This Easter bunny unicorn cake will be the star of your Easter celebration, but is also perfect for spring birthdays and baby showers too! You’ll bake this bunny cake with ease with step-by-step instructions and the simple funfetti cake mix.
Spring is in the air and I am so ecstatic! I much prefer the longer days to the longer nights. San Diego has been getting some nice rain this week, so we are doing a happy dance for our thirsty gardens. I can’t wait for all of the flowers to bloom.
Today’s cake is to celebrate spring and Easter coming in April. My 14-year old daughter and I are continuing our quest to make fun and unique unicorn cakes together to celebrate any and every season. It all started with her birthday unicorn cake.
Funfetti cake for spring
For the base of this spring inspired cake, we wanted something fun and happy. And what screams fun and happy more than sprinkles! Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it!) I have a massive bin of sprinkles.
This bin includes sprinkles of all shapes, colors and sizes for any season. When I found these bright jimmies, I knew we had a winner. All I had to do was mention funfetti and my girl was all in.
As I’ve mentioned before, I bake cakes from scratch all the time. But when I spend a lot of time decorating a cake, I like to keep the base cake simple and use box mix. Box mixes have come a long way, and they really are moist, delicious and easy to whip up.
Since we were going to use sprinkles in the batter, we chose to use white cake mix. Honestly, the best thing about box cake mixes is that my 14-year old daughter can (and did) whip it up with ease. It’s so awesome to have an assistant!
Because we used a box cake mix, we baked this funfetti cake in 3 6-inch round cake pans. Remember, when you are making unicorn (or bunny) cakes, you want a tall cake for the face. A three layer cake works perfectly for this.
For one box of cake mix we added about 1/2 cup of funfetti sprinkles. When baked together, they cake looks like colorful confetti is baked throughout the cake. When my daughter cut her first slice of cake, she squealed with joy.
“Mommy, this is such a happy cake!” And it tastes pretty darn good, too.
When it comes to planning ahead, if my cakes are labor intensive in the decorating department, I usually bake my cake a day ahead. Don’t worry, it keeps just fine and it remains just as moist and delicious the next day.
Working with gum paste
For my previous unicorn cakes, I usually only worked with fondant. For this bunny unicorn cake, I knew that I wanted everything on the cake to be edible. I wanted edible bunny ears sticking out of the cake.
Fondant is softer as an edible sculpting medium and doesn’t dry as quickly or as hard as gum paste. If I wanted my bunny ears to stand up on their own, I needed to make them out of gum paste.
I made the unicorn horn with fondant, but I go into that later in this post. For all of the confectionary accessories, I needed them to dry out and harden, so I made them the day before I served the cake.
This was my first time working with gum paste, so I did not make homemade gum paste. Instead I purchased a tub of already made gum paste. I found it at Micheal’s but you can also order it on Amazon.
When I first tried prying it out of the tub, I found it rock hard and dry. Boy was I going to have a workout ahead of me. To help massage and smooth it out, you need to have some shortening on hand. Luckily, I did.
My first attempt at creating the bunny ears, nose and paws was not a huge success. There were cracks and wrinkles I could not get rid of. I also did not mix in food coloring with the gum paste, but instead tried painting the inside of the ears with the pink food coloring.
Oh the color was way too bright and intense, not at all what I was going for. I felt like a failure, but I knew part of the problem was that I rushing the job.
So, I called it a day and decided to finish the cake on day 3. I was not making this bunny unicorn cake for a special occasion, and I need to learn more about gum paste!
I watched many videos and read several gum paste tutorials before I attempted a second time to make the bunny ears, nose and paws. Not only do you need shortening to smooth out the gum paste, you need a lot of shortening!!
I found that by dipping my fingers into the shortening and working it into the gum paste was the best method to making it smooth and pliable. I used my fondant rolling pin to roll it thin, less than 1/4 cm thick, for the ears and nose.
You just can’t roll fondant that thin and expect it to harden and remain stiff. That’s the beauty of gum paste. The more I worked with it, the better I became and my confidence grew from there.
