IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Unicorn Cupcakes

Unicorn Cupcakes
Rachel Fong
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
1 hr
makes 12 cupcakes

Chef notes

These cupcakes look impressive with their rainbow swirl, but they're actually really simple to make! They're the perfect colorful centerpiece for a party.

Technique tip: Experiment with different colors for the mane to match your favorite color scheme!

Swap option: Save time by using boxed cake mix and store-bought frosting.

Special equipment: Two pastry bags (one fitted with a star tip and one with a small round tip).


  • cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • cups powdered sugar
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • Gel food color in hot pink, yellow and teal
  • Black decorating icing, placed in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip
  • 12 sugar ice cream cones, cut down to size
  • 12 mini marshmallows


For the cupcakes:


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed with the paddle attachment for 1 minute.


Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the cubed butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse sand (about 4 minutes).


In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.


Divide the batter between the pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the frosting:

In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla and milk until combined.

Divide the frosting between three bowls and color one of each pink, yellow and teal. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip so that each color is in a different third of the piping bag.

To decorate:


Pipe swirls of frosting on the upper third of the cupcake for the unicorn mane.


Place an ice cream cone in the mane for a horn.


Cut the mini marshmallows in half at a diagonal and place one half on each side of the horn for ears.


Pipe on the unicorn eyelashes with the black decorating icing.