Easy 6-Layer Rainbow Cake – Step by Step

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If you’re looking for a recipe for Easy 6-Layer Rainbow Cake, you came to the right place! You’ll love it if you’re a big kid at heart! Lots of people have made my Rainbow Cake with success (see the comments!) and I’m sure you will too – it’s an easy recipe that’s suitable for cake beginners!

If you have any questions, see my Rainbow Cake FAQs post, and if you need help, leave me a comment or tweet me @kerrycooksblog and I’ll try and help as soon as I can.

There are not enough exclamation marks in the world to convey my excitement for rainbow cake. I first came across this awesome version over at sweetest blog ever Sweetapolita. I also came across this great version by Whisk Kid. 

Al the recipes I came across use Swiss meringue frosting and often used boxed cake mixes, so I decided to make a UK version, using a simple victoria sponge recipe (with the quantities doubled) and cream cheese frosting. It worked a treat! And it tasted delicious too.

I’ll tell you a secret – I was actually really intimidated by making this cake – I first saw it a while ago but I wasn’t sure I had the skills to pull it off well. In actual fact, making this cake was extremely easy and hassle free!

A few things to note about making this cake:

  •  I baked my cakes in small, disposable tin foil ‘flan cases’ that I found in Wilkinson’s (I used these ones, which are 6 inches. Supermarkets also increasingly sell disposable cake cases, in loaf and other shapes. But don’t worry if you can’t find anything like this, you can just use regular cake tins – depending on how many you own, you’ll need to cook the cakes in stages (if you own three, two stages isn’t too much hassle, if you only own two cake tins I would consider buying/borrowing another one).
  • My cake had very thick layers and ended up very tall, because I used 6 inch pans (they were the only disposable pans I could find at the time – they’re now widely available in 6,7, and 8 inch sizes – try Wilko’s, the pound shop and your local supermarket). If you’d prefer your rainbow cake to have thinner layers and be less skyscraper like, simply use 8 inch can tins rather than 6 inch as I did.
  • You will need to purchase concentrated thick colouring for this recipe. These are called gel or paste colours and come in little pots, at about £2.50 – £3.00 each. The best places to get these from are online (eBay) or a cake decorating shop (if you live in/near a city, you’ll be fine – Nottingham has two large ones) – none of the ranges sold in supermarkets (Dr. Oetker gel colour tubes) are nearly as good – though you could go with it if you’re desperate, the colours won’t be as vivid and rainbow like. See the bottom of the post for links and details of what colour I used for each rainbow layer.
  • I recommend making my cream cheese frosting, as the cake, a day or two ahead of when you plan to stack and decorate the cake. So the ideal rainbow cake timeline for optimal results (not saying you can’t do it in one day / one evening, but this will give an easier, less stressful decorating process) is to bake the cake layers and make the frosting on the Saturday, let the layers cool completely, wrap in clingfilm and pop into the fridge, then make the frosting on the Sunday morning, and add three / four thin layers of frosting to the outside of the cake over the course of the day to serve that night.

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Easy 6-Layer Rainbow Cake
Serves 12
A gorgeous 6 layer rainbow cake topped with cream cheese frosting!
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Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
15 min
791 calories
102 g
197 g
40 g
8 g
24 g
196 g
480 g
79 g
1 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
196g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 791
Calories from Fat 354
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g
62%
Saturated Fat 24g
121%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 197mg
66%
Sodium 480mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates 102g
34%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 79g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
27%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
15%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cake
  1. 350g self raising flour
  2. 350g soft soft butter
  3. 350g caster or light brown caster sugar
  4. 6 large free range eggs (I tend to go for happy eggs)
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. up to 40ml semi-skimmed milk
For the frosting
  1. 100g butter, soft
  2. 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. 600g icing sugar, sifted
For the cake
  1. First, preheat your oven to gas mark 4/170 degrees/360 degrees Fahrenheit and mix up your cake batter in the usual way - cream your butter and sugar until combined, add eggs one at a time followed by a little of the flour and mix well before adding remaining flour and vanilla extract. If your mix is a little thick as mine was, add up to 40ml of semi-skimmed milk - adding a tablespoon at a time and stopping when you get to a consistency that you're happy with.
  2. Next, divide your mix into 6 bowls (including your original bowl) to do your colours. I divided my mix by eye, not bothering to weigh my mixture and divide it exactly equally.
  3. Drizzle on some of your red gel colour and mix in. Keep adding and mixing a little until you have the vibrant shade you want. Its actually very hard to go overboard with gel colours, but don't add too much at once (not more than a quarter of a teaspoon). Ten minutes and an aching arm later, you'll have a beautiful rainbow of cake batters!
  4. Pop them into the oven and keep a close eye on them - you don't want them to get overly browned. I rotated my cakes on the oven shelves throughout the cooking time (mine took around 20 minutes total), taking them out as soon as a skewer to the centre came out clean.
  5. When your cakes are cool, preferably wrap them in clingfilm and pop them into the fridge for a day. This will really make the cake much easier to decorate.
For the frosting
  1. Melt the butter in a heat proof bowl in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, until on its way to being completely melted. Thoroughly whisk the butter until no lumps remain. Whisk in your cream cheese, again until no lumps remain.
  2. Prepare your icing sugar, and then sieve it in to the cream cheese mixture 150g at a time, stirring gently with a wooden spoon between each addition. Add approx 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (if you have it) - it won't make the frosting taste lemony, but it will just cut through the overwhelming sweetness.
  3. When all the icing sugar is incorporated, pop the frosting into the fridge to chill. As with the cakes, ideally, do this the day before you want to decorate the cakes.
To assemble
  1. Put a little of the cream cheese frosting on the plate or cake stand you'll be using to adhere the first layer of cake. Pop it onto the centre of the plate, and then frost and put on the next layer. Careful not to use too much frosting, as the weight of the cake will push it out the sides of the cake- just a thinnish layer is best. After the first three layers, put the cake into the fridge for thirty minutes to chill.
  2. Continue stacking the cake, taking care to position the layers as evenly as possible, so that the sides of the cake are as straight as they can be.
  3. Apply a crumb coat of frosting to the cake, filling any gaps between layers. The colours of the cake will be very apparent, but don't worry. Chill for 1 hour.
  4. Apply a second coat of frosting. Chill for 1 hour.
  5. If necessary, apply a third coat.
beta
calories
791
fat
40g
protein
8g
carbs
102g
more
Kerry Cooks http://kerrycooks.com/

- What colours will you need for your Rainbow Cake? -

Food colouring! But not just any food colouring. NOT the liquid ones of your childhood, although they do seem to be phasing those out now in favour of gel versions that you can get even in the supermarket. The ones I use are Sugarflair and Americolor and I get them from this little exclusive bakery supplies shop – you might have heard of it, its called eBay!

Easy 6-Layer Rainbow Cake - Step by Step

I love getting my gel colours from eBay because they’re cheap (cheaper or at least the same price as any baking supply shops I’ve visited) with free postage, plus its just easy and convenient. To make the cake, you’ll need these colours

Red – Christmas Red by Sugarflair

Orange -Melon + Christmas Red, both by Sugarflair

Yellow -Melon by Sugarflair

Green -Mint green by Sugarflair

Blue -Baby blue by Sugarflair

Purple – Electric purple by Americolour – I have tried and failed to get a bright purple colour using sugarflair (grape violet which is the only purple they do). If you want a bright purple, I recommend getting the americolor version.

The Americolour was from an American seller who combined postage, so they worked out to cost about £3 each whereas the Sugarflair colours cost about £2.50 each. If you haven’t used gel colours before, this might seem expensive but they go a looooong way – and last forever.

*Note – the above are affiliate links, and if you click on them, I’ll earn a few pennies. Have you seen the price of butter? Thanks for your support!

Easy Six Layer Rainbow Cake - Easy Tutorial at kerrycooks.com! Simple to make and delicious too

This cake would be super duper awesome for a kids birthday party…. especially if you kept the rainbow part a secret… can you imagine?

Easy 6-Layer Rainbow Cake - Step by Step

ssh – don’t tell anyone I put my layers in the wrong order!

Rainbow cake makes me so happy. Oh and did I mention that rainbow cake is just the beginning? Check out these amazing ombre cakes which use exactly the same method.

Happy baking!

x Kerry

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341 Comments

  1. This looks amazing Kerry. My sugar is up just looking at it.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for linking to my Rainbow Tie-Dye cake! Your layers look amazing. I definitely admire your patience. Mine ended up tie dye mostly because I didn’t want the hassle of icing all those layers. Looks great!

    Reply
    • Thanks Alyson! It was fiddly but worth it in the end!

      Reply
      • hey kerry i would like to know how to store such a tall cake ?? i doubt it would fit in my cake box lol …also do you have the mesurments to how tall the cake was?

        Reply
        • Hi there, not sure what you mean by store? The cream cheese frosting will keep the cake protected and from going stale. I would keep it out of the fridge, unless it’s very warm.

          Re the height- I didn’t measure it! But I would say the 6 inch width version was about ten inches tall. Of course, you can use wider can pans and get a less tall cake which should fit in a normal carrier

          Reply
  3. This is Fabulous! Very well executed and I like the idea of using the foil tins to bake in
    -E

    Reply
  4. kerry, no, oh my days! this looks INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! hahaha LOVE it. seriously, this is epic!!! :)

    Reply
  5. This is amazing…. it looks like a massive job, I’ve never seen anything quite like it!!

    Reply
  6. Thank you for this, it’s just what I wanted! I’ve been wanting to bake a rainbow cake for my cousin’s birthday but apart from a basic idea of baking a normal sponge and adding food colouring, I didn’t have much further clue of how to go about it! All the other recipes I’d seen were very American. I’ll take your advice and buy the gel food colourings from eBay so I can replicate your beautiful rainbow creation! Does the icing on the outside dry solid or stay soft? I’m going to have to take my cake a couple of hours car journey so I don’t want it to be too squidgy.. Thanks again x

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Sharliee! Glad I could help :) The cream cheese icing gets firm to the touch after a while so you can safely take it on a car journey – I transported my cake on the bus! Just make sure its had a few hours to set before the journey, and protect it with some tin foil tents (that aren’t touching the cake) or inside a larger cake tin / even just a cardboard box! Good luck! x

      Reply
    • I have just baked this cake!! the cakes have come out of 8 inch pans lovely, and are so bright! I cant’ wait to see my daughters face on Monday when she sees the inside of her cake!! Thanks for the easy to follow instructions! x

      Reply
  7. Hi. Wondering how stable this was? You didn’t use cake boards or dowels, right? I am planning on making a 7×7 cubed cake next month and I can’t decide if I need boards and skewers? It is going to have ganache and fondant covering the whole cake. So I was planning on the extra support but this just looks so amazing when cut!

