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Unicorn Cake Recipe

Unicorn Cake

This Unicorn Cake Recipe is the perfect sweet and colorful cake for any party or celebration. It’s easy to make and looks super magical.

Hello there, my friend 👋! Want to make a cake that is as magical as it is delicious? This unicorn cake is so much fun to make.

With bright colors and swirls of frosting, kids and adults alike will love this festive treat.

Let’s get started!

Utensils You Need

These are the utensils and/or equipment you need to make this recipe:

  1. Two large mixing bowls.
  2. Several smaller mixing bowls.
  3. A whisk.
  4. Round cake pans (9 inch or 8 inch).
  5. A hand mixer or stand mixer.
  6. Oven mitts.
  7. Spatula
  8. Wire racks.
  9. Serving plates
  10. Piping bags (or you can use resealable food storage bags)

The Recipe

Unicorn Cake

Unicorn Cake

This unicorn cake has layers of colorful vanilla cake, a vanilla buttercream frosting, and fun unicorn-themed decorations.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 500 kcal


For the cake:

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring pink, blue, purple, yellow

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Food coloring pink, blue, purple, yellow

For the decorations:

  • Sprinkles
  • Edible glitter optional
  • Candy eyes
  • 1 golden ice cream cone
  • Candy horn and ears optional


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend until just combined – don’t overmix!
  • Divide the batter evenly among 4 bowls.
  • Color each bowl of batter using the food coloring: one pink, one blue, one purple, and one yellow.
  • Scoop 1/4 cup of one color batter into the center of one pan. Repeat this process with the other colors, alternating and layering the batter into both pans until all the batter is used. You don’t need to be super precise – just drop the batter in and go!
  • Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

  • In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Divide the frosting among 4 bowls and color each with the food coloring: one pink, one blue, one purple, and one yellow.

Decorate the cake:

  • Level the tops of the cakes if needed for a flat stacking surface.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Frost the top with an even layer of frosting (you can pick one of the colors you made).
  • Place the second cake layer on top and frost the entire cake with a thin “crumb coat” of white frosting. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • After chilling, frost the cake with another layer of white frosting.
  • Fill four piping bags (or food storage bags) with the different colored frostings.
  • Pipe swirls and dollops of colored frosting all over the cake in any design you like!
  • Decorate the cake with sprinkles and edible glitter.
  • Press the ice cream cone upside-down into the top center of the cake for a unicorn horn. Add the candy eyes, ears, and horn around the ice cream cone, if using.


  1. Use bright food coloring to get the best unicorn color effect for the cake and frosting.
  2. For an extra magical touch, decorate the cake with rainbow sprinkles and star sprinkles.
Keyword birthday cake, buttercream frosting, colorful cake, unicorn cake, vanilla cake

Alternative Ingredients

If you don’t have the ingredients I listed above, do not worry. You can swap them out for the alternatives below.

All-purpose flourCake flour, whole-wheat flour
Unsalted butterSalted butter (reduce salt in recipe), shortening, vegan butter substitute
MilkButtermilk, sour cream thinned with a little water, non-dairy alternative
Granulated sugarBrown sugar, honey, maple syrup

What to Serve with Unicorn Cake

Unicorn cake is a party all on its own, but try pairing it with:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my cake dry?

Overbaking or overmixing can lead to a dry cake. Check for doneness with a toothpick at the minimum bake time and be sure not to overmix the batter.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes. You can prepare the cake layers and frosting a day in advance. Store the cake layers wrapped in plastic at room temperature, and store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Assemble and decorate the cake before serving.

How long can I store leftover cake?

Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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