My First Rainbow Cake (with recipe and photos!)

Posted In: Food, Recipes

Hey everyone! This year for Valentines Day I baked up a layered rainbow cake for my husband and kids; it was my first time attempting one of these and it turned out not-so-bad so I thought I’d share the recipe I used on my blog. It’s definitely not as hard as it looks at all – I managed to make it from scratch with my two boys under my feet in the kitchen and it still worked out, haha. Bear in mind this is a very sweet cake and isn’t healthy in the slightest, so only for special occasions!

Rainbow cake in process


The buttercake recipe I used for the cake batter (and you’ll require two batches of this, so bear in mind you need to have 2x the following list) requires:


120g softened butter

3/4 cup caster sugar (fine sugar)

2 lightly beaten eggs

1/2 cup milk

1.5 cups sifted self-raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Beat together the butter, vanilla and sugar with an electric beater until it’s light and fluffy. Then add the eggs in 2 parts, beating after each addition. Stir in the flour and milk until it’s well combined. There’s your cake batter!


Now, to actually make the rainbow cake


Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan-forced)

Grease and line three round cake pans with baking/parchment paper (base and sides)

Divide the batter between three bowls, you can weigh the batter if you want to get the amounts precise but personally I just judged it visually.

Use food colouring (gel, powder or liquid) to colour the batters different colours – use a lot of food colouring for more vibrancy!

Spread the cake batters into the three prepared pans

Bake for around 25-30 minutes


Then repeat! Make up another batch of the buttercake, divide between 3 bowls, colour, then wash and prepare your pans again after the baked layers are cooling on a cake rack.


To make the meringue frosting you’ll need…

8 egg whites

4 cups caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

some hundreds-and-thousands (sprinkles)


Place the egg whites, vanilla, sugar and cold water in a large heatproof bowl, whisk to combine the ingredients and then place the bowl over a simmering saucepan of water. Using an electric beater, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form (the peaks are supposed to remain standing when you remove the beaters and the meringue should stay firmly in the bowl if you hold it upside down)

Decide which layer you want on the bottom of the cake (it doesn’t HAVE to be in rainbow order, mine wasn’t) and place it on a cake board or large plate. Spread it with the frosting and continue layering the layers on top this way, spreading each layer with frosting. Then cover the whole cake, sides and top, with the frosting and sprinkle with 100s and 1000s.



You can either serve it immediately or keep it in the fridge until you’re ready.

Happy baking! :)

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  • SBingham

    Looks AMAZING! Really well done. Did you use gel colours? I have heard that gels work best, so would love to know if you got these results (which are awesome) through gels, or whether liquid’s would work. What is the icing like, I have never had that type before, is it really sweet? Also, did you have to use all the icing, seems like it would make so much.

    • Emmalina

      I used Queens brand liquid icing and got that vibrancy with about 3 tablespoons in each layer. It came out vibrant enough but I’d recommend gels if you can find them as they are very vibrant with only a small amount and it won’t throw off the moisture balance of the batter.
      The icing is VERY sweet. I personally wouldn’t use a meringue frosting for myself – its way too sweet for me, but meringue is Daniel’s favourite. I did use all that icing and it was a LOT! My bowl was too small and I had meringue flying everywhere lmao

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