cakes, diy desserts, diy projects, holidays

DIY: Rainbow Cake

I made a rainbow cake! It’s awesome! And here’s a tutorial with some tips so you can make yours awesome too!!

rainbowcakerainbowcake rainbow cake


Since there are so many rainbow cake tutorials out there (like this one from Martha or this one), I thought that I’d just provide some photos with key tips that can help turn an average rainbow cake, into an awesome rainbow cake!

Tip #1: Once you have your vanilla cake batter ready to go and divided, add electric icing colors to get your cake colors bright. I own these Americolor gel colors and absolutely love them.

Tip #2: Arrange the colors from the batters together to make sure you like the overall color scheme before you get to baking. For the rainbow cake, I strongly feel that the brighter the batter, the better (looking) the cake.

Tip #3: Once you’ve baked your cakes, let them sit covered overnight or in the fridge for a few hours (at the minimum).  This will make them much easier to level and ice.  Once they’re ready, lay down your bottom color, and carve off the top to achieve an even color and level surface for your next cake layer. For the bottom of each layer (aside from your bottom layer), make sure to remove any cake that has browned or is a bit darker on the bottom side as well.  You can easily do this by just rubbing the bottom of the cake, which (usually) takes the discolored (more baked) cake right off .

Tip #4: Here’s an obvious one, that I actually don’t see a lot of the tutorials do: Dye your icing to match the cake color!  This makes the cake look SO much better!  Seems so obvious now that you can see the difference, right?

Tip #5: Use your icing to level out any uneven cake. If an area of your cake is a little bit shorter, use a little bit more icing there.  As long as it’s nothing too major, you won’t be able to notice when you cut into your cake.

Tip #6: Don’t waste your time trying to cut off the cake on the outer edge.  Even though it’s darker,  you won’t be able to notice the difference once you’re finished, due to the outer icing covering this part.

Tip #7: Now for the crumb layer, the most important thing is to not get discouraged here – you will have to do multiple crumb layers with cake colors this bright.  And there’s nothing wrong with having a couple additional layers of delicious buttercream frosting!  I did 4 layers of buttercream and then added 1 more final (very thin) top layer.

Tip #8: For the final icing layer, I used a store-bought whipped frosting and applied a very thin layer on top of my buttercream.  You’ll notice that the white is so much brighter than homemade buttercream, even if you’re using a clear vanilla extract. Check out the difference between the two photos below for color.  Just remember to keep it as thin as you can, so your tastebuds can still focus on the buttercream. And by the way – ignore that layer of crumbs atop the second photo, I was just playing around with it and vetoed that later once I got to the decorating.

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Tip #9: Once you get to the decorating part, don’t follow any tutorials – just go with whatever design you feel like. As you can see from my photos, I even changed my mind when it came to the decorating. Get inspired and do something different.  Sure, maybe it’s been done before, but trying to follow a photo template while decorating can really suck the fun and creativity out of it, so don’t do it!  Let yourself get inspired and just be free (man).  After all, it is a rainbow cake! Peace, love, happiness, and all that stuff!

rainbow cake

  1. Joellen

    March 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Sounds like a lot of work but looks fantastic and bet it taste good too.

  2. Nicole Mundigl

    March 21, 2014 at 5:27 am

    This is soooo great. I guess, I’ve found some nice cake idea for my daughter’s 12th birthday party.

  3. Anthea

    April 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    What a beautiful cake! Could I please ask for your cake recipe, out of all the images/recipes I have found on the internet, this cake has the thickest layers and just looks great. Thanks 🙂

  4. maariyaah

    July 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

    i think this is fantastic i am 15 nd i am gonna attempt this cake. Finger cross

    1. alanajonesmann

      July 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

      you can do it!! send me a pic once you do – i’d love to see it!!

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