Unicorn cupcakes

Unicorn cupcakes

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 20 mins


makes 12

It's just not a party without unicorn cupcakes. Try these easy vanilla sponges with mesmerising rainbow-swirled buttercream and chocolate button and sprinkle decoration

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per cupcake

  • kcal407
  • fat21g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre1g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.61g
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    For the cupcakes

    • 150g white caster sugar
    • 2 eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 100g butter, melted



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 150g self-raising flour

    For the vanilla syrup

    • 3 tbsp maple syrup
      Maple syrup

      Maple syrup

      may-pul sir-rup

      The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    For the buttercream

    • 200g butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 300g icing sugar
    • 4 tsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • few drops vanilla extract
    • food colouring ( we used pink, green and blue)

    To decorate

    • selection of sweets and sprinkles (we used hundreds and thousands, chocolate buttons, white chocolate stars, Smarties and coloured sugar).


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper muffin cases. Put all of the cake ingredients into a bowl and whisk with electric beaters for 3-4 mins until light and pale. Divide the mixture evenly between the cases and bake for 20 mins or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

    2. Mix together the maple syrup, vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water. Use a cocktail stick to poke a few tiny holes in each of the cooled cupcakes then drizzle a little bit of the syrup over each one.

    3. Beat together the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and pale. Put half the buttercream in one bowl and leave as it is, then divide the other half into 3 bowls. Use the food colouring to dye one pink, one pale green and one pale blue, then transfer them all to one large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle, including the plain. Pipe swirls on top of the cupcakes – as the buttercream comes through the bag, the colours will start to blend and change as you pipe. Decorate the tops of the cupcakes with your favourite sprinkles if you like.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    30th Jan, 2018
    25/01/2018: The buttercream split for me! I have found it is either the butter is too warm, the milk too cold or there aren't enough emulsifiers. I will have another shot at it tonight and see how it turns out! UPDATE: I redid the recipe and they turned out great! I reduced the amount of ingredients for the buttercream - 200g icing sugar, 100g butter, 2 tsp of milk and a few drops of vanilla extract and for me, that was exactly the right amount with nothing to spare! I actually won a bake-off at work using this recipe! Finally received my acclaim!
    Nippy Sweetie
    15th Sep, 2017
    Dead easy but looks really special. Made these as an alternative to a traditional cake for my daughter's 8th birthday. They looked amazing and the cake itself was moist and yummy. Use a large piping bag so you can get all of the different coloured buttercreams in. I topped mine with a light dusting of gold cake spray, smarties and sprinkles.
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