    Karen

    Reply
    • Hey Karen, thanks for your comment! To be honest it never occured to me to use dowls or anything since I’ve seen lots of similar cakes around the interwebs. I think generally if you’re making a layer cake of all the same size of cake its fine, whereas you need support when you’re baking different tiers of differently sized cakes. I’m sure your cake will work out fine, especially as you’re using ganache as its super sticky and sets really quick. For extra security, you could build your cake one layer at a time, building from the bottom and adding ganache between the layers so that the bottom layers are glued on before you add the top ones. Thanks for visiting my blog!

      Reply
  8. This looks great, and not to complicated :-) and thank you for the tip about the flan cases! My daughter is having a rainbow party on Sunday I will let you know how the cake turns out.

    Regards Kathrine

    Reply
    • Aw a rainbow party, how ace! I would love one of those one day :-) Good luck, give me a shout if you have any questions!

      Reply
  9. love this cake! did you use a specific type of butter because my cakes usually turn yellow-y? thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks Zara! Not sure if you mean the cake or the frosting, in terms of the cake, the gel colours will turn the batter into bright colours no matter what type of butter you start out with. Re the frosting, in order to get a whiter cream cheese frosting, you can use a lighter butter such as Lurpack. I normally use kerrygold or tesco everyday value unsalted butter.

      x Kerry

      Reply
  10. Hi,

    This looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. Please can you tell me what size cake tins you used?

    Reply
    • Thanks Nichol! I used Wilkinson disposable tin foil ‘flan cases’ which I believe were 7 inches across, so quite a tall, slender cake. You can use a bigger cake tin if you like, the layers will just come out thinner but you’ll get a wider cake.

      Thanks, Kerry

      Reply
  11. Ok…inspired to have a go now….Have always been hesitant as couldn’t work out how much cake mix to do….and loving the top tip,of disposable tins!! Off to wilkinsons now…..

    Reply
    • Awesome, let me know how you get on! They have a whole range of disposable bakeware, very tempting it is!

      Reply
  12. Hi Kerry, this cake looks amazing! I like to think that I’m pretty good at baking but I have to admit this cake intimidates me! I’ve decided to make it for my birthday at the end of the month. I’m hoping that people are surprised by it. I’ve got some gel colours from Morrisons but have ordered the purple from Americolor. Here’s hoping the Morrison colours are as vibrant. Loving your foodie blog, I’d love to have one of my own. Just wondering if you’ve tried Hummingbird cake. It’s my all time favourite and it’s popularity seems to be rising of late. If you’d like to try my recipe I’d happily share it :-). Please keep up the great blog

    Reply
  13. This turned out so great :) I may just have to make it for my husband’s upcoming birthday!

    Reply
  14. My sister and I are about to try this tomorrow for my dad’s birthday cake, in her new tiny little flat and make shift utensils! Wish us luck :-} !

    Reply
    • Good luck! Give me a shout on twitter if you need any advice :-)

      Reply
  15. Also when you make your own frosting like a buttercream or vanilla or whatever if you get a clear vanilla extract instead of normal vanilla extract it will give you that bright white color

    Reply
  16. Hello, I made both recipes, yours with sponge cake and the original one ) as seen in Martha Steward, and I can definitely confirm that with sponge cake takes 10’. Its soft, sweet, and really tasty.
    I wanted a really big cake 25-35 person so I used
    500gr flour self raising
    500 gr sugar
    500 butter
    10 biological eggs
    2 tea spoons vanilla extract
    And instead of milk I used 100-150 buttermilk (as we use for red velvet cake)
    For the inside frosting I used
    150 mascarpone cheese
    300 Philadelphia cheese
    And icing sugar, about 200- 250 gr (I didn’t want it too sweet
    For the covering I used nice fresh Whipped cream in which I also but some icing sugar

    Reply
    • Thanks Cara – great to hear you liked it! Interesting idea about using some marscapone in the frosting – will have to try that!

      Reply
  17. Mine just didn’t rise at all… what did I do so wrong? I have 6 coloured biscuits now!!

    Reply
  18. hiya going to try to make this for my nieces 2nd birthday just woundering do the cakes come out of the foil cases ok?

    Reply
    • hey Laura! Yep they do come out really easily, just make sure you grease them as you normally would. I like the dr oetker spray on stuff.

      Reply
      • great such a god idea i hate washing up thankyou :) x

        Reply
    • Thank you! I do love rainbows so, especially in cake form!

      Reply
  19. This is such an amazing cake! I wanted to make one myself and just uploaded it to my blog if you want to check it out…yours was a great help as i was orried about vibrancy of colours without using USA colours…thanks so much…love your blog!!!

    Zobird xxx

    Reply
  20. Thank you Kerry this recipe worked a treat for me. I made it yesterday, we cut into it today at tea time and all the layers came out perfectly. The frosting is a touch too sweet for us though, do you think it would be ok to cut down a little on the sugar for it without compromising its stability? I want to make this cake again for a big family party coming up as I know the kids will love it!

    Reply
    • Hey Laura – glad you liked the cake!! You could definitely add less sugar to the frosting, just add it gradually and keep mixing, until you reach a sweetness you’re happy with, then chill it to let it firm up. Enjoy!

      Reply
  21. hi i am just wondering how the liquid color food coloring would come out within the cake would i have to put a lot in and how many would this fed? thanks i really want to mkae these

    Reply
    • Hi Katie – you need to use gel food colouring to make the cake this bright as I mention in the post – you can buy it from ebay for about £2.50 a pot. I would say it would feed 8 greedy people!

      Reply
  22. Made my own rainbow cake today. Glad I saw your recipe and got myself some gel colours – amazed by how vibrant they are. I just hope it tastes as good as it looks now!

    Reply
    • Well done Anna! I’m sure it tastes great

      Reply
  23. I made this for a charity cake sale at work today (along with a lot of other treats) and I have to say it got the best reaction to any cake I’ve ever made! Really thrilled with it but it not only looks amazing it tastes fantastic. We raised over £200 and I’ll definitely be making it again. Thanks for the recipe! x

    Reply
    • How wonderful! Thanks for reading my blog and for your lovely comment ! So happy you raised lots of money and liked the cake :) x

      Reply
  24. thank you so much for this!! I jist made it for my daughters 2nd birthday and everyone gasped! But not only that everyone commented that the cake was delicious! It really was as well! The only difference i made was also made rainbow frosting with the dies as it was to much fun to not try! Came out lovely. I’m happy to send you a pic! X

    Reply
    • Aw!! thanks so much for your lovely comment Abbie! :) So happy your daughter liked it. I would LOVE to see a picture – you can email me at miss underscore kerry underscore edwards @ yahoo dot co dot uk :)

      Reply
  25. Hi, thank you for sharing these lovely rainbow cake. You’ve inspired me and thats why i was able to create my own version which is rainbow chiffon cake. It was yummy! I love baking too. I love your blogsite. I’ve just started recently with wordpress but im
    Not that good yet but im getting there :) good job kerry! Well done and thank.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your lovely comment! Glad you liked my recipe :)

      Reply
  26. Hi there. I’m just wondering by how much the cakes rise in the oven typically using the flan cases you suggested? Presumably for a shallower cake, I could just reduce the amount of cake mixture per case and cook for less time? The cake looks fab and I’m going to do it for my son’s 4th birthday.

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda, the cake doesn’t rise more than probably about 20-25% in the oven, as long as you divide it equally between the 6 cases and flatten the mixture – you don’t want it to be too full, since when the layers are nice and flat you’ll get a flat cake that’s easy to cook.

      Reply
  27. love this cake can i ask is there a reason the liquid food colouring can’t be used or would they be fine i have every colour in the liquid food colouring should i bother buying the gel form ? thanks xx

    Reply
    • Hi Vanessa! Thanks for the cake love! Two things re liquid colouring – the first is you just can’t get the vibrancy of colour, so your cake wouldn’t be nearly as bright and vivid. Second is that you would need to add a lot – up to a bottle – and therefore the taste would come through in the finished cake. I find the taste unpleasant but that may just be me. If you live near an asda, they do gel colours for very reasonable prices in their home2bake range.

      Reply
  28. Hi Kerry

    I tried to dye some cake batter yesterday and it didn’t work. Although the batter looked vibrant, the baked cakes were very dull. Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Sarah! Sorry to hear it didn’t work well. Firstly, I’d say you need to use the sugarflair gel colours, and you need to keep adding to the batter until the colour is REALLY vibrant. Then, when baking, move the cakes around in the oven so that none of them get too browned – in fact you don’t want the tops of the layers to be browned at all! Since they’re thin, they will cook, and brown quick so keep a close eye on them. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  29. Hi Kerry, what is the size/inch of this rainbow cake? I would like to use your recipe/measurement and would want to make sure it is enough for 6 layers, not too much/no leftover. Thanks !

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, it was 6 inches across, hence why its so tall. You could make the same cake in a larger in, the layers would just be thinner and make a wider cake.

      Reply
  30. I made this for my best friend’s 18th birthday party on Friday and she absolutely loved it, everyone was screaming when she cut into it and discovered the rainbow! I think my flan cases were a little too wide so the layers were quite thin but overall the cake was mahoosive and it still worked out a treat, thank you soso much for this recipe and I can’t wait to try out some your other ones,
    Heloise :)
    p.s here’s a shot of one of my mates eating it, http://instagram.com/p/UpN998EE1D/

    Reply
    • WOW! well done Heloise (what a beautiful name) – the cake looks awesome!! I actually look the thinner layers, it looks great :) xx

      Reply
  31. Hi, this cake looks fab & I’m going to make it for my daughters 6th birthday party next month, can you tell me how many it will feed please? Im going to need it to feed at least 25 people, so if I need to make it bigger than what you have can you suggest what measurements would be best to use? Thanks lots & lots in advance :D xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Amy! I’d suggest making multiple cakes as you couldn’t make this cake much bigger without it collapsing – maybe multiple rainbow cakes, or a pink/purple ombre cake with your daughters favourite colour. Or one rainbow cake and then buy other cakes – it would be a lot of work otherwise!

      Reply
      • I didn’t think I’d be able to go much bigger, oh well I’ll just have to make 2, least then I can pre-cut 1 for the party bags and keep 1 for the party itself! :) Thanks for getting back to me xx

        Reply
        • UNLESS you tripled the mix and then did large layers of each colour in sheet pans, and then cut into three rectangular cakes. That’s the only way I can think of to do it :)

          Reply
      • Thanks, I might try that, if not I’ll just make 2, and I’ll have cupcakes aswell so should be enough! Can I ask what cream cheese you used please? Whenever I make this frosting it never seems to thicken! xx

        Reply
    • Yay, thanks Jennifer, so happy you had success with the recipe! Your cake looks wonderful, well done!

