April 20, 2014

Super Easy Rainbow Cake

I'm sure we've all seen the rainbow cake/cheesecake pins all over Pinterest, which often don't actually link to a recipe.  After investigating a few and some Google searching, I realized the "recipe" is really all about the technique of laying your dyed batter so you get the rainbow look in the end product.  That lesson learned, you can do this with any cake recipe, including simple boxed cake mix!  Keep it simple with white (premade) frosting and sprinkles, and this cake can lead you to crazy impressive results for minimal effort.  BINGO.

Look at that beauty!  Full on double rainbow across the plate.

So the trick here is that you mix your cake batter, separate out into 6 equal portions in bowls, mugs, whatever you have on hand, and dye each portion a different color.  You layer the batter by pouring into the center of your cake pan, and then pour the following colors in the center one by one.  This approach spreads out the layers below evenly.


What's fun is deciding how to layer or change up your rainbow.  My cake is kind of reversed/upside down.  I poured in the purple first, then did the rainbow in reverse.  This gave me the fun red center spreading out to a thin purple edge, but had I started with red as the first color and flipped my cakes upside down, you can see how I'd have perfect Rainbow Brite style rainbows going on.  Bottom line?  Be creative, don't overthink it, and just have fun with the colorful result.


  • 1 box yellow cake mix and required ingredients (likely eggs and vegetable oil)
  • 1 container frosting
  • Food coloring (at least red, yellow, and blue)
  • Sprinkles

  1. Prepare cake batter according to package directions.  Divide equally into 6 different mugs/containers- probably ~2/3 cups in each.
  2. Dye each portion a different color of the rainbow.
  3. Prepare cake pan(s).  I used two 9" round nonstick pans, which I coated with butter.  Pour half of your first batter color into the center of one pan, and the other half into the center of the other, to have identical cakes.  Pour half of the second color slowly and evenly into the center of your 1st batter color in pan 1; repeat in pan 2.  This should slowly spread out the first color, with the 2nd color making a circle in the middle.  Repeat with remaining colors.  When done, wiggle and/or tap your batter if it isn't filling the pan fully or is lopsided.  I did, and it wiggled the whole mixture well without making the colors bleed.
  4. Bake according to package directions.  Cool completely.
  5. Optional- trim the rounded top off of each cake to get a more professional look, not the rounded look I have.  In my opinion, though, rounded makes sense for a rainbow cake!
  6. Frost the top of one cake, layer on the 2nd, and cover the entire cake in frosting.  Add sprinkles and you're done!  

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