The Unicorn… No other trend has been this big! I’ve got all the tips for you, and even a couple of short video tutorials! Follow along to make the perfect Unicorn!
I’ve been making Unicorn Cakes since my Cake Journey Started! If you like to make cakes, and little girls know it, chances are you will be Making a Unicorn Cake at some point in YOUR Cake Journey! So here are some tips and tricks for you… and a couple of short Time lapse videos on how I made this beauty!
Step one: Bake Your Cake Layers
When Making a Unicorn Cake, I break up the steps over a few days. First I bake and freeze my Cake Layers. If you are looking for soft, delicious, moist Vanilla Cake layers, look no further! Whip up my Easy One Bowl Vanilla Cake. It’s quick, easy and delightful! And they freeze like a dream!
Step Two: Make Unicorn Horn and Ears
Next I take some time to make the Unicorn Horn and Ears so they can set out to dry. You will want to give them at least 24 hours to dry before placing them onto the cake. The Video Below will give you a close glimpse at what this process looks like! I use Satin Ice Gum Paste. It has great elasticity and doesn’t dry out as quickly as Wilton’s Gum Paste does.
Part Three: Make Your Buttercream
There are lots of Buttercream Recipes out there but not all are created equal! I recommend using my Perfectly Perfect Vanilla Buttercream. It will take you a bit more time, but you’re not going to find a better Buttercream Recipe out there! Yep, I said it!
However, if you don’t want to dedicate that much time to making your Buttercream, you can also visit Cake by Courtney and use her American Vanilla Buttercream. American Buttercream is not my favorite. Usually American Buttercream tastes like a mouthful of powdered sugar. YUCK! But I have to give Courtney kudos for the way she makes her’s creamy and light. The one suggestion I will make is to use Pure Vanilla Extract. This will make your buttercream less white, but Clear Vanilla just doesn’t pack the right amount of flavor.
And Cake is ALL about Taste!!!
Step Four: Color and Bag your Icing for the mane
After you’ve made your buttercream, you want to use highly concentrated color to tint it. I usually opt for Gel Food Color by Chefmaster or Americolor. For this Cake I used Electric Pink, Aqua, and Violet.
I used Ideale Gold Luster Dust to paint the Unicorn Horn. This dust is INEDIBLE. I use this one because it is gorgeous, but I always instruct people to remove the Horn and toss it in the trash!
My Favorite Piping Tips for the Mane:
- Wilton 1M Open Star Tip
- Wilton 104 Petal Tip
- Wilton 21 Star Tip
- And a simple Round Tip such as this one.
When all of your icing is colored, bagged, and ready to go… this video will help you on your way to Making A Unicorn Cake yourself!!!
Happy Baking! Love, Chels
Any tips for freezing cakes?
Hi Ashley! There are tips for freezing your cake layers on my Baking the Perfect Cake Layers post. If you are looking to freeze an entire decorated cake however, I would make sure to put it into the freezer for about an hour, take it out and wrap it in plastic wrap. Many layers. Then put it back in! To thaw, just take it out, remove the wrap, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight!
Hope that helps!
Can you keep a decorated cake in the fridge for 2 days?
Depending on the humidity where you live, absolutely!
Celeste Rousseau says
Hi , Please could you tell me the brand of your gold food coloring you used on the horn. The gold I have is not nearly as nice. Your cakes are lovely.
Thank you, Celeste! The gold I used was INEDIBLE, but it is linked in the post: https://amzn.to/32220xe Like I said, you’d need to remove the horn and throw it away, but it is my favorite show stopper gold. I’m experimenting with edible golds, but I haven’t found one that I like the shine of as much. -Chels
What size cake pans and how many did you use for this recipe?!
Most of the time I make a small 2 layer 6″ cake. (My cake layers are THICK though, so if you like thinner layers I’d do a 3 layer 6″ cake). A 2 layer in my experience serves about 12, but if you need more servings I’d jump up to an 8″ and I’d do 3 layers to get the height you’ll want. That cake will be a big one though, serving around 26. Hope that helps! -Chelsey
Any hints for icing that is just melting/sliding down side of cake? I used your recipe…
Hi Wendy, It sounds like your icing is probably a bit to warm. I would chill it in the fridge for about 15 minutes and then rewhip it. When I work with my Buttercream I also make sure to use very chilled cakes, this helps to keep the buttercream from getting melty! Hope that helps!
