Making a horse-themed cake can be a great way to help celebrate a horse lover's birthday, riding or horse show achievement, for a riding club or to simply celebrate the love of horses in general.
Getting creative with shapes will make for an original piece of edible art. Depending on how skilled you are with cake cutting and sculpture, you could cut the shape of a horse's head from a large pan of chocolate, vanilla or carrot cake (these colours will all lend to a good horse colour scheme). If you wish to have a 3-D horse's head cake, then use two or three layers of baked cake before cutting away to create the shape. A horseshoe is a bit easier to cut out and there are actually cake pans in this shape. Also try carving an award ribbon or saddle if the recipient likes to showing her horse or has recently won an award. To create a platform for a top of the cake horse scene, place two or three layers of cake and trim away just a bit of the top to create a few hills (which will later be covered with frosting and possibly horse figures).
The more realistic the colours in a specialised cake such as a horse cake, the better the effect tends to be. Chocolate cake and frosting works for a dark brown horse, vanilla cake and frosting for a palomino, coconut for a white horse and carrot cake for a chestnut-coloured horse. If you are designing a cake after a certain breed of horse such as a Friesian (which is black), for example, you may have to dye your frosting or marzipan black to get the desired effect. Accent colours (such as with flowers, borders, bridles, barns) will pull the whole design together once the main horse's head, horseshoe or field is finished. Getting creative with features of the cake such as piping the wavy mane of a horse with round pastry tips will make it a memorable display.
Accessories and toppings
If you have carved and frosted a horse's head, make it even more unusual by adding several small frosted flowers into the horse's mane of frosting. Strips of brown or black marzipan can also be made into a simple bridle or halter to fit onto the horse's head cake. If you have made a horseshoe-shaped cake, then edging the base of the shoe with flowers will add a nice touch. A marzipan ribbon of the recipient's favourite colour goes nice at the top crest of the horse shoe. If you have made an award ribbon-shaped cake, drawing a horse's head silhouette with a fine-tip frosting tube at its centre will bring another horse element to the cake. If you have made a simple hilly platform cake, then there are endless options for creating horsey scenes on top of this frosted meadow. Using small plastic horses may be easiest (these are also fun little toys for any young ones to play with after the cake is cut). Use shredded coconut to create a horse running through snow in a winter scene.