The burst of colours is what makes our world, this earth, so beautiful and so unique; providing us with visually stunning delights. Undoubtedly the colours of the rainbow fascinate us no less for their beauty and also since we do not happen to know where it originates and where it culminates. This element thereby adds a mystique touch to it. Add to that the fact that they do not manifest themselves often, makes their beauty all the more alluring! The uniform pattern that replicates itself, each time it beams across the horizon, is even more interesting i.e. the VIBGYOR. Doesn’t its beauty always tend to leave you in absolute awe?!

The monsoon has started to recede and the anticipation of the appearance of a rainbow across the sky led me to bake this rainbow cake. The other major reason why I decided to bake this cake was a looong held promise that I made to my daughter, which was to bake a multi coloured layered cake. She had wanted me to bake a multi-layered cake but I know I lack the patience, as of now, to bake a layered cake. And honestly, besides the patience issue there is also the question of me stepping out of my comfort zone. I have never made an elaborate cake and I feel burdened by the thought itself!! Perhaps someday soon in future when whipped cream will become easily available in Indiafingers crossed.

I had a tough time dealing with fresh cream (I used Amul) to whip and make the icing for the top. After beating it over an ice-bath I attain little success if any. Club with that the fact that this is my first ever cake with icing and it is evident that it is far from perfect (at least the perfectionist in me isn’t happy at all). The ordinary icing/frosting on the outside gives the impression of the cake inside being dull and edging on mundane but that is till you haven’t sliced the cake. As you cut through it and pull out that first slice, the mundane gets transformed to magical and awesome! Thankfully, my daughter was thrilled to see a freshly made cake with icing on it and squealed with joy…some solace there! The children especially love this cake and it is ideal for their birthday party.

My first attempt was a complete disaster with a capital ‘D’. I used my tried and tested recipe for the Chocolate Banana Zebra Cake but somehow it didn’t seem to work with this one. May be it was a case of over mixing the batter while attempting to get the right shade of colour. Although it was soft on the inside, the exterior was crusty.  With all the excitement with which my daughter and I had started out, the fun ended in utter disappointment. We thought it was best to give ourselves a cooling off period. Finally, with a little tweaking of this recipe, I managed to get it right yesterday and now I am ready to share it with you.

For the Cake

½ C (110 grams) Butter

1 C scant, Sugar (We like less sugar in our desserts and cakes so please adjust to taste)

3 Eggs

1¾ C Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

½ cup milk

½ tsp Vanilla Extract (you may use essence in case you do not have extract)

5 – 6 drops of each Edible Colours that you intend to use (I settled for Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange & Red)


Set the oven temperature at 170 degrees. Grease and dust or line two 6 inch baking tins/pans. Set them aside. Keep ready 6 or more bowls (depending on how many colours you are using for the cake)

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Keep aside. In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs & vanilla essence and beat for another half a minute or till they are well incorporated. Add the flour to the batter & milk to the batter and beat for a minute more.

Divide the batter in six equal portions (It was nearly half a cup each of the batter to make six equal portions) and add edible colours. Start pouring the batter by any colour pattern you wish to have. I followed the VIBGYOR (i.e. violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) but I had just 6 colors of the vibgyor.

Anyways, drop a few tablespoons of the 1st colored batter in the centre of baking pan 1 and over that the 2nd coloured batter. In this case, the purple went in first, then over the colour purple, was the colour blue, over the blue was green followed by yellow, orange and then red. Here you need to take care of the fact that as you keep pouring batter over each colored batter, the amount of batter going on the top will be less in amount. For instance, the colour purple was used in a more amount than the color blue (which went over the purple) and green was lesser than blue and so on and so forth. For the second baking tin, flip the color scheme. I flipped it from VIBGYOR to ROYGBIV. This way the colored batter amount will compensate itself.

Put the baking tins in the oven and bake till the cake is done. Once done, remove the tins from the oven and let cool for 10–15 minutes and then remove the cake from the tins and transfer them over a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cake has cooled down, trim it if it is not leveled and then we begin with the frosting/ icing.

Transfer one of the cake (upside down) on to the serving plate. (Cut butter paper or parchment paper in 2 inch braod and 6 inches long strips and tuck them just a wee bit around the sides of the cake so that the icing spills over it and once you are done with the icing job, all you need to do simply slip the paper away and viola the job is perfectly done! No extra cleaning around the serving plate needs to be done) Drop the butter frosting over the cake and spread it evenly but not around the edges. Gently place the other cake (top side up) over the frosting and very gently push it down so that the frosting comes all around the edges. Next, start with the topping. Plonk over the whipped cream all over the cake and smear it liberally around it too. With a palette knife, even out the icing over and around the cake. Decorate it as per your fancy and enjoy a slice of rainbow!!!

For Filling (Frosting)

50 grams Butter

1.5 tsp Icing Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)

Beat the butter & sugar till they are fluffed up and shiny.

For Top (Icing)

200 – 250 ml Chilled Fresh Cream (I used Amul brand)

1.5 – 2 tbsp Icing Sugar (sift it to remove any lumps)

½ tsp Vanilla Extract or Essence

Lots of Ice Cubes


Chill the bowl in which intend to whip the cream (use metal bowl) and also whisk attachments (use an electric one coz you will need to do a lot of whisking) for 20 minutes in the freezer. Remove from the freezer and transfer the cream in the bowl and get the equipment ready for whipping the cream. To make life easy, I placed the metal bowl over an ice bath i.e. over another bowl filled with ice. Whip the cream till it forms peaks. Then gently whisk in the vanilla essence and icing sugar till just incorporated. (I chilled it again for a while in the refrigerator before icing the cake)

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again!

Update (4 Sept 2014): I have been receiving inputs from some readers that when they baked this cake, the colors came out different or the shade was not as good as the one in the picture above. Please note that the color and shade will vary depending on the brand of colors, the quality of colors and the amount of color being used to make a particular color/shade. I have used a combination of Indian brand of colors (Marson & Viola) besides McCormick brand (someone got them for me from the USA) 

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30 thoughts on “RAINBOW CAKE

  1. Wow, rainbow cake- perfect splash of colors. Ah! reminds me of the 7 rainbows in saw all at same time.
    Last pic is awesommmme:)
    You must join us at saturday snapshots- look at the banner in my blog:)

  2. Oh WOW WOW WOW! This turned out SO beautifully! Sorry the first attempt was a disaster but it looks like this version was a huge success. YUM!

  3. WOW – This is a stunner! So glad you stepped out of your comfort zone – and made this cake for your daughter – it is gorgeous! I like less sugar in my cakes too so this would be perfect!!!

  4. Yeah seriously the whipped cream “issue” in India is the reason why I don’t make elaborate cakes. I bought in Austria now something called sahnesteif which can be added to fatty cream to turn it into super stiff whipped cream. I haven’t tried it yet but will do the test in the tropical heat. Do you want some?

  5. Delicious and beautiful rainbow cake, love the colors mingled there . kids always get enthusiastic when we make cakes.

  6. Wow . !!! Three cheers.. !!
    its so beautiful.. so meaning full with white cream thn cut into rainbow colors. . !! I love ur blog.

  7. The cake is Awesome! I don’t know whether I’ll ever dare attempt it, it really doesn’t look like something that a home cook can make. The colours are beautiful. Which brand of food colour did you use?

  8. stuning cake my kids would love it.i cant find food colors firstly and just two days agi i tried whipping amul cream which was a disappointment and its sitting in the refrigerator until i feel like using it in ny other ways.

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