How to make a Rainbow Layer Cake

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

My youngest recently celebrated her birthday. We didn’t have a party, just spent the morning in the park with friends and had family over for dinner later that evening.  But, Miss now 9 had one request, she wanted a rainbow layer birthday cake.  Initially I panicked, thought that exceeded my cake making ability, however researched and have to tell you, it looks harder than it actually is.

{The Organised Housewife} How to make a Layered Rainbow Cake

Firstly I wanted to say thank you to so many of you for sharing your tips with me on facebook, you can read them all here.  From each of your tips, this is how I ended up putting the Rainbow Layer Cake together.

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How to make a Rainbow Layer Cake

I used homebrand Vanilla Cake Mix, only 89c each, bargain! (I could of made the batter from scratch, but I had so much to do the packets made the process easier).  You want a mix that isn’t going to create a yellow batter as you want the colours to be as vibrant and bright as they can be, choose a vanilla cake over butter cake recipe or pack.  1 pack will make 2 layers.

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Make cake mix one at a time, then divide evenly into 2 dishes, using scales and measuring accurately.  Once you have made all the batter and divided evenly into 6 bowls, then colour each of them.  It was recommended to use Gel colourings as they make a brighter cake, compared to the colours purchased from the supermarket.  I used Wilton Icing Gel Colours (which can be found at spotlight, cake decorating shops or from online cake decorating stores).  I only used a small amount on the end of the teaspoon.

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Now bake! I only have one round baking pan, two would of been great to make the process quicker but you would need to ensure they are both exactly the same size as you don’t want one cake larger than the other.  The key to the rainbow cake is to have even layers.  I baked the cake for 10 min on 180C.

Once cakes were cooled I cut the tops off them using a cake leveller. I purchased this from a local cake making shop for less than $5.  Best investment, glides through the cake easily and will make all the layers exactly the same height.

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I then wrapped all the layers in glad wrap until I was ready to ice the following day.

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So bright and colourful!

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I used 2 x of this buttercream icing recipe, it made just enough, if I used anymore the cake would of been too sweet.  Have on hand the plate or cake stand you would like to display the cake on.  Add a spoonful of icing onto the base of your plate/stand.  This will help prevent the cake from moving on the plate.  Then place on your first cake layer, then spread a spoonful of icing over the layer.

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I didn’t put too much icing inbetween the layers, just enough to cover the cake.  Don’t worry about it being too neat and tidy as you will be adding icing around the edge of the cake and it will squeeze between the layers.  I used my eye to make sure the cake didn’t appear lopsided.

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Using a knife I then added the rest of the icing over the cake and threw on some sugared confetti that I picked up from a local cake making shop.  Litterally threw them on so they would stick on the sides LOL.

buttercream icing

And to see the layers inside, all this effort was truly worth it, Miss 9 was so amazed and grateful for the effort.  It looked beautiful!

{The Organised Housewife} How to make a Layered Rainbow Cake

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I hope this helps you to create a Rainbow Layer Cake for your next celebration!

Some candid pics of the birthday girl

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55 comments

Jac_CommonChaos February 6, 2014 - 6:24 AM

Love it Kat! I made a Monster High layer cake and had no idea those cake slicer things even existed! Took me a while to get even layers with a knife so I am totally grateful for that tip! Her cake looks fantastic, you did an awesome job.

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Katrina February 6, 2014 - 3:01 PM

Oh yes, soooo much easier than a knife!

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Gemma Harper February 6, 2014 - 6:53 AM

Looks awesome – all the way from the UK. x 🙂

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Katrina February 6, 2014 - 3:00 PM

Thanks Gemma! Tasted awesome too 🙂

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Jkirbs February 6, 2014 - 7:50 AM

Kat,it looks great.But what size cake pan did u use?

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Katrina February 6, 2014 - 3:07 PM

It’s 19cm diameter.

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Anne February 6, 2014 - 9:04 AM

Yummo Kat!
Where’s our piece? Perhaps The Organised Housewife needs a birthday party too? Those who live locally can then get to meet you = maybe have a picnic in the park and we all bring a plate from a recipe we found on your site…. grin!
On a totally different tack – I heard a really great quote on the radio this morning on my way to work which I’d love to share….
“Help teach your children how to be happy, not rich. That way when they are older they will have learned the value of things not the price…”

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Katrina February 6, 2014 - 3:00 PM

That’s a beautiful quote!