      Reply
  32. Hi there. I went to Wilkinson’s to get the flan cases but the only ones that they stock look rather small to make any decent sized cake. I’m just wondering what diameter the ones you recommended from Wilkinson’s were?

    Reply
  33. hi dere! i made dis & d family luves it! thks!

    Reply
  34. Thank you SO much for blogging this recipe! I have been searching for an English version (instead of using cups), as all the Americian ones seem to use egg whites and sprite (yes, the drink!). I pondered over the classic sponge I use and just adding gel colour, but wasn’t sure if it would work. Now I know! What does it taste like? Does it still turn out light and moist? I always have used marg instead of butter. Do you think it will make a difference to colour/taste? Oh and thanks for the tin tip!

    Reply
    • No worries, glad I could help! The egg whites in the American versions always put me off too which is why I developed this simple version – its just a big Victoria sponge cake, doubled!

      In terms of taste, it tastes like standard ‘cake’ really! but with the added deliciousness of the cream cheese frosting. It works out quite light and moist, about the same as a standard victoria sponge. I don’t think marg vs butter should make a difference hopefully :)

      Reply
      • Thank you for replying! Regarding the gel colouring Dr Oetker does do gel now – they are in tubes for £1.29 each. I saw them in Waitrose.

        Reply
        • Worth a try then! Let me know what you think of them and I can add it to my post :)

          Reply
  35. Hi there! Thank you for posting the recipes. They look really awesome, I’m planning to make this on my cousin’s birthday. Can I ask your opinion about using the Dr. Oetker food gel coloring instead? Will the colors be as beautiful? Thank you very much! xx

    Reply
    • Hi there! I wouldn’t recommend using anything except gel colouring, and definitely NOT Dr Oetker – (unless they’ve started doing gel colours?) – they’re colours don’t give vibrant colours and taste HORRID. Asda do gel colours in their supermarkets (home 2 bake range) and Silver Spoon also have a few, although I’m not sure if they have the full range of colours you’d need.

      Overall my advice would be, gel colours all the way! They give great results every time and what you can buy in the supermarket doesn’t on the most part, plus supermarkets are unpredictable in terms of the range of colours they carry.

      Reply
      • Thank you very much for the reply! Do the home2bake and silver spoon colours give nice rainbow colours as well? :) x

        Reply
        • I’ve only used sugarflair and americolor to make rainbow cakes so I can’t say, sorry.

          Reply
          • Hello Kerry!!! Just made this cake today, it’s so delicious and looks fab!! So thank you for the recipe :-) with what you were saying about the purple coming out dull, we used sugar flair lilac and it turned out a lovely colour; quite like the purple in the pictures!!!

            Thanks again, Amelia xxx

          • Thanks so much Amelia! Very interesting to note that lilac is a good purple! I’ll look into that :)

            xx

  36. I made this cake for the staff bake off competition and it won!!

    I halved your recipe but I used a 6 inch cake tins so the layers came out pancake thin… I thought it was a disaster but it turned out that people were actually impressed by the thin layers! I think the surprise factor is the best bit.

    Thanks very much Kerry!

    Reply
    • Also, I used Dr Oetker gel colours from Tesco. Had to use the whole tube for each layer, but the colours deepened in the oven and came out lovely and vibrant.

      Reply
      • Wonderful, good to know! Thanks a lot!

        Reply
  37. Hi, I want to make this cake but all I have is paste colours….are they much different from the gel ones?

    The cake looks amazing I can’t wait to try it out!!

    Reply
    • Hi Gem! Gel/paste are interchangeable terms – they’re the same! Sugarflair call them paste although they are a gel consistency :) Good luck with the cake!

      Reply
      • Thank you :) fingers crosse I get my baking mojo back by the weekend. Three cakes have gone wrong on me over the past few days :( I have lost my touch!!!!!

        Reply
        • Haha, it happens to everyone! Give me a shout on twitter if you need any tips

          Reply
  38. This is amazing – I’m going to save this page and try to do this for my mum for Mothers Day! I’m hopeless at baking, but I hope I can manage it.

    Reply
    • Thank you! Let me know if you need any tips, I promise its a cinch – just use the gel colours and use disposable cases to bake them in.

      Reply
      • Thanks. :) I was worrying I couldn’t get the gel colours in time, but I just saw they sell Mr Oetker gel colours in Co Op near me. So should be okay.

        Reply
        • Fab! I haven’t tried those ones, let me know whether they give you a good rainbow!

          Reply
    • Yikes, I’m making this cake today… but I don’t know how to make the icing? Can you help? Or link me to a website that will show me how to make it for this cake? Emergency!! lol

      Reply
      • Hello… Not sure what you mean? The recipe for the cream cheese icing I used is in the post

        Reply
      • I have all the ingredients but I really am hopeless at everything to do with baking. So I don’t know how to actually make the icing. But I guess if I look up ‘cream cheese frosting’ I’ll find the instructions somewhere. I’m nervous about this! lol

        Reply
        • If you search on my blog there’s a post just about making cream cheese frosting – make sure the butters soft, you sift the icing sugar and don’t overbeat once you’ve added the cream cheese.

          Reply
    • Hmm, well I wouldn’t recommend the Dr Oetker colours. I had to use LOADS in each mixture and still didn’t get the gorgeous vibrant colours on your photos! They’re out of the oven now, and they look okay, just not bright enough. Going to look for those icing instructions now. Thanks.

      Reply
      • What a shame! I’d love to see a picture of the cake when you’re done

        Reply
  39. Thanks for your recipe. I used the same amounts but in 8inch tins so it wasn’t so high. Worked fab and everyone impressed.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Lisa! I’d love to see a picture of it?

      Reply
  40. Thank you so much for this recipe! I am not very good at baking but when I saw the rainbow cakes I knew my daughter would love one for her 3rd birthday. I did a search and was so relieved to find your UK version as converting a US recipe was way beyond me!! I pretty much followed your recipe but used much wider tins so my cake ended up a lot shorter with thinner layers.

    The reaction I got from everyone at the party was amazing, and I have had lots of appreciation over at Instagram too. I pinned this post to my pinterest board and have directed people to look at this post if they have asked!

    Thank you so much for making my daughters birthday cake such a success!!
    hope the link below works!

    http://instagram.com/p/XNOOkqufhq/

    Reply
    • I can see it, well done it looks amazing!!!! So glad it went well and everyone liked it :D

      Thanks so much for letting me know

      X Kerry

      Reply
  41. thank you so much for the recipe. made this for a friend’s bachelorette party earlier today and it was a hit! my cake may have leaned over did but it still turned out great! the small pans are a good idea too loved how cute the cake turned out.

    thank you so much. xo.

    Reply
    • YAY! So happy it was a success! What a great friend you are making that for the party :D

      Go team rainbow cake!

      Reply
  42. My new favourite website! Cannot wait to try the cookie dough brownies, Strawberry Milkshake and Coconut cupcakes! I have made this Rainbow cake for my boyfriends birthday and it is amazing! Thank you so much as I couldn’t find any UK recipes, you saved me!!!! The layers didnt rise properly as i’m having an oven problem but the finished result is below! Thank you so much xxx

    http://instagram.com/elouiserosetaylor

    Reply
    • Thank you Elouise, what a lovely comment! Will follow you on Instagram to check out the cakes!

      Reply
    • It was a huge success! Not sure if you managed to see the picture?

      I was also wondering if you have ever used the Giant Cupcake moulds? (The big brand is ‘Big Top Cupcake’) I have one and normally just double a recipe for a Victoria sponge which seems to be a bit hit and miss! Wondering if you’ve ever tried it or created a recipe? As all I can find is American box mix recipes and where’s the fun in that?!

      Reply
      • I haven’t yet – I need to follow you on Instagram which I will do, then I can see all your cakes!

        I do have a mould but have never used it yet. It’s a silicone one and baking that much cake in one seems inherently a bit risky/hit and miss to me. What’s the issue – not done in the middle but overdone on the outside?

        Reply
        • They normally cook quite evenly but there is a l

          Reply
  43. Hi Kerry. My daughter, who turns 10 on 11th April has asked me to make her a rainbow cake for her party. Found your exciting receipe, which I can’t wait to make. Just puzzled over the food colourings – you say NOT to use the liquid dyes, why is this? Why are the gels better? Thanks Kirsten

    Reply
  44. Hi Kirsten here again! I do not have that much knowledge on food gels. I have been looking on ebay at them and I am now confused!!!! Please can you tell me if there is any difference between Sugarflair Food Colouring Paste Gel Colours and Sugarflair Food Colouring Gel Paste Icing Colour.

    Reply
    • Hi Kirsten, I explain why gel colours are better in this post - and there’s also a link to the sugarflair gel colours that I use in there. Not sure what the difference is between gel paste and paste gel, but the ones I’ve used are on the link. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Thank U. Read your post and have now ordered my gels. Will let you know if all the kids are impressed with my baking next week!!!

        Reply
    • Hi Kerry and Kristen! I made a rainbow cake based on this recipe’s quanities (6 egg cake) and made some tweaks. But with the food gels/paste – they are the same thing. I went for Classikool colours as they were cheaper but exactly the same as sugarflair. I spend ages choosing colours as it is so hard to tell what they will be like, but I was happy with the selection in the end! Daffodil Yellow, Neon Red, Neon Green, Neon purple and Baby Blue. Each layer was a bright vibrant colour.

      Reply
      • Thanks! Where did you get your Classikool colours from?

        Reply
    • Amazon!

      Reply
      • Ah great, will check it out!

        Reply
  45. They normally cook quite evenly but the silicone ones are better in m opinion as the top usually cooks quicker than the base! Mine has an insert for the base which creates a dip in the middle for filling! Think I might have found a recipe in a certain cake magazine if you want me to email it to you? My Instagram is elouiserosetaylor!

    Reply
    • Thanks Elouise – that would be fab! I have requested to follow you on Instagram now :)

      Reply
  46. Wow wow wow :D

    Reply
  47. Thanks for this recipe, works wonderfully! :) I doubled the quantities as I think the pie cases I bought were larger than the ones you used, I have ended up with one gigantic delicious rainbow cake! BTW – genius idea using tinfoil pie cases.

    Reply
    • So kind of you to say, thank you!! Your rainbow cake must have been ENORMOUS! My mix would barely fit in the food mixer!

      Reply
  48. Great cake looks surprisingly simple. Yikes I said it!!!!! now it will all go boobies up!!!!!!! What size are these cake tins 8 or 10 inch

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa – these wilko’s disposable ones are actually just 6 inches across – one of the reasons my cake is so tall! You can use a wider case, but 6 inches was all I could find in disposable, and I don’t have 6 cake tins!

