Rainbow Cake

Possible Cake Wreck

I thought I would share how to make the rainbow cake from the previous post.  When Sprite told me she wanted a rainbow cake I searched online and found many different versions of rainbow cakes.  The majority of them were layered cakes, which I’m not fond of making.  Then I found a few recipes for putting all of the colors in two pans and then baking, but I didn’t like how they looked when they were cut, not enough swirl of colors for my taste.  I decided to make a sheet cake with a marbled effect.

Having had very little experience with food dye I consulted Bethany on what is the best dye to use for vibrant colors.  Bethany told me that liquid food dye would be lowest on the vibrant scale, gel dye from the grocery store would be more vibrant, and Wilton’s gel dye from the craft store would be the best route for the most vibrant of color.  I decided on the Wilton’s.

The rest of the cake production was a lot of trial and error.  I’ll break it down for you.  Use two boxes of white cake mix and prepare according to the package directions.  That way you will avoid having to go through the mixing and dyeing process twice, like I did.

Separate the batter into 6 bowls and then dye.  I used about a teaspoon of dye for each color.  For the orange I used the Wilton’s Golden Yellow instead of mixing yellow and red.

 Still Dyeing

Then I dropped the batter by spoonfuls into the cake pan that measured 10X14.  I started to feel a lot like Jackson Pollock.  Then I used a butter knife to swirl the colors together for a marbled effect.  Don’t go too crazy with the swirling, unless you want rainbow brown cake.

Unbaked Rainbow

 Then I baked according to the package directions, but I did have to add about 7 minutes of cook time.  I just kept testing with a toothpick towards the end.  I also did the bounce test to make sure the middle of the cake wasn’t undercooked.

When the cake was fully baked I started to get a little excited.


When it was time to frost I had lots of ideas in my head, but none of the tools to execute.  If I had some piping tips the frosting probably would have been more spectacular.  I used more of the food dye to make rainbow colored frosting that I wanted to decorate more with but had to settle for dots squeezed out of the corner of a baggie.  I kind of like that they turned out looking like that toxic balloon goo we used to make bubbles out of as a kid.  Remember that stuff?  The rainbow arch was a little underwhelming, but Emily and Pix really wanted me to put that on their sister’s cake, so I couldn’t refuse.

When it was finally time to cut the cake I was happy with the outcome.



4 thoughts on “Rainbow Cake

  1. That turned out great! Very vibrant. I had the Wilton gel colours but they dried up too fast and took a lot to be vibrant like you got! Last year I got the squeezable Americolor gels and I LOVE them.


    I bet what you did would be great on a cupcake. The kids wanted rainbow cupcakes once and so I just did rainbow buttercream. Basically all I did was a dollop of al the colours and swirled them with a toothpick. Worked out surprisingly well.

    As for buttercream — I just make the Wilton recipe — but with all hard margarine, not shortening. I like marg better than butter in buttercream, oddly enough. I think the key is an obscene amount of butter/marg


    Think I need to try a rainbow swirl cake…..

  2. hey u think u can send me the directions to make this wonderful cake it for my boyfriend we been together for 5 years so it rally special

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