How To Make a Rainbow Birthday Cake

Rainbow Birthday Cake
Rainbow Birthday Cake

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Cute Dessert Idea

A rainbow cake is cute dessert idea for a birthday cake. The surprise lies on the inside. Layers of primary colors in the cake batter make this cake fun and appealing and it tastes so good!

This rainbow birthday cake is a great cake mix for young and old alike. You can theme your party with rainbow decorations like streamers and balloons. The bright colors lend easily to decorating for a children's birthday party.

This recipe is made easily by using two white cake box mixes. If you prefer your own homemade white cake recipe you van use that instead or try this white cake method from King Arthur Flour.

Once you make the cake you will be dividing it into 6 separate cake bowls or plastic containers. Kids can help you make this cake by mixing colors and stirring the batter. Standard liquid food coloring works fine. For deeper more rich rainbow colors, use professional food service food colorings like Ateco food coloring kits.

Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans well. You want to avoid having the cake stick to pans and crumble apart before you get a chance to frost it. By allowing the cake to cool completely you can also avoid any mishaps when taking the cake out the cake forms.

Divide the batter into six bowls. Use a measuring cup to do this so that the batter is divided evenly for the recipe. This is the start of how you will color your rainbow cake recipe. If you are using a standard 4 color food coloring kit, remember your color chart. Yellow plus red equals orange. Red plus blue equals purple. More on this later.

Divide Batter 6 Ways


Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours 25 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 3 hours
Yields: 10 to 12 slices
  • 2 - 9" cake pans white cake, colored rainbow style
  • Frosting your choice, white or colored
Colored Batter
Colored Batter | Source
Batter Alignment
Batter Alignment | Source
Leveled Rainbow Cake
Leveled Rainbow Cake | Source


  1. Divide the batter into six cups. Color one cup red, orange, yellow, green, blue and the last purple. Use as much food coloring as necessary to get the desired color intensity that you are looking for. Less coloring for pastel cakes more for vibrant cakes. Use red and yellow drops equally to make orange. Red and blue drops, equally, for purple.
  2. Use a measuring cup to pour batter into greased and floured cake pans. In the first pan pour red batter, then orange and finish with the yellow. Pour neatly on top layers so that colors merge outwards toward edges (see photos). The second cake pan gets green batter, blue batter then the purple. You will use all of the cake batter from three cups when pouring into pans. Bake these according to cake batter instructions. Let cool for at least an hour. Remove from pans then wrap in plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator for one hour. By refrigerating the cakes you will have a sturdier cake to work with when frosting. If you want the rainbow colors in each layer then pour red, orange, yellow, green, blue then purple into each cake pan and bake. This means half of the batter from each of the six cups will be poured into each cake pan.
  3. Level the cakes. This is an easy process of slicing off the top to provide an even surface when frosting. Use a Wilton cake leveler or Ateco cake knife.
  4. Frost and decorate the cake any way you choose. See photos for inspiration. I prefer butter cream or cream cheese frosting because it holds up better but you can use whip cream frosting if you like. I have provided links below for great frosting recipes.
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake | Source
Rainbow Cake with Rainbow Bunting
Rainbow Cake with Rainbow Bunting | Source
Rectangular Rainbow Cake
Rectangular Rainbow Cake | Source

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Comments 19 comments

wayseeker profile image

wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

This is completely awesome! My kids will LOVE it. It's such a simple idea, but looks like it will come out wonderfully. My kids and I will be trying this soon, and I've pinned it up. Nicely done!


cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author

Thank you Wayseeker,

Your kids should have a blast doing this. Colorful like play dough but you get to eat it!

lucybell21 profile image

lucybell21 4 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

Awesome hub. Wow such beautiful cakes!

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author

Thank You Lucybell21!

blairtracy profile image

blairtracy 4 years ago from Canada

This is really neat! I think I will try it the next time I make a cake. Even if it is just for fun!

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author

Thanks Blairtracy,

Have fun making it...super easy and delicious.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I was on here yesterday and forgot to leave a comment. I use to do this for the kids. The cakes weren't in such bright colors. I would make the cake one color keep out a little batter and add another color to that and swirl it in the batter.

Enjoyed your hub and voted up.

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author


Just doing one color is another great idea with a swirl. My friend does this and calls it "Ying Yang" cake. Fun!

QuiteWrite profile image

QuiteWrite 4 years ago

Looks like a very fun cake. I am going to try it for the next birthday cake. Thanks!

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author

Thanks QuiteWrite!

pinappu profile image

pinappu 4 years ago from India

Oh I love the color of the cakes. A delicious rainbow to eat! I shall try to follow your guideline to make such a cake and shall update you if I get success. Great hub, voted up. Cheers!

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author

Thanks...have fun baking!!!!

iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

What a great bunch of cakes... many of them are just too pretty to eat, they're like a piece of art. Anyway, wonderful hub. :D

VAMPGYRL420 profile image

VAMPGYRL420 3 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

Thank you, cabmgmnt! What a beautiful cake for my youngest daughter's 13th birthday :) Yes, yes!

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 3 years ago from Northfield, MA Author


OOH, so glad you can do this for her. Enjoy!

IslandBites profile image

IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

Really pretty.

vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

Such gorgeous cakes! I'd only top mine with lots of colorful M&Ms. Thanks for posting! :)

Jenny 3 years ago

Love theses ides

Marinda Seiwell profile image

Marinda Seiwell 22 months ago from Pennsylvania

Great Hub !

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