      Reply
  49. Hiya Kerry, I did the same as one of the other ladies and doubled it and it was spectacular. I’ve since done this a few times but stuck to the smaller size one. I’m known as the rainbow cake girl.

    Reply
  50. thank you so much – made this yesterday for a friend’s birthday and was blown away by the collective gasp from the room as the birthday boy pulled the first slice out! it looked utterly spectacular and was so simple to make. I bought the sugarflair colours on your recommendation and am hugely impressed as all the other ones I’ve tried have been really disappointing. thanks again!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment Simon! I’m so happy your cake was a success :D

      Reply
  51. Hey! I just made this last night. I ran out of icing sugar so left it over night in tin foil and this morning is sooo moist and so yummy (i had a sneak taste) i can’t wait to get the frosting on, such a great recipe. So easy. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thanks Laura! So happy it turned out great for you :)

      Reply
  52. Hi Kerry.

    Thank you so much for this, was making the good food one and its rubbish so needed to find a good recipe. All the review look good so about to start, one quick question how big here you cake mould:/foil flan cases?

    Thanks
    Sarah

    Reply
    • Hey Sarah, the one I used are 6 inches which is why the cake is so tall. If you can find say 8 inch ones, you’d have a thinner cake more like a lot of the ones you see online, but 6 was all I could find :)

      Reply
  53. Just wanted to say I made your cake for the first time the other day and it came out so well…might’ve been beginners luck but just wanted to say thanks for posting! : )

    Reply
    • Amazing ! I’m so pleased it went well, thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  54. Kerry you are a star!! Thanks for the UK tips where we prefer to bake our cakes rather than using cake mix!!!So you are positive no dowels???? Also do you know what inches the fab disposable cake tins were. Thanks Sheri

    Reply
    • Hi Sheri! You’re very welcome! :) definitely no dowls – it should stick together well when you add one layer at a time then let it set in the fridge.

      The disposable tins I had we’re just 6 inches so its a very tall cake

      Reply
  55. Hi, random visitor here, I came across your posting as I was searching for a rainbow cake recipe (daughter wanted it when she saw it on the BBC magazine but given its terrible reviews, I needed an alternative recipe). We made it for her 9th birthday and it was such a hit, like I’ve never seen before. The whole cake disappeared in 10 minutes! Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Thank you Rie! So pleased you found my recipe and it went down well! Thanks for visiting :)

      Reply
  56. Just finished my last two layers – I originally used half the mix as suggested, but then looking at the photos realised my tins are much bigger. I was nervous about it being really tall (It’s actually going to have a second, although smaller tier, and travel nearly three hours literally across the country), so I added half again (three quarters, basically). I should have used the amounts you originally outlined, which would have been fine for my sandwich tins.

    Also, my red layer is much thicker than the rest because I eyeballed it…and failed. Anyway, I used sugarflair colours and was fine with the grape violet, but I did add a bit of Christmas red to the mix just to liven it up a bit. Excited to decorate it!

    Reply
    • Hi Jess, I’m glad you got along well with the recipe! I’d love to see a pic when you’re done?

      Some of my layers were uneven sizes too, I think the only way around this is to weigh your mix, but I’m too laissez-faire to bother with that!

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  57. Made this for a 3 year old’s birthday, it was a Big hit! Thank you so much for the Sugarflair recommendation, I managed to get 6 pots for £12 and they’ll last a long time! the only thing I did differently was change the cream cheese frosting to a strawberry buttercream and it worked fantastically! I’ve been asked to make another one next week! Amazing recipe. 10/10 !! :)

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for your comment Charlene! I am so pleased it turned out well for you! Totally agree re the gel colours, they seem like a lot for one cake, but actually they will last you quite a while!

      Love that you’re making another one next week – rainbow cakes are addictive! xx

      Reply
  58. Hi there,

    I’m making this tomorrow, and want to try with the disposable cake tins. How did you get them out of the tins when they were cooked?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Katy – same as any other tin, just grease them, either with butter or with a spray like the Dr Oetker one. Mine slid straight out when turned upside down. Hope your rainbow cake goes well!

      Reply
  59. I have made this cake today just got to ice it looks good though

    Reply
    • Awesome! Good luck!

      Reply
  60. Hi awesome cake if I made the batter and let it sit while the some cakes are baking is that ok as I have a small oven or will they not rise?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Zain, thanks for your comment! Good question. It’s inevitable when making rainbow cake that the cakes are sitting around while you’re colouring the batter and filling the tins, but if they’re going to be waiting the full cooking time of the cake (in my experience this was only about 15 minutes but would vary depending on the size of cake tin), you will probably want to halve the mix, make three colours, and then start again to make the other colours. I do this quite often, just using the same mixing bowl.

      Reply
    • Hi Zebeh! You can indeed use any gel food colourings in this recipe, and Wilton ones are generally really good. Good luck with the cake!

      Reply
  61. I’m using full fat milk instead of semi. Hooe it doesn’t turn out a disaster!

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda – that should be absolutely fine!

      Reply
  62. Made this for my girlfriends birthday this week and it came out great and tasted really good too. I chose to use 20cm tins rather than 17cm ones as I wanted a wider, flatter cake and if was to do it again I would probably up the cake mix by about 50g. I had three cake tins so made it in two batches and that made the whole job more manageable. As it says in the blog though the real key ingredient are the food colourings, they may be expensive but you really dont use much (just don’t spill the orange one all over your wooden table like I did!). Thanks for the recipe and if you are interested here is how my cake turned out: http://instagram.com/p/dGpVzIoPL6/

    Reply
  63. This was made for my daughter’s 6th birthday and it was a massive hit. A teeny bit fussy because of the separate tins and colouring but it was worth every second- the cake is absolutely beautiful and was delicious too – which was my wee worry.. My layers were thinner than in the pictures here and I preferred that look as otherwise I think the cake is too thick. Otherwise, can’t fault it.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Gail! So happy it turned out well for your daughters party!

      Reply
  64. This is a very clear recipe, it’s not half as difficult as I thought and the cake was not only a huge success visually, it tasted delicious too!

    Reply
    • Thank you Gail! Very pleased you had success with the cake!

      Reply
  65. Wow! I made this cake today and it looked (and tasted) amazing :-) Thank you for such an easy to follow recipe that really does work!

    Reply
  66. Made this cake for my daughters 1st birthday. I’ve never ever baked a cake before so want expecting it to be any good. It was fab!! I had to double the recipe though because it didn’t make enough batter at first. I tried one cake and it was too flat so once I’d done this it was simple. Great tip with the flan cases too. Brilliant recipe.

    Reply
    • So happy you had success with this as your first ever cake! Well done!

      Reply
  67. Hi Kerry, I am making this cake for a 1st birthday party and did a trial run of it today. I followed the recipe exactly but the sponge layers were really thin (about a cm each). What have I done wrong? Should I double or triple the sponge ingredients. I used 20cm cake tins. On the plus side the colours look amazing. Thanks, Laura

    Reply
    • HiLaura! I’m not sure what 20cm is in inches but this recipe should work for up to about an 8/9 inch cake – although the layers will obviously be quite thin if you go for a bigger tin. Did you add the self raising flour and baking powder?

      If you want the cake to be taller on future you could definitely double the recipe

      Reply
  68. Are the measurements above for the entire 6 cakes? I could only get 3 thin cakes out of the measurements?

    Reply
    • Hi Laura – yes they are and it gives me 6 pretty thick layers using 6 inch tins – what size tins were you using? Even if its up to 8/9 inch there should be enough for 6 layers, although it might not look like much batter, they rise up in the oven due to the self rising flour.

      Reply
  69. Hi Kerry

    Thanks very much for your Rainbow Cake post! I really wanted to make one after I saw the one in the BBC Good Food Magazine but was a bit put off by mixed reviews so was a relief to find the link to your website! I’ve taken your recomendations and ordered the sugarflair colours from ebay and I intend to get some disposable tins from Wilco’s tomorrow. For the cake itself I intend to use a tried and tested Victoria Sponge from the Vegan Society website (rather than convert yours, which I’m sure would work equally as well). I’m a bit concerned though that this cake will look amazing but be a bit huge and well boring, just being vanilla and ‘butter’cream/fake cream cheese spread covering. So I was thinking about flavouring the layers to match the colours, but i was trying to work out what to use that would match the colours, the flavours would go together and would be natural flavourings. So i saw what you said about using lemon/orange/lime zest/juice to flavour, but i couldn’t think what else to use, so was I thinking about using food flavourings (preferably a natural range) and i have seen a few ranges on ebay (LorAnn, Beau, etc.) and I wondered if there was a range that you had used and could recommend?

    If not no worries

    Lou

    Reply
    • Hi Lou! So pleased you found my site and it helped you! A vegan version sounds great, I’ll be interested to see a picture of what you make!
      I have only really used synthetic flavourings in the past, of these I can recommend silver spoon (sold in supermarkets) and the small bottles of synthetic flavouring sold in cake decorating shops are generally very good too.
      If you want it to be all natural, you could flavour your cakes with some puréed strawberry for the red layer, orange zest, lemon zest, lime zest, puréed blueberries and blackberry/plum for the purple layer? It shouldn’t make a difference to the colour and you’d only need a couple of tbsps to give a subtle flavour.
      With my cake, though it was plain, it did taste delicious! You could also flavour the whole thing lemon or just the cream cheese- I was never sure what the combination of so many flavours would taste like, but definitely fun to find out!

      X

      Reply
  70. Hey Kerry! Thanks a lot for your post. I made the cake yesterday for a Christening and it was a huge success! The colours came out great; I had some issues with the icing being too runny though and the layers wouldn’t stay still. I think it has to do with cream cheese having more liquid in Argentina. I solved it by covering the cake with fondant. Anyway, thank you for your detailed post, it was most helpful! xx

    Reply
    • You’re welcome Mercedes! I’m really pleased you liked the cake, sorry to hear about the cream cheese issues! :) xx

      Reply
  71. Hi Kerry,

    I make this cake last week for the Macmillian coffe morning at work. It was so much fun to make and went down a storm! I used normal Victoria cake tins so there were slightly thinner layers but still added up to a fairly huge cake. I used Lakeland’s food colouring which i found to be pretty good and gave very vibrant colours. I did however use a basic butter icing for putting the cakes together and the outside and then decorated with Smarties. Thank you for the recipe!

    XX

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for your kind comments – so pleased you liked the cake!! I bet it looked lovely with Smarties!

