Last week my sweet little Maltese Aysia turned 3. I always set up a themed photoshoot for my pup’s birthdays. They are such a huge part of my life and I’m so thankful to have these photos to keep as precious memories of each of my girls. This year as I was browsing Pinterest for theme ideas, I came across a photo of the most beautiful unicorn cupcakes. Right then I decided that I would make her birthday theme this year unicorns. I loved those cupcakes that I found on Pinterest but I thought that a cake would be better for the photos. A little more Pinterest searching led me to find a few unicorn cakes that I liked and I combined a few ideas from each to DIY my own.
I started out with two boxes of store bought cake mix. I mixed the batter according to the instructions and then divided into two bowls and used this food coloring to color each of them. Originally I made four cakes but when I stacked them together I decided that three was tall enough. The different color layers looked so pretty when the cake was cut!
I used a recipe that I got from my Mawmaw for the vanilla buttercream icing. (see the recipe at the end of the post) I made three batches of icing to completely cover the cake, go in between the layers, and pipe on the decorations. I ended up with some left over but it worked out because I had that extra green cake layer to use it on. I left the first batch of icing white to go in between the layers and cover the cake. There is no way that the cake would have turned out as good if I hadn’t purchased this decorating turntable and this icing smoother. It made getting the icing smooth on the outside of the cake so easy.
The next two batches of icing I colored using the same food coloring that I had used to color the cake batter. I ended up making light turquoise, light purple, darker purple, and pink. I split both the pink and the darker purple into two different icing bags with different tips to give some contrast when I decorated. When it came time to decorate the cake I used a variety of these Wilton piping tips to pipe on the unicorn’s mane. After the mane was piped on I added these edible pearls to add a little extra flair.
After the main part of the cake was made it was time to make the fondant decorations. I used this fondant and this gold highlighter for the unicorn horn, ears, and eyes. I rolled out a long piece of fondant and wrapped it around a lollipop stick that I had wet with water to make the fondant stick. Once the horn was dry I mixed the gold highlighter with almond extract and painted it on.
To make the ears I rolled out more fondant with this roller and used two different sizes of these cookie cutters to cut the outer ear and inner ear pieces. Once they were cut I painted the inner ear pieces gold and after they were dry I wet the back with water to stick them to the outer ear pieces. The last part of the decorating process was painting on the eyes with the gold highlighter. I used the rounded brush in this brush set to paint on the eyes.
I’m very happy with how the entire cake turned out and it made Aysia’s birthday photos absolutely perfect! She didn’t get to eat any of this cake but she did have a pup cake from Three Dog Bakery that she enjoyed.
Let me know in the comments below if you plan to try making a unicorn cake of your own!
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup Shortening
- 1/2 cup Salted Butter (room temperature)
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- 3 tbsp Water
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Mix together butter and shortening until smooth.
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until smooth.
Add water and vanilla extract and continue to mix until the desired texture is reached. (you can make the icing more stiff by adding a bit more powdered sugar and less stiff by adding more water)