Thank you for your help. Next question, do you cook at a different temperature or longer for a 3” deep 8” cake pan?
You will definitely need to bake a cake longer if you are trying to fill a 3″ deep cake pan. A classic cake pan is 2″ deep. So if you are working with any of my recipes for the cake, I would bake it at the suggested temperature and then increase the time until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Keep in mind that if you bake a cake that deep the chances of you overbaking the outside of the cake will increase. I would suggest using a center baking core to help the cake bake more evenly, and I would probably suggest using baking strips as well. Happy Baking! -Chels
Thank you so much!! I made the cake for my daughter’s birthday party and it was a big hit!! Everyone thought it was store bought. 🙂
I’m so glad it was a hit!
I am going to make this cake this weekend and super excited.. do you mind share where did you get the earn unicorn shape?
So sorry! Gmail decided that my blog messages were spam! (Eye roll) I used a straight edged leaf cutter for the ears. But you can hand cut them also. Would love to see how your cake turns out! -Chels
Hello, is your perfect buttercream recipe mentioned enough for all the icing and piping for this cake? Thanks!
Should be MORE than enough! Let me know how it turns out!
Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I made a Unicorn cake for my Granddaughter’s 1st birthday. It was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t have done it with your help.
So glad it was a success! It’s why I love running this blog. Every success story makes me so happy! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the buttercream! I am the same. I normally cannot stand frosting, but I came to find out it was limited to American Buttercream. I love mine!
I forgot to mention how wonderful the buttercream frosting was. I have never been a frosting person. I generally scrape it off and just eat the cake. Your buttercream recipe is fantastic. I ate a very small piece of the unicorn cake, frosting and all. Thanks again.
Thank you, Janice!!! If you don’t mind I’d love for you to rate the buttercream recipe on that post. It helps get the recipe out there for others to fall in love with as well. 🙂
This is amazing! I was wondering if you could send a few more pictures of the cake ? I would like to copy it 🙈 it looked so perfect would like to copy all the piping!
The great thing about piping buttercream cakes is that no two cakes look the same! There is a video that shows all the piping, as well as a zoomed in picture of the back. Unfortunately, I have made MANY unicorns and I am not sure when I made this one, so it would be hard for me to track down the pictures of this specific unicorn! You can visit my Instagram page @chelseyscakesncookies. There are lots of images there, most of the unicorns were a while back, but there will be lots if you’re willing to scroll!
Please help asap. I just finished decorating my unicorn cake. I used your cake and buttercream recipes. I need to store it for 2 days. I had to make it early due to my schedule. Now I need to know how to store it. In the fridge or out. Please help I don’t want to ruin my granddaughter’s cake😐
100% Needs to be in the fridge! 🙂 If you don’t have a box or container big enough to store it in, make sure you don’t have anything particularly aromatic in your fridge. The buttercream will absorb some of that smell!
Thank you so much. The cake stored well and everyone loved it and talked about how super good it tasted 😄 I will probably never make American buttercream again! The cake held together very well but was very moist at the same time. Thank you again! One more question… the buttercream was yellowish due to the butter, what kind of butter do you use that makes it whiter?
I’m so happy to hear that!!
My buttercream turns out very yellowish also. I’m not sure there is a pale enough butter out there to fix that naturally. I DO often add just a touch of violet food coloring to combat that. It will whiten it a bit. Careful not to add too much though, we’re talking like a toothpick dipped in your gel food color. If you add too much it will make your buttercream look kind of murky and grey!
Do you have a recipe to make boxed chocolate cake mix taste better?
I sure do! Check out Easy Moist Dark Chocolate Cake.
Could I use your fluffy cream cheese frosting recipe for this? Would it work just as well for decorating as well as pairing the flavor with the vanilla cake?
I’ve piped with my cream cheese frosting, but it won’t be as sturdy, hold as much detail, or be smooth as the buttercream. I would probably advise against it, but it does pair well with the vanilla cake if you’d like to use it as a filling.