      Reply
  72. Hi Kerry,

    Reading comments and your advice about this cake. I am planning to make one on Monday and hoping it will turn out rainbow like yours. Any advice for a beginner baker? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi there! I’d say read my FAQs post on the Rainbow Cake, and then let me know if you have any questions – tweeting me @kerrycooksblog is probably the fastest way to get in touch!

      Reply
  73. Good morning, I made the 7 layers last night (little one wanted pink as well….) The little Princess would like a rainbow and a Princess on top but I would also like to cut a circle out of the middle of the middle 5 layers and fill it with chocolate coins – do you think it will still hold? Also, how do you get the sprinkles to stick to the sides!!??
    I had so much fun making the cake and what an easy recipe
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment Nathalie, very pleased you had success with the cake – 7 layers, wow!! I’d love to see a picture if you have one?

      Reply
      • It’s in the freezer at the moment but I’ll post a photo when it’s finished. I’m going to give the coins in the middle a go.

        Reply
        • Thanks my dear!

          Reply
  74. Thanks for the brilliant recipe, I made the cakes today and will assemble it tomorrow for my son’s birthday! It will be covered in fondant icing and topped with fondant Angry Birds! So excited! Cannot wait to see his face when we cut it open!! Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Charlotte! So happy you liked my recipe :D

      Reply
  75. Cake looks great, hoping to make for my daughters birthday. Just wondering if you know the diameter of your flan tins? I have bought some that are 9inches wide. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thanks Dee! The ones I used were 6 inches but 9 should work fine, you will just have thin layers, but that’s more normal as mine were exceptionally thick!

      Reply
      • Thanks Kerry. That is just what I wanted to hear!! Will let you know how I get on. Dee

        Reply
  76. Hi, this looks great, your instructions are fab, simple & just how I would talk it through. I’m making it next week, might make my cakes & freeze them then ice the cake the day before – how long would it keep do you think if I made it fresh, 2 days ok? Be hard to find a large enough air tight container

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Lucy! The cake layers should be fine for two days- I would wrap them in layers of cling film – at least two and individually, not together. They should keep well out of the freezer for two days, but I would definitely freeze if it was going to be any longer.

      Reply
  77. Cake was a massive success! I made it a bit bigger – I was worried it wouldn’t serve everyone. I made the 7th pink layer and cut a circle out of the middle 4 layers and filled it with chocolate coins – I went a bit OTT on the decoration, my daughter wanted a Snow White on top with a rainbow and a number 4. I did all this and then went a bit mad with Princess Sprinkles on the sides….transporting the cake to the party was very a nervous experience. So many people said ‘did you make that, really?!’ So easy to make and massive wow factor!!

    Reply
  78. This is amazing! Cannot. Wait to try!! Thank you for sharing with us.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much!! Hope you have lots of fun making it :)

      Reply
  79. Hi, I’m going to make this cake for you sons 2nd birthday but was wondering if I could freeze the cakes before assembling them ?? Thinking I don’t have enough hours in the day, the day before his birthday ?? Many thanks x

    Reply
    • Hi Katie! You can indeed freeze them, just cool each layer thoroughly and wrap tightly in clingrilm (a couple of layers). Freezing them will actually help them to be less crumbly and easier to stack too.

      Reply
  80. Hi there Kerry. I’m from Malaysia and I would like to ask if it is okay to use liquid colouring for this cake ?

    Reply
    • You already asked that and I said no – you need concentrated gel colours for a good result!

      Reply
  81. Am going to bake this cake for our anniversary

    Reply
  82. Hi Kerry, I’m planning on making this cake in Tuesday for my brothers birthday, it looks great! Do you think the recipe is big enough to use 8 inch round tins? Thanks so much for your advice, I’ve already got my sugarflair colourings in the post! Xx

    Reply
    • Wonderful! Yes it definitely works as I have made it myself in 9 inch tins. I would recommend popping each layer into the freezer (still in the foil baking cases) for 20 minutes before layering the cake as it can be a little delicate. Have fun baking it!

      Reply
  83. Hi, does your cream cheese frosting recipe make plenty for between each layer and all around the sides as well? Thanks xx

    Reply
    • Hey Jess – it does indeed!

      Reply
  84. Loved the cake last time, and making tomorrow for my cousin’s birthday! When looking at it, I didn’t think I’d even come close to making it (I’m 13); but it turned out gorgeous! BIG HIT WITH THE FAMILY, kids and adults! :)

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Amelia! I am SO pleased you made it successfully! And at 13 – that’s just amazing! Well done! xx

      Reply
      • Thank you! It’s great to find a simple recipe that you don’t need complicated skills to make :) my friends and family were vry impressed- they couldn’t believe I’d made it myself!

        Reply
  85. HI Kerry , Im to make this cake next week. I was wondering what cream cheese did you buy for the frosting.

    Reply
    • Hi Serena – good luck with the cake! I always use tesco or sainsburys value cream cheese and the results are always great

      Reply
      • Thank you for your help.Its my sons birthday next week going to try and make this cake. This is my 1st time making a cake like this , hope it go well. when u buy the food colouring online how long does it take to come?

        Reply
        • It will depend on where you buy it from – I’m sure there will be be faster delivery options available – there are on most websites!!

          Reply
  86. Hey Kerry! This looks awesome. But I have one question, do you think I could make this gluten-free with Doves flour at all?

    Reply
    • Hi Meli! I’ve only made it with regular flour myself but I’m sure It’s worth a try! I’ve had some really tasty cakes made with doves!

      Reply
  87. Hi there,
    I want to make two rainbow cakes size 7inch (18cm) round shape. Do i have to double the recipe or just stick with your recipe, then i split each layers? And is it okay to use normal full cream milk instead of semi-skimmed? Please advise me :) Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Hi Ami – the original recipe is for a 6 inch cake so you will need to double it for two 7 inch cakes. Semi skimmed, whole or skimmed milk can be used interchangeably – it’s just about loosening the batter up so use your judgement. Good luck with the cake!

      Reply
      • So this means that I should just use your recipe here, am I right? Because you said that you doubled the original recipe and baked in 6inch size but you ended up with a very tall size cake. Just to make sure if i get this right :)

        Reply
        • :-) no I think you should double it as you want two cakes – right? Or just make it twice

          Reply
  88. Hi! This looks AMAZING and next week on Thursday I have a cooking exam for two hours and I was wondering do you think I will be able to do this all in time? I have two hours exactly so I’m wondering will I be tight on time or not?

    Reply
    • Hmm! I think that might be tight! The Cake itself is fine in that time but you ideally need cooling time between cream cheese layers for them to set. Also the cake can be a little crumbly when first out of the oven though you can mitigate this by popping it into
      The freezer. It’s v ambitious – I definitely can’t say it’s doable for sure in two hours!

      Reply
  89. Hi kerry
    I am thinking of making this cake for my friend. I was wondering, is the semi-skimmed milk an absolute must or you can use whole milk?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi There – any kind of milk, or even water would work – you’re just looking to loosen up the batter to where its a normal cake batter consistency

      Reply
  90. Hi Kerry, made a rainbow cake yesterday for friends moving to Australia. Can’t wait for them to cut into it…thanks for the recipe :-)

    Reply
  91. Hi- i have been looking for a good rainbow cake recipe for my daughter’s 2nd birthday on xmas eve!! I need to make this dairy free so she can eat it…do you think it will still work out ok if I sub the butter for Vitalite (dairy free spread) or PURE sunflower spread and thin the mix with soya milk? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Anna, what a lovely birthday idea! They sound like good substitutes as long as they behave similarly to butter / milk. Water can be used if the mix needs thinning too, but it’s really a ‘wait and see’ kind of thing – it may not do, with the vegan spread.

      Please do let me know how you get on!

      Reply
      • I’m going to try…will pop to wilkinsons to get the disposable trays as I only have 2 and I’ve ordered the Americolour violet as I have the rest of teh gel colours required….fingers crossed…if i make this on Thursday/ Friday, do you think it will be stale by Sunday!?

        Reply
  92. Hi, If I make the sponge with layered cream a day or two ahead of the party do you know if the colours from the sponge will affect the white layers of cream? I just thought maybe I would not get the pure white layer in between if made up to days ahead of party. Have you experienced this before? Thanks Sara

    Reply
    • Hi Sara, are you talking about cream cheese frosting? There shouldn’t be any issue as I’ve never seen that happen.

      If you’re talking about fresh cream, it may well make the cake soggy after a few days, not sure about the colour as I’ve never used fresh cream, but it’s unlikely

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Thanks, I will give it a go and see what happens. It will be in the fridge for about 36 hours before I pull it out for the party. Just don’t want to decorate and sort all the party food out at last minute.

        Reply
  93. I have just returned from my daughters 4th birthday party for which I made your rainbow cake. I used 8inch tins and didn’t change the quantity and though that some of the layers were too thin. When I cut into it it looked amazing (if I do say so myself :)) thanks so much for the recipe, it tastes awesome too! Here is a link to a picture of the cake. I used ready roll icing on the outside instead!
    http://s29.postimg.org/odx86iavr/image.jpg

    Reply
    • Well done Rebecca, it looks SO awesome!! I love the decorations on top – fabulous!

      Reply
  94. Hi,

    I want to make this cake for my son’s first birthday next week-only problem is he has a dairy allergy. Could you advise on any kind of icing that would hold the cake together well? I can use butter/milk substitutes for the actual cake, just a bit stuck on the frosting as cream cheese seems to be a huge part of it!

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hmm, what a challenge! It would need to be really close to the texture of regular cream cheese to give a similar result, so if you can find or order this that’s probably best. Otherwise, you could try using alpro plain yoghurt, but it’s a lot more liquid than cream cheese so the icing would be quite runny.

      Reply
  95. Hi Kerry

    I am going to make your rainbow cake for my hubby’s 50th next month. I want to decorate the outside to look like a tin of paint…..will I be able to make the cake a few days in advance and once I have a base layer of cream frosting on and chilled, would I be able to use sugarpaste to then cover the cake for the finish I want.
    Also I will be using a fan oven so do you recommend I still turn the cakes whilst cooking and what temp would I put my oven on?
    Your cake looks amazing, hope I can make a cake as fab

    Reply
    • Hi Tracy, that sounds fine re the sugar paste – just make sure the cream cheese layers are completely chilled, at least overnight

      Re the fan oven – if say it’s normally lowered by 20 degrees but go by your knowledge of how your oven behaves. You will just need to keep a close eye on them and rotate them on the shelves as necessary

      Reply
  96. hey i want to make this cake but instead of cream cheese frosting i want to use buttercream how much buttercream would i need pleeez helpppppppp

    Reply
    • Good question! I’d start by googling recipes for similar size cakes that use buttercream and see how much they use. Although as long as you have plenty of butter, icing sugar and vanilla in the house it doesn’t matter too much as you can always make more if you run out.