Bunny ear template for bunny cake
As I mentioned above, for the bunny ears I rolled the gum paste to the thickness of less than 1/4 cm. I have this free bunny ear template you can print out, which works perfectly for the 6-inch round 3-layer cake, as pictured in this post.
If you are making a bigger cake, like an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake, print the bunny ear template at 115% and you’ll be set. Use a sharp tip knife and smoothly trace the ear template to cut out your ears. Let it sit overnight on a silicone lined baking sheet so it can harden.
For the inner ear, I worked in some pink and brown food coloring (I use these Wilton color right food dyes). Then I rolled the gum paste and folded it up, then rolled it again until the pink color was even and complete.
Once the pink gum paste was ready, I again rolled it out thin and traced out the inner ear. I then adhered the pink inner ear onto the bigger white outer ear using some gum paste glue.
Gum paste glue is simply a couple of tablespoons of hot water mixed in with some gum paste. You want a consistency of syrup or thin jelly. You just have to keep mixing it to get it combined.
Then you spread a little bit (like 1/4 tsp) on the back of the pink inner ear and place it on top of the white outer ear. The gum paste glue will harden and the two pieces remain stuck together. Let it sit overnight to completely dry and harden.
Since I made the second ears the same day I was decorating and photographing the cake, the ears weren’t quite hard enough to stand on their own. I placed small bamboo skewers behind them as support.
How to make a fondant unicorn horn
I have shared my many tips and tricks to making a fondant unicorn horn. You can definitely use gum paste to make the horn, but since I devoted all my gum paste to the bunny ears, I used some leftover white fondant to make the unicorn horn.
Since this is a bunny unicorn and not an ordinary unicorn, my daughter and I agreed that we needed a slightly shorter horn than we usually make. I wanted the horn to be shorter than the ears. Once done, the final horn was about 3-4 inches long.
I rolled about a 1-inch ball of fondant to be thicker on the inside and thinner on the ends. Overall, it was about 8.5-inches long.
Then I loosely folded the fondant to make a ‘U’ as pictured below:
I gently twisted the tips together, then wrapped the whole thing down a bamboo skewer, like here:
Be careful of over squishing and pressing your fingerprints into the fondant horn. But do make sure that the fondant is wrapped snugly onto the bamboo skewer. Tadah! Your final horn is ready to dry!
I have a piece of pottery in my kitchen that has some dry floral foam inside of it. This is where I always stick my unicorn to dry. You do not want it to dry laying flat because one side will dry with a flat side. So dry it upright.
I let the horn sit for a couple of hours before I began painting it with the gold paint. For this job, I use edible gold powder. Edible gold powder can be found both at Micheals and on Amazon.
You don’t need much, so the smallest quantity you can find is perfect. I wanted a light golden color, so less was best here. I added about 1/4 teaspoon in a small bowl with a few drops of peppermint extract. You can also use clear vanilla extract or vodka.
The alcohol evaporates as the gold paint dries, keeping the gold adhered to the fondant. I usually let it dry overnight for this step, too.
Please use a brand new paint brush for this task. Any paint brush will do, as long as it has never been used. I keep a couple small paint brushes in my baking bin and only use it for culinary purposes.
Bunny nose and feet for bunny cake
I took my bunny inspiration from several bunny cakes that I saw online. I wanted to keep the face simple so I decorated it similarly to how I decorate a unicorn cake. I start with piping a large rosette in the center of the forehead and work from there.
I knew that the eyes would be piped similarly to how I pipe eyes on my unicorn cake, so I wanted a simple bunny nose. What would be more simple, happy and perfect than a small heart! With the remaining pink gum paste, I rolled out and cut a small heart using my template (it’s with my free bunny ear template).
My final bunny touch for this cake were the paws. After looking at many different bunny cakes, I settled for these paws you see pictured in the cake. Because I had gum paste, I used that to shape the paws. You could also use fondant.
