Summers of my childhood were full of cicadas, playing in the woods, and definitely no air conditioning. So, sultry summer birthdays (and most holidays, for that matter) involved some form of gelatin based dessert. Cool, refreshing, and visually festive, it was something that everyone loved, and leftovers didn’t exist.
This year, I needed to make a cake that was nostalgic, fun, and just a little more “grown up”. A little cross referencing and a little imagination created this confection, that was easily doubled when a second invitation arrived. This recipe is for TWO good sized cakes, but the recipe can easily be halved. Because I didn’t have enough space/pans, I started the rainbow gelatin two days before the party.
Tipsy Unicorn Cake
- 1 package lady fingers
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk*
- 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 pints whippping cream*
- 1 cup confectioners sugar, divided*
- 2 teaspoonfuls vanilla, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 6 flavors of gelatin*
- 2 spring form pans
- vodka (optional)
- Start your rainbow of gels! Dissolve each flavor with 1 cup boiling water, and add 1/2 cup cold vodka or water. Chill until firmly set I lined loaf tins with plastic wrap and just lifted them out & wrapped them up for easy assembly. By skipping Cherry & Orange (I knooow) you’ll get a more harmonious tutti-fruity palate. This recipe used raspberry, peach, lemon, lime, berry-blue, and grape with either grapefruit or vanilla vodka (depending on the gelatin)
- Don’t move forward till they all are firmly set, trust me.
- Dissolve 4 packets of unflavored gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water, and add 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk. Divide and refrigerate until partially set*. I struggled here. It was SO HOT and I let the gel over-set
- Trim 1/4 inch off of one side of the strips of ladyfingers, so that they sit flush with the bottom of your springform pan. Line the pan with your lady fingers. I choose to gently sprinkle the ladyfingers with lemon cello for a little extra flavor. I don’t love store-bought ladyfingers. Soaking them would result in a loss of structure, so a little sprinkle of something lovely is all you need.
- Cut each flavor of “tipsy“ gelatin into 1/2-1 inch cubes & set aside. You can either toss the flavors together at this point, or choose to layer the colors to match the photo.
- Once white gel is partially set, beat with a handheld mixer to add some air bubbles.
- Combine 1 pint cream with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, & 1 teaspoon of vanilla to make a firm whipped cream. I like to put my bowl and beater in the freezer for about an hour before I start. Whips up more easily, especially in warm weather.
- Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to one of the sweetened condensed milk/gelatin mixtures and gently fold in. Add the remaining with cream in two more folding sessions.
- Using 1/2 of your gelatin cubes, begin layering your cake. Put a small amount of the white cream mixture in the bottom of your springform pan, add your desired layer of gelatin and repeat until the pan is full. Don’t be afraid to smooth in between each layer, and you don’t have to “cover” the previous color... it will all look perfect in the end! If you are choosing not to layer, simply fold 1/2 of the gelatin into the cream mixture and pour directly into the ladyfinger lined springform pan.
- Repeat steps 7-9 for second cake
- Chill for 2 hours-overnight.
- Remove outer ring, slice, & serve!
* Need/want to reduce sugar? Sub sliced, frozen strawberries (partially thawed) for the sweetened condensed milk, and light Cool Whip for the whipped cream, use and sugarfree gelatin
Tipsy Unicorn cake is a cool, crowd pleasing treat!
fresh out of the spring form pan
slices of heaven