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Carousel Birthday Cake

Serve up a carousel at your next party. This carnival favorite gets a sweet update in our Carousel Birthday Cake video.

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This Carousel cake is the perfect centerpiece for a circus or carnival team birthday party. It has impressive height, but the construction is super easy using orange candy sticks as the polls out of paper canopy on top. The first step is to decorate the carousel animals with royal icing. You can do this up to one day ahead. To make royal icing, beat confectioner sugar with powdered egg whites or meringue powder and a little water with an electric mixer until it's thick and creamy about the consistency of pancake batter. Divide the icing amongst seven small bowls. Use food coloring to tint one bowl each, black, blue, brown, gray, orange, and yellow. Leave one bowl white. Now, use a mini offset spatula to color six animal crackers. Set the cookies icing side up on a rack and after the coating is dried for a few minutes, go back and add details such as eyes, paws, or spots with more royal icing. Toothpicks work the best for adding details. If you're decorating the cookies ahead of time, store them in an airtight container until you're ready to use them. Set the cookies aside to dry completely. With the cake itself, you'll need to 8-inch round cakes of any flavor. Put one cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand and level the top. Next, spread one-half cup of whipped vanilla frosting on top. Stack the second cake layer on the first and use about a cup of frosting defrost the entire cake. To make the decorative columns on the side of the carousel, you can either use three different colors of tinted frosting and piping bags or use three different colored licorice twist like we're using here. Alternate the colors. Next, place jelly beans along the base of the cake. Add a dab of frosting to the top of the licorice columns and cap them with another jelly bean. Now, let's attach an iced animal cracker to each of five candy sticks using a dab of the frosting. Insert the orange candy sticks in a circle at the top of the cake. They should extend about 4 inches above the top of the cake. Finally, top off your carousel with a paper canopy. Use a dinner plate to trace a circle on heavy paper. Cut out the circle. Then, make a cut from the edge to the center. Overlap the cut edges slightly to make a broad cone. Then, use clue to attach the edges Apply a dab of icing to the top of the carousel post to act as glue to hold the canopy in place. Set the canopy on top of the candy sticks to finish the cake.