      Reply
  97. hello

    this cake looks great. can you please answer a few questions of mine? i am totally new at baking but I wana give this cake a shot for my son’s 2nd birthday on 14th feb.

    my oven isn’t big enough to accommodate all the 6 layers at a time. so while i bake 2/3, the ones baked earlier, shall be kept covered or what? I mean i dont want the layers baked earlier to dry out.
    secondly can i bake it a day ahead? if yes, it shall be left in refrigerator or on room temperature?

    thank u so much for ur time.

    Reply
    • Hi Sana, You can indeed bake three layers at a time. Once the first batch are done, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool on the side, but don’t cover immediately or they will go soggy with the steam.
      Once they’re completely cool, about a couple of hours later, you can remove from the tins and wrap them in clingfilm (tightly) and store them in the fridge. This is actually a better method than cooking and assembling them the same day, as the cakes are very crumbly when they’re first baked.

      Hopefully that answers your questions, you don’t need to worry much about dry cakes, although the layers are thin, the cream cheese frosting keeps everything very moist.

      Reply
  98. Thanks so much for this recipe…. its beautiful! Can i bake this the night ahead? Do i need to put it in the fridge because of the icing to keep? xx

    Reply
    • Hi Megan, thanks for your question! Baking it the day or even a couple of days before is a great idea as the cake is easier to handle and stack.

      The cake should go into the fridge to set between layers of frosting, and once it’s done, can be kept in or out of the fridge depending on how warm it is in your house. I would keep it out at this time of year in the UK.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  99. Hey Kerry! Your cake looks great and I would like to prepare it for my b-friend 30th bday ;)
    I found here in a supermarket (I live in Germany) some food colors, a set of 4 (green, red, blue and yellow), each of which looks like a little tooth paste tube. On the box they say it is good for marzipan but also every other food.
    Do you think I can use them? Would some for marzipan work well on your cake dough?
    Thanks a lot! Otherwise I will purchase your colors on e-bay.

    Lydia

    Reply
    • Hi Lydia! Thank you!

      On the colourings, they need to be gel colours like the ones in the links on my post – are they similar? If so, then I’m sure they’ll be fine!

      You could indeed cover the cake in marzipan if you wanted to.

      On the cream cheese, it’s exactly like philadelphia cream cheese. I normally use a cheaper supermarket version of philidelphia, but go for whatever cream cheese you prefer.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  100. Oh and sorry another question. Can I use Philadelphia as cream cheese? Or what else?
    Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Philadelphia is perfect!

      Reply
  101. Hi Kerry,

    I trialled this recipe as I am on cake baking duties for four 3 year olds having a joint party. I’m not a baker at all and I followed the instructions to the letter but using larger dishes as we’ll have lots of guests. The cakes came out very thin and uneven. There was not enough cake mixture to make a good size 6 cakes in the 9 inch dishes.
    What would you recommend? I need a larger cake than the 6 inch ones.
    Thanks in advance,
    Beverley

    Reply
    • Hi Beverly! That’s strange, I wouldn’t expect them to be uneven, but it sounds like you definitely need to make more mixture for the size of cake you need -I have only made it with 6 and 8 inch tins. Try doubling the original mix (by hand in a really big bowl or two bowls) and then using any leftover for rainbow cupcakes?

      Reply
      • I think I’ll do 1.5 times as double will be way too much! My friends are happy to consume my trials – can’t bear to throw it away and don’t want to eat it all ourselves!

        Another question – can I use jam to make the layers stick? Does it have to be these cheesy frosting? I’m a big novice at this cake baking malarkey! I thought a low sugar jam may be better than using frosting with lots of sugar in it. On top of the food colouring!

        Reply
        • Jam should be 100% fine, the cream cheese frosting is a preference, and because the white frosting makes the cake stand out – but you can use absolutely any filling and topping you prefer. Good luck!

          Reply
  102. Hi,
    Google has directed me to your page and I have now saved it as a favourite :)
    I have just ordered the purple and orange (I have the others) so will be camping out in the porch waiting for the postman!
    I can’t wait to make this cake next week. I’m not going to tell my husband what the inside is like- ill leave it as a surprise when he goes into work.
    Eeeeeek!!! I’m so excited! Such easy steps to follow- thank you!!

    Reply
    • Good luck with the cake Jade! I’m really pleased you find the steps easy to follow, don’t hesitate to tweet me @kerrycooksblog if you have a question on the day! And if you can make the layers the day before you plan to frost them, it will be much easier to handle them.

      Reply
  103. I made this today and whilst I wasn’t entirely happy with the colours, I suspect it was because I used coconut palm sugar instead of caster sugar. Tasted amazing though :)

    Reply
  104. Hi Kerry. could i use this recipe as is with the cream cheese frosting and then cover the whole cake with fondant over the cream cheese? if So could i do everything the day before, cakes, frosting, fondant etc and then just decorate the fondant on the morning of the party? thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Bridget! I’ve never tried that, but it looks like it should be okay. I’d recommend starting to make the cake the morning of the day before if possible, as the frosting layers need time to set firmly enough to hold fondant on top of them.

      Reply
  105. Hi, your cake looks wonderful, am going to try to bake one for my daughter’s birthday this week. just a few questions, was the batter of the cake hand mix or machine mix? And also was the weigh of one large egg? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Henry,

      I made my rainbow cake in a stand mixer, the amount of mixture just about fits into my model. I don’t weigh my eggs so I just recommend you use large. Good luck with the cake!

      Reply
      • Hi Kerry,

        Thanks for your reply, anyway, what is the weight of the large eggs there, cos, the large eggs here in Singapore is about 60grams each, is this ok? Thanks for your help! Will let you know my results. :)

        Reply
        • Noted, I will just use the large eggs from my supermarket. :P

          Reply
  106. I’d tried the BBC Good Food recipe on my daughters last birthday and it was a disaster. The sponges were really thin and tasteless. I tried again this year, thinking maybe it was something I’d done wrong and it was the same. So I tried this, at 1am! Not only does it look amazing it tastes great. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Chrissy,

      So glad I could help! I can’t believe the BBC published that disasterous recipe! You are a super mum, baking at 1am!

      Reply
      • Hi kerry
        My frosting has come out of the fridge rock hard.
        What can I do to salvage it as it makes spreading so hard, pretty much impossible.

        Reply
        • Hi there – as it comes to room temperature it should become much more liquid – although I’ve never known frosting with cream cheese to go hard, persay, just firm, but still easily stir-able. Perhaps your fridge is too cold? Mine is normally on about 4 degrees.

          Reply
          • Hi kerry
            I’ve now made this cake a few times just making sure it wasn’t a fluke and trying to get everything perfect
            I have tweaked the frosting a little as it was so sweet with little flavour which could have been my cream cheese (aussie cows)
            Q: do the ratios need to remain the same with the butter and cream cheese? Ie: if I double the cream cheese to 500gm do I then need to double the butter to 200gm to keep the consistency right?

          • Hi there,

            Yes that’s right – as long as the ratios
            Are more or less the same it will be fine. The exception to that is you can add less icing shaft but if you do the consistency will be runnier and not frost the cake as well

  107. Hi Kerry, thank you for posting such a fantastic recipe online! I intend to increase the ingredients by 0.5 times and bake a 8 inch, 9 layers cake. Do you think I can still layer them up?

    Reply
  108. Hi
    Can the sponges be frozen if made in advance?
    Jo

    Reply
  109. I made this cake for a joint 3rd birthday party my daughter had with 3 other 3 year olds. After 2 trial runs with circle foil tins (testing the amount), I made the cake with 23cm (9 inch?) square tins. I almost doubled the mixture and did them in two batches. However 2 burned so I did a third batch. This enabled me to do 7 layers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet!).

    I also chose to use chocolate butter icing instead as I figured the kids would prefer it.

    It was a huge success! I can’t figure out how to attach photos to show you. Thank you for this! Beverley

    Reply
  110. Hiya Kerry thanks for the recipe your cake looks fab!! I am going to try it next weekend for my sons birthday. I’m a bit nervous though because am an amateur at baking cakes

    Reply
    • Good luck Yasmin! Give me a tweet @kerrycooksblog if you get stuck :)

      Reply
  111. This looks great, making it in few weeks time, I’m just worried that it’ll be too heavy and fall or sink? Would it be best to use the cake supporting stick things?! (Like chopsticks) that you put in to secure all the layers together? I used them on a topsy tervy cake to hold it all together, as after I am covering it with fondant and decorations?

    Reply
    • Hi Danielle – I’ve never had any issues with not using dowels, the cake has never sank or fallen for me. Are you putting very heavy decorations on top?

      Reply
      • Not heavy decorations but will be using fondant icing then some decorations x

        Reply
        • I don’t think you’ll need any dowls then x

          Reply
  112. Please can you tell me if the sponges can be frozen?

    Reply
    • Hi Joanna. Ive made this cake and I made it a little earlier than required and had no trouble freezing the cake layers (un iced) and then defrosting it again when needed. I made sure I wrapped my layers in freezer proof baking paper and then popped them in a large tupperware box. I defrosted them slowly the night before in the fridge and they were absolutely fine afterwards.

      Reply
      • Thanks for helping Joanna out Victoria!

        Reply
      • Hurrah! Thanks Victoria! Operation Rainbow Cake can commence before we go on holiday – just need to make room in the freezer now!

        Reply
  113. Hi Kerry, I will attempt to bake the cake tomorrow for my son’s rainbow birthday party. I’m not sure if I will involve him in the process or if I should keep this as a suprise but I am sure he will love it anyway. I’m thinking though to add some coconut to the sponge for a little twist. Have you ever tried that? Or will the sponge become flat?

    Reply
    • Hi Sonia! Were you thinking of dessicated coconut? 100g or so should work, but you’ll probably need to add more milk than my recipe states, until the consistency is a normal victoria sponge. Dessicated doesn’t normally give a lot of flavour though in my opinion.

      Reply
  114. Thank you for your wonderful recipe & helpful instructions!! I nervously attempted it at the request of my 5yr old girl for a rainbow cake, and it worked out beautifully, everyone loved it & 1 happy birthday girl had so much fun ‘helping’ me!! :)

    Reply
    • Thank you Annette – I’m so happy you had success with the recipe!!

      Reply
  115. OMG I’ve just made this cake and it has turned out so well. Fantastic recipe :0) thank you so much x

    Reply
    • Brilliant to hear! Thanks for your feedback Emma!

      Reply
  116. Your rainbow cake looks amazing!
    I tried making it today with liquid food colouring (you can imagine how that didn’t work out hurhur) with my 8″ pan and strangely I didn’t have mixture just for four layers…….have I gone wrong somewhere? Or is it just a case of needing to increase the amounts.

