Thursday, April 5, 2012


How to Make a Rainbow Cake!

The Rainbow Cake was one of the highlights at my daughter's birthday party last week, so I thought I'd share a quick how-to for anyone else interested in this fun and (seriously!) easy cake.  Her amazement at the colors inside the rainbow was a highlight for me!

I wanted it to be a surprise, so I waited until she was in bed before I started working on it.  I might make another one in the future that she gets to help with, though, because I'm sure she would enjoy the process.

Simple Supplies:
* chocolate cake batter for one cake (I used a mix designed for a 9" x 13" pan to make each batter.)
* vanilla cake batter for one cake
* food coloring
* measuring cup or scale
* cookie sheet and round cake pan
* 5 bowls
* frosting bag and star decorating tip

Easy How-To:
    1.  Pour your chocolate cake batter onto a well-greased cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean.  It took me about 15 minutes.  When it's cool, make sure all the edges are loose and carefully transfer it to your serving dish.  I used a board covered in aluminum foil.

    2. Evenly divide your vanilla cake batter into 5 different bowls.  Add 5-6 drops of food coloring to each bowl and stir thoroughly.  

    3.  Divide a round cake pan in half with aluminum foil, such that one half has an aluminum foil "boat" and the other half is empty.  Grease each side well.

    4.  Pour a different bowl of vanilla cake batter into each half. 

    5.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick  comes out of the middle clean.  This also took me about 15 minutes.  

    6.  Let the cakes cool for 15-20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.  Place the cooling rack in the freezer.  Your cakes won't have time to freeze all the way, but the cold cake is much easier to work with.

    7.  Repeat steps 3-6 until you've cooked your 5 colored vanilla cake halves.

    Assembling Your Cake:

    8.  Frost the chocolate sheet cake first. I used a white cream cheese frosting and added sprinkles.

    9. I used white cream cheese frosting to glue the rainbow together and cover it.  Be generous.  Pull only one color out of the freezer at a time.  Begin by frosting one color and gently (and firmly) pressing it into the frosting on the chocolate cake.  Frost the next color and press it into both the chocolate cake and the first color.  Continue until your "rainbow" is glued together, standing up by itself, and covered in white frosting.  At this point it is best to refrigerate the cake to help everything set together a little more firmly.

    10. There are many ways to color the outside of your rainbow.  I mixed four different colors of frosting and used a star decorating tip to cover the rainbow.  I also used the colors to cover up any holes or bumps in the rainbow--it worked wonderfully!

    11.  Final touches included a doll, a note, and candles.  Happy birthday, Princess!

    I may share at any of these parties!


    Cynthia Renee' said...

    What a wonderful idea! It's my goal to make the birthday cakes myself for my kids every year. I'm not THAT good at it, but I enjoy it. My daughter's 5th birthday is coming up and I've been looking for ideas. This looks super simple. I could probably pull it off!....... Thanks for sharing! :-D

    Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

    I like to make the cakes, too, Cynthia! My daughter wanted a rainbow themed party for her 5th birthday, so this seemed like the right move! If you do make one, I'd love to see pictures! I'm sure you'd do an amazing job!

    Anonymous said...

    WOW That is super cool - I had no idea that was even possible - my kids would thinkg that was cool! OK … I’m not super crafty in the traditional sense – my creative mind lends me to write fiction – so that’s what I do … anyhoo, stopping by to follow from the blog hop – hope you can return the favor and visit soon – a follow via GFC and Google + is super appreciated as is a like on FB 

    Anonymous said...

    I was in the middle of planning for next school year when I saw this post and it distracted me so much that I popped on over to take a look. What a beautiful cake! I am sure that your daughter will remember that cake as an adult when she thinks back to her childhood. I have pinned it onto my Pinterest board to look at doing.

    Simply Tasheena said...

    This is such a pretty cake! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

    cheribaby2215 said...

    Ok, I been coloring cakes forever, and I NEVER get a vibrant color, especially red, never mind purple or blue, and I'm talking, I will be, mix, ADD MORE, mix, and keep going, and never get a good vibrant color. What brand do you use. It is so frustrating!

    Lisa said...

    This looks so fun for a birthday party! Very pretty!

    Mindie Hilton said...

    Great cake!

    Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

    Shauna, I'm so glad you came by!

    Thanks, Jill! I bet she remembers it too!

    Mrs. Delightful, Thanks for the invitation! I linked it up and look forward to your party!

    Cheribaby 2215, My blue and purple actually came out the most vibrant! I have a lot of thoughts on your comment, so I'll get started right away! I used neon food coloring (I'm not sure of the brand) and made sure the cake mix I put it into looked white before I started--that's why I chose vanilla. The final result was some pretty bright colors! Sadly, the pictures do not have the same hue as the original. The "red" was actually a bright pink. If you look closely, you should notice that there were some issues with the lighting--the morning sun was right on the cake during the party! I took some pictures with the camera's normal setting (you can see the one that has some yellow tints to it) and some with it on the vivid setting (which shows the colors intensity, but the hue is a little off). The picture with the bowls is actually almost exactly the right color, and you can see how the "red" was more of a bright pink. Still, the colors were wonderfully vibrant, and I would attribute that to the neon food coloring and white colored cake mix. Also, I wonder if you used food coloring? I had about 8 drops in each bowl, so for a whole cake, that would mean about 40 drops. I know there's other ways to color food, but this has always worked well for me, so I haven't looked into them. Good luck! I hope this super long answer helps a little! ;)

    Thanks, Lisa! It was very fun! The kids loved it, which means I loved it too!

    Thanks, Mindie!

    Tricia at Mom is the Only Girl said...

    Oh how fun! I might have to try this soon with the boys! We just finished a week of posts of rainbow fun, you might want to check out some rainbow milk to go with your cake!

    Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

    Thanks, Tricia, I'll have to check it out! I had a couple boys that were just as impressed with this as the girls, lol!

    sell my house said...

    Great cake.I would like to make it.sell my house

    Sharon@DiscoverExploreLearn said...

    Such a cute cake ! You did a great job ! You make it look so simple and easy to make...sadly, I'm sure that if I attempted to make this, my results would be much less impressive. Me + baking =disaster ! :-)

    Beth ( said...

    SUPER cute cake - it's beautiful!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF - have a GREAT week =-)

    Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

    I love your colors and your cake turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing!

    lyndsay said...

    The cake looks so amazing! I did a rainbow cake for Aodhan's birthday last year, but my top frosting looked NOTHING like yours - amazing job.
    Thanks for sharing with the Kids Weekly CoOp.

    Carrie said...

    It looks beautiful!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having a great week!

    Alison @ Oopsey Daisy said...

    Wow. The colors in this cake are so vibrant! Beautiful birthday cake! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

    Susan Case said...

    That is an amazing cake! I'm going to pin it in case I ever am brave enough to try it. Love your Linky Party.

    Unknown said...

    How beautiful! This would be perfect for St. Patrick's Day too. Thanks for sharing on our How To Linky!

    Amy B at Bow of Bronze