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How to Make & Decorate a Unicorn Cake
How to Make a Unicorn Cake
Where do we even begin to make this fabulous Unicorn Cake?!
With the horn, of course – it takes the longest to dry!
We’ve run thousands of Unicorn Cake classes for both kids and adults at Le Dolci Classroom & Studio located in Toronto, Canada. From total beginners to expert cake decorators, we’re proud to report that all of our students have ended up with cakes that looked unmistakably like UNICORNS.
No matter where your cake masking skills lie between fuzzy, even-ish buttercream to perfectly crisp buttercream edges, our cake experts have broken down the Unicorn Cake’s decorative features into a few simple steps. This way, you can still make your very own Unicorn Cake at home if you can’t make it to our Unicorn Cake class in person. It’s easier than it looks, we promise!
The horn is the main focus of the cake and where the eye is naturally drawn. It takes the longest time to dry once it has been set into shape so it’s always the first thing we start with in our Unicorn Cake class.
We make our unicorn horns with white gumpaste (or you can use a mixture of a white fondant + tylose to help the horns dry into shape more quickly).
- Knead the gumpaste until it is pliable (like Play-Doh) and then roll out a long log on the table, ~3/8” thick.
- Cut the log in half and taper down each half on one side so that they look identical.
- Pinch the two narrow, tapered ends together. You can use a tiny dab of water if the ends don’t stick together easily.
- Twirl the two pieces around each other until you have at least 3-4 twirls. Cut off any excess to form a base.
- Then with a very small amount of water (dip a paintbrush in water then flick off any excess water), use the paintbrush to follow all the parts on the horn wherever the two tapered logs touch. Leave aside to dry for at least 1hr or until it is fully dry and feels stable enough to handle.
- When the unicorn horn is stable enough to handle, lightly brush a ~6-7” long bamboo skewer with water and insert the sharp end through the middle-base of the horn until it is about ¾ the way up the horn. Be careful not to push the skewer through the top of the horn. Leave aside to dry for at least 1hr or until it is fully dry and feels stable enough to handle.
- Last but not least, we paint our unicorn horns in edible gold for a magical touch!
Our unicorn ears are also made using white gumpaste (you can use the scraps from the horn) and a circle cutter ~1” diameter.
- Roll out some gumpaste using a rolling pin (you can use cornstarch to prevent sticking) and cut out 2 circles using the cutter.
- With a very small amount of water (dip a paintbrush in water then flick off any excess water), apply the paintbrush to draw a line from the center of each circle out to the edge of the circle (like the minute-hand on a clock!). Pinch the circle from the flip-side so that a crease is made along the water-painted line. Leave aside to dry for at least 30mins or until they are fully dry and feel stable enough to handle.
- We also dress up our unicorn ears with edible gold before putting them on the cake!
Our unicorn eyes are meant to resemble the shape of smiling-eyelash clipart (yes, this is a thing!) and are made using black gumpaste and a leaf cutter with a curly flourish. It can take a few tries to get a set of eyelashes that look like they match but practice makes perfect! (PRO TIP: try turning one of the eyelashes back-to-front help with symmetry)
- Roll out some gumpaste using a rolling pin (you can use cornstarch to prevent sticking) and use the curly side of the leaf-cutter to cut out the shape of eyelashes (PRO TIP: make one side on each eyelash thicker to give the illusion of long, dramatic eyelashes).
Alternatively, cut out an eyelash template and use a knife to cut follow the outline of the template on top of the gumpaste.
- Leave aside to dry for at least 30 mins or until they are fully dry and feel stable enough to handle.
The Colourful Mane
Most of the character and colour on a Unicorn Cake comes from its vibrant mane!
Use your favorite combination of colours and piping-tips to create the shape of a mane. For texture, we love to use a combination of:
- small, open-star tips
- large, closed-star tips
(PRO TIP: start piping with larger piping tips and then fill in any gaps with smaller piping tips)
After the mane has been piped, carefully place the ears, eyes and horns on the cake. (PRO TIP: insert the horn at an angle towards the face, so that the horn looks like it is pointing forwards) (Another PRO TIP: our cake decorators like to use the blunt end of a small paintbrush or a toothpick to help place the eyes with precision on the cake and without ruining the buttercream).
Need a refresher on piping skills? We recommend any of our buttercream classes here in Toronto.
We hope that this article helps you to make an impressive Unicorn Cake to wow your guests or maybe make a friend’s birthday cake!
Love everything about your Unicorn Cake except the uneven buttercream edges? Practice makes perfect, or join our Online Cakes & Buttercream Course.
Check out our class schedule to attend an in-person class at our studio in Toronto, Canada (BONUS: we do the prep, baking and the cleanup so that you can focus on cake decorating!).
Our website to book: www.LeDolci.com