Introduction: Swan Cake

A vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting surrounded with white chocolate feathers and crowned with a fondant swan head.

Step 1: Ingredients

Total time: 4 hours and 15 minutes (plus freezing the cake overnight)

Cake: time 15 minutes prep,25 minutes bake time, freeze overnight

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup white bakers sugar

4 eggs room temperature

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup milk

1 Tablespoon vinegar

Frosting: time 10 minutes prep, 15 minutes to frost

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

Feathers: time 10 minutes prep, 30 minute creating, 45 minutes placing

2 cups white chocolate chips

edible glitter

Fondant: time30 minutes prep, 60 minutes sculpting, 10 minutes painting

1 teaspoon gelatin unflavored

1/8 cup cold water

edible gold and black food paint

1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup

1 Tablespoon white vegetable shortening

4 cups sifted powdered sugar plus more for dusting

1 small cake pop stick or dowel to hold swan neck

Step 2: Preparing the Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 F then grease and flour three 8" round cake tins and set aside.

2. In stand mixer cream together the butter, vegetable oil and sugar until white and creamy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time until beaten well

4. Stir in vanilla extract.

5. In a separate bowl, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

6. In another separate bowl combine milk and vinegar.

7. In the mixer, alternate adding in the flour mixture and and milk mixture. combine after each addition. The batter should be smooth but not over combined. This is key to a fluffy and airy cake.

8. Evenly distribute the batter into the three cake pans.

9. Bake cakes for 25-30 minutes. The cakes should have a light brown color on the top and spring back with a touch.

10. Let cool for 10-15 minutes inverting onto cooling racks.

11. Once cooled, wrap the three cakes in plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.

Step 3: Making the Frosting

1. Mix butter and cream cheese for about 1 minute.

2. Add in powdered sugar.

3. Mix for an additional 3 minutes.

Step 4: Creating the Feathers

This is actually the easiest part of the process, just takes patience. ;)

1. Fill a stove top bowl with water about 4 inches high, heat.

2. Place sauce pan in the other bowl and pour chocolate chips into the saucepan.

3. Stir chips until completely melted. Stir constantly.

4. Place parchment paper out and begin painting the feathers (with a paintbrush). After first layer, let harden and then add another layer of chocolate on top.

5. Sprinkle edible glitter on the feathers (optional)

5. Let harden. (this takes about 10 minutes, or you can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process)

Step 5: Frosting the Cake

1. Once you have painted the feathers you can begin frosting the cake giving the feathers time to harden.

2. Take cakes out of the freezer and unwrap them.

3.Place a dollop of frosting onto your choice of platter then place the first layer of cake on.

4. Continue to stack the cakes on top of each other with a layer of frosting in between.

5. Once the layers are placed, cut cake into an egg shape.

6. Frost the rest of the cake.

7. Begin placing the chocolate feather onto the cake starting from the wide end of the cake and work toward the tapered front layering them.

Step 6: Fondant Swan Head

1. Combine gelatin and cold water in a saucepan, let sit until thick. (about 3 minutes)

2. Place saucepan over low heat until dissolved.

3. Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup along with shortening until completely combined.

4. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

5. In medium sized bowl pour 2 cups powdered sugar and make a well in the middle.

6. Pour liquid mixture into the well and mix.

7. Slowly add in the other 2 cups of powdered sugar until combined.

8. Add more powdered sugar if it still sticks to your hands.

9. Set aside a 1 inch section for the crown.

10. Roll out into a 2 inch thick sausage shape, approximately 8 inches long.

11. Mold into swan neck, head and beak.

11. Take 1 inch slice and roll out, then cut the edges into crown shape and wrap the two edges to meet.

12. Paint crown with gold food paint.

13. Place swan head onto cake (you might need a small dowel to stabilize the neck)

14. Paint eyes and beak on swan head.

Step 7: Enjoy!

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