in between the two sets of sticks, place another piece of wax paper on top of the dough, and then grab your rolling pin and press down. Begin to roll back and forth, and you should find that your paint sticks keep your rolling pin rolling about just above the countertop. You’ll never roll your cookies too thick or too thin again, and you’re sure to save a lot of mess!
Another tip when rolling out sugar cookie dough is to always keep your dough in the freezer in between batches. Chilled dough will work wonders for you. A lot of people take the extra dough after they are done cutting shapes, roll it up, and cut another batch! I’m telling you — throw it in the freezer and grab a new handful of dough. After 5 minutes, your extra dough will be much easier to work with.
We are constantly making frosting (you can never have enough!), but the rule of thumb is that frosting doesn’t really go bad. Keep a batch of white frosting in your fridge in an airtight container for emergencies. Many times, we just don’t have the time to make 5 pounds of frosting, so we pull up the Amazon page to buy a tub of Wilton® White Ready To Use Decorator Icing. It’ll save a cake (or two!).
As we like to say, everything will taste great as long as you had fun, and if you feel woefully worried, never underestimate the power of frosting to fix!