These Candy Corn Unicorn Cupcakes made with cake mix and homemade vanilla frosting are adorable, colorful, and will look terrific on your Halloween dessert table!
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Candy Corn Unicorn Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
Let’s talk for a moment about these cupcakes! Are they just not the cutest? What I think really sets these cupcakes apart are their vibrant colors!
If you are planning a Halloween party for your kiddos, these cute Halloween unicorn cupcakes will work perfectly!
The cupcakes are made using a box of white cake mix and dyed with food coloring to resemble candy corn. They are then topped with homemade creamy vanilla frosting.
But that’s not all, Wilton Candy Corn Unicorn icing decorations decorate the cupcakes and a three-color frosting is used to create the unicorn’s mane!
They taste great, they look magical and they’re just perfect for Halloween!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon if available online.
- Box of White Cake Mix – plus the ingredients to make the cake mix, usually eggs, water, oil.
- Orange Food Coloring Gel
- Yellow Food Coloring Gel
- Powdered Sugar – known as Icing Sugar in the UK
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Purple Food Coloring Gel
- Green Food Coloring Gel
- Wilton Candy Corn Unicorn Cupcake Decorations – this is a seasonal item so you should be able to find it in craft stores, specialist cake decorating stores, Walmart, or online. If you can’t find it, check out my tips section for how you can make these yourself using fondant!
This recipe uses American cups. They’re a handy piece of kitchen equipment to have along with a kitchen food scale. Having both in your kitchen means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog as I use both cups and weighted measures.
More Unicorn Recipes
If you want more Unicorn themed recipes, here are some more for you to look at next:
Candy Corn Unicorn Cupcakes Recipe Tips
Cupcake Making Tips
- Use plain white cupcake liners to bake your cakes in – this way the colors of the cupcake will show through to look like a piece of candy corn.
- The cupcake batter is divided into three and colored with food coloring – one orange, one yellow, and one white (which is the color of the batter).
- Food coloring is available in various forms. You’re most likely to find liquid coloring in your grocery store, and other types of coloring like gels, pastes, and powders in more specialised cake decorating shops. The cheapest option is liquids, but they can alter the consistency of your frosting and cake batter, so I prefer to use pastes or gels which doesn’t. A little goes a long way with food coloring gels and you can usually get a much deeper shade than you would with liquids.
- Remember you can always add more food coloring if you need to, but not take it away!
- The batter is added to the cupcake liners in layers. A spoonful of orange first, followed by yellow and finally white.
- The cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- When making the frosting you want the end result to be creamy, smooth, and for it to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- The frosting is then divided and colored using food coloring gel. Remember that you can always add more color, but not take it away. Add a little to start with and add more to get the shade required.
- Some of the frosting is left white and some frosting is colored and used for piping the unicorn’s mane.
- That reserved frosting is divided into three and colored with purple, orange, and green food coloring.
- These cupcakes are frosted with white frosting first and then the unicorn icing decorations are added.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip for the frosting swirl.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag to use on the cupcakes.
- For the unicorn’s mane, you will use one piping bag fitted with a small star tip that is filled with three different colors.
- There are two ways you can do multi-color frosting:
- Scoop one-third of the side of the piping bag with one color, the other one-third with the second color, and the final one-third of the piping bag with the last color. Squeeze some frosting out until the three colors combine.
- Or, use a triple piping bag by putting a piping bag of each color into another piping bag fitted with a tip and frost as usual. Wilton has a great demonstration video on YouTube that I highly recommend.
How To Make Unicorn Cupcake Decorations
If you can’t get the candy corn unicorn decorations you can make them yourself using fondant.
I’ve described how to make the ears and horns in my Unicorn Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe – just switch up the colors to match the ones for these candy corn unicorns.
For the eyes, you can use a tube of black icing to pipe them on.
More Halloween Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more Halloween cupcakes to make? Check these recipes out next:
How Do I Make Candy Corn Unicorn Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
For the Cupcakes
- 1 box of white cake mix + ingredients to make
- Orange food coloring gel
- Yellow food coloring gel
For the Frosting
- 1½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
- Purple food coloring gel
- Orange food coloring gel
- Green food coloring gel
- Wilton Candy Corn Unicorn Cupcake Decorations
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and place 24 white cupcake liners into cupcake pans. Set aside.
- Make cake mix according to box instructions and divide it into 3 bowls.
- Add orange food coloring to one of the bowls and stir to combine to desired shade.
- Add yellow food coloring to another one of the bowls and stir to combine to the desired shade.
- Leave the third bowl uncolored (white).
- Divide the orange cupcake batter between the 24 cupcake liners, enough to cover the bottom.
- Repeat with the yellow cupcake batter on top of the orange batter.
- Finally, add the white batter on top.
- Bake for the instructed time on the box (around 20 minutes). A toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes should come out clean when they are done.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, use an electric stand or handheld mixer and add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream to the bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth and stiff peaks form.
- Scoop 2 cups of frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Set aside.
- Divide the remaining frosting into three bowls.
- Add purple gel food coloring to one, orange to another, and green to the third. Stir to combine to desired shade.
- Fit a piping bag with a small star tip (Wilton #22).
- Add the purple frosting down one-third side of the piping bag.
- Add the orange frosting down another one-third side of the piping bag.
- Add the green frosting down the remaining one-third side of the piping bag.
- To decorate the cooled cupcakes, use the bag of white frosting to pipe swirls on top of each cupcake.
- Place the horn in the middle of the frosting, with the ears to either side of the horn. Place the eye sprinkles below the horn.
- Use the tri-color frosting to pipe the unicorn's mane around the horn and ears and down the sides of the cupcake.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 1g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Jalapeño Popper Mummies Recipe
- Main Dish: Bratwurst Skillet with Apples & Vegetables
- Beverage: Sanderson Sisters Cocktail – Amok Amok Amok!
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!