The hardest part was keeping the paws smooth and crease free. It took several tries before I figured it out – and lots of shortening! I started with a golf ball sized amount of gum paste and worked it with shortening until it was smooth.
Then I rolled it out a bit to make a fat circle. No need to roll it super flat. You can also flatten it between your hands, but I found using the roller kept it smooth. The I brought in all of the edges to the center of the circle, as if I was making a stuffed dumpling.
I smoothed everything over and formed it into a ball. When you turn it over, seam side down, the top of your “dumpling” is nice and smooth. Then I gently pressed it down so the seam side is flat and smooth. You are basically forming a slightly flattened ball.
Using my fondant sculpting tool, I added the indentations to mark the toes of the bunny feet. You can also use a dull butter knife. Smooth everything over and let your bunny paws sit overnight to harden.
Frosting your unicorn cake
Once all of my fondant and gum paste accessories were made and dried, I was ready to bring my cake to life with frosting. I used a combination of butter and cream cheese to make the frosting. I’m a huge fan of cream cheese frosting, but I didn’t want it overwhelming the flavor.
I leveled off my three cake rounds, flipping the top round over bottom side up to make a flat smooth surface. Didn’t the funfetti turn out, well, fun?! My daughter happily ate the scraps as I began to frost the cake.
I confess that I wish that I could create a smoother finish to my frosted cakes. I recently learned a new technique that I’m excited to try on my NEXT cake. But for now, I used my icing spatula to frost and smooth it out.
Another trick is to have a glass of warm water handy. Every time you use your spatula, remove excess frosting from it, then dip in the warm water and use it to smooth out the frosting.
You can frost your cake white and let it sit in the refrigerator a day before you start decorating it. I did this because I liked that the base white cake hardened a little, making it easier to pipe all my designs onto it.
This prevented the different colors from blending with the white. Also, when I made a mistake, I could use my offset spatula to remove the messed up rosette without ruining the base white underneath.
Once the cake was frosted white, I divided the rest of the white frosting into 4 small bowls, with one of the bowls having a bit more than the rest. My main color that would be piped into big rosettes was dark pink and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of dark pink frosting.
These are the approximate amounts of frosting I used to decorate my bunny unicorn cake:
- 1.5 cups dark pink frosting, dyed using 5-6 drops of pink and 1 drop of brown, in a decorating bag fitted with a #1M tip
- 1 cup light pink frosting, dyed using 1-2 drops of pink and less than 1 drop of brown, in a decorating bag fitted with a #32 tip
- 1 cup light green frosting, dyed using 5-6 drops of yellow and 1 drop of blue, in a decorating bag fitted with a #18 tip
- 1 cup light white frosting, in a decorating bag fitted with a #21 tip
- 2-3 TBS black frosting, in a decorating bag fitted with a #4 tip or in a resealable bag with a corner slightly snipped off
I use Wilton’s color chart here to help me with the color mixing using their food color dyes.
Did you know you can buy white food color? Now you can add a few drops to your butter cream frosting to make it bright white. I did not do that here, but I did add some white food dye to tone down my green frosting.
I also used it to lighten my pink slightly, as I wanted contrast between the two pinks. What a brilliant idea – white food dye!
Piping the unicorn mane
No matter what theme my unicorn cake has, I always start off with the center rosette on the forehead and work my way from there. Then I pipe the 5 big rosettes on the top of the cake.
I used the light pink and white frosting to fill in with smaller rosettes and stars. I wanted a soft pastel look for the cake, the colors of Easter. Once I was happy with the forehead and top of the cake, I was ready to pipe the unicorn mane.
Every unicorn mane I have piped is slightly different. I don’t follow a real pattern. Just try to mix different colors with different shapes and work your way down the side of the cake.
Once I had finished with the pinks and white, I added the final touches of the green frosting. I did not want much green, I could have whipped up even less green frosting than I had. I only used about 1/4 cup.
I went a little nuts piping the man for my first unicorn cake. Don’t get me wrong, it looked great, but it really was way too much frosting! I much prefer the “less is more” approach. My frosting recipe gives you plenty of frosting, as I did not use all of it.
