Recipe

Ingredients

Homemade Strawberry Cake

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3-ounce package strawberry Jell-O
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Cake Buttercream Crumb Coat

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Strawberry Cake Final Buttercream Coat

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Buttercream Mane

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 drop deep pink AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste
  • 1 drop violet AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste
  • 1 drop sky blue AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste
  • 1 drop teal AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste

Directions

Homemade Strawberry Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans with butter, dust them with flour, and set them aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and dry strawberry Jell-O on medium speed, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Place a sieve over a large bowl. Pour the cake flour into the sieve and sift. Add the sifted cake flour to the batter in the standing mixer bowl. Add the baking powder and mix thoroughly, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically with a silicone spatula.
  4. Add the milk to the cake batter in increments to keep the milk from splattering. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined.
  5. Using a stand blender or handheld immersion blender, blend the frozen strawberries. Pour 1/2 cup of the strawberry purée into the cake batter along with the vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans. Lightly tap the pans on the counter before placing them into the oven; this will dislodge any large air bubbles. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for at least 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen them from the pans. Then invert the cakes onto wire cooling racks and allow them to cool completely.

Strawberry Cake Buttercream Crumb Coat

  1. While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting for the crumb coat. Cream the butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed. Mix until the sugar and butter are combined.
  3. Add the vanilla and the salt to the frosting mixture. Mix on medium-high speed until the frosting becomes smooth.
  4. Add the milk to adjust the thickness of the frosting. If you desire a thinner consistency, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the frosting becomes too thin, simply add more powdered sugar.
  5. When your cakes are completely cool, use a serrated knife to level them. This will allow you to stack them more easily.
  6. Start to assemble your cake on a cake stand. Place a dab of buttercream in the center of the stand and place the bottom cake layer on top. The dab of buttercream will help secure the cake to the stand.
  7. Add the buttercream to the center of the bottom cake layer using a long offset spatula. Spread the buttercream until you come within 1/4 of an inch of the edge of the cake layer. Repeat this step with the middle layer.
  8. Spread a thin coat of buttercream on the top of the cake as well as the sides -- just enough to lock in the crumbs of the cake.
  9. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the buttercream to firm up for the final coat of frosting.

Strawberry Cake Final Buttercream Coat

  1. While the cake chills in the refrigerator, prepare the frosting for the final coat of buttercream. Cream the butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed. Mix until the sugar and butter are combined.
  3. Add the vanilla and the salt to the frosting mixture. Mix on medium-high speed until the frosting becomes smooth.
  4. Add the milk to adjust the thickness of the frosting. If you desire a thinner consistency, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the frosting becomes too thin, simply add more powdered sugar.
  5. Remove the cake from the refrigerator after 30 minutes have passed. Using a long offset spatula, top the center of your cake with buttercream. Carefully spread the frosting evenly just past the edges of the cake. Use the overhang of buttercream to coat the sides of the cake.
  6. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake. Hold the bench scraper parallel to the cake and slowly rotate the cake stand.
  7. Use the bench scraper to smooth the top of the cake as well. Apply a small offset spatula to smaller areas that need to be touched up. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the buttercream for the unicorn's mane.

Buttercream Mane

  1. Cream the butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed. Mix until the sugar and butter are combined.
  3. Add the vanilla and the salt to the frosting mixture. Mix on medium-high speed until the frosting becomes smooth.
  4. Add the milk to adjust the thickness of the frosting. If you desire a thinner consistency, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the frosting becomes too thin, simply add more powdered sugar.
  5. Divide the frosting evenly between 4 medium bowls. Tint the buttercream in the first bowl deep pink. Tint the buttercream in the second bowl violet. Tint the buttercream in the third bowl sky blue. Tint the buttercream in the fourth bowl teal.
  6. Secure the topper to the middle of the cake, slightly toward the front. Run toothpicks through the holes at the bottoms of the ears. The toothpicks will keep the cake topper flush with the surface of the cake.
  7. Use the paper straw from the cake topper kit to apply the adhesive to the eyelashes. Carefully apply the eyelashes to the cake.
  8. Place the deep pink buttercream into a disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip. Start by piping 3 pink rosettes at the base of the cake topper. Then form a T by adding 2 more pink rosettes that cascade out toward the unicorn's forehead. A single pink rosette should hang in the center slightly above the unicorn's eyelashes.
  9. There is no right or wrong way to pipe the rest of the pink rosettes. Keep in mind that you want the unicorn's mane to look as if it's been flipped to one side. The mane should feature various colors throughout. Pipe the rest of the pink rosettes on the side and back of the unicorn's head.
  10. Once you have used all of the pink buttercream, place the violet buttercream into a disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip. Start piping violet rosettes around the pink T in the front of the unicorn's head to fill in the mane. Then pipe violet rosettes on the side and back of the unicorn's head.
  11. Once you have used all of the violet buttercream, place the sky blue buttercream into a disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton 32 piping tip. Begin by piping small stars throughout the unicorn's mane. Place a star wherever filler or a pop of color is needed.
  12. Once you've finished piping stars, place the teal buttercream into a disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1A piping tip. Pipe Hershey's Kiss shapes throughout the unicorn's mane for pops of color.
  13. Place the unicorn cake in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve it. Remember to remove the toothpicks and adhesive before serving. Enjoy!

Supplies

Magical Strawberry Unicorn Cake

  • 3 8-inch round cake pans
  • stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
  • sieve
  • large bowl
  • silicone spatula
  • stand blender or handheld immersion blender
  • 2 cooling racks
  • serrated knife
  • cake stand (or cake turntable)
  • long offset spatula
  • bench scraper
  • small offset spatula
  • 4 medium bowls
  • unicorn cake topper kit (includes paper straw, adhesive, and eyelashes)
  • 2 toothpicks
  • 4 disposable piping bags
  • Wilton 1M piping tip
  • Wilton 32 piping tip
  • Wilton 1A piping tip

Recipe Notes

You can purchase your unicorn cake topper kit, disposable piping bags, Wilton 1M piping tip, Wilton 32 piping tip, and Wilton 1A piping tip online. Here's how to pipe a rosette like a pro!

Check out these essential baking tools every home baker needs.

A unicorn cake is a whimsical and enchanting dessert perfect for your child's birthday celebration -- it's guaranteed to be a sugary showstopper! Our delicious homemade strawberry cake is coated with smooth vanilla American buttercream and decorated with buttercream rosettes, stars, and rounds in soft pastels. We used a simple unicorn cake topper kit for the horn, but you can prepare a fondant horn instead of using the kit.

How To Make This Magical Unicorn Cake Your Own

unicorn cake
Brittany Baxter

Our unicorn cake features a classic vanilla-and-strawberry flavor combination. But you might like to try something different. Here are some additional flavor options (you can make these cakes from scratch or from a mix):

We used AmeriColor Soft Gel paste in deep pink, violet, sky blue, and teal to tint our buttercream. You're free to choose any colors you'd like for your magical creation.

If you're planning a unicorn-themed birthday party, our magical strawberry unicorn cake will leave your guests in awe!

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