How to Make a Rainbow Cake

Written by caroline baldwin
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How to Make a Rainbow Cake
Gel food colouring helps make the rainbow cake colours vibrant. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Feed your party guest a mouthful of colour with a whimsical rainbow cake. Underneath the icing of this cake is a spectrum of coloured cake waiting to be discovered. The process is a little more laborious than a regular cake, but it is worth it when you cut into it and the colour shines out. This cake is great for tie-dye parties, gay pride events, or birthday cakes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp popcorn salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2 % milk
  • Gel food colouring
  • 7 medium mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Electric stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • 6 9-inch disposable aluminium round pans
  • Toothpicks
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Serrated knife
  • Cake or serving plate
  • Buttercream icing
  • Icing spatula

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  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius.

  2. 2

    Apply the vegetable shortening to each of the disposable pans. Be sure to well-glaze the bottoms and sides of the pan with shortening, so they do not stick.

  3. 3

    Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set the bowl aside after the ingredients have been whisked well.

  4. 4

    Pour the sugar and the butter into the bowl of the electric stand mixer. Attach the paddle and cream the ingredients together. Add the egg whites one at a time to the mixture and mix well. Mix in the vanilla extract.

  5. 5

    Alternate pouring the flour mixture and the milk into the mixer bowl. Start with the flour and end with the milk, mixing well as you go.

  6. 6

    Pour the cake batter equally into six medium mixing bowls.

  7. 7

    Add one colour of food colouring (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple) to each bowl. Whisk the colour into the batter until the colour is vibrant enough and you are pleased with the shade.

  8. 8

    Pour the colour into an individual cake pan. Do this for all six colours.

  9. 9

    Place as many of the pans as you can into your oven. You may have to do this in a couple of different batches depending on the size of your oven.

  10. 10

    Bake the cakes for about 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

  11. 11

    Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes after they have come out of the oven. Invert cakes to pop them out of the pan. Place the cakes back on the wire rack and let them cool completely.

  12. 12

    Slice a thin layer from the top of each cake with a serrated knife to create a level top. This will make them stack evenly.

  13. 13

    Place the purple cake on the serving or cake plate. Spread a thin layer of butter cream icing onto the cake with the spatula.

  14. 14

    Place the blue cake on top of the purple cake and apply a layer of icing.

  15. 15

    Repeat with the green, yellow, and orange cakes.

  16. 16

    Place the red cake on the top. Apply icing to the top of the red layer and the sides of the entire cake. Cover all of the cake; no visible coloured cake should be showing.

  17. 17

    Refrigerate to set the icing.

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