I recently created this unicorn cake for a good friend and it is probably my favorite cake because, well, unicorn! It also had a dozen unicorn cupcakes to go along and while I wasn’t thrilled about making 24 little ears and 12 little unicorn horns, it was well worth the effort. The whole project was super cute.
The top cake (unicorn head) was vanilla. It is made up of 3 8inch round, 2inch thick layers of cake separated with buttercream frosting. The bottom was chocolate which ended up being 3 9inch round, 2inch thick layers of cake, also separated with frosting. I chose to use vanilla buttercream frosting for both tiers because the sprinkles needed a white backdrop.
I used 9.5 ounces of sprinkles to cover this cake. I think about half ended up on the counter top and floor… just kidding…. or maybe not really…. I used a cookie sheet to catch strays and while it caught a lot, sooooo many more ended up elsewhere. Since my buttercream frosting crusts, the sprinkles wouldn’t stick well so I ended up putting a thin layer of fresh frosting on, in sections so it wouldn’t dry before I got to it. You could also use piping gel but frosting is easier, cheaper, and more forgiving.
To get the multi-colored frosting effect, plastic wrap is your friend. I used four colors: yellow, green, pink, and blue. I put each color in a piping bag. Then I took a piece of plastic wrap (about width of a piping bag) and piped a fat line of one color. Next to that, I chose a second color so they were touching, side by side. On top of those I piped a line of the remaining colors (it should be a 2×2 format). I realize pictures might be helpful here, but I didn’t take any at the time 😦 and I promise I’ll update with pictures. Once you have the colors, roll up the plastic wrap, snip off one end, and insert that end into a prepared piping bag with tip. When you pipe, you’ll have multiple colors. Easy peasy.
I worked on each tier separately until it was time to pipe the hair and place the ribbon. The unicorn horn was yellow fondant wrapped around a skewer (with a lot of length left over to sit in the cake) painted with gold dust. The little mini unicorn horns were the same, though wrapped around a dry spaghetti noodle with enough length to stick into the cupcake for stability.
I used 8 fat straws in the bottom tier to act as support for the top tier. Plop some frosting between the layers to act as glue and it ends up pretty stable. I like my cakes to be very well chilled when working on them so I refrigerated at any time it’s not being actively worked on. Once I had it all together, I set it in the fridge until delivery. I was worried because it had to travel around 55 miles. Needless to say, we froze in the car with the AC on full blast to keep it cool since there was no fondant used to force the cake to hold together. Fun times.
If you’re attempting this cake, or something similar, and have questions, reach out and I’ll see what I can do to help. I’m a self-taught decorator and by no means a cake boss but we all start somewhere.