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Make a rainbow cake

A fun activity and a great party treat.

Everyone is looking for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow but what if you could combine the two? The result would be a deliciously bright and colourful rainbow cake! An exciting, tasty treat for any occasion and it makes an ideal birthday cake for children. Not only is it a fun activity to get children cooking but also adds an impressive flair to any party. With layers of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, this cake is an instant attention-grabber and crowd pleaser!

To get started on your amazing creation, you will need the following:


  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple food colouring


  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cream

1. Start by making the layers. To do this you will first need to preheat the oven to 180 degrees so you can put the cakes in the oven right away.

2. Mix the dry ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Use a whisk to stir through the ingredients, making sure everything is completely mixed together.

3. Combine the wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer, or vigorously mix the ingredients with a spoon or spatula. While beating the ingredients, slowly add the egg whites to the mixture. Add the vanilla and milk and continue mixing until all of the wet ingredients are combined.

4. Stir in the dry mixture: Place half of the dry mixture into the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Use a spoon to stir it in, then add the other half of the dry mixture. Keep stirring until it’s all completely mixed in.

5. Divide and dye the batter: Pour equal amounts of batter into six different bowls. To give the rainbow effect, dye each bowl of batter a different colour by pouring in a few drops of one of the six food colourings. Stir each bowl of batter well. Add more food colouring until the batter is the colour you want.

  • If you use gel food colouring, you only need a drop or two for a rich colour. If you’re using liquid food colouring, you may need to use several drops.
  • If you have a standard set of food colouring that comes with red, yellow, blue and green, create the extra colours by combining the colours you have. Make orange by mixing red and yellow, and make purple by mixing blue and red.

6. Pour the batter into greased cake tins: Each layer must be baked in a separate cake tin. If you have six cake tins, pour the bowls of batter into the different tins. If you have fewer cake tins, pour batter into the tins you have and reserve the extra bowls of batter to be baked after the first round of layers are done.

7. Bake the layers: Place the cake tins in the oven and bake the layers for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Don’t over bake the layers, as this could affect the brilliant rainbow colours. Avoid letting the tops get brown. When the layers are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Reuse the cake tins if you still have additional layers to bake.


1. Make the icing: In a large mixing bowl, beat the icing sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla on high, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. If it seems too soft, add more icing sugar until it becomes thicker and stiffer.

2. Get the layers ready: Use a serrated knife to slice a thin layer from the top of each layer of the cake. Slicing off the slightly rounded tops that puffed up during the baking process will help the layers stack together neatly.

3. Ice the layers: Place the purple layer on the cake stand or plate that you’ll be using to serve the cake. Use an offset spatula or icing knife to scoop a small amount of icing onto the centre of the cake. Spread it evenly across the surface of the purple layer, all the way to the edges. Add the blue cake to the stack and ice it using the same method. Repeat with the green, yellow, and orange layers, finishing with the red layer on top.

  • There’s no need to use a scientific colour order – create a rainbow using any colour order you’d like.
  • Be sure to save enough icing for the finish which will need enough icing for the entire cake.

4. Ice the assembled cake: Scoop icing onto the top of the cake and spread it evenly to the edges. Use more icing to cover the sides of the cake. Be sure to use plenty, so you cannot see the layers beneath. The brightly coloured interior of the cake will remain a surprise until the first slice is cut.

5. Decorate the cake: Finish the cake with rainbow sprinkles, or use a contrasting icing colour to pipe a message across its surface.

If you want to save time, you can buy a white cake mix, which will work just as well.

Enjoy your deliciously colourful creation!