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A delicious and bright Rainbow Cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, a pink drip and sprinkles! 

Oh hellooo most requested recipe OF ALL TIME. I am not even joking, this recipe has been requested over and over again and I am ~finally~ posting it on to my blog! It’s taken a fair old time as I wanted to get it right!

I love all things cake, we all know this, but a rainbow cake is something else. The absolutely insanely bright colours, the sweet taste, and all things cute take it to a different level entirely! It is just glorious.

So… I will say from the beginning that this recipe uses lots and lots of ingredients, and it is a humongous cake! Like, its 6 layers of cake, and all the buttercream in-between the layers, and all the decor on top! 

And I will also say from the beginning… YES I KNOW THE RAINBOW HAS SEVEN COLOURS. This cake, is only six. When baking this cake, I just find making 6 colours so much easier, and you can see the obvious differences. I am not bothered about the seventh! 

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple… the main colours you need in your life. I did slightly compensate for the lack of seven colours by adding in a pink drip on the outside but we will get to that later. 

For this cake, I did make probably the biggest one tier cake ever. It’s about 8-9” in height, and uses so many ingredients. Because it is a six layer cake I decided to make it in two batches. So three layers at a time, so therefore you still only need three tins! 

I made the cake a 600g mix, so that it’s super easy to split into two batches. The best way is to weigh 5-6 medium eggs, and get as close to 300g as you can, for example 312g, and then match the butter, sugar and flour to that weight. 

Then, you mix it all together like normal, and then split into three bowls. It doesn’t matter which colours you do first, but I did red, orange, and yellow together, and then green, blue and purple.

The oven temperature is a bit lower than normal, as I don’t want the sponges to brown too much. This also comes somewhat from the brands of colours that you use! Red food colouring, orange food colouring, yellow food colouring, green food colouring, blue food colouring and purple food colouring. for the sponge mixtures!

Once my sponges are baked, I leave them to cool completely and freeze them wrapped in clingfilm over night so that they are easier to decorate the next day – but this bit is completely optional of course!! 

For the buttercream, you do use 750g unsalted butter and 1500g icing sugar, which technically is a little obscene but the amount of servings from this cake is huge so please don’t be a negative Nelly about the sugar content! 

I make my buttercream like normal by beating room temperature unsalted butter on its own for several minutes to make it really loose and supple, and then I gradually add in the icing sugar! I make sure to beat this for quite a long time. 

You can do several methods to get whiter buttercream, by beating the butter on its own for a lot longer, or using a smidge of purple buttercream to counter act the yellow, but I love using this white food colouring! 

I add a little at a time and keep beating it very well to make sure its really white and bright to contrast against the colours of the sponge! Making the buttercream whiter is completely optional of course though. 

When I am starting to decorate the cake, I dollop a few tablespoons of buttercream onto each sponge and smooth over, making sure to get the order of the colours in the sponges correct of course…! 

Once you have layered each sponge you need to do a crumb coat by using as little buttercream as possible around the edges to seal in the spare crumbs from the sponges! I then chill the cake for a while to firm it up before adding another layer of buttercream on top. 

I use a large metal scarper to decorate the sides of the cake, and a small angled spatula to also help cover the sponges – and its much easier and you are going to get a smoother finish using these as well! 

Just as I have finished the buttercream I carefully press in some rainbow sprinkles to the bottom of the cake for a bit of colour and I just love the design – be warned, sprinkles will fall off at this point so beware! After this, I chill the cake again! 

For the pink drip, I use white chocolate ganache with this pink food colouring added in. Its a super bright colour so you don’t need add too much and it means you get the best coloured drip ever! 

I then pipe on the leftover buttercream and add on some more rainbow sprinkles and the best cake ever is finished! I am in love with the sponges and how bright and pretty it is – but the key point to make, YOU NEED TO USE GOOD QUALITY COLOURS.

Using supermarket colourings, will NOT work as well, or maybe at all… so please don’t waste ingredients by doing this! The colourings are 100% worth the investment as they last for so long! Any questions, leave them below in the comments and happy baking! x

Rainbow Cake!

