Here is a unicorn birthday cake I designed recently. The cake was decorated entirely in fondant and has big twinkly eyes and rainbow-colored mane. Since it was a 2 tier cake, having the 2 large eyes sort of like filled up the front of the cake nicely.
The mane, on the other hand, was made using lots of simple fondant flowers in the colors of the rainbow. Each color came in 3 different sizes. Though it looks like a lot of work with the flowers, they were in fact quite easy and fun to make.
How to Make a Unicorn Birthday Cake
Main supplies for the birthday cake:
- Cake - This was a 2 tier cake with the top tier measuring 6 inches and the bottom tier measuring 9 inches. Each tier measured 6 inches in height. The cake itself was made in 2 flavors - top tier was a marble cake (click here for the recipe) and the bottom tier was orange cake (click here for my orange cake recipe).
- Buttercream - Each tier consisted of 3 layers of cake and the tiers were filled with buttercream. I also used buttercream to crumb coat the cakes before covering them with fondant.
- Fondant - I used Satin Ice in white to cover the cakes. I also used Satin Ice to make the unicorn horn, floral mane, the eyes, and the upright alphabets.
- Edible gold paint - I used the gold paint for the unicorn's horn and ears as well as to paint the birthday girl's name.
- Shortening - Shortening was used to attached the unicorn eyes to the cake as well as to attach the flowers.
- Purple satin ribbon - This ribbon was used to not only cover the sides of the cake board, it was also used as borders for each of the 2 birthday cake tiers.
- Fondant glue - I used this glue to attach the upright alphabets on the cake.
- CMC powder
- Food coloring - Americolor and Wilton
Assembling the cake:
- Before I started assembling the rainbow unicorn birthday cake, I prepared the unicorn horn and the flowers first. Since both required time to set, I made them 2 days in advance. I have 2 separate tutorials on how to make the horn and the flowers, you can check the details out there.
- Next were the cakes. Once baked, I leveled and layered them with buttercream and covered each tier separately in fondant. I then stacked them on top of each other with the support of bubble tea straws. I also covered the cake board with fondant.
- The first decoration that went on the rainbow unicorn birthday cake was the unicorn eyes. I drew the eyes on a parchment paper and cut them out of fondant. Click here to learn how I created and attached the unicorn eyes to the birthday cake.
- I also wrapped the cake board and each tier with purple satin ribbon. Next was the horn. I positioned it on the top tier.
The cascading rainbow mane
- And then, I marked the line for the unicorn's rainbow colored mane using tiny pinches of fondant:
- Once I was able to visualize the position of the mane using the tiny fondant pinches, I replaced them with a long strip of fondant that started from the unicorn horn at top of the cake, flowing down the back and side and ending towards the bottom front of the cake.
- This fondant strip was to guide the placement of rainbow-colored fondant flowers as well as to provide a slight bump so that the flowers do not appear too flat on the cake especially on the top of the cake.
- And then I arranged the flowers on the birthday cake. I started with larger flowers first. Red flowers went first.
- Followed by the orange and yellow.
- Next were the green, blue and pink flowers:
- And the final color in the order was purple. This was in the order of rainbow colors too.
- And I continued with the placement of the flowers, but this time is the reverse order of the rainbow colors, starting with pink, followed by blue, green, yellow, orange, and red:
The unicorn ears
- Once I had the flowers in order, I made the ears for the unicorn birthday cake. I rolled a piece of white fondant with considerable thickness as shown:
- I drew the ear template on a piece of paper and cut out two pieces of fondant for the 2 ears:
- For the inner part of the unicorn ears, I trimmed the earlier ear paper template and marked the shape on each ear using my needle tool.
- I then curved the base of the ears and set them in a upright position to set. Using the same edible gold dust and lemon extract mixture as the horn, I painted the ears as shown:
- To place the ears on the unicorn birthday cake, I had to make slight adjustments to the flowers on the top tier by removing one of the orange flowers.
- And then, I attached the ears with fondant glue.
- The next step was to fill the gaps in unicorn mane with the medium and small flowers. I also placed a few red flowers on the front of the unicorn horn as shown:
- This was how the back and side of the rainbow unicorn birthday cake looked like with all the flowers on the cake:
The birthday girl's name in fondant
- Once I have put all the flowers, I went on with the wordings for the birthday cake. I placed the birthday girl's name in upright font on the cake board. To make the upright standing alphabets, I rolled some fondant (mixed with a little CMC powder) to a thickness of about ¾ cm and cut the letters out using the cutters below:
- I then painted just the surface of the letters with gold paint.