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Smaggle February 6, 2014 - 10:26 AM

Whoa! That looks amazing! I did a layered snickers cake last year but it’s not as impressive as that!

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Katrina February 6, 2014 - 3:00 PM

Ooh, a layered Snickers cake sounds amazing!

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Siham Theccvillage February 7, 2014 - 9:19 PM

That looks yummy !

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Katrina February 9, 2014 - 5:20 PM

It tasted yummy too 🙂

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Pauline February 9, 2014 - 8:42 PM

Thanks so much. Birthday’s coming up, this post is just in time!

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Barbi Bradbury February 11, 2014 - 7:07 AM

I did this cake for my son’s 5th birthday but with m’nm’son the outside.

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Barbi Bradbury February 11, 2014 - 7:10 AM

He was very happy.

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cinnamum February 14, 2014 - 5:28 PM

Can you let me know where you bought the cake cutter? am having trouble sourcing one. with thanks!

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Katie Falzon March 11, 2014 - 11:36 AM

Hi, I’ve made a rainbow layer cake before and apart from being a bit fiddly and needing lots of room to store the cakes as they were cooling, it was pretty easy! And my daughter absolutely loved it as she is somewhat obsessed with rainbows and colours!
Just going to get a bit picky though with your text…. you have a couple of small grammatical mistakes which I just had to point out…. In this paragraph “I used 2 x of this buttercream icing recipe, it made just enough, if I used anymore the cake would of been too sweet.” This should say “would HAVE been too sweet”. This is also repeated somewhere else in the text. I’m not doing this to be negative or anything but I just think it shows a bit more care to get little details like this right. I love your blogs and will definitely keep reading them though, don’t worry!

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Johnna Bendsen April 5, 2016 - 11:41 AM

Hi Katie Falzon, aka ‘Grammar Police’. I believe Katrina is far too busy helping others in a myriad of ways to notice just how rude and patronising your post is, let alone ‘worry’ about whether you will continue to follow her blogs or not. That’s some ego you’re nursing there, lovey.

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Marjorie May 8, 2014 - 5:08 PM

Hi Katrina – can I ask where you bought the sugared confetti? Thank you. This cake looks amazing. I am going to attempt it in July for my daughter’s 6th birthday party.

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June Harling June 26, 2014 - 11:58 PM

If you are making these cakes in the future, use Sugarflair gel rather the Wilton as the colour is much more intense and you will be able to use less.

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Renee Gusa Nugent August 13, 2014 - 9:34 PM

Going to give this a go for my Daughters Birthday….. wish me luck :p

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Nadia Bernardis August 20, 2014 - 8:47 AM

Is the recipe on the cake packet?

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kayla djssf August 21, 2014 - 5:28 PM

what shop did you buy the cake leveller from? i am from Australia and i can’t fine a cheap one.

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kaylla djdf August 21, 2014 - 5:29 PM

what shop did you buy the cake leveller from? i am from Australia and i can’t fine a cheap one

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Katrina August 22, 2014 - 12:51 PM

Hi Kaylla, i purchased it from Cake Bitz.:)

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Caroline September 1, 2014 - 5:19 PM

Can you please tell me which Wilton Gel colours did you use exactly? I would love to achieve the same shades of colour in each layer that you did. Thanks

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Katrina September 3, 2014 - 11:38 AM

Hi Caroline, i brought them in a box of 8 Wilton gel from a cake shop and i believe you can also purchase them from spotlight.

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Katrina V September 14, 2014 - 11:00 AM

Hi Katrina – I love this cake, do you think it suitable for a 1st birthday. Seriously considering it. Thanks Kat (Love your name 🙂

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Katrina September 15, 2014 - 10:10 AM

Hi Katrina, LOL thank you.:)
Yes i think it would be a lovely bright beautiful cake for a 1st birthday cake.

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????? September 21, 2014 - 10:05 AM

Marvelous content, thank You !!

