There is nothing more adorable, playful, and delicious than this gluten free unicorn cake. It is perfect for birthday celebrations, parties, or when you just want a scrumptious dessert. Impress your friends and family with this DIY unicorn cake, and they will rave about it.

A decorated unicorn cake on a white plate.

It is impossible to look at this gluten free unicorn cake and not fall in love with it! My daughter did a beautiful job decorating, and I know you will do a great job too! No matter what, just have fun with it! Add your own colors, flair, and style.

This gluten free strawberry cake is made with fresh strawberry puree topped with a sweet and flavorful frosting. The ears of this tasty unicorn are made from Peeps! Can you believe fondant unicorn horn is a combination of melted Peeps and powdered sugar?

Imagine the look on your kid’s face when you serve unicorn birthday cake this year! Making a unicorn smash cake for your one-year-old baby would be especially fun! You could also serve it for a baby shower, Mother’s Day celebration, or just because you want to make a unicorn cake!

Allergen Information:

This homemade strawberry cake is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and oat-free. You can easily make it dairy-free by swapping plant-based butter for regular butter.

Two slices of unicorn cake on white plates.

If you love chocolate, you can make the inside cake with this gluten free chocolate layer cake recipe. You can also use this Gluten Free Vanilla Cake base under the unicorn decor!

Can I use a different kind of fruit?

Yes, absolutely! I used strawberry because we had it on hand and love the flavor of strawberry cake. My daughter and I wanted our cake to have a pink tint without using icky food coloring. You can add in whatever fruit you enjoy and have on hand. Here are some ideas:

  • Raspberry
  • Blueberry
  • Peach
  • Blackberry

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

When you make a cake, it is important to use the right kitchen tools. Here are my favorite Kitchen Tools For Making Cakes.

The dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend.

I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I just have not tested other flours. Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 3/4 teaspoon.

Pureed strawberries in a food processor.

Step 2: Place fresh strawberries in this amazing mini food processor and liquefy your fruit!

The strawberry cake wet ingredients in a bowl.

Step 3: Partially melt the butter in a microwave-safe dish for 25 seconds. Put all of the wet ingredients into a bowl and whisk to blend.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

Mini cake pans with strawberry cake batter in the oven.

Step 4: Use these fabulously inexpensive mini cake pans so you have lots of cake layers. Bake at 350º F for 18-20 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to bake longer.

Step 5: Remove the cakes from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. While the cakes cool, make your frosting (the recipe is in the recipe card below). Place 1/4 of the frosting in a small bowl and set it aside.

The layers of strawberry cake with frosting between each layer.

Step 6: When the cake is fully cooled, place a dab of frosting on a cake spinner. Add one layer of cake and frost the top; add the next layer and continue until all of the layers are frosted. Next, frost the sides and top and smooth the frosting out. For more details on frosting a cake, read my Gluten-Free Wedding Cake recipe. It has tons of tips.

How to make cute frosting swirls:

Now, you will want to color the frosting you set aside. Divide the frosting into small bowls (depending on how many colors you want) and add different food coloring drops to each bowl. Mix until the frosting is the color you would like it to be.

A frosting bag making rainbow frosting swirls on a cake.

Step 7: Put a couple of spoonfuls of each color frosting into the frosting bag. They do sell special frosting bags that will allow you to pipe several colors at once, but I didn’t use it. It is hard to see in this shot, but there are 3 different colors in the bag. When you make the swirls, it comes out rainbow swirl.

Rainbow frosting swirls to mimic a unicorn's mane.

Make lots of swirls to represent the mane and forelock. These swirls should also go down the back of the cake, like a unicorn’s mane. You can check out all of my frosting tips on my Gluten Free Frosting Guide!

A pink Peep Easter candy cut in half in the shape of a horses ear.

Step 8: Take a Peep, that fun marshmallow Easter candy that is hard to resist. Cut the peep in half and use the bottom half for the ear. Feel free to use white crystal sugar to coat the inside of the ear as we did. It will prevent the inner ear from being too sticky.

How to make a fondant unicorn horn:

Here is how my daughter created that cool pink unicorn horn for her gluten free unicorn cake. We didn’t have fondant, but we read you can make it with marshmallows or peeps.

A bowl of melted peeps and powdered sugar.

Did you know you can make fondant with Peeps?

I kid you not…my daughter is a genius with all baking hacks. She melted an entire package of Peeps (pink) and added powdered sugar until it was thick enough to mold. 

Step 9: Use your hands to mold a horn shape. You can use any color peeps to make the horn. I have seen peeps in green, yellow, blue, purple, pink, and red at our local grocery store. They even make Halloween colors if you are making something that needs orange or black.

