Horse Cake Recipe and Tutorial
How to Make a Horse Cake
Want to make a horse cake for a birthday party or other horse-themed event?
I made this horse cake for my little girl's pony party celebrating her 4th birthday. It is a chocolate fudge-filled chocolate sponge cake with chocolate fudge icing, and don't panic if you are a cake novice - I have only made 3 birthday cakes in my life and this was the third!
Whether you are making a one-off birthday cake or want to make different pony cakes for a horsey fan, this is one way to make a cake that is both yummy and very impressive visually.
Here are my recipe and tutorial for creating this very cake, along with tips and tricks that I used to make it unique and delicious!
Please note: The ingredients make enough for 2 cakes using a Wilton horse cake pan - I made 2 to sandwich together. If you just want one layer of sponge with icing on top, halve the ingredients for the cake. If you want 2 layers of sponge with icing in between, use the amounts given.
Total Time: 2.5 - 3.5 hours
- For the Cake:
- 400 g organic spelt flour (plain is fine)
- 400 g caster sugar (super fine sugar in the US)
- 350 g organic unsalted butter (softened prior to baking)
- 80 g organic cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 large organic eggs
- 300 ml sour cream
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Icing:
- 175 g high quality dark chocolate
- 250 g unsalted butter (softened prior to baking)
- 275 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- To Decorate:
- Gel Food Colouring (I used Wilton Icing Colour Gels)
- Writing Icing Tubes (I used Dr Oetker Writing Icing)
- Chocolate sprinkles, chocolate drops, chocolate buttons etc (optional)
- Edible wafer daisies (optional)
- You Will Also Need:
- Wilton Horse Cake Pan (see below)
- Piping bag with star nozzle
- Cake tools or flat knife
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or Gas Mark 4 (350 F) and get out all the ingredients so they can reach room temperature. If you forgot to get the butter out for soften (like I often do!), cut into cubes and warm in the oven for a few minutes until soft and melting
- Thoroughly grease the horse cake pan with butter
- If making one sponge with no filling, use half the ingredients shown for the sponge cake. If making a two sponge sandwich cake like me, use the amounts shown. Unless you have the money to invest in two identical cake pans, then you'll be making the cakes one at a time like I did. You can either make up the whole amount in one go and divide into two, or halve the ingredients to make one cake, then make up another while the first is baking - entirely up to you
- Mix together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, then beat in the butter until the ingredients combine and become creamy
- Whisk together the eggs, cocoa, sour cream and vanilla extract, then beat into the flour mixture.
- If you've made enough for two sponges to make a sandwich, divide the mixture into two and put half into the cake pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes (use a skewer to test if the cake is ready - if it comes out clean, the cake is baked).
- Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
- Clean the pan, add the remaining mixture and bake a second cake. Allow to cool
- While the cake is cooling, make the icing using the following method. Bring a pan of water to the boil and melt the chocolate in a pyrex bowl placed over the simmering pan
- While it is cooling slightly, beat the butter until soft and creamy, then sift in the icing sugar using a sieve and beat again until light and fluffy
- Add the chocolate and vanilla extract, mixing until you have a smooth and glossy mixture
- Take your two sponges and spread a nice thick layer of icing over the top of one, topping with the second sponge to create a sandwich
- Using a flat knife or spatula, spread icing over the whole of the top layer of cake, including the ears etc. When you have enough on, stroke the spatula across the icing to make it nice and smooth. Next, darken the remaining icing (I added a small amount of black Wilton icing colour gel) to create the mane. Pipe it on with the piping bag, creating "flicks" to make the mane look realistic
- Use black writing icing to create the lines and features of the face. To make the nostril, add a large chocolate button and draw around it with the black writing icing. For the eye, create an eye shape with white writing icing, fill it in, and use either a chocolate button or fudge icing for the middle of the eye, then draw around it with the black writing icing. Add a blob of black writing for the pupil and add eyelashes if desired. Draw a line for the mouth, and create the centres of the ears with black writing icing also
- Once you are happy with the horse face, you can add a bridle. I used yellow writing icing to create the bridle then decorated it with chocolate drops and edible silver pearls. If you wish, you can add wafer daisies to the bridle for added decoration. I also added chocolate drops and sprinkles to the mane for some additional yummy topping
- Lastly, I smoothed dark icing around the side of the cake to create the shadow of the neck, so that the cake was iced on the sides, too
- If it's a birthday cake, you can add candles to the mane like I did
- Voila! One fabulous horse cake!
This horse head cake pan is the exact one I used to make this cake. It's perfect for making a birthday cake for your child's horse or pony party theme - or simply for making horse cakes for a pony-mad kid!
I found the sponge came out easily once baked, but you need to grease the pan well - the second sponge came out better than the first as I used more butter to line the pan the second time.
The detail created in the sponge was very good. I loved that the pan comes with decorating tips on how to achieve the decorated look shown on the cover - including colour codes for Wilton icing if you are using them.
It includes step by step decorating ideas but it is easy to make up your own design too. Plenty of scope of a variety of pony cakes!