A delicious and bright Rainbow Cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, a pink drip and sprinkles! 
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Category: Cake
Type: Cake
Keyword: Rainbow
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Decorating Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 20 Slices
Author: Jane's Patisserie

Ingredients

Cake

  • 600 g Eggs (weigh eggs in shell) (about 10-12 medium eggs)
  • 600* g Unsalted butter/stork
  • 600* g Caster sugar
  • 600* g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple food cololuring

Buttercream

  • 750 g Unsalted butter (room temp, not stork)
  • 1500 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp White food colouring

Decoration

  • 180 g White chocolate
  • 75 ml Double Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Pink food colouring
  • Rainbow Sprinkles

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 160ºc/140º fan and line three 8"/20cm springform tins with parchment paper and leave to the side for now.
  • Weigh 5-6 medium eggs in their shells and get as close to 300g as possible (e.g. 312g)
  • Then add 312g of butter and caster sugar to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, and 312g of self raising flour and beat again until smooth.
  • Split the mixture evenly into three bowls, and add three of the colours each (for example, red, yellow and orange.)
  • Bake the cakes in the oven for 30 minutes (or until baked - test with a skewer).
  • Once baked, leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool fully.
  • Repeat this process again and use the other three colours (for example, green, blue and purple!). Once all the cakes are baked, leave them all to cool fully.
  • (You can wrap the sponges in clingfilm once they have cooled and freeze over night to make decoratin easier but this is optional!)

Buttercream

  • Once all of your cakes are cooled, you can make the buttercream.
  • Beat the room temperature unsalted butter on its own for a few minutes to soften it and make it supple.
  • Gradually add the icing sugar beating very well each time until its all mixed in.
  • Keep beating and add the white food colouring and vanilla extract and beat for a few minutes.

Buttercream Decoration

  • Using a 10" cake board, add your first sponge. I start with purple as its the bottom colour.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of the buttercream on to the sponge and smooth over. Repeat this with blue sponge, then green, yellow, orange and finally red at the top.
  • Using a small amount of buttercream, smooth over the sides of the cakes and fill in any gaps and create a crumb coat.
  • Refrigerate or freeze the cake on the board for an hour or so to chill and firm to make the next stage of decorating easier.
  • Once chilled, add on lots more buttercream around the sides of the cake with a small angled spatula, and smooth over using a large metal scraper until the sides of the cake are smooth like in the photos!
  • Carefully press some of the sprinkles into the bottom of the cake using the palm of your hand to create the sprinkle effect!
  • Once this has been done, refrigerate again whilst you make the drip!

Decoration

  • Add the white chocolate and double cream to a bowl and heat in a microwave in short 10 second bursts stiring well each time.
  • Once melted and combined, add the pink food colouring and mix until smooth!
  • Add the pink ganache to a piping bag and carefully cut off the end and drip down the sides of the cake. The more you push over the side of the cake with the piping bag, the further it will drip!
  • Add the leftover buttercream to a piping bag with your favourite piping tip and pipe swirls of buttercream onto the top of the cake (like I have done in the photos)
  • Finally sprinkle on some etra sprinkles and leave the cake to set in the fridge fully.
  • In the hot weather I store the cake in the fridge until it has been portioned.

Notes

ENJOY!

Find my other Recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.

62 Comments

  1. Nicole on July 25, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Hi Jane

    I showed this cake to my 4 year old and she is desperate to have it for her birthday this year. The only issue is we are having a party that consists over about 25 children plus at least 1-2 adults per child.
    If I dowel the bottom layer do you think it would work do a 2 tier stacked cake and do 2 layers of each colour sponge so the rainbow works across the entire cake.

    I would really appreciate any tips.

    Thank you so much

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 25, 2021 at 9:27 am

      Would both cakes still be 8″? I would say it is risky as it’s going to be tall and not that wide. It may be best to just make two if so!



  2. Sophie Barrett on July 23, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Jane!
    If I wanted to make it a 3 layer cake instead can I just half the recipe? Would the cake still be a nice size?

  3. Kirt on July 22, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Hello Jane,
    For the colourings, can you also use ProJel or does only the brands listed work?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 22, 2021 at 1:31 pm

      I’ve just listed the exact ones I use – some of them are progel! You can use all progel if you wanted, as they are a good brand! x



  4. Andrea on July 21, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Hi Jane, ive been eyeing to use this cake for my daughter’s birthday. Can i add flavor on each layer, like strawberry for the red, melon for orange, mango for yellow etc? How much do you recommend to put on each layer? When in the steps shall i add the flavor? Thank you so much.

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 21, 2021 at 8:45 pm

      Yeah for sure!! And how much depends on brand – usually they advise how much on bottles of flavouring. I would add it with the colour x



  5. Michelle on July 20, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Jane love your recipes and this cake and how vivid the rainbow sprinkles are! Could you tell me what brand these are please? I can’t find any this vivid when I search, thanks x

  6. Rima Radwan on July 12, 2021 at 5:05 am

    Hi Jane
    Would really love to try out this recipe,but I just want to check first after mixing the butter and sugar ,do you add the eggs 1 at a time or all together ? With the flour ?

