Make your kiddo’s birthday (or any day!) a little more enchanting with a kaleidoscope-colored treat from Unicorn Bake Shop. 

When you name your bakery after a magical creature beloved by little kids everywhere, you’d better have the baking skills to back it up. And the crew at Southeast Portland’s Unicorn Bake Shop does indeed have those skills.

My family recently tried out the relatively new baked-goods shop as my daughter was celebrating her eighth birthday. We had planned a Zoom call with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins around the country the weekend prior to her actual b-day, and I wanted a fun cupcake for her to make a wish on after everyone sang to her. I ordered some extra goodies for the rest of us to try, too.

As of press time, Unicorn Bake Shop is open for pickup or delivery only. I ordered through the bakery’s website and arranged a time to grab the goodies. It was a quick and easy process. When I arrived at the storefront, a baker answered the door and then handed me a turquoise box of goodness.

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For the chocolate-loving birthday girl, I went with a vegan Oreo cupcake ($3.50). Pro tip: Unicorn Bake Shop offers an abundance of gluten-free and vegan choices. And I knew my 5-year-old son would get a kick out of a macaron decorated to look like a cheeseburger ($3.50). I also had to try the signature unicorn bar ($3.50), a rainbow-flecked sugar-cookie bar piled with frosting and super-adorable sprinkles. Pro tip: The cupcake and macaron offerings change monthly.

My daughter loved her cupcake, declaring, “This is like going to Honeydukes!” referencing the magical sweetshop in the Harry Potter books. Upon seeing his macaron, my son said, “Macaron! That’s just what I’ve been wanting.” Clearly, he’s a Portland foodie kid. (I know I had no idea what a French macaron was when I was his age.) And he marveled that the “burger” component of the macaron was indeed chocolate frosting. 

Later on we sampled the rest of the treats: A sherbet macaron ($3) that was a swirl of psychedelic colors, a Defund the Police cookie studded with bits of Andes mints ($4, with $2 of each purchase going to Transition Projects, a nonprofit helping homeless people), and a blueberry-waffle cupcake ($3.50). I had wanted to try the vegan Universal Preschool cookie ($4, with $2 going to the UP Now campaign, which worked to get free preschool in Multnomah County on the ballot this November), but it was sold out. Both kids actually agreed the sherbet macaron was their favorite out of all the sweets we tried. The juicy flavors of berry and orange really popped. And it was just so darn pretty. My favorite was the unicorn bar with its chewy, blondielike texture and uber-fun sprinkles. The only thing that didn’t wow us was the blueberry-waffle cupcake, even though we all agreed the maple frosting was very good.

So whether you need a magical pick-me-up or want to celebrate a birthday, Unicorn Bake Shop is a sure bet to find a tasty — and truly cute — treat.

Unicorn Bake Shop, 2824 SE Gladstone St., 503-477-9906. 10 am-6 pm, closed Tuesdays. View menu and order delivery or pickup through unicornbakeshop.com

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More delightfully decorated treats 

From the rainbow roll to the bear-faced chocolate cheesecake, Soro Soro Coffee & Dessert on East Burnside keeps treats cute.

Hawthorne’s Toadstool Cupcakes boasts a wide array of flavor combos all made to look like fairy-tale mushrooms!

Pickup an order of darling mini layer cakes from the Penny Cakes food truck.

Denise Castañon
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