5 Tips for Making a Rainbow Cake

If you follow the same kinds of people as I do on Pinterest then you will have discovered a whole new beautiful world and in that world you will have seen, maybe once or twice, a rainbow cake. And, if you’re like me, you would have fallen in love with the vibrant, multi layered gorgeousness.

Now, I am not much of a baker and I certainly am not much of a decorator and while I used to look through the Woman’s Weekly cake books and dream of the day I would make such wonderfully special cakes for my children, it soon became apparent to both James and I that I would not be the baker of sweets for special occasions. That privileged fell to James and his perfectionist tenancies.

I have to admit to being quite crushed to discover my lack of skill and as the year’s have passed I have mourned this thing that doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you can’t be the one giving it to your child.

This year, madness became me and I decided on a whim that I would bake Kahlei a rainbow cake for her 3rd birthday. There are lots of how to posts out there, like this one from Louisa Claire who managed to make a perfect cake, so I am here to share my tips for those of you who may be considering wading into the colourful world of rainbow cakes but isn’t sure they can pull it off;

1. Commit and DON’T STRESS – Once I had all the makings I started freaking before deciding to suck it up and get it done. I made myself commit to getting the cake done. No. Matter. What.

Which was good. The first cake came out perfectly, I was thrilled. The second cake split, I chewed on my lip a little and carried on. The third cake FELL APART, I swore more than a little and threw my hands up in the air. What was I doing? The fourth had the top fall off. I may or may not have had a tantrum.

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I may have had a mini meltdown, however, once I started the assembly process I realised none of that was really an issue as I could stick all the mistakes together (even the completely demolished orange cake) with cream and then cover them up!

So, don’t sweat a broken cake. It’ll still work out.


2. Stick to a square cake – Except for our heart tin, all the cake tins were too big when the batter was split. I didn’t think it would matter much, until I was putting it together. While I could hide all the mistakes I had made with cream, I didn’t like the way each additional piece sat atop the last.

The middle of the heart sat high while the top kind of drooped and they all started looking somewhat like a set of stairs.

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There was no way for me to tidy up the edges by quickly chopping off the untidy sides without making it a tiny cake with a strange shape. Next time, I will have bought a square tin and once all the pieces were together I will tidy up the edges for a lovely finish.


3. Don’t use the wrong icing – James bought the almond marzipan which. not only got left on all plates at the end of the day, but was difficult to use given the shape I was working with. It was holey and bumpy. Not the kind of medium a (not even) novice such as myself should use.

I hated how it looked and had to pop to the shops to find something else to finish it off. I bought Royal Icing and wish I had just had that in the first place.

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Making sure you have the right ingredients will help make the end result less… bumpy?


4. Give yourself time – I baked the cakes the night before Kahlei’s birthday and iced it mere hours before the party. Royal Icing needs more time to set nicely and I really, really should have made an effort to get it done in enough time for it to set properly.

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Not to mention the fact that reading the instructions on the icing packet which suggests ample setting time with only hours until people arrive isn’t great for stress levels.


5. Enjoy – While my cake wasn’t the vision of perfection I had imagined, with perfect lines and smooth sides and even thought the time spent making it wasn’t all together painless, it was all still worth it when James cut into it and it was perfectly rainbow.

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I loved the response from everyone and was surprised with how good it looked, considering.

Kahlei didn’t care that the sides weren’t perfect or that the top was droopy, she was simply delighted in the surprise inside and that is what matters. And it tasted good bar the almond icing.

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If you’ve been thinking about it, I say do it. Even with many whoops moments, my cake had the desired effect on the birthday girl and those in attendance. If I can pull it off, so can you.

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 Have you made a rainbow cake? What are your tips?
If you blogged about it, let us know so we can check it out!


  1. I haven’t been game to try one of these yet – they do look like such hard work. Still the end result is pretty awesome. Nice work :O)

    • If you leave the stress behind, they’re not really that hard at all. Even with my mishaps I didn’t think it was difficult, really.
      You should give it a go, you’d totally rock it, Caz!

  2. Totally worthit! They are really just a bunch of cakes smoodged together with lots and lots of butter icing. The surprise us great fun. x

    • Exactly, they’re not a lot of work for a whole lot of reaction!

  3. Good on you.. that’s a gorgeous little cake! I have melt downs over birthday cakes & my hubby ends up finishing them for me. Cakes are not my thing. My daugher had a rainbow party last year & I wasn’t brave enough to attempt a rainbow cake, so I just made a cake in the shape of a rainbow. I’m building up to it 😉


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