Is a unicorn-themed party even a party without Rainbow Unicorn Cupcakes?! These rainbow-colored marbled cupcakes are covered in sprinkles and are sure to wow and delight guests young and old at any celebration!
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Rainbow 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 ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.
Do you have a little one who loves unicorns? If so, you’re probably planning a unicorn-themed party!
And what better way to celebrate than with rainbow unicorn cupcakes?
They’re fun to make and absolutely adorable. The cupcakes are marbled with lots of rainbow colors, and there are sprinkles baked into them too!
Classic vanilla frosting tops the cupcakes that are generously decorated with rainbow sprinkles and finished with unicorn icing decorations.
If you’re an experienced cake maker you can probably jump straight to the recipe at the end of this post and get baking!
But if not, please read through the steps as I’ve got lots of tips and suggestions along the way!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed to make these cupcakes have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online. Standard ingredients such as flour or sugar are not listed, as you are likely to have those in your kitchen. The full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
Cupcakes & Frosting Ingredients
- Box of French Vanilla Cake Mix – the usual additional ingredients are changed to butter, milk, and eggs to enrich the cake mix. You can use regular vanilla cake if you can’t find the French vanilla.
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar and Confectioner’s Sugar.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy good vanilla as it really does make a flavor difference.
- Rainbow Jimmy Sprinkles
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar or Confectioners Sugar.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy good vanilla as it really does make a flavor difference.
- Rainbow Unicorn Sprinkles – you can use any unicorn and rainbow-colored sprinkles that you like! Make a mix of your own with different single sprinkle types, or buy a ready-made mix. Whatever you use, you will want about 3 cups to decorate the cupcakes.
- Wilton Unicorn Icing Decorations
Cupcake Decorating Equipment
- Large Piping Bag – you can use disposable or reuseable, your choice.
- Large Star Tip – for example, Wilton 1M
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog! I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
Rainbow Unicorn Cupcakes Recipe Tips
How To Make Unicorn Cupcake Decorations
If you can’t get the ready-made unicorn decorations you can make them yourself using fondant.
- The ears are made with two small (different sized) circles of fondant
- Each ear has one large COLOR fondant circle and one small COLOR fondant circle.
- The circles can be cut using the wide ends of two different size piping tips.
- Alternatively use plunger cutters to cut the circles out.
- Carefully pinch the bottoms together to form the ears
- Make extra ears just in case any break!
For the unicorn horns, use a silicone mold and press fondant into the cavity. Pop horn out and leave to dry.
Cupcake Making Tips
- These cupcakes are made using a box of cake mix – the flavor is enriched by using butter, milk, and eggs, instead of the usual oil, water, and eggs.
- The cupcake batter is divided and colored with food coloring gel.
- FOOD COLORING! 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 don’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.
- Use your choice of cupcake liners – themed to the cupcakes, plain white or black, or a complimentary color.
- Add a teaspoon of each color to create the marbled effect. Fill them about three-quarters full.
- 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 all the way 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 to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- These cupcakes are double-frosted, for the first layer, pipe a thick ring around the edge of the cupcake and dip into a bowl of sprinkles to cover completely. Then add a swirl of frosting on top of the sprinkle layer.
- These cupcakes are double-frosted. The first layer is a large swirl which is slightly flattened and covered with sprinkles. A smaller swirl is piped on top for the unicorn decorations to go into.
- SPRINKLES! Following the color theme provided in the recipe, you can use any type you like such as nonpareils, jimmies, stars, confetti, pearls, or shapes – you’ll need about 3 cups of them in total to cover the cupcakes.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a large star such as a Wilton #1M tip to pipe the swirls on these cupcakes.
- 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.
More Unicorn Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more unicorn cupcakes to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Patriotic Unicorn Cupcakes for the Fourth of July!
- Lucky Unicorn Cupcakes
- Adorable Lime Buttermilk Unicorn Cupcakes with Lemon-Lime Frosting
How Do I Make Rainbow Unicorn Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
- 1 box of French Vanilla cake mix
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup rainbow Jimmy sprinkles
- Food coloring gel in the following colors: red, yellow, pink, green, blue
For the Frosting
- 3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 5-7 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups Rainbow Unicorn Sprinkles
- 4 packages of Wilton Unicorn Icing Decorations
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners and set them aside.
- Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, place the cake mix, butter, milk, and eggs into a large bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
- Stir in the Jimmies until well distributed.
- Divide the batter between five bowls and color one each red, yellow, pink, green, and blue. Remember you can always add more coloring, but not take it away! Stir in the food coloring until well combined.
- Using a spoonful of each colored cupcake batter at a time, place into each cupcake to create a marbled effect, until the cupcake liners are about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the frosting, use an electric stand or handheld mixer and add the butter, powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla to the bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth and stiff peaks form.
- Scoop the frosting into the large piping bag fitted with an open star tip.
- Pour the rainbow unicorn sprinkles into a bowl.
- Pipe a thick ring of frosting on top of each cooked and cooled cupcake.
- Dip the cupcakes into the sprinkles to coat the ring of frosting.
- Pipe a small swirl of frosting on top of the sprinkle layer.
- Place the unicorn horn and ears icing decorations into the small frosting swirl. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 646Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 0gSugar: 54gProtein: 3g
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 for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: Black Bean Salsa Cups Appetizer
- Soup: Bacon Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
- Salad: Mexican Chopped Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Main Dish: Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Tacos
- Side Dish: Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Tacos
- Beverage: Watermelon Moscato Slushie Cocktail
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!