Unicorn Cake

Try this colourful unicorn cake at your next family birthday or special occasion.





For the decorations:

  • 250 g white fondant
  • 1 skewer stick
  • edible gold dust
  • alcohol based quick dry essence or plain vodka

For the cakes:

  • 180 g butter
  • 180 g sunflower oil
  • 600 g Huletts White Sugar
  • 9 x large eggs
  • 600 g self-raising flour
  • 135 ml custard powder
  • 10 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 600 ml plain yoghurt
  • 20 ml vanilla essence

For the icing:

  • 300g Butter
  • 1 kg Huletts Icing Sugar
  • 90g cream cheese
  • 5 ml vanilla essence
  • Rainbow food colouring – red or pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple


  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C
  2. For the decorations:
  3. To make the horn and ears: Knead the fondant to soften. Divide it into 4 equal parts. Use two of the pieces to form ears. To make the ears, shape the fondant into a triangle shape and then using your thumb make an indent in one side to form the ear shape. Place the ears on a tray lined with paper towel.
  4. For the horn: Roll the two remaining pieces of fondant into sausage shapes about 20cm in length. Roll the two pieces of fondant around each other to form a unicorn horn. Push the skewer stick three quarters of the way up the length of the horn. Place on the tray with the ears.
  5. Allow the fondant ears and horn to dry for about 24 hours or until they are firm and holding their shape.
  6. Once dry, take a pinch of the gold dust and mix it with 5 ml of the quick dry essence or vodka. Paint the inside of each ear and the horn with the gold paint. Make more paint if necessary.
  7. For the icing:
  8. Cream the butter until pale and fluffy.
  9. Sift and add the icing sugar one third at a time beating well to incorporate fully.
  10. Once the butter icing is smooth and all the icing sugar has been combined beat in the cream cheese and vanilla essence.
  11. Keep about 200-300 g icing to use to dirt ice and fill the cakes.
  12. For the cakes:
  13. 1. Beat the butter, oil and sugar together.
  14. 2. Add the eggs one at a time.
  15. 3. Sift the dry ingredients together.
  16. 4. Mix the yoghurt and vanilla essence together.
  17. 5. Alternately add the flour and yoghurt mixtures to the egg mixture using a mixer with a whisk attachment. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
  18. 6. Mix further by hand until there are no lumps visible.
  19. 7. Measure out 350 – 400 g of the sponge mixture into 6 bowls.
  20. 8. Mix different colours into each of the sponge mixtures.
  21. 9. Pour the batter into six greased and lined 15 cm cake tins. If you don’t have 6 tins, bake the sponges in batches.
  22. 10. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean (DO NOT OVER BAKE).
  23. 11. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  24. 12. To make sure your cake stacks evenly, level each cake layer, to about 3 - 4 cm high. This measurement will depend on how high the lowest part of your cake is. Repeat with each layer.
  25. 13. To assemble, spread some butter icing on a cake board or plate and place the first cake layer on it. Then stack the cake layers with butter icing in between (about 45 - 60 ml for each layer). Ice the outside of the cake with a thin layer of plain butter icing - this is called a crumb coat. It seals the cake, creates a neat base for the decorative layer and stops the crumbs from contaminating the decorative layer.
  26. 14. Place the cake in the refrigerator to firm up.
  27. 15. Next, divide the remaining icing into 6 equal parts and colour each batch with a different rainbow colour to match the sponge layers making sure you achieve shades best described as ice cream colours. Place each batch of icing in its own piping bag.
  28. 16. Cut a 1 cm hole in the tip of each piping bag.
  29. 17. Place the cake on a turntable and pipe a double or triple layer of matching icing around each cake layer, making sure to keep all the layers of coloured icing as equal as possible. Use the turntable to move the cake around so you can pipe a steady ring of each colour icing around the cake.
  30. 18. Once the entire cake is covered, use a cake scraper to scrape and smooth the icing around the cake using long scraping motions in the same direction each time. Clean the scraper after each motion so as to not contaminate the colours in the icing. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 -45 minutes or until the icing is firm to the touch.
  31. 19. Fit star tipped nozzles into two large piping bags. Place 3 of the batches of coloured icing into one of the large piping bags and the other 3 batches into the second large piping bag.
  32. 20. Twist the end of each large bag and squeeze the icing until the colours have blended and the icing coming out of the nozzle is a swirl of multi colours.
  33. 21. Take the cake out of the refrigerator and place on the cake turntable. Make a small mark on the plate or cake board where the front of the cake will be.
  34. 22. Place the fondant horn in the centre of the top of the cake and then the ears on either side of the horn, facing the front of the cake and turned slightly inwards.
  35. 23. Pipe rosettes of coloured icing in line with the centre mark, close to the front of the cake, and in front of the horn, to create a “unicorn mane”.
  36. 24. Continue to pipe rosettes around the ears, around the back of the horn and down one side of the cake. until you are happy with the look of the “mane”.
  37. 25. Lastly, using some of the gold paint, paint eyelashes on the unicorn’s closed eyes. Use a horizontal “S” shape for each eye and then paint a few eyelashes on the outer corner of each eye.

Top tips

BUTTER: DO NOT Microwave

Rather, thinly slice and cut into different lengths to make creaming easier.

How do you keep the balance of your cake fresh?

Place a piece of bread on the exposed sides and use a toothpick to keep it in place.

Soft Peaks

Beat cream until the mixture forms soft, rounded peaks that fall over when the whisk is removed. Stiff Peaks: Beat cream until the mixture form stiff, pointed peaks when the whisk is removed.


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Conversion Table

Cups Tablespoons Grams
Butter 1/4 cup 4 Tbsp 57g
1/3 cup 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp 76g
1 cup 16 Tbsp 227g
Flour/Sifted 1/4 cup 4 Tbsp 30g/27g
1/3 cup 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp 40g/35g
1/2 cup 8 Tbsp 60g/55g
1 cup 16 Tbsp 120g/110g
Granulated Sugar 1/4 cup 4 Tbsp 50g
1/3 cup 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp 65g
1/2 cup 8 Tbsp 100g
1 cup 16 Tbsp 200g
Brown Sugar/ Firmly Packed 1/4 cup 4 Tbsp 45g
1/3 cup 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp 60g
1/2 cup 8 Tbsp 90g
1 cup 16 Tbsp 180g
Water 1/4 cup 4 Tbsp 57g
1/3 cup 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp 76g
1/2 cup 8 Tbsp 114g
1 cup 16 Tbsp 227g