    I’d love to know since I’d love to make your beautiful cake to surprise a friend for her birthday in May./ ^^’

    Reply
    • Hi there! Thank you! There should be enough for an 8 inch pan, although it may not look enough – the layers would be very thin, around a cm each once baked (and obviously even less before they’re baked!).

      I’d suggest you increase the quantities a little so that you’ve definitely got enough –

      400g self raising flour
      400g soft soft butter
      400g caster or light brown caster sugar
      7 large free range eggs (I tend to go for happy eggs)
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      up to 40ml semi-skimmed milk

      should do it!

      Reply
  117. Hi Kerry, thank you for sharing your recipe, it looks fantastic and is easy to follow. I have wanted to make a rainbow cake for a long time and finally have a suitable occasion coming up! I just have a question: do you think the cake will freeze okay before icing? I plan to make the cake layers at a weekend and then ice it the day before its needed, which is at the end of the following week.

    Reply
    • Hi Sam!

      I’ve frozen this cake and it does indeed freeze just fine. Just bake, cool, remove from the tins and then wrap the individual layers in clingfilm and pop into the freezer, and remove from the freezer the day before you want to frost and allow to defrost in the fridge.
      On the day before its needed, I’d start the process of icing it early on, making the frosting and chilling it in the fridge first, and then starting to build and chill the layers of cake. With the outside of the cake, the more thin layers of frosting you can apply and then chill in the fridge, the better it will look!

      Reply
      • Excellent, thank you Kerry! I’m about to order the food colourings so I have it ready to go for next weekend :-)

        Reply
        • You’re welcome! Give me a tweet if you get stuck while you’re making it

          Reply
          • Hi Kerry, I just wanted to say that my cake turned out fantastic! It went down very well and I will definitely make it again – lots of great comments from everyone! My profile pic is a photo of the results :-)

          • Well done – I’m so happy to hear it! The picture looks great :-)

  118. Sorry if this has already been asked but I would love to make this for my son’s birthday but I was wondering whether the cake was strong/stable enough to support a fondant icing rather than the cream cheese frosting? I’ll use the cream cheese between the layers but wanted to use chocolate fondant icing to make it part of a two tier cake (I’ll be using posts to support the top tier). Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Emma! I’ve never put fondant on this cake myself, but it’s certainly a sturdy cake! I’d just make sure that the cream cheese frosting between the layers has had plenty of time in the fridge to fully set, and perhaps apply a thin layer of cream cheese to the outside to help the fondant stick.

      I’d love to hear how you get on!

      Reply
      • Thank you I will do – it’s the surprise element of the cake for my son so I hope I manage it ok!

        Reply
        • Good luck!

          Reply
          • Hi Kerry,
            I’m going to make this for my daughter’s birthday. I’m going to bake the cakes 3 days in advance and chill in the fridge. Do the assembling and crumb coating the next day and the final coating of icing on the 3rd day. Will that be ok?

          • Hi there,

            That sounds absolutely perfect! I’d make the frosting on day you make the cakes as well, and pop in the fridge to chill also. Give me a shout on twitter if you need help!

  119. Hi Kerry, I’m about to make this cake. Have a question. Your recipe doesn’t state Baking Powder. Should I add it or not? Thanks.

    Reply
  120. Hi Kerry

    Just wanted to say that the cake turned out brilliantly, thank you so much!

    I made it two tiers with each tier having five layers rather than six using ten inch and six inch pans. I doubled the ingredients which gave me more than enough batter to make five layers for each tier. Once I’d stacked and frosted each tier I used dowlings to keep the top tier in place.

    I decided against fondant instead opting for chocolate buttercream icing which worked brilliantly. I did a crumbing layer and then added a second layer of the frosting. It was then decorated with black fondant bones, pawprints and dog tag to turn it into a Scooby Doo cake!

    The children at my son’s party absolutely loved the surprise of the rainbow layers when the cake was cut open!

    Reply
  121. Hi Kerry. This cake looks amazing and I’d like to make it for my daughter’s 8th birthday. I have 8 inch sandwich pans. How long should I bake them for? 15 minutes? She’s having about 20 children at her party, so am wondering what size to make this cake. I might need to make two, or am wondering about using a 9 x 13 inch cake pans to make a huge rainbow cake. How long to bake in a 9x 13 in pan? Probably need to double the recipe? Yikes! I can’t wait to make this cake! Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle, hope you’re well! Thanks for your questions.

      15 minutes sounds about right for 8 inch pans, but as with all cakes, you’ll be able to tell they’re done when the edges are slightly brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a tester or toothpick comes out clean.

      On the bigger cake, I don’t have any experience baking it this big or how much you’d need to increase the quantities by (definitely at least double). If it were be I’d probably triple the mix to err on the side of caution and then make rainbow cupcakes with any leftover. This might be helpful?

      Reply
      • Thanks Kerry! I’ll give it a go!

        Reply
        • Hi Kerry. The cake turned out great! I actually just used 8 inch cake pans. It really looked and tasted amazing. thank you!

          Reply
  122. Hi Kerry,

    Your rainbow cake looked amazing!!! I’m planning to make one for my son’s 3rd birthday as a surprise and have a few questions. Can I use the same amount of ingredients for an 8 inch tin? My oven can only fit 1 tin at a time to bake, will the rest of my cake mix be okay sitting there waiting for each to be baked? Lastly, I planned to ice it with swiss meringue buttercream, what do you think? Any other input will be much appreciated too as I hoped to succeed on my very 1st attempt (don’t really have a lot of time when I have a screaming 2 months old lg as well…hahahaha). Also, I will be getting them colours through you :) xx

    Reply
    • Thank you Amy! I’d recommend scaling the recipe up slightly to make an 8 inch cake to be on the safe side. Try

      400g self raising flour
      400g soft soft butter
      400g caster or light brown caster sugar
      7 large free range eggs (I tend to go for happy eggs)
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      up to 40ml semi-skimmed milk

      Leaving batter sitting on the side for a long time isn’t ideal, as the gluten starts to work instantly and can make the cake tough, so bear this in mind. You could make half of the mix, do red orange and yellow and then do the other half?

      Tweet me while you’re making it if you get stuck and need help! xx

      Reply
      • Thanks for the measurements Kerry! Didn’t know you will be getting married soon!! Are you excited? My toes, fingers and everything else crossable are crossed for you for a sunny wedding :0) xx

        Reply
        • Aw thank you so much Amy!! Mine too! xx

          Reply
      • Hi Kerry! I hope you had a lovely wedding :)
        I’ve baked all the layers for the rainbow cake and they are sat quietly (and secretly) in my freezer. On to make the frosting now but I have a few questions.
        1) Can I make it a day in advance?
        2) Will the frosting hardens if I chill it in the fridge for too long? If so, how do I make it runnier?
        3) Once I’ve iced the whole cake, can it leave it out of the fridge uncovered?
        I’ve also used Sugarflair’s Lilac in replacement of the Electric Purple and it turned out great! Hope to hear from you soon! :) xx

        Reply
  123. Hello Kerry – heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp. I’ve been asked to make a rainbow cake for a friend’s wedding cake. But instead of sheets of cake made with the different coloured batters, I saw a cake that was vanilla but had a shape of a rainbow in the centre of it inside the cake. Of course, now I can’t find the post on Facebook. I’ve Googled everything I can think of to find this inside rainbow shaped cake but to no avail. Any ideas of how to do it?

    Reply
    • Hey Christine!

      I think you mean this? You’d need to make some rainbow cake, then crumble it up and bind it with some frosting to make the layers, inside of the vanilla cake… I think!

      Reply
  124. Have just ordered from Amazon – free delivery too – cos friends made this for my son’s birthday and was SOOO jealous I hadn’t seen it first – thank you for recipe

    Reply
    • Heehee – hope you have success with it too Wendy!! :)

      Reply
  125. Hey, is there another option instead of cream cheese? could I use just normal frosting? (I love this cake, but HATE cheese ;) )

    Reply
    • Of course, it’s your rainbow cake! Use whatever frosting you would prefer. A white, stiff buttercream would work well

      Reply
  126. Made this for a charity cake competition with a twist – I sprayed some M&Ms gold and put into a cut-out in the middle 2 layers…the gold at the end of the rainbow! So, I called it a Rainbow treasure surprise cake…and I won the heat. Now I have to make it again for the final :-) I bought Wilton colours from Lakeland only £2 each, just red, yellow and blue then mixed orange, green and purple staring with the lightest colour first and adding the darker colour a tiny bit at a time to get the shade I wanted. Perfect, and the purple looked good too. Thanks for recipe and tips Kerry x

    Reply
  127. Made your cake today, it was awesome, I only had 8 inch tins but it made it plenty high enough and tasted so good worked a treat. Birthday girl was very happy.

    Reply
    • Fabulous, thanks for letting me know Lesley! So pleased it turned out well!

      Reply
  128. Hi Kerry!

    I just want to ask if there is any substitute on the skimmed milk? Planning to make this cake next weekend. :)

    Oh btw, I loved how detailed your tutorial on this and I hope I’d be successful on making this especially with the frosting. I tend to overbeat it that’s why it ends up runny.

    Thanks for your reply! :)

    Reply
    • Hi, thanks for visiting my blog!
      The milk in the recipe is just to thin the batter slightly as it is usually a little thick. So you could use any type of milk, cream, yoghurt, or even just water!
      Thanks a lot, very glad you find it useful! Cream cheese frosting is tricky but always making it the day before and leaving it to set in the fridge always helps.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the reply and for the tip! Will come back to post a picture when I have made it.

        Thanks again!

        Reply
  129. I have made this cake today in foil flan cases, and it turned out fine, however next time I make it, I will lower the temperature to 160 degrees for 15 mins! They were a little crispy around the edges! I’m not sure what it will look like when cut or taste like, but considering I haven’t baked in years, it was very straight forward. Thank you

    Reply
    • Glad it worked out well for you Tracey! That’s why I recommend keeping a close eye on the cakes and switching them around in the oven if you start to see them getting remotely browned. They should still taste delicious though!

      Reply
  130. This is the only rainbow cake recipe I used to make for my 2 y.o. son’s birthday cake and it came out perfectly! Thank you!

    Reply
  131. Hey there, I just made a variation on your cake for my daughter’s 11th birthday party. I used 20cm (I think that’s 8 inch?) cake tins, and increased the quantity of batter by about a third. Instead of making 6 bowls, I just weighed the total batter and divided by 6, and then did the batches by weight. The Baking tin in Ottery, Cape Town had the Americolor gel colours, and they recommended the electric colours, I see you used some of the same. I’m totally with you on the not over-baking! I did that with my lower layers, and eventually settled on about 12 minutes per layer.