- I let the paint dry and then attached the letters to the cake with fondant glue so that they stay in place securely:
- And this was how the completed rainbow unicorn birthday cake looked like:
Rainbow unicorn birthday cake on a cake stand
Here was how the rainbow unicorn birthday cake looked like sideways:
Like this unicorn birthday cake? Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- Fondant Unicorn Horn Tutorial
- How to Make Fondant Unicorn Eyes for Cakes
- Fondant Rainbow Tutorial
- Rainbow Fondant Letters Tutorial
- Rainbow Birthday Cake - A Decorating Tutorial
Here is the full printable version of my unicorn birthday cake recipe and decorating tutorial.
Unicorn Birthday Cake
Top tier cake (6 inches round marble cake)
- 540 g self-raising flour
- 540 g castor sugar
- 540 g butter
- 9 eggs
- 150 ml milk
- 22.5 g cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
Bottom tier cake (9 inches round orange cake)
- 900 g self-raising flour
- 900 g butter
- 825 g castor sugar
- 15 eggs
- 6 oranges Grated orange rind
- 225 ml orange juice (freshly squeezed)
- ⅓ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
Frosting and Decoration
- Royal Icing (to attach the ribbon to the cake)
- Edible gold paint
- Food coloring (for the flowers and eyes)
- Purple ribbon
- CMC powder (added to the fondant to make upright standing alphabets)
- Preheat oven to 170 °Celsius. Grease and line three 6-inches round cake tins.
- Mix cocoa powder with ¼ of the milk and leave aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar till soft and creamy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In another separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
- Finally, add in vanilla essence and combine well.
- Transfer ⅓ of the batter into a separate bowl and add the milk-cocoa mixture to it. Mix well.
- Scoop the plain batter and chocolate batter alternately into the prepared cake tins.
- Bake the cakes for approximately 45 to 50 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. The cakes are done when a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out without any wet batter.
- Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting and decorating.
- Preheat oven to 170 °Celsius.
- Beat butter and sugar till soft and creamy.
- Add eggs, two at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with orange juice, starting and ending with flour.
- Finally, add in the grated orange rind and combine well. Pour batter into three 9-inches greased and floured round cake tins and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Baking time for larger cakes may be slightly longer than smaller ones. Use a skewer to check that your cakes have cooked completely. Your cakes are also done when they start to separate from the sides of the cake tins and the top of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
- Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool completely before decorating.
Decorating the Unicorn Birthday Cake
- Prepare the fondant flowers and allow them to set.
- Prepare the fondant unicorn horn and let it set.
- Once the cakes have cooled down, level and sandwich the cake layers with buttercream.
- Cover each of the 2 tiers with white fondant and stack them together. Use bubble straws for support.
- Cover the cake board with white fondant.
- Attached the fondant unicorn eyes on the side of top tier with shortening.
- Wrap the sides of the cake board with purple ribbon. Secure it in place with some hot glue.
- Using the same colored satin ribbon, wrap it around the border of each cake tier. Secure it to the cake with some royal icing.
- Attached the prepared fondant unicorn horn on the top tier.
- Next is the fondant flower mane. To guide the placement of the flowers, roll a long thin strip of fondant and attach it to the sides of the cake, in the way you wish to place the flowers.
- Start attaching the flowers from the top tier, right at the horn. The first color is red, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple. And then repeat the colors in the reverse order, such that the last color at the bottom of the second cake tier is red. Attach the flowers with shortening.
- Next, make and attached the unicorn ears on the top tier of the cake with some fondant glue.
- Finish decorating the unicorn's floral mane by filling up the gaps in the mane with smaller fondant flowers.
- For the birthday girl's name, mix CMC powder into some white fondant. Knead it well and roll and cut out the letters for the birthday girl's name.
- Paint the front of each fondant letter with edible gold paint. Let the paint set.
- Finally, attach the fondant letters to the cake board with fondant glue to complete the decoration for the unicorn birthday cake.
And that was how I made my unicorn birthday cake. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Happy decorating 🙂