A slice of the gluten free unicorn cake with the cake in the background.

Recipe FAQ:

Can I make cupcakes with this recipe?

Yes, you can easily make little unicorn cupcakes. You will want to scale down the size of the tip you use to decorate with the icing, cut smaller ears, and make a smaller unicorn horn.

Can I freeze the leftover cake?

slices and wrap them individually with plastic wrap. Then, place all of the pieces of cake in a freezer bag or airtight container. The cake will taste best if it is consumed within 3-6 months of freezing.

How long will this unicorn cake keep fresh?

This cake will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.

A close up of the gluten free unicorn cake's face.

You can also use this gluten-free chocolate cake as the base.

Looking for more unicorn cake decorating ideas?

Remember to have fun when making your unicorn cake. You could even make several and let your kids decorate their own. Here are some fun ideas to try:

  • Chocolate Crown – Add a fun chocolate crown to your unicorn head cake.
  • Sprinkles – Everything has a little extra glamour when you add some adorable sprinkles. I love these pink sugar pearls.
  • Bright Colors—Your unicorn can be as different as you want; after all, it is a unicorn! Add bright blue, red, purple, or anything else you like.
  • There are so many fun ways to decorate a Unicorn Cake with a box mix…check out this tutorial for more ideas.

More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This helps others know that this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Gluten Free Unicorn Cake

Sandi Gaertner
A delicious gluten free strawberry cake that is decorated as a unicorn. Unicorn birthday cake.
5 from 7 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 429 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake:

  • 2 ½ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder aluminum-free
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups strawberry puree
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk

Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons water add 4 and then add the other two as needed

For the Ears

  • 2 Peeps for ears – do not melt

For the Horn

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 Peeps for horn – melted

Instructions
 

For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend.
  • Wash the strawberries and remove the stems. In a mini food processor or blender, puree the strawberries.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add the wet ingredients and the strawberry puree and mix.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until they are just barely mixed. Be careful not to overmix the cake batter, or you will end up with a denser cake.
  • Spray the layer pans with gluten free baking spray.
  • Pour the cake batter into the layer pans and bake for 20-22 minutes until done. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cakes. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are finished baking; if you see batter or crumbs, the cakes need to bake longer.
  • Allow the cake to cool on a wire cooking rack while you make the frosting.

Frosting:

  • Add the frosting ingredients to a standing mixer. Add a whisk attachment.
  • Mix the frosting ingredients until the frosting is creamy. (Start the speed low then slowly increase the speed.)
  • When the cake is cool, add a layer to a plate and frost the top, add the next layer and frost the top. Once all layers are frosted, frost the top and sides and use a frosting scraper to smooth.
  • Divide the remaining frosting into several bowls.
  • Add food coloring to each and stir.
  • Add frosting from each bowl to the bag, careful not to mix them.
  • Use the frosting bag to swirl circles on the top of the cake, going down the back. This is the “mane” section so include a little on the forehead area for the forelock.
  • Take two Peeps and cut them in half. These are the Unicorn’s ears.
  • Grab the rest of the Peeps and add to a bowl. Melt the Peeps at 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval.
  • When the Peeps are melted, add the powdered sugar gradually, a little at a time to mix it in. As the mixture thickens, it becomes like fondant. When the mixture is stiffer, shape it into a Unicorn horn.
  • Use food coloring or an edible marker to draw the eyes and mouth.

Notes

  1. I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF flour blend. That doesn’t mean other brands won’t work; it just means I haven’t tested other gluten free flour blends.
  2. Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 3/4 teaspoon.
  3. I used almond milk, but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work. I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  4. Using peeps and powdered sugar is a great way to make a homemade fondant for shaping the unicorn horn!
  5. This cake will keep fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 429kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 3gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 201mgPotassium: 94mgFiber: 2gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 564IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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13 Comments

  1. Could I make this with your flour blend rather than the ones mentioned? I have to avoid potato starch, so that eliminates many of the store bought brands. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Angela, I haven’t tested my blend in this recipe, but I have used it successfully in some of my other cake recipes. It should be fine, but please keep an eye on the cake batter consistency. If it is too thick, add more liquid.

  2. Hi I was wondering if you knew the calorie breakdown with out the frosting? They are super good, I just started Noom and made these for my birthday cupcakes but did a coconut milk frosting instead!!

    1. Hi Betty. I am so glad you enjoyed them. I chose not to do a calorie breakdown because the amount of frosting on the cake will differ so much depending on how they decorate the cake. I would input the amount you used into a calorie counter like My Fitness Pal for the most accurate measure.

  3. Using Peeps for ears and to make the horn?! This really is the perfect Unicorn cake for Easter! I also love that you guys used edible markers to make the face. So much easier than piping!