Unicorn Birthday Cupcakes (Paleo + AIP)

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How popular are unicorns today? If the more than 8.6 million posts on Instagram count for anything, I’d say pretty darn popular. And why not? Ever since watching The Last Unicorn as a little girl (like a gazillion times) I’ve known there was something special about them. When you combine that with my 5 year old’s current obsession with them, and my love for unicorn + food, and it was inevitable: Unicorn Birthday Cupcakes needed to happen.

Not gonna lie – these are super FUN to make!! I began by watching one of the many videos on how to create a unicorn cupcake, on Youtube. I knew I wouldn’t be making those fondant ears (avoiding sugar is part of the AIP diet). But the video did give me a fantastic tip for making this gorgeous swirly effect!

Aren’t those adorable?! And they are utterly delicious. While this should in no way be a daily treat, at least this is one sweetened only by a single plantain, small amount of coconut sugar, plus honey in the frosting!! You really can’t beat that.

How to Create Unicorn-Swirled Frosting:

Let me explain the frosting. It’s super easy, really. You will need:

  • Piping bag (I prefer reusable like this one)
  • Tip. I love a set like this, which gives you a nice variety.
  • Natural food coloring (IMPORTANT NOTE: I used Color Kitchen’s set, which does contain maltodextrin. I personally don’t notice any issues if I consume something with a tiny amount of maltodextrin, but this may NOT be the case for everyone – and maltodextrin, generally speaking, is not good to consume – read more here. But these colors are completely possible using the following three natural forms of coloring:
  • Plastic wrap

First, choose your tip and put that into your piping bag. Then, lay a piece of plastic wrap down, slightly shorter in length than the length of your frosting bag. Then, lay down a fairly thick line of each color frosting (I used pink. blue and yellow):

Do the same with your other colors:

Then, roll up the plastic wrap, with a medium kind of tightness.

Now, just snip off one end of the plastic wrap, right where the frosting begins.

Slip your tube ‘o frosting into your piping bag (don’t forget to put the tip in first, like I did here) and away you go!

Unicorn frosting!! Sooo pretty.

Wouldn’t these be perfect for a birthday party? But truly, you could make these for any special occasion. You could simply leave the coloring out, or use one color. They are a super yummy, allergy friendly treat!

Other Items Needed to Make This Recipe:

More Than Just the Unicorn Frosting!

The cupcakes are truly wonderful all by themselves. I believe it has something to do with using a variety of flours, as well as a variety of binding agents. For instance, in these cupcakes, I use avocado, plantain AND a gelatin egg to bind. It gives them a tender moistness without any of that gumminess!

Enjoy these unicorn cupcakes friends. If you make, don’t forget to #letscreatethesweetlife!

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Unicorn Birthday Cupcakes

This recipe is part of Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable #219! All AIP recipes, all different = a very good thing indeed!!

Unicorn Birthday Cupcakes

Know a unicorn fan? These Unicorn Birthday Cupcakes will make their birthday special, whether they're eating AIP or not! Made with a blend of tigernut and cassava flours and sweetened with just a touch of coconut sugar and honey-sweetened frosting, they are a healthy treat for anytime!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 7 cupcakes
Author Alyssa Reaves


"Chocolate" Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon gelatin
  • 6 ounces yellow soft plantain, cut into slices (weigh without the skin!)
  • 3 ounces avocado (~half, weigh without skin)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons palm shortening
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup tigernut flour
  • 1/3 cup cassava flour
  • 2 Tablespoons carob powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • 2 cups palm shortening
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon beet powder
  • 1 pinch spirulina** **Swap for Matcha powder for strict AIP - OR just use two colors for frosting)


"Chocolate" Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 7 out of 12 of a cupcake tin OR use cupcake liners. 

  2. In a small pot, put 1/4 cup water and sprinkle Tablespoon gelatin over. Allow to bloom while putting remaining wet ingredients into food processor.

  3. In a food processor, add plantain, avocado, coconut oil, palm shortening, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. 

  4. Return to your gelatin. Turn heat on stove to low and allow to dissolve, several minutes. Once dissolved, whisk vigorously and pour directly into food processor.

  5. Process wet ingredients until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (tigernut flour through sea salt). Pour dry ingredients into food processor and pulse several times, just until combined. 

  6. Using a spoon, fill each cupcake ~3/4 full. Bake 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before eating or frosting.


  1. In a large bowl, add shortening, honey, vanilla extract and sea salt. Whip using a handheld mixer until fluffy and well-combined.

  2. Separate into 3 equal portions. Add food coloring to each portion. Mix well. 

  3. To create the unicorn frosting, begin by laying down a piece of plastic ~12 inches long. Lay down a thick layer of each color so they touch (see pictures above). Roll the plastic wrap up around frosting and snip off one end right where the frosting ends. Fit your chosen tip into piping bag, then place the tube of frosting inside your piping bag. Frost cupcakes and ENJOY the beautiful unicorn colors!

Recipe Notes

Note: if you tolerate cocoa feel free to swap the carob powder for cocoa or cacao instead. 


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