How to easily bake a unicorn cake
by Maxime Blanchemin on September 23, 2019
Unicorn cake is all the rage lately. This is surprisingly easy to do if you know the right technique. Here's how to get that newsworthy cake for your next party.
While there are larger and more complex versions of this kind of cake, we wanted to create one that was doable and wouldn't leave you stuck in the kitchen for hours. This pattern is easy to make at home and doesn't require hard-to-find ingredients or great cake decorating skills.
To give you some decorating options, we made two different unicorn cakes - one with a buttercream exterior (the purple horn), the other covered in fondant (golden horn).
To make this cake, we layered three vanilla cake slices with a sweet buttercream frosting. After the cake was frosted, we decorated with colorful fondant and sprinkles. To get the colorful horn, paint a waffle cone with frosting and roll in the sprinkles of your choice. We chose purple and gold for our two designs.
To make these affordable unicorn cakes, you can start with your favorite white cake recipe (we used the Vanilla Naked Cake from Sally's Baking Addiction). Add food coloring (we used pink) to color the layers of the cake. For the frosting, we used Sally's silky and sweet buttercream frosting.
The ingredients and advice are given at the end of the tutorial.
Make the cake batter according to the instructions
Add food coloring to create a pink batter
Pour the cake batter into a pan lined with baking paper.
Spread the smooth dough and bake in the oven
Start the buttercream frosting by adding room temperature butter to the blender.
Add the icing sugar and remaining ingredients to the buttercream frosting.
Mix buttercream to the appropriate consistency for the pink unicorn cake.
Cut a thick layer on top of each cake layer to create a flat surface.
Remove the top layer of the cake
Add a small amount of parchment paper buttercream frosting over the cake batter.
Place the first cake layer on top of the frosting on the cake base.
Spread the frosting evenly over the first cake layer for the pink unicorn cake.
Place a second layer of cake on top and repeat the frosting.
Spread the frosting evenly over the last layer of the cake.
Apply buttercream frosting to sides of cake.
Smooth the buttercream on all surfaces of the cake.
For a smoother appearance, place a layer of fondant over the entire surface of the cake.
For this method, drape the fondant over the entire pink unicorn cake.
Smooth the fondant down the sides of the cake.
Press the edges of the fondant to the base of the cake with the sides of your hands.
Cut off excess fondant from the base of the cake.
Remove excess fondant.
Seal the fondant at the bottom of the cake.
Coat top with buttercream frosting.
Spread a small amount of white fondant for the ears.
Cut out shapes in the fondant using cookie cutters.
Unroll the pink fondant for a smaller part of the ears.
Cut the ear shapes from the pink fondant.
Remove the cut-out shapes for the pink unicorn cake.
Apply buttercream frosting to cut out melting shapes.
Stack the pink shape melting on top of the white shape to create ears.
Apply buttercream frosting to the outside of the ice cream cone.
Roll the ice cream cone in a plate of sparkling sugar to create a unicorn horn.
Make sure the entire cone is completely covered with sparkling sugar.
Place the horn on the cake and cut the ear slits.
Insert the fondant ears into the slots
Apply the chocolate chips to the cake.
Place the candy strips on the cake by pressing down on one end and twisting them.
Tangy straps to create a mane on a pink unicorn cake.
Apply powdered sugar or pearls to the base of the cake.
Here is a beautiful pink unicorn cake
Below, we offer the same recipe but with different decoration and colors.
Very customizable, this cake is breathtaking even without added fondant to it!
Two different beautiful cakes.
This pink unicorn cake will make your party a success!
PINK UNICORN CAKE WITH BUTTER CREAM ICING
For 12 parts
- 3-3 / 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1-1 / 2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (yes, a tablespoon!)
- 1-3 / 4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 5 drop red food coloring
- 1-1 / 2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 5 to 6 cups of icing sugar
- 5 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 packet of fondant icing
- Pink food coloring
- Black food coloring
- Edible sparkling sugar
- Ice cream cone
- Assortment of sequins
- Candy sour straps
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle mixer, beat butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- On medium-high speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition until incorporated.
- Add 5 drops of red food coloring to make the paste pink. Do not over mix this paste. It should be smooth, velvety and slightly thick.
- Distribute the dough evenly among the prepared cake pans. (Each layer will be about 2-2 / 3 cups.) For accuracy, use a kitchen scale and weigh the filled pans (about 1 pound 6 ounces each).
- Bake 25 to 26 minutes or until cakes are cooked through. To check doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done.
- Let the cakes cool completely in molds placed on a wire rack. Cakes should be completely cooled before frosting and assembly.
- In large bowl, using hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. On low, add 5-1 / 2 cups of icing sugar, 5 tablespoons of heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt.
- Once wet, increase the mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup icing sugar if the icing is too thin. Add 1 tablespoon of cream if the frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet. Yield: approximately 4-1 / 2 cups of frosting.
- To assemble and decorate cakes: Using a large serrated knife or cake slicer, cut out a thin layer of cake to make a flat surface. (Save these leftover cake to crumble over ice cream.)
- Place 1 layer of cake on a cake stand, turntable or serving platter. Spread 1-1 / 2 cups of frosting evenly on top.
- Top with another layer of cake and cover evenly with 1-1 / 2 cups of frosting.
- Cover with a third layer of cake. Spread remaining frosting on top and all around the sides using a frosting spatula. For a light coating of frosting, use a scraper to smooth the frosting down the sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on a flat surface. Knead a small amount of white fondant until smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll out fondant to 1/4 inch thick. Place 1 cookie cutter in the shape of a leaf (ear) on the dough. Squeeze two pieces. Reserve.
- Wear gloves (to avoid stains on the skin), color a small amount of white fondant with pink food coloring. Using a cookie cutter, cut two small leaves (ears) with a cookie cutter into two smaller pieces.
- Spread the bottom of a smaller leaf (ear) with a little reserved buttercream. Press in the center of a larger sheet. Repeat the process by turning the other leaves in the opposite direction to resemble the ears of a unicorn.
- Add black food coloring to a very small portion of the fondant. Spread very thinly to create two lines and four lashes.
- Dab the frosting all over the pointed ice cream cone. Place the edible sparkling sugar on a plate and roll the ice cream cone in the sugar.
- Place the cone in the center of the top of the cake like a horn.
- Place the ears near the horn, one on each side.
- Add a generous amount of assorted nuggets (we used Fancy Sprinkles nuggets) on top of the cake.
- Add candy strips to the top and sides of the cake, twisting them and running them from the top to the bottom of the cake. Form a curly mane by pushing through the buttercream frosting to secure it.
- Place 1 line of black fondant on the cake to make eyes, then add two small pieces above the eyes to create lashes.
- Add a generous amount of chips of different sizes around the base of the cake, up to about 2 inches high.
- Refrigerate cake for 2 to 3 hours or up to 1 day before slicing and serving. If refrigeration lasts more than a few hours, cover loosely with plastic wrap after 1 hour of refrigeration. Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Advice for preparation in advance : You can keep the baked and chilled cake layers overnight at room temperature, tightly covered - as with frosting. Assemble and frost the cake the next day when you are ready to serve. The iced cake can be refrigerated for up to 1 day and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Make your own buttermilk : You can substitute buttermilk with whole milk mixed with 1 1/2 tsp. of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice.