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Chocolate Unicorn Cake


Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup dark cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s® Special Dark), sifted

1 cup dark cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s® Special Dark), sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

½ cup white sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature

1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature

1 cup sour cream

1 cup sour cream

Vanilla Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon heavy cream, or more as needed

1 tablespoon heavy cream, or more as needed

Decorations:

1 drop blue food coloring, or as needed

1 drop blue food coloring, or as needed

1 drop purple food coloring, or as needed

1 drop purple food coloring, or as needed

1 tablespoon pink sprinkles, or as needed

1 tablespoon pink sprinkles, or as needed

1 (.75 ounce) tube black decorating gel

1 (.75 ounce) tube black decorating gel

4 marshmallows, quartered

4 marshmallows, quartered

1 tablespoon pink sanding sugar, or as needed (Optional)

1 tablespoon pink sanding sugar, or as needed (Optional)

8 birthday candles

8 birthday candles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, thoroughly mixing after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.

Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, thoroughly mixing after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.

Mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Mix in 1/2 of the coffee and 1/2 of the sour cream until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture alternately with remaining sour cream and coffee. Do not overmix. Divide batter between the cake pans.

Mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Mix in 1/2 of the coffee and 1/2 of the sour cream until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture alternately with remaining sour cream and coffee. Do not overmix. Divide batter between the cake pans.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans before inverting cakes onto cooling racks. Peel off parchment paper. Cool cakes completely, about 30 minutes.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans before inverting cakes onto cooling racks. Peel off parchment paper. Cool cakes completely, about 30 minutes.

Make frosting while cakes cool. Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract and salt. Add heavy cream. Beat frosting on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add more heavy cream if needed to reach a spreadable consistency.

Make frosting while cakes cool. Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract and salt. Add heavy cream. Beat frosting on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add more heavy cream if needed to reach a spreadable consistency.

Place 1/2 cup frosting into 2 separate bowls. Stir blue food coloring into one bowl and purple food coloring into the other. Place colored frostings into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

Place 1/2 cup frosting into 2 separate bowls. Stir blue food coloring into one bowl and purple food coloring into the other. Place colored frostings into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

Place 1 cooled cake layer onto a cake plate. Top with 3/4 cup of white frosting. Place second cake layer on top. Frost the outside and top of the cake with remaining frosting.

Place 1 cooled cake layer onto a cake plate. Top with 3/4 cup of white frosting. Place second cake layer on top. Frost the outside and top of the cake with remaining frosting.

Divide the cake into 8 wedges by tracing a sharp knife through the frosting on the top; do not cut all the way through. Place 2 pink sprinkles in the innermost point to make unicorn’s nostrils. Pipe the eyes and eyelashes near the upper portion of each wedge using the black decorating gel. Pipe blue and purple unicorn hair at the top of each wedge.

Divide the cake into 8 wedges by tracing a sharp knife through the frosting on the top; do not cut all the way through. Place 2 pink sprinkles in the innermost point to make unicorn’s nostrils. Pipe the eyes and eyelashes near the upper portion of each wedge using the black decorating gel. Pipe blue and purple unicorn hair at the top of each wedge.

Stretch marshmallow quarters into ear shapes and dip into pink sugar. Attach 2 ears to the edge of each slice. Pipe more hair around the ears. Place 1 candle into the hair for the horns. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Stretch marshmallow quarters into ear shapes and dip into pink sugar. Attach 2 ears to the edge of each slice. Pipe more hair around the ears. Place 1 candle into the hair for the horns. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Cook’s Notes:

Use melted chocolate instead of black icing gel, if preferred.

Instead of a piping bag, you can use a freezer bag with the corner cut off.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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