    Thanks xx

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 14, 2021 at 2:26 pm

      I add all the eggs in with all the flour – if I do it one by one I will always say in the method x



  7. Shary on July 8, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Hi Jane, I am planning to do this tomorrow and Saturday for Sunday’s party (to give me much time to make it), just wondering if I can use the Ruby chocolate instead of white chocolate? Will that be similar measurements or ratio? Thank you.

  8. Gemma on July 7, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Hi Jane! Did you use the same 8inch cake tins that you’ve linked in previous recipes for this cake? Thank you! X

  9. Fiona on July 6, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Would you ever put jam in a couple of the layers under the buttercream or is that a no no?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 7, 2021 at 9:47 am

      You can, but its a risk where the cake is so tall that it might slide about a bit if you aren’t confident! x



  10. Deborah Gray on July 5, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    5 stars
    Hello Jane, firstly thank-you very much for sharing your recipes ❤
    I am making the rainbow cake but had to look back as I thought I had something wrong. Your amounts are 600g but then it goes to half the amount lol. Just thought I would tell you in case you didn’t know xx

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 8, 2021 at 6:43 pm

      On the post it explains that it is because you only make half the cake at a time – so the totals are 600g roughly, but for the first half you only use 300g x



  11. Gemma on July 5, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Jane!
    Could you please link the tins you used for the recipe? Are they the same ones linked in others such as the raspberry ripple cake? Hoping to make this in a few weeks for my boys 2nd birthday. Thank you for all your bakes, they have never failed and always taste amazing xx

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 8, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      Yes I did – but I also have a great blog post on all cake tins I use!! x



  12. Josie on July 4, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Hi Jane, I’m planning on making this cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday next week. I have a couple of questions; do you trim yourself sponges before layering? And presumably it’s ok to keep sponges frozen for a few days before assembling and decorating if trying to get ahead?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 7, 2021 at 9:51 am

      Hiya! I did not trim them (other than the purple one ever so slightly as it caught) and yes you can freeze for a few days easily! x



  13. Yasmin on July 3, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Hi Jane, thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I’m planning to make for my daughters birthday cake in a couple of weeks but wondered if you think it would be okay to use icing (only because I have some Hey Duggee figures I’m making to put on the cake) rather than buttercream? And would I still be okay to refrigerate the cake once decorated if it’s hot with icing

    Thanks so much!

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 3, 2021 at 12:20 pm

      I personally don’t refrigerate cakes with fondant icing on as it can make it sticky x



  14. Rachael Mc Closkey on July 2, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Hi Jane,
    Do I need to trim the edges of the cakes before I crumb coat?or just leave it as it is out of oven?sorry I’m not great at the decorating part 🤣🙈

  15. Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes on July 1, 2021 at 10:55 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing, this cake looks amazing, perfect for a party 🙂

  16. Jess T on June 28, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Hi, I am hoping to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday next week but I was wondering whether this recipe would be suitable to make into a pinata cake or are the layers too thin to cut a hole in the centre of? Thanks!

  17. Jess on June 28, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Hi! I’m hoping to make this cake for my daughters birthday next week. Could I turn this into a piñata cake or would the sponges be too thin to cut a hole in & then stack?
    Thanks!

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 28, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      It would be worth chilling the sponges before cutting the hole out so they are easier to manoeuvre as they are relatively thin xx



  18. Hayley on June 28, 2021 at 5:50 am

    When you say to match the ingredients eg 312g – is that
    312 eggs
    312 caster sugar
    312 butter
    312 SR flour?
    Sorry I just don’t want to make all the effort to then ruin by silly mistake!
    Also I don’t bake often but am hoping to do this for my daughters birthday. Would you say this recipe is ok for beginners?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 28, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Yep exactly that. If 312g is the weight of the eggs in the shells, you match the weight with the butter sugar and flour!



  19. Helen G on June 26, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    5 stars
    I am NO baker, but I made this for my daughter’s birthday this weekend and it was SO GOOD! When she cut out the first slice there was a collective “WOW” from her friends . . . I used the exact colours as recommended and they came out so bright and fabulous, especially against the whitened buttercream. I was so worried that it wouldn’t look good because it’s my first attempt at anything like this, but it was honestly so straightforward and just took a little time.
    I struggled to figure out how to press the sprinkles onto the bottom with my hand so in the end I put them on the board around the bottom of the cake then lifted them with a butter knife and pressed them on to the sides of the cake.

    Thank you so much Jane for your recipes – I’m a hero to my daughter and her friends now 😉

  20. Laura t on June 25, 2021 at 8:29 am

    5 stars
    Gorgeous cake, I made for my boys birthday, used supermarket gel and came out better than expected but not quite as vibrant, opted for blue drip. One thing I could note is make sure you leave enough time for the drip to cool before putting the buttercream on.. I didn’t and unfortunately had some melting casualties haha fixed with a chill in the fridge.

