Colorful unicorn and technicolor mermaid toast are currently taking the internet by storm. You've probably have seen these artistic creations on Instagram and Pinterest and thought that although they look stunning, they're probably hard and too intensive to make. Luckily, that is not the case. These buzz-worthy treats are actually quite easy to make and we will show you how.
By simply mixing a small amount of food coloring into a spreadable ingredient like cream cheese or yogurt, and topping it with fun colorful cake decorations, you too can create whimsical, colorful toasts that are not only beautiful to look at, but also tasty to eat.
Below, you'll find our top three recommendations for picking the right tools, choosing the right ingredients and adding the right toppings, along with a few colorful examples to help you get inspired. Remember, this is just a basic guide—the more creative you get, the cooler these can be. Want to share them with us? Be sure to tag #thespruceeats on your social media channels.
01 of 07
The Tools You'll Need
To make these psychedelic toasts, there are a few different tools that you should have on hand.
First, you'll want to make sure that you have a bunch of small little stain-resistant mixing bowls if you'd like to individually create different colorful spreads. If you'd rather paint onto the toast, add food coloring directly to the small bowls and use a paintbrush to paint, rather than mix the colors together.
To mix the dyes with the spreads: a whisk is not necessary—you can easily achieve the same results with a washable fork, or a disposable toothpick. And if you're using the paint method, you can just use a paintbrush. Don't worry about mixing until everything is an even color—when there are swirls and lighter/darker areas in the smear, it makes for more stunning visuals.
To spread the colors easily onto the bread: it's best to use either a small cake spatula, or a thick butter knife. You can also use a toothpick to help swirl the colors into each other, which creates a fun tie-dye effect.
You can also put a small amount of liquid food dye, or powder dye, onto the end of a straw, and blow air out of it to create an explosive, firework splatter design.
A word to the wise—because this can be a pretty artistic endeavor—be sure to give yourself some time and be patient. Although your artwork won't last forever, it's a great opportunity to relax and get your creative juices flowing all while making something to eat.
02 of 07
The Toast and Spreads
What kind of bread should you use when making these whimsical toasts? We recommend sticking to a bread that's sturdy, hearty and sliced thick. You'll want to pop it in the toaster until it's a warm golden brown, making it stiff. These standards will help keep the integrity of the bread intact while you're creating your toasts. Try using a thick-cut white bread, hearty wheat bread, toasted waffles or homemade cinnamon swirl bread for best results.
And how about the spread? People are currently using all types of spreads to infuse with beautiful colors, but we highly recommend a soft spreadable cheese like cream cheese, goat cheese, ricotta and/or mascarpone. If you'd like to go the healthier route, you can try mixing low-fat Greek yogurt with a little bit of honey or try whipped coconut milk as well.
03 of 07
So what should you use to top your toast? In our humble opinion, it's best to stick to the sweet route while making these toast variations. If you like to try to stay within the all-natural healthy route, try gathering some earth-friendly food dyes such as blue algae, spirulina, butterfly pea powder, turmeric, and dried beet powder. If you can't find those in your area, or would rather use something that you probably have on hand, you can always use store-bought food dyes in a variety of colors. Both have their pros (natural is healthier / artificial is more vibrant) so choose whichever option fits your lifestyle best.
In addition to the dyes used to color the spreads, you'll want to gather a colorful and diverse group of ingredients to make things more fun. For the all-natural crowd, we recommend using dried fruits, edible flower petals, bee pollen, poppy and sesame seeds. If you don't really care about the all-natural world and would rather make things more visually appealing, we recommend sprinkles, edible glitter, colorful hard candies, and other cake decorating toppings that you can find at your local grocery store.
04 of 07
One of the most popular variations of rainbow toast is the infamous unicorn toast. Here's what you'll need to make this version:
- 1 slice of white bread
- 2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles
- 2 drops red food dye
- 2 drops pink food dye
- 2 drops purple food dye
- 3 drops blue food dye
- 2 drops green food dye
- 1 drop yellow food dye
Continue to 5 of 7 below.
- Begin by toasting the bread until it's golden brown.
- In a small bowl, mix the honey with the ricotta cheese and add a small pinch of salt if necessary.
- Smear the honey-infused ricotta onto the slice of toast.
- In the bottom lefthand corner, add 2 drops of red food dye, followed by the pink, purple, blue, green and yellow food dye. Be sure to align the food dye drops in a diagonal direction so that the colors are slanted.
- Taking a paintbrush, or the back of a butter knife, start at the bottom right-hand corner and smear the color into the ricotta. Working your way from left to right, carefully smear each color into the next to create a rainbow effect. Be sure to wipe off your knife between colors to avoid murky, dim coloring.
- Once the rainbow is completed, add sprinkles on top and serve!
05 of 07
Here's another super popular variation of the internet's favorite healthy-ish rainbow toast. Here's what you'll need to make this version:
- 1 slice of wheat bread
- 1 tsp. spirulina
- 1 tsp. blue-green algae powder
- 2 tbsp. low-fat greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. bee pollen
- Toast bread until it's stiff and golden brown.
- Smear the low-fat Greek yogurt onto your slice of bread.
- In the bottom right-hand corner, add a large pinch of the spirulina powder and fleck it in around that area—going lighter as you move to the left upper side of the toast.
- Add a few pinches of the blue-green algae powder and add more to the bottom right-hand corner and less on the top upper left-hand corner.
- Take a paintbrush and smear the bottom right-hand corner until the color is rich and deep. Continue smearing, area by area, so that some of the spaces are lighter and darker than each other.
- Finish by adding a few more flecks of the spirulina powder and a sprinkle of the bee pollen. Serve immediately.
06 of 07
Psychedelic Tie-Dye Toast
Although not as popular as the unicorn or mermaid toast, this psychedelic tie-dye toast is pretty darn magical. Here's what you'll need to make this version:
- 1 slice of thick-cut white bread
- 2 tbsp. cream cheese icing
- 2 drops yellow food coloring
- 4 drops orange food coloring
- 6 drops red food coloring
- 4 drops purple food coloring
- 1 tbsp. small round sprinkles
- Toast bread until it's stiff and golden brown.
- Smear a medium-thin layer of the cream cheese icing onto the bread.
- Starting in the middle, add 2 drops of yellow food coloring. Add 4 drops of orange food coloring around it, followed by 6 drops of red food coloring. Finish by adding 1 dot of purple food coloring to each of the four corners.
- Using a paintbrush or the underside of a spoon, carefully start by swirling the middle of the toast outwards until a beautiful circular rainbow appears—wiping the utensil to avoid letting too many colors smear into one another.
- After the desired look is reached, finish by adding a few pinches of rainbow sprinkles. Serve immediately.
07 of 07
Organic Flower Garden Toast
And lastly, here's our fun variation of the healthy-ish side of rainbow toast: organic flower garden toast. Here's what you'll need to make this version:
- 1 slice of organic wheat bread
- 2 tbsp. coconut yogurt
- 1 tbsp. cacao nibs
- 4 organic gummy worms
- 1 tsp. dried lavender petals
- 1 tsp. dried rose petals
- A few pinches spirulina powder
- Toast organic wheat bread until brown and sturdy.
- Smear on the coconut yogurt and add strips of cacao nibs, lavender petals and dried rose petals.
- Position the organic gummy worms on top and finish by adding a few flecks of the spirulina powder and enjoy!