Rainbow Cake! {How-To}

My heart will always have a special place for cake. I LOVE cake. Carrot cake, marble cake, upside down pineapple cake, chocolate cake…you name it, I most likely will eat it. Cake is the one thing I rarely get to eat though, as I end up being the only one in my house who enjoys it. Ryan doesn’t like cake. Can you believe that?! There’s something terribly wrong with my husband.

Anywho…I’m always looking for new recipes out in the blogging world, and cake recipes always get me. So many pictures that bloggers post are fantastic looking pieces of art. They have perfectly frosted edges, chocolate shavings, ganache filling, pretty decorations…you get the point! My cakes, well, leave a lot to the imagination. I’m a terrible froster. I’ll be the first to admit it. I also can’t do those fancy decorating tricks some can. Then again, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to. That kind of work takes a lot of time!

When I came across a picture of a rainbow cake, I think my mouth dropped quite a bit. The vibrant colors! How did bakers make them so bright?! I told myself that I must make one as soon as I could find the dyes. It was just too awesome of a cake not to! I’m sure a little part of me just wanted to eat cake, no matter the flavor or design. 🙂

The rainbow cake is really quite simple to make. The most important piece of information you’ll need to know is that you need gel dyes. Waterbased dyes do not work well, as they don’t really hold their color. I use Americolor Soft Gel Paste Food Color. You can buy gel dyes at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, baking supply stores, and online. I think I’ve seen fluorescent gel dyes in the baking aisle at the grocery store as well, if you’re not close to a store that carries all sorts of colors. The second most important piece is that this cake doesn’t have to have all the colors of the rainbow in it. You can do any colors you want, and it will most likely still turn out fantastic. The sky’s the limit on this one!

My cousins Kim and Cassie helped me make a rainbow cake this past weekend while I was visiting. I told them awhile back that I would make one with them, and after a few reminders from them to not forget my supplies, and both questioning “When do we get to make the cake?!” the moment I walked in the door, we were able to. They did a great job pouring, mixing, dyeing, and frosting the cake while we jammed out to Kim’s pick of music, Taylor Swift (thank goodness it wasn’t Justin Beiber!).  I’m sure they’ll be begging their mom to make another one soon! Thanks for the help girls!

Rainbow Cake

Makes 1- 2 layer cake and 12 cupcakes

2 boxes white cake mix- use white only, to preserve the color of the dyes

  • You can use just one box if you’d prefer. I like to make mine with two so the cake is a larger and has plenty of room for all the colors

Eggs and oil, per cake mix

Gel dyes- for the cake, I used the following AmeriColor colors: Red Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Leaf Green, Sky Blue, and Violet

Pre-heat your oven to the correct temperature, and prepare cake mix as directed.










When mixed, pour batter into 6 (or however many colors you may have) bowls. You’ll want to have a little more batter for the first and last colors for your cake. So, for my cake, more red and purple.






















Taking a greased 9 in circle pan, pour around 3/4-1 c. of the red batter (or your first color) into the pan. Don’t use all of it, as you’ll need some for the second pan.

Continue with the next colors, adding a little less each time. You will want to pour one right on top of the other.

When finished with the one pan, reverse the colors and pour remaining batter into second greased 9 in pan.








For the remaining batter, spoon colors into cupcake liners. Make sure not to add too much, or they will overflow when baking.








Put the cake pans in the oven, and bake as directed. (No need to use a knife or toothpick to swirl the colors. They will work perfectly just as they are!)

After your cakes have cooled a bit, carefully take cake out of the pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cooled, frost the cake with the frosting of your choice. I’m a fan of buttercream, so that’s what I normally use.

Kim frosted the cupcakes. Aren’t they great?!








Cassie frosted and wrote on the cake. She can frost cakes way better than me! Super impressed!








Celebrating Grandma Angie’s birthday!












5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. crizzle
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 22:00:48

    Would it be sad if I made this for my OWN birthday?? 😉
    The frosting jobs were AMAZING!! Great job, girls!
    And also… What are RyRy’s feelings on cupcakes?


  2. Trackback: Tutorial: Layered and Tie-Dye 4th of July Cupcakes « Meg's Everyday Indulgence
  3. Maureen
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 21:47:18

    Thank you for posting this! I made it for my brother’s 60’s themed wedding reception. Most guests were in tie dye, so this was the “tie dye” cake to go along with the theme. My sister in law loved it.


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