Unicorn Cake

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour Bake: 25 min. + cooling


20 servings

Updated: Jul. 28, 2023
This magical unicorn cake tastes as good as it looks. Baking in smaller pans creates impressive height, and a few simple decorating tricks turn it into a showstopping dessert. —Lauren Knoelke, Des Moines, Iowa


  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup rainbow jimmies
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Paste food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three 6-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease and flour pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in butter until crumbly. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup milk and extracts; beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in remaining milk. Gently fold in jimmies.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in each center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove parchment. Cool completely.
  4. For buttercream, in a microwave, melt chocolate with cream until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly. In heatproof bowl of stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until blended. Place over simmering water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until a thermometer reads 160°, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. With whisk attachment of stand mixer, beat on high speed until cooled to 90°, about 7 minutes. Gradually beat in butter, a few tablespoons at a time, on medium speed until smooth; beat in vanilla and white chocolate mixture.
  6. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Divide remaining buttercream into smaller portions; stir in food coloring to achieve desired colors. Decorate as desired. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Decorating tips: For ears, combine your favorite cookie dough with jimmies; cut into 2-in. hearts and bake. While still warm, mold onto the curve of a large metal spoon; let stand until cooled. Dip edges in melted white chocolate. For horn, coat sugar cone with edible gold mist. For eyes, pipe melted yellow candy coating disks onto parchment; refrigerate until set. For mane, attach pastel meringue cookies with buttercream; fill in with piped buttercream.
Unicorn Cake Tips

How can you make a unicorn cake your own?

There are many ways you can make unicorn cake your own! Swap in chocolate cake for vanilla or cream cheese frosting for the buttercream. You can also add extra sprinkles as you see fit or edible glitter for bit of sparkle. Check out these other fun edible cake decorations and see how creative you can get!

How should you store your unicorn cake?

If decorated, we recommend storing the cake in the refrigerator under a cake dome or cake keeper. If you've cut into your cake, press plastic wrap onto the exposed sponge to keep it from drying out.

Can you make unicorn cake in advance?

If you want to make unicorn cake in advance, one of the easiest things to do is to make the cake layers and freeze them, unfrosted and wrapped tightly, until ready to use. Just make sure to let the cake layers cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap or storing in a resealable plastic bag; doing so will prevent excess moisture that can make the cake soggy. Or, just make the layers and frosting separately, and store in the fridge until you're ready to decorate the cake, preferably within a day or two.

—Sammi DiVito, Taste of Home Assistant Editor 

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 460 calories, 28g fat (17g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 245mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.