Assembling your Easter bunny unicorn cake
Once the cake is frosted, you are ready for the final touches! To pipe the eyes, pipe the black frosting using tip #3. If you aren’t super confident with the piping bag, then practice on a baking tray or sheet of parchment paper before piping directly on the cake.
Next, I placed the gum paste bunny ears into the cake. It’s approximately in the center of the cake. The unicorn sits in between and in front of the ears, inserted at a slight angle pointing forward.
Because I made a slightly smaller unicorn horn, I snipped the bamboo skewer a bit. You only need about 3-4 inches of skewer to insert it into the cake. I held the golden horn with a bit of paper towel so I wouldn’t get any bits of gold on my fingers.
I piped a little bit of frosting behind the pink heart nose and placed it in between and below the eyes. I piped frosting underneath the bunny paws and secured them to the cake pedestal underneath the eyes. I even piped a rosette and some colorful stars next to the bunny paw opposite of the unicorn mane.
Overall, my daughter and I are super excited and proud of our Easter bunny unicorn cake. It really does scream ‘spring’ with it’s happy pastel colors. My friends thought it would make a cute baby shower cake, too.
The Professor just returned from college for his spring break and he saw the pictures of my cake. His comments just crack me up. “Mom, it’s a really pretty cake, don’t get me wrong. But a bunny unicorn? Isn’t that kinda weird?!”
Ha ha ha! I guess it is a bit strange, but in this unicorn loving world, I’m okay with unique and weird. My daughter and I just loved this cake and I hope you do, too!
- 1 box White Cake Mix
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup colorful jimmies/sprinkles
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 cups confectioners' sugar (approximately 2 lb.)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 oz white fondant
- 6 oz gum paste
- 1/4 tsp edible gold powder
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract
- Pink food coloring
- Brown food coloring
- Yellow food coloring
- Blue food coloring
- White food coloring (optional)
- Black food coloring
- Shortening, to work into gum paste
Bake the chocolate cake
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Mix up one white cake mix batter per package directions into mixing bowl.
- Divide batter into 3 6-inch cake pans, coated with oil and lined with parchment paper.
- Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool completely on wire racks.
- Do not begin frosting the cake until the cakes are completely cooled.
Make the gum paste bunny ears and nose
- Massage gum paste, rubbing shortening into your fingers repeatedly until gum paste is easy to shape and smooth.
- Using a small rolling pin, roll out the gum paste flat, about 1/4-cm thick. Using the bunny ear templates that I provided, cut out the larger outer ears using the tip of a sharp knife.
- Use an offset spatula to transfer to a baking sheet holding a silicone mat.
- Separate about 1/4 of the remaining gum paste. Keep the remaining gum paste covered in plastic wrap.
- Using a toothpick, work in a few streaks of pink and 1 or 2 streaks of brown food coloring into the gum paste. You want a light pink color.
- Massage the gum paste until the gum paste is pink throughout,
- Roll out it out flat, about 1/4-cm thick. Using the bunny ear template, cut out the smaller inner ears using the tip of a sharp knife.
- Transfer to the baking sheet.
- Roll out the pink gum paste again and cut out the small heart nose, also on the bunny ear template.
- Transfer to the baking sheet.
- To make gum paste glue, grab a small pinch of white gum paste, like a 1/4 teaspoon ball and mix it in a bowl with 2 TBS hot water. You want a syrupy, gel like consistency.
- Brush the gum paste glue behind the pink inner ear then place it on top of one the big white outer ears. Repeat with other pink inner ear. Discard remaining gum paste glue and let ears completely dry overnight.
Make the gum paste bunny paws
- Roll out the remaining white gum paste, again working with the shortening until smooth and soft.
- Divide the gum paste in half. You need 2 balls, about the size of a golf ball. Discard anything extra.
- Working with one ball at a time, roll in a smooth ball using shortening, Keep the other ball covered in plastic wrap.
