Unicorn Rainbow Frosting
Discover an easy hack to make unicorn rainbow frosting. Use this method for rainbow swirled frosting on cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and more!
It’s much easier than you think to make rainbow swirl frosting at home. Switch out the colors in any combination to make a unique rainbow cake or cookie design. Our helpful step-by-step tutorial will show you the easy DIY technique to get that bakery buttercream frosting for your next birthday party desserts.
How to Make Unicorn Rainbow Frosting
We have been using this multi-colored icing method on cupcakes for years, but you may be surprised that you can use this simple technique to make impressive rainbow cookies and unicorn swirled frosting.
You will need:
- Buttercream frosting
- Gel food coloring
- Plastic wrap
- Small piping bags
- Large piping bag
- Open star piping tip
Rainbow Swirl Icing Method
- Divide frosting between 3-7 bowls depending on how many colors you are using, and color the frosting using gel food coloring for the most vibrant colors.
- Transfer each color of frosting to its own small piping bag.
- Pipe long rows of each color onto a piece of plastic wrap.
- Roll up the plastic wrap into a log shape and snip off the excess.
- Place the plastic wrap log into a larger piping bag fitted with an open star tip (such as 1M).
How to Use Rainbow Swirl Icing
You can use this rainbow buttercream on top of:
Cupcakes (try our Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes)
Cut Out Cookies (try our Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER)
Your favorite homemade or boxed cake recipe.
These cookies can be made for birthday parties, holidays (such as St. Patrick’s Day), and to celebrate PRIDE month.
For the flat flood icing (shown in white and green), I used Small Batch Royal Icing. If you do not wish to make another frosting, you can use store-bought cookie icing such as Wilton.
We do not suggest using canned frosting for the rainbow swirl buttercream. Frosting in a can will droop after you pipe it and will not hold up very well.
For this American Buttercream, you can use full butter or half butter and half shortening, such as Crisco.
Rainbow Swirl Frosting
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, can be omitted
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream , or whole milk (more or less added to desired consistency)
- gel food coloring
Prepare the Frosting
- In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl for use with your handheld electric mixer, place butter and extracts. BEAT until creamy (at least 1-2 minutes).
- ADD powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
- ADD cream or milk 1 Tablespoons at a time, alternating with the powdered sugar.
- MIX until smooth. Use more or less cream to reach desired consistency. (I like for it to be smooth enough to pipe through a piping bag, but still a bit more firm than typical store-bought frosting.)
- ADD 2-3 drops of gel food coloring.
Pipe the Frosting
- Transfer each color of frosting to its own small piping bag. Pipe long rows of each color onto a piece of plastic wrap.
- Roll up the plastic wrap into a log shape and snip off the excess. Place the plastic wrap log into a larger piping bag fitted with an open star tip (such as 1M).
- You can omit the almond extract. Replace with vanilla.
- Whole milk or heavy cream will be okay in this recipe.
- Use more or less cream to reach our desired consistency.