    The big variation, however, was that my daughter requested the chocolate icing I use on my Sacher torte (original recipe from Susannah Blake’s ‘500 cakes’), so that was 720g (9 80g bars) of Bourneville dark chocolate and 250ml of fresh cream, double boiled together. I used this to join the layers and then coat the cake, hiding its true colours (the surprise element was a hit!). You can see the result on flickr!

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment Peter, your cake looks great – love the look of that chocolate icing!

      Reply
  132. Thank you Kerry for your wonderful blog. I was searching around for ideas for my Daughters 3rd birthday cake. I came across photos of the rainbow cake, having previously seen it in a teashop in Manchester. However, I was disappointed to read the cake looked amazing but lacked on taste. I can say your blog persuaded me to have a go anyway. I was, as you said, a little intimidated by making the cake, however your blog was so informative and easy to follow and it enabled me to make an absolutely amazing looking and truly delicious cake. Thanks so much. Everyone was very impressed! I didn’t have time to order the purple gel from America, but I wasn’t disappointed with the vibrancy of the Grape Violet at all. I was concerned it would all be a little sickly, with so much frosting and cake layers, but it wasn’t at all and a perfect balance of cake and frosting. So happy I went for it!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the lovely feedback Jen! I’m so happy you found the recipe easy to use – that’s exactly what I was hoping it would be and that it would help people who didn’t think they could make one. Well done!

      Reply
  133. Wow…I finally did it for my class team for the end of term on the hottest day of the year…frosting was literally melting off so had to keep putting it the fridge. However, I have to admit I did a little jump with a flap of my arms when I saw the cut slice and my class team clapped and all reached for their camera phones……AWESOME!!! Thanks soooooo much for sharing this recipe. It really wasn’t difficult once I’d got my head round it! And it stayed moist for a full week too!

    Reply
  134. Amazing colours – I’ve never tried a ‘rainbow’ cake before because always thought that basic sponge should be white. But your colours have turned out out brilliantly even on a ‘yellow’ sponge.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much! Yes the gel colours really are super vivid and no need for a white sponge at all! The cream cheese frosting even turns out pretty white even with regular yellow butter, or you could also use a white butter like lurpack.

      Reply
  135. I am from Colombo, Sri Lanka. Loved ur recipe. It was very easy to do n came out beautiful. The colours were fantastic wish i could post u a pic. The gel colour i used was wilton . Made it for my younger daughter’s 3rd b’day coz she loves colours . Very happy .thank you .
    I used an 8″ round tray.
    Marshmellow fondant n cream cheese frosting . :)

    Reply
  136. Hi! I don’t have a self rising flour. What alternative can I use? I’ll be baking this later. Thanks! :)

    Reply
    • Hi Lou – good news, you can make your own self-raising flour by combining plain flour and baking powder. Add 2 tsp of flour for each 150g of plain flour and sift/sieve together well.

      Reply
  137. Hi Kerry,
    I cannot make cakes, they always slump in the middle, even cupcakes so I just buy them. I wanted something different for my husbands birthday next month and having found your recipe, I am actually going to attempt to bake this cake! You make it look achievable, even to rubbish cake bakers like myself. Wish me luck ;-) xxx

    Reply
    • Good luck Louise! Let me know how you get on and tweet me if you have any questions! @kerrycooksblog

      Reply
  138. Hi,

    Your cake looks amazing. I am planning to make rainbow cupcakes for my daughters upcoming birthday party. Do you think your cake recipe would be suitable for cupcakes? Also do you have any tips to help to make even coloured layers or should I not even try to get them uniform?

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Hi there,

      I have made rainbow cupcakes before – see here.
      Those weren’t even, but I think you could do that with cupcakes, but what you’d probably need to make the batter thinner so that it spreads out a little more in the case. I’d add more milk, until it’s of a pourable batter consistency – about as thick as a thick pancake batter. Then just spoon tablespoons into the cases, starting with purple, blue, green etc. You’ll probably end up with this kind of effect. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Hi again,

        Thank you so much for your response. I made the cupcakes using your recipe. They were very good. The colours rise up the sides so next time I’m going to try baking each layer for 1.5 minutes each before adding the next layer of colour, something I read on another website. It will be interesting to see what happens. By the way, I stuck to your layer cake recipe and didn’t make it any thinner. I used the Americolor electric colours in all but the red and they are beautifully vibrant, especially the purple and blue. I would highly recommend giving them a try.

        Reply
  139. Hi Kerry

    after reading this i tried to purchase the colourings. but did you know the Purple – Electric purple by Americolour you suggested is not suitable for human consumption its actually only suitable for non edible crafting. it is not EU citified so please can you include this on your blog as most people who make these cakes do them for their children and their families and it has got preservatives which is very bad for health. other than that your blog is fantastic and i’m going to probably try it with vilton colours. x
    Nish recently posted…Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat BarsMy Profile

    Reply
    • I did know that! It’s not true that they have preservatives that are bad for health (preservatives are in most foods), the reason is that they contain a colouring which is restricted (not banned) in the UK as, like lots of colourings, it’s thought it could cause hyperactivity in children in large amounts, although it is allowed in certain products sold here (red glace cherries wouldn’t be red without it).

      Given all that, I don’t feel it’s an issue – Rainbow Cakes are of course, unnaturally coloured, and contain artificial E numbers which some people prefer to keep away from their children. But that choice is up to them.

      Reply
  140. Hi Kerry, may i know if I need to bake a cake for around 30 – 35 pax, how much of the ingredients can i use? Thanks so much in advance.

    Reply
  141. Hi May i also know can i add colouring to the frosting as well?

    Reply
    • Hi Shirley – you can indeed use the same colouring to colour the frosting!

      Reply
  142. Hi Kerry,
    Love the look of the cake and have followed your instructions to the letter, using the wilkinson foil tins etc! Given there’s less batter than I would normally be putting in a tin, I can’t work out if my cake’s have risen like expected or something’s gone wrong…. They’re only about 1cm high at best! So I’m not sure whether to carry on tomorrow with assembling them or start again!
    Thanks, Rachael

    Reply
    • Hi Rachael! 1 cm is about normal – when sandwiched together with the frosting between each layer, the cake will be higher, so don’t panic! If the cakes look well-baked, then I’d proceed with frosting them. If they don’t look risen properly or look claggy/wet then I would start again.

      The only thing that could have caused that to happen is an issue with the self-raising flour, so check to make sure it’s well in date. Also, try to work quickly once you’ve mixed the flour into the batter – the quicker you can get the cakes into the oven, the better.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kerry!
        They do look well baked, skewers came out clean and they had started to pull away from the sides. I’ll check the flour. I may have taken too long with colouring them too, it did seem to take me a while! Thanks for the help and quick reply!
        Rachael x

        Reply
        • No worries! I’m sure it’ll look great when it’s all decorated

          Reply
  143. Wow, I made the cake for my son’s 2nd birthday party today. It really was as easy as you say, your instructions are brilliant, and when I cut into the cake, there were gasps of delight! Everyone thought I had slaved away making something complicated, I didnt let on how easy it was :-)
    Thanks so much for your brilliant website xxx

    Reply
  144. Hi Kerry,

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe & tips. I must say, this is the best blog I have ever visited cos what you have put up here is what you get exactly! I increased mine to 400gm as suggested and the 6 layers fitted perfectly in the tiny 8″ pans. I wasn’t in a rush – so I baked my cakes a day earlier, prepared the frosting 10 hours before & left ‘em sitting in the fridge before putting them together into a pretty cake. The layers were not high & the icing between each layer was ‘thin-ish’. And it was gone in just 5 hours. Everybody loved it and it is just awesome. This is gonna be my keepers. Thank you!!!

    Regards,
    NJess

    Reply
  145. Hi Kerry,
    I am going to attempt making this cake for my son’s 2nd birthday this weekend, I had searched the web for recipes the past few weeks and am so glad I stumbled onto your website, until I found your recipe I was going to do the Wisk Kid/Martha Stewart rainbow cake and Swiss Butter Cream, after I tried making a small sample last week I was disappointed as it awfully sweet and butter heavy and the sponge tasted very nothingy, I too think I prefer a cream cheese frosting and hope that your cake will taste as yummy as everyone has said it does and also as it looks, looking forward to making it.
    Can I ask you as I am in Australia I haven’t been able to find disposable flan dishes to bake in, all I have are 9″ cake pans will this be ok? and do you think the quantities of your recipe will be enough for a 9″ cake, also if I made the cake and frosting a couple days in advance what is the best way to go about doing that, freezing the cake or is fridge only ok, and the cream be better made in advance or better on the same day as cake assembly! sorry for so many questions! wish me luck!!
    Thank you for your website it is fantastic, so inspirational, makes me want to bake, so glad I found it!
    Thanks Arijana

    Reply
    • Hi Arijana! Thank you for your comment.

      Sorry to hear the whisk kid / martha stewart cake didn’t taste great, but glad you found my recipe!

      To make a 9 inch cake, I would scale the recipe up slightly, using these measurements

      400g self raising flour
      400g soft soft butter
      400g caster or light brown caster sugar
      7 large free range eggs (I tend to go for happy eggs)
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      up to 40ml semi-skimmed milk

      And that should give at least 1cm tall layers which will make for a nice tall cake.

      On the frosting side, I’d make a double batch of the recipe I give to be safe.

      Ideally when putting it together, if say you want to serve it at a party on saturday night, I would personally bake the cakes on thursday evening, which will take about an hour. Once the cakes were completely cool, I’d remove from the flan cases and wrap in clingfilm (individually) and pop into the freezer. Fridge is okay, but you’ll find them easier to frost well if they’re frozen. Then on Friday morning, I’d make my cream cheese frosting (use this method) and stash it in the fridge, and then towards lunchtime, remove the rainbow cakes from the freezer and begin the frosting process. The cakes being frozen will mean that even though they’re super fresh, they’re less likely to break up or crumble, and you won’t get many crumbs in the frosting. Stack and frost the cakes and add a thin layer of cream cheese to the outside, then allow it to set in the fridge for about an hour. You’ll need to repeat this process 2-3 more times, until you’re happy with the coverage, before adding sprinkles/smarties to the outside, and leaving it in the fridge overnight for a final set.

      On saturday, I’d then remove from the fridge about 2 hours before I wanted to serve so the cake could come up to room temperature.

      These are approx – you could also easily bake on the friday morning and freeze for less time, and you could also easily condense the whole frosting process to after work. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Oh thank you for replying so quickly and taking the time to give me such great advice and scaling up the quantities, am now so very glad I asked as I may have headed for a disaster otherwise!
        I will make the cake on friday to serve on sunday then!
        Again thank you so so much my little man will be so excited when he sees the cake! xxx

        Reply

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