- Using a small rolling pin or your hands, gently flatten the ball as you would with play-doh. Keep it thick, like pizza dough.
- Start gently folding in the circle, bringing the edges of the circle to the center. You want to form a smooth ball.
- Work the seams together, rolling into a ball that is smooth and seamless on top, and the seams underneath.
- Turn the ball over, seam side down, and gently press down on a hard surface to slightly flatten the ball.
- Using a dull butter knife or fondant sculpting tool, press indentations into the dough to form lines shaping the toes of your bunny.
- When satisfied with your creation, place on the baking sheet to dry overnight and create second bunny paw with remaining gum paste.
Make the fondant unicorn horn
- Mix a few drops of peppermint extract into edible gold dust to form gold paint.
- Work the white fondant until smooth, using shortening as you need it.
- Roll out fondant into a log where the ends are tapered and thinner than the center. It should be approximately 3.5-inches long.
- Gently fold the log to shape a 'U' and wrap the tips together.
- Begin wrapping the fondant around a bamboo skewer, starting with the thinner parts of the fondant at the tip of the skewer and ending with the fatter ends.
- Gently slide the rolls together up the skewer to remove any gaps.
- You will only need about 3-inches of bamboo stick to place in your cake, so cut off any remaining parts of the bamboo stick, past this 3-inch mark.
- Paint your unicorn gold using the gold paint you make. Allow the fondant horn to sit overnight UPRIGHT to harden and dry.
Make the frosting
- In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese and whip until smooth.
- Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
- Gently pour in the heavy cream and vanilla extract and blend until smooth.
- Cut any domes from the top of the cakes to level them off, then place first layer of cake on a cake stand, adhered with a dab of frosting.
- Using an icing spatula, smooth over a layer of frosting, then top with second cake layer.
- Again, smooth over a layer of frosting then add top cake, inverting it so bottom of cake is facing up.
- Smooth top of cake and surrounding sides with white frosting.
- Place in refrigerator to chill.
- Place approximately 1.5-cup of frosting in a small bowl and dye it dark pink, using pink and brown dye. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with tip #1M.
- Place approximately 1-cup of frosting in a small bowl and dye it light pink using pink dye. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with tip #32 or any star or open star tip.
- Place approximately 1-cup of frosting in a small bowl and dye it light green using yellow, blue and white (if needed) dye. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with tip #18 or any star or open star tip.
- Dye about 3 TBS of frosting black using black dye. Transfer black frosting to a piping bag fitted with tip #3.
- Reserve 1 cup of frosting and do not dye it anything. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with tip #21 or any star or open star tip.
Assemble the unicorn cake
- Using the dark pink and #1M piping tip, pipe one large rosette on the side of the cake where the bunny unicorn forehead is located.
- On the top of the cake pipe four large rosettes marking the four tips of the cake (like a compass!). Pipe another rosette in the center.
- Pipe 2 or 3 rosettes down the side of cake where the mane will drape down.
- Add dollops of stars and smaller rosettes using the white and light pink frostings, filling in the big gaps.
- Add small stars using the green frosting.
- Pipe eyes onto the front center of the cake, just under the forehead rosette using the black frosting and tip #3.
- Place horn on the top center of the cake and the bunny ears on either side of the horn. If your ears are having a hard time staying up straight, insert bamboo skewers behind them as support.
- Add a smidge of frosting behind the heart nose and place below and in between the eyes.
- Add a dollop of frosting underneath each bunny paw and adhere it to the cake stand, below each eye.
- Add any final touches of frosting, piping rosettes and stars next to bunny paw opposite of the long mane.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
You can use any flavor of cake for this bunny unicorn cake. It works with any box mix.
If you want a larger cake, use two box mixes and divide batter into 3 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Double the amount of frosting in the recipe.
You can also use gum paste to make the unicorn horn.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 685Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 99gFiber: 0gSugar: 91gProtein: 3g
This is a little deceptive as the fondant and gum paste is counted in the calorie count and most people don't eat it.