If you’re looking for a beautiful, colorful dessert this easy rainbow cake is for you. Frost it how you like on the outside, but once it’s sliced its gorgeous layers will wow any crowd.
There’s nothing quite like this rainbow layer cake! It’s so pretty and full of gorgeous colors that are perfect for any special occasion from birthday parties to fun summer cookouts.
The next time you need an easy yet unique dessert to take to a party or serve at a gathering, try this easy cake recipe that will impress any guest.
Common Questions about Rainbow Cake
What does rainbow cake taste like?
This rainbow cake is a vanilla-flavored cake with sweet vanilla icing. Some rainbow cakes incorporate other flavors, from various cake flavors to cream cheese frosting.
Why are rainbow cakes popular?
Rainbow cakes are popular for several reasons. First, they are visually interesting and pretty!
However, they are also typically mildly flavored, making them widely appealing. They’re also versatile and can be an eye-catching cakes for a number of different occasions.
Making Rainbow Cake Ahead of Time
You can easily make the various layers and then assemble the cake when ready.
This cake is easy to store in the fridge or freezer.
Refrigerator: Slices, or the whole cake, can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator. Wrap tightly or keep it in an airtight container.
Freezing: Keep the cake in a freezer-safe container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for up to 3 months.
Tips For The Best Rainbow Cake
These cakes are so easy you hardly need any tips to make them perfectly!
- Allow cakes to completely cook. Do not attempt to frost the cake before the layers cool or the frosting will melt.
- Avoid overbeating. While you do want the cake batter to be smooth, overbeating any batter will result in a dense final product.
- When mixing the frosting, keep the mixer on low speed or medium speed. Having a mixer on high speed when mixing powdered sugar can cause a mess.
What are the best sprinkles for this cake?
This is important – just because the package says “sprinkles” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is in-fact sprinkles.
I see a lot of people using colored sanding sugar that is labeled as sprinkles.
This will not work as well because when that sugar gets wet – like when mixed into a moist dough or when placed in the refrigerator, it will sweat & the color will bleed out.
saint patrick’s day desserts
With just a few ingredients you probably have stored in the pantry you can whip up this colorful, moist cake.
- Granulated sugar
- Butter (softened)
- Egg whites
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Food colors (rainbow colors – red, orange, yellow, green, and blue)
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Butter (softened)
- Sprinkles of your choice (rainbow sprinkles work well)
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
You will need a bunch of bowls, but otherwise, there aren’t a lot of supplies you have to have on hand to make this beautiful cake.
- Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or electric mixer)
- Medium bowl (5)
- Round cake pans (5)
- Wire rack
- Serving plate
What can I make with rainbow sprinkles?
- St. Patrick’s Day Hot Chocolate Bombs
- Funfetti Cake Batter Dip
- Edible Sugar Cookie Dough
- Frozen Bananas
- Lofthouse Sugar Cookies
- Cake Batter Frosting
- Birthday Sugar Cookie Bars
- Homemade Funfetti Cake
How to Make Rainbow Cake
You won’t believe how easy it is to make such a cute, delicious cake.
- Add the sugar and butter together in a large bowl and cream them.
- Pour the egg whites and vanilla into the sugar and butter mixture and beat.
- Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and continue to mix until smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Divide batter into 5 separate bowls.
- Add each gel food coloring or liquid food coloring to each bowl until you’ve reached the desired shade for each.
- Using a large spoon or whisk, mix the food coloring into each batter until completely combined.
- Pour each bowl into separately prepared baking pans.
- Bake until each passes the toothpick test or a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool briefly before inverting the pans and allowing them to come to room temperature on cooling racks.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar and butter to a bowl and mix until completely combined.
- Pour the small portion of milk and the vanilla into the sugar mixture and beat. Add more milk if it is not thin enough.
- Starting with the blue layer, place the cake on the serving plate.
- Top with a thin layer of frosting.
- Repeat with the green, yellow, orange, and red cake layers (in the order of the rainbow).
- Shake sprinkles on top of the cake and refrigerate until serving time.
What to Serve With Rainbow Cake
You can serve anything you’d typically serve with your favorite cake or cupcakes alongside this fun cake.
- Ice cream – There’s nothing better than frozen desserts with moist, sweet cakes. Try typical vanilla or chocolate, or choose your own favorites. Gelato or sorbet work well, too.
- Hot beverages – Coffee pairs especially well, but black and herbal teas are delicious accompaniments, too.
- Fresh fruit – Everyone loves some sweet, fresh fruit alongside a delicious dessert.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
Outside of the fact that it is absolutely gorgeous, there are many other reasons to make this cake.
- Fun – This is such a pretty and fun-filled cake that everyone will love.
- Easy – Despite that the finished product looks like it could have been a challenge to make, it’s actually fairly easy to put together.
- Affordable – The ingredients are fairly inexpensive, yet you wind up with a gorgeous, colorful cake!
Variations and Add-ins
You can add your own flair to this whimsical cake.
- Decorator’s sugar – Add sparkle or color with a few shakes of decorator’s sugar.
- Nuts – Crush nuts and sprinkle them over top.
- Chocolate chips – Press miniature chocolate chips into the frosting for a chocolate flavor.
- Sprinkles – Instead of the sprinkles called for in the recipe, choose different shapes for various holidays or celebrations.
- Cake mix – You can substitute a box mix instead of making this rainbow cake recipe from scratch.
If you love this easy Rainbow Cake recipe, you’re going to love these other rainbow treats too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Creative Cakes
If you love this recipe for this Rainbow Cake as much as I do, please write a five-star review, and be sure to help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Food coloring – rainbow colors – red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup butter softened
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Sprinkles of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together.
- Add the egg whites and the vanilla. Beat again until smooth.
- Add the flour, milk, baking powder, and salt. Beat again until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter into 5 separate bowls.
- Add one of the five food coloring colors to each bowl. The amount you add will depend on the type of food coloring you are using and how vibrant you want the colors to be. Stir well until colors are even.
- Prepare 5 separate 8-inch round baking pans by coating them with cooking spray and a thin layer of flour. Or grease and flour the pans.
- Bake each colored layer for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Or when the center of the cake springs back when gently pressed.
- When the cakes are done baking, allow them to cool for 15 minutes before flipping them out of the pans. You may need to use a knife to release the edges. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla. Beat well.(If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar.)
- Place the blue layer of cake on the serving plate.
- Cover it with a layer of frosting. You will need to spread five layers of frosting, so be sure to not go too thick with the frosting.
- Continue with the green, yellow, orange, and red layers. Adding each one and then a layer of frosting in between.
- Add sprinkles of your choice to the top.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Store in an airtight container or wrapped well with plastic wrap.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.