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      Ahh maybe your ganache was thinner than mine – that can depend on the colouring as well! x



  21. Katie Finnegan on June 23, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Apologies In advance, because I HATE reading these kind of questions… but if you were to do it in 6 inch tins, would it be ache to hold itself up? Just thinking I’d love to make it but I’d have nowhere near enough people to eat one this big. Sorry again, I know you’re not here to make recipe adaptations, just curious if a 6 inch 6 layer cake

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      I would maybe use a central dowel for a 6″ one as it is less in diameter!



  22. Fiona Mckechnie on June 22, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Hello,
    How long do you need to leave it after decorating frozen till you can eat it? Thanks! Love all your recipes! !

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      By the time you have decorated it and left it in the fridge etc etc it should be fine to eat – depends how long you freeze the sponges for as that is an optional part of the recipe.



  23. Lisa on June 22, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    5 stars
    My daughter has been asking for a rainbow cake for a while so when I saw your recipe I thought I’d give it a go! Cake turned out perfectly and the recipe was super easy to follow. My daughter loved it thank you so much for the recipe 🙂🙂

  24. Chloe on June 21, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Jane,
    I’m new to freezing cakes. Do you recommend keeping the cake in the fridge once it’s decorated? And will the icing be ruined if the cake is defrosting? (Sorry if thats a silly question, I’m always hesitant!)

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Generally I don’t keep cakes in the fridge unless there is a fresh topping – but the cake would be fine in the fridge before it’s portioned, afterwards it will dry out. And freezing of the sponges is optional as mentioned on the post, you can just chill them for a bit.



  25. Chanelle on June 21, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe looks great! Im looking at doing a 4 layer drip cake! In a 8inch tin would this be enough for 4 layers?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      This recipe is in 8″ tins already – so do you want to do less mix? I’m not sure what you mean sorry.



  26. Nieka on June 21, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Jane
    Is there any way to make this cake gluten free?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Always worth trying gluten free alternatives and maybe xantham gum!



  27. Roxanna on June 20, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    Hello! When I used colouring previously in sponges I always struggle with it baking properly and it being to wet and dense. Any suggestions on how to avoid this?
    Thank you

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 26, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Use the colours I have recommend and linked as I do not experience this!



  28. Victoria on June 20, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Hi Jane! This cake looks amazing 🤩 I always seem to struggle with the drip and I wonder if it could be the type of white chocolate. Is there a type or brand that you would recommend? Thank you!

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 21, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Hey, I use Callebaut chocolate for drips xx



  29. Jenn Preston on June 20, 2021 at 10:22 am

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this for my daughters birthday next week, it looks amazing!
    Can I ask which food colours you used. I’ve found in the past that If you need to add quite a bit of colour it makes the cake taste nasty.

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 10:30 am

      All of the exact colours I use are linked in the post and on the recipe notes! I hope you love it!! x



  30. Karen jones on June 19, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    After taking the cakes out of the freezer how long do you leave them before decorating?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 9:40 am

      I decorate from frozen – I don’t thaw them!!



  31. Amy on June 19, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Hi, this looks amazing, I can’t see anywhere the make of the food colouring you use, could you please let me know which make you use.
    Thanks
    Amy

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 9:39 am

      They all are linked on the post, and in the notes!



  32. Susan Williams on June 19, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Which brand of food coloring do you recommend?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 9:38 am

      They all are linked on the post, and in the notes!



  33. Sheena Aziz on June 19, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane! I love your recipes! Excited to make this one for my daughter’s first birthday! Question- can I refrigerate the sponges instead of freezing it a day ahead of doing the buttercream icing? If I did freeze them how do you recommend defrosting them for decorating?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 9:39 am

      Ahh yay!! I just decorate from frozen – I don’t thaw the sponges and I find it much easier! You can refrigerate them instead though but only for an hour or two to make it easier to decorate! x



  34. Maria Hilton on June 19, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Wow this rainbow cake looks like the dream!!! Might make this for my little girls fifth birthday! What rainbow sprinkles did you use?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 9:40 am

      I got these particular ones from America so you can’t get them easily, but its worth a google!!



  35. Beth on June 19, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jane,

    I made a celebration cake last week with a white chocolate drip. I turned to your recipes (as I always do) for all the elements of the cake. The drip was just white chocolate in one of your other recipes, no oil or cream added and I think you wrote it’s something to do with white being a different consistency to milk and dark. In this recipe though you do use cream. Can you tell me why? I’m trying to perfect my drip with every cake I make. Thanks!

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 20, 2021 at 9:42 am

      I do various different types of drip, but I wrote that on that post because often people will just straight swap the chocolates which doesn’t work! Either method works, but this one works quite well when adding colour!



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