A fun Valentine’s Day cake that is deceptively simple to decorate, our Valentine’s Day Unicorn Cake features a pretty swirled frosting mane and a delicious marbled vanilla cake inside. It’s the perfect cake for a Valentine’s Day party.
Unicorn Cake Recipe
Unicorn cakes are all the rage right now, and for good reason- these babies are so stinking cute!
However, getting one at a local bakery can be super expensive. The go-to place for unicorn cakes in my city charges over $50 for a unicorn cake. Some of their custom unicorn cakes are even more expensive than that… and they book up quickly. So even if a $50 cake is in your budget, you may not be able to find one with less than a month’s notice.
I’m a firm believer that throwing an amazing party doesn’t need to cost you a small fortune. I previously shared a post dedicated to planning the ultimate unicorn party – with decor, menu, favors and activities – and today, I’m sharing a step-by-step tutorial for a super simple unicorn cake that will be the cherry on top of your unicorn party.
While you can make your unicorn horn and ears using fondant or gum paste (like I did with our Pastel Unicorn Cupcakes), this cake uses a re-usable unicorn horn and ear set that you can use again and again to make unicorn cakes for any occasion. (I definitely see a Halloween Unicorn Cake in my future!)
By far, my favorite aspect of this cake is that swirled frosting mane, achieved by using a three-icing coupler.
This coupler works by taking three separate bags of frosting and funneling them through a single frosting tip. When you swirl on your frosting, it creates the perfect unicorn mane with very little effort.
All of the piping techniques used on this unicorn cake are simple, with the piping tips (including that awesome coupler) doing most of the work for you. If you even make two cakes or cupcakes a year, I highly recommend purchasing a basic piping set like this one – you won’t believe how easy it is to pipe gorgeous decorations yourself using the right equipment!
(For just a bit more, this starter cake decorating set is a crazy good deal – basically everything you will ever need for cake or cupcake decorating is in here!)
Finally, I decided to focus on the decorations and the frosting when making this cake – opting for a boxed cake mix. Of course, you can use any cake batter recipe to make the cake. If you want the same marbled effect, opt for a vanilla or white cake recipe.
Unicorn Cake Ingredients
White Cake Ingredients:
- Boxed White Cake Mix
- Large Egg whites
- Vegetable Oil
- Pink and Red Food Coloring <– this set of food coloring has lasted me forever and I love that it creates highly saturated colors with just a drop
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
- Unsalted Butter, softened
- Powdered Icing Sugar
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Pink and Red Food Coloring
- Heart Sprinkles, optional
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: swap out the boxed cake mix for your favorite homemade vanilla cake mix and prepare the rest of the recipe as directed.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Three 9″ cake pans
- 10″ round cake board, optional
- Measuring cups and spoon
- 3 Icing Coupler with piping bags <– this is the secret to getting that awesome swirled frosting effect
- 4 medium mixing bowls
- Unicorn Horns and Ears and Eyes kit
How to Make a Unicorn Cake
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour your cake pans and set aside.
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, then divide the cake batter into two bowls. (You can also just prepare the cake mixes separately.)
Mix just enough red or pink food coloring into one bowl to make a vibrant pink color.
Mix red food coloring into the second bowl to make a vibrant red color. Keep in mind that the colors will lose some of their vibrance with baking, so make them more saturated than you’d like your final cake to be.
Divide the red cake batter into the three pans.
Swirl 1/3 of the pink cake batter over the red cake batter in one pan and use a knife to swirl the two together, creating a marbled effect.
Bake according to package directions, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool completely before assembling/frosting.
Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and 5 cups of powdered icing sugar until smooth and light-colored, about 2 minutes.
Add in the vanilla extract and 3 Tablespoons of the heavy cream, beat to combine.
Adjust the frosting texture and flavor with additional sugar or cream, as desired.
Scoop 1 cup of frosting into a bowl, then dye pink.
Scoop 1 cup of frosting into a separate bowl and dye red.
Place one cake layer onto the cake board and cut the domed top off to make the cake even and flat.
Scoop 1/2 cup of the undyed frosting on to the cake layer and smooth down with an offset spatula into an even layer.
Repeat with the additional two layers of cake.
Frost the cake all over with 1 to 1 1/2 cups frosting, covering completely.
Scoop the pink frosting into one piping bag, the red frosting into a second frosting bag and the remaining white frosting into a third piping bag.
Thread each piping bag into your three-icing coupler. Trim off the edges of piping bags and then secure your large star frosting tip.
Using small circular motions with your wrist, pipe the three-colored icing onto your unicorn cake as shown. I find it easiest to start at the front of the cake and work my way back.
Cover the full mane area then go back and fill in any missing gaps.
Place the unicorn horn, ears and eyes onto the cake.
Sprinkle on heart sprinkles, if desired.
Place into the fridge to harden the frosting until ready to enjoy!
Grab your free printable for our unicorn cake recipe:
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 726Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 86mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 0gSugar: 59gProtein: 4g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your kids (and your party guests) love this adorable unicorn cake!
For more fun unicorn inspiration, check out some of our other unicorn crafts and recipes: