Rainbow Birthday Cake in Pastels

rainbow cake

A slice of Rainbow Cake

This isn’t a true rainbow cake because it doesn’t have the colours of the rainbow, in order. My daughter asked for a rainbow cake for her birthday and we had seen a pastel layer cake in a magazine that she really liked – I thought it would be good to make a pastel rainbow-style version for her.

One of the great things about this cake is the outside. A plain exterior hides a colourful interior and by the time her birthday came she had forgotten that she had asked for a rainbow cake.

rainbow birthday cake

Pastel sprinkles and buttons with strawberry pieces on a white buttercream hide the interior

So it was a real surprise when we cut into the cake:

rainbow cake

A colourful interior!

The brightly coloured rainbow cakes are amazing and are often made with layers the same depth you would use for a two layer cake. So they create huge towers of cake. I wanted a cake that wasn’t significantly larger than a normal cake so did thinner layers and what it lacks in size it makes up for in style, I think.

I made a basic vanilla Victoria sponge with 6 eggs, which I would use to make an 8″ three layer sponge cake. Because I wanted each layer to be exactly the same, I weighed the mixture and divided the total by six, found six bowls and measured out equal amounts of cake mix.

I then coloured each bowl with a different gel colour. I have four 8″ tins so I baked four of them and when they were done I did the last two.

rainbow cake layers

Coloured layers ready to bake

Because I used gel colours I had to do a lot of mixing to get an even colour and it changed the texture of the mix quite significantly. When the layers came out of the oven they had not risen as much as I was expecting and I had a bit of a panic… Not only was I worried the layers would be too thin, I was also afraid they would be tough (which luckily they weren’t). If I made these again I would definitely use liquid food colouring!

I made vanilla buttercream for the filling but was worried there would be too much icing for the amount of cake so I alternated the layers of buttercream with layers of homemade raspberry jam:

pastel rainbow cake

Alternating layers of buttercream and jam

I gave the cake a quick crumb coating with a thin layer of icing to try to avoid too many crumbs ending up in the icing. It worked well as when I put the proper layer on there weren’t really any obvious stray crumbs.

I used the wrong end of a teaspoon to mark out “12” and then carefully sprinkled freeze-dried strawberries into the little channels:

freeze dried strawberries

Strawberry sprinkles

Although I was intially worried about the layers being too thin, in the end I was really happy with the size of the cake. And while it is not technically a true rainbow cake, I think this type of cake makes a brilliant birthday cake. Hopefully the birthday girl felt the same!

Happy 12th Birthday Eden, love you!

rainbow birthday cake

Happy Birthday Eden!

Categories: Baking, Birthday cakes, Cakes, Recipes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. This cake is just fantastic and happy birthday to your lovely daughter 🙂

  2. That is so cool! Love it! And Happy Birthday, Eden. xx

  3. It tasted as beautiful as it looked ! Well done, and Eden was surprised.

  4. Wow!! Looks amazing. Happy Birthday Eden!

  5. Happy 12th Birthday Eden! Your Mom sure made you a beautiful cake! Everything about it, looks and tastes awesome!

  6. lovely cake! happy birthday to Eden!

  7. Wow! What a beautiful cake! I love rainbow cakes and yours looks great! That would be a fantastic birthday cake! Happy birthday to Eden!

  8. Lovely cake! The dried strawberries is a clever idea.

  9. Really lovely. Happy Birthday Eden !
    And congratulations Mummy on making such a tasteful yet cute cake. Perfect balance. Mx

  10. It looks beautiful! I’m sure your daughter was over the moon with delight. Happy Birthday to her.

  11. Oh that looks gorgeous! And happy birthday Eden 🙂

  12. What a fun idea! Love the colored layers. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  13. That is a beautiful looking cake, it looks like it came out just as planned, the layers are perfect – wow your daughter is one lucky girl! Stunning.

  14. happy belated birthday to your daughter! the cake looks divine!

  15. Lovely to find a rainbow cake that doesn’t look artificial!


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