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Unicorn cake with white icing and a multicoloured buttercream mane
215Total Time
2Prep Time
15Bake Time
A challenge

Unicorn Cake

Celebrity recipe

6 Reviews

  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian

About our Unicorn Cake recipe:

Our good friend Juliet Sear has shared her unicorn cake recipe with us. 

She used four layers of our Fluffy Vanilla Cake for this cake, making it nice and tall. She also coloured the layers, so there's lots of rainbow fun inside the cake, as well as on the outside. She finished off the unicorn showstopper with a rainbow mane.

Quick tip: Make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature.

Interested in baking some more Juliet Sear recipes? Try out the delicious smores sandwich cookie, or if you want to bring the fun back to lunchtime try her cute frog rolls.

215Total Time
2Prep Time
15Bake Time
A challenge


  1. Step 1:

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350 F/Gas 4). Grease 2 20 cm (8 in) round cake tins or a 12-hole cupcake tray.

  2. Step 2:

    Place the butter, sugar and vanilla or other flavourings into a mixing bowl and combine. If using an electric mixer, turn the speed to high (or if you’re using a wooden spoon, use plenty of elbow grease!) and beat until the mixture is very pale, soft and fluffy and the granules of sugar have disappeared.

  3. Step 3:

    Add the beaten eggs, about one-quarter at a time, beating them in slowly each time. Add the flour gradually, one-quarter at a time, mixing gently on a slow speed, until it has mostly been incorporated. Then, add the baking powder. Fold with a metal spoon if doing this by hand. Take care not to mix or beat vigorously or your sponge can turn out a bit tough. Scrape the mixture into cupcake cases or lined tins as required.

  4. Step 4:

    For cupcakes, bake for around 12–15 minutes, checking every few minutes. For a larger cake, begin checking after 20 minutes. Remember, all ovens vary so if in doubt use an oven thermometer. The cakes should be a light golden brown, springy to the touch. A sharp knife or metal skewer should come out clean and free of mixture when inserted into the centre.

  5. Step 5:

    Leave to cool for a couple of minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

  6. Step 6:

    To make the icing, in a large bowl, add about one-quarter of the icing sugar. To make sure the sugar doesn’t puff out in clouds and cover your kitchen, mix slowly at first. You can also place a damp tea towel over the bowl. Once the icing sugar is incorporated, beat at a high speed for about 1 minute until the mix is really creamy and pale. It will take you a few more minutes by hand.

  7. Step 7:

    Continue adding the sugar, one quarter at a time, taking care to beat it in well after each addition. Beat the buttercream at high speed for 1–2 minutes until fluffy. 

    Layering and crumb coating the cake:

    Stick the bottom layer onto a turntable if you have one. Using a little buttercream, stick the bottom cake layer onto the smaller cake drum and make sure it is centred. 

  8. Step 8:

    Spread a layer of buttercream over the first cake layer, then place the second cake layer on top. Repeat this process with the next 2 layers.

  9. Step 9:

    Using a palette knife, generously spread buttercream all around the sides of the cake. You can press on the top of the cake to hold it still. Fil in any gaps and smooth over. 

  10. Step 10:

    Once the sides are covered, spread a layer of the buttercream over the top. Using the palette knife, sweep all around the cake with a firm pressure. Keep the knife or scraper straight, to smooth off the excess and make the surface as flat as you can. 

  11. Step 11:

    With a back and forth motion, smooth over the top to neaten. Go around the edge again if you need to. Remove any lumpy areas around the top edge wit ha small sharp knife. Once you are happy with the cake, put it in the fridge to chill for an hour before decorating.

  12. Step 12:

    Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the white sugar paste to a circle large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake – about 50 cm (20 in). Pick up the sheet of icing using the pin, lift up and drape over the cake.

    Smooth it down with your hands, encouraging the icing to stick to the sides. Lift it up if it starts to fold. You can place any creases to the back or side and cover with the piped mane.

  13. Step 13:

    Once the icing is smoothed all over the cake, trim around the base with a sharp knife. Keep the off-cuts to make the ears. Place the cake onto the gold cake drum. Using cake smoothers with firm pressure, polish the top and the sides.

  14. Step 14:

    Wrap the white ribbon around the bottom of the cake, sticking the ends together with royal icing. Make sure the join is at the back. Leave the cake overnight, before adding the other details.

  15. Step 15:

    To make the large round eyes, thinly roll out the black sugar paste and cut out circles with the 5 cm (2 in) round cutters.

    To make the pink nose, roll out the pink sugar paste and cut into the nose shape.

  16. Step 16:

    Use the white royal icing to stick the nose and eyes onto the front of the cake. Secure with royal icing. With black edible pen, make an  eyelash flick on each eye, and add the nose and mouth detail.

  17. Step 17:

    Make the horn, take about 200 g (7 oz) of the yellow sugar paste, roll into a long sausage and flatten it a little with your palm.

  18. Step 18:

    Stick a small blob of the sugar paste on the bottom of the cone to make a secure base, then pipe a little soft-peak royal icing over the ice-cream cone to make it sticky.

    Now wind the fondant sausage around the cone, from the base to the tip, making a point at the top. Reserve any excess sugar paste for the ears.

  19. Step 19:

    Spray with gold shimmer spray and sprinkle with a little gold glitter. Stick on the top of the cake using royal icing to secure.


  • For the cakes

    • 300g Butter (salted)
    • 300g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
    • 6 Eggs (medium)
    • 300g Allinson's Self Raising White Flour
    • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • For the icing

    • 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
    • 250g Butter (unsalted)
    • 500g Silver Spoon Icing Sugar
  • For the decoration

    • For dusting Silver Spoon Icing Sugar
    • 1.25kg White sugar paste
    • 40g Black sugar paste
    • 60g Pastel pink sugar paste
    • 500g Basic vanilla bean buttercream
    • 250g Yellow sugar paste


  • 8in round sponge tins
  • 30 cm (12 in) gold cake drum
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Gold brush pen
  • Cake smoothers
  • 66 cm (26 in) white ribbon
  • 5 cm (2 in) round cutter
  • Unicorn nose template
  • Ice-cream cone, for horn
  • 1 larger piping bag, fitted with large open star nozzle (1m)
  • Black edible food pen (finetip)
  • Edible gold shimmer spray and gold glitter

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