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Jackie October 11, 2014 - 9:39 PM

Hi Kat, beautiful cake, thanks for sharing and I’m very excited to try this for my girl’s 3rd birthday soon. Did they really only need 10 minutes each? I’m a terrible cook, just wanted to make sure!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 13, 2014 - 12:47 PM

Hi Jackie, Yes they only took 10 minutes but also keep in mind it will depend on your oven. I’m sure your little girl will love this cake!.:)

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Claire May 2, 2015 - 12:10 PM

Love the cake! I’m going to do this for my Miss 6. What size tins did you use?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 2, 2015 - 12:42 PM

Hi Claire, I used a standard round cake tin. Hope your daughter loves her cake 🙂

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lisa June 28, 2015 - 8:29 AM

Hi,

how do you store the cake after you have frosted it? can you leave it out, if so for how long? or does it need to be refrigerated?

thanks

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 4, 2015 - 9:00 PM

I iced it about 3 hours before we cut it and left it on the kitchen bench uncovered, it was deliciously fresh.

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Fiona August 25, 2015 - 2:12 PM

Thank you so much for this post. I made it for my daughter’s fourth birthday and it turned out really well. Everyone was very impressed and my daughter was over the moon. I also found the cheap vanilla cake to be quite delicious. Great tip!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 25, 2015 - 4:03 PM

It is, I’m all for making muffins and biscuits from scratch, but this mix tastes so good, perfect!! So pleased it came together well for you 🙂

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Meg January 23, 2016 - 12:47 PM

HI there

Love the cake and I’m going to make it for my daughter’s 5th birthday. Did you get the sprinkles from Woolworths as well? Thanks, M

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Sebahat February 9, 2016 - 9:38 AM

Hi. My daughters birthday is coming up and I was thinking of making this amazing cake however the cake will be taken to school (kindergarten). My question is how would I cut this cake? Because at schools they only give children a small piece

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 10, 2016 - 7:03 AM

Hi Sebahat, I have found over the years that as much as we would like to take a beautiful cake to school to celebrate our child’s birthday it’s just not a feasible option. Cupcakes are a friendly choice, as the teacher does not have to cut it, or worry about too much clean up and mess.

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Nancy April 4, 2016 - 8:29 PM

You can make rainbow cupcakes. If you google it you will see how easy they are to make 🙁

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 5, 2016 - 10:22 AM

that sounds like a clever idea, I am sure my kids would love rainbow cupcakes 🙂

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Trina April 1, 2016 - 9:57 AM

Hi just wondering when you wrapped them in glad wrap to leave over night, did you put them in the fridge or just left them out on the bench? thanks

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Nancy April 4, 2016 - 8:26 PM

I absolutely love the cake…gorgeous!!! Kat, can you please tell me the names of the Wilton Gel colours you used in this cake? Thank you!!!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 5, 2016 - 10:23 AM

Hi Nancy, I’m out at the moment, but I got the gel colours in a pack of 6 or 8, it was a great pack to have plenty of colours on hand, you use the smallest little drop, they will last for many many years.

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Bernadette April 10, 2016 - 3:41 PM

Hi Katrina, I’m gearing up to make this for my miss 6’s 7th birthday as it looks amazing, however I’m most nervous about the result! I noticed in the picture showing the colours in bowls and wondered if you mixed the colour with anything? Or did you just add the colour to the cake batter? My nervousness is well justified you say?!!

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Fiona May 29, 2016 - 2:01 PM

Hi katrina I’ve just come across your recipe and will definitely follow your blogs due to simple and straight forward instructions. Re the rainbow cake can u freeze the layers in advance of icing them?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 31, 2016 - 9:40 AM

absolutely, that’s a great time saving idea. If you freeze them the day you made them, they will still be just as good when you defrost them.

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Jack Mulligan August 4, 2016 - 1:02 AM

This cake looks amazing! My daughter has a birthday cake coming up and I know she would love this. I’m no good at cooking though, so I may have to see if I can have a cake shop make it for me!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 8, 2016 - 6:46 PM

Most cake shops make these types of cakes these days, they are popular with different shades of the same colour for baby showers too.

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Sarah October 11, 2016 - 2:58 PM

Hi there can you tell me the quantity of butter cream frosting you made.. I never know the quantities and would hate to run out. Going to make this for miss 9’this weekend.
Thanks
Sarah

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Lisa October 15, 2016 - 2:19 PM

Sorry could you please tell me where you buy the cake cutter to get even slices from. What is called. Thanks heaps.

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Lorena Liebke March 20, 2017 - 7:30 PM

I made it on the weekend for my daughter’s 4th Birthday & it turned out great!!! Everyone was impressed when it was cut. Thanks for the recipes – they were easy to follow.

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CakenGifts.in June 23, 2017 - 5:52 PM

You have great write up, I always read your blog. and I must say you are doing good job, plz do write like this.

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