Make the Perfect Rainbow Cake: 4 Tips for the Culinary Challenged

Rainbow cakes are fun to look at and fun to eat...but not always so fun to make, especially for the culinary challenged. Despair not. With these 4 tips you'll be making a rainbow cake like a boss in no time.


Rainbow cakes! They’re seductive, aren’t they? The spectrum of hues draws us in with promises of transporting our taste buds from a bland, colorless palate to the gastrointestinal equivalent of Oz.

Rainbow Cake: They Just Look So Good!

Studies show we are drawn to vibrantly colored food, that colors can enhance flavor, and even suggest flavor that isn’t even present. This is especially true when it comes to sweet, sugary treats. Think of Skittles. Would they be as delicious if their slogan was “taste the 50 shades gray?”  Probably not.

And Rainbow Cake Just Look Fun

Taste buds aside, rainbow cakes are just fun. Which makes them great for birthday parties. These cakes have it all…they are fun to look at. Even more fun to eat. And they seem like they would be fun to make.

Except when they look sad…really, really sad.

All those beautifully colored cakes on Pinterest, or the rainbow cake video above makes it seem so easy. Unfortunately for most of us, our inner culinary artist is more of a Jackson Pollock than a Bob Ross. If you fit into the culinary challenged category your attempt at making a colorful confections masterpiece for your kid’s 8th birthday party quickly becomes the opposite of fun. Especially when you care about the aesthetics, which you will. The point of a rainbow cake is aesthetics. No one wants to serve a heaping pile of cake remains resembling the carnage created by putting a bunch of care bears put through a wood chipper, like the Pinterest fails below.

rainbow cake

A light at the end of the rainbow

Despair not. If you are a person who wants to have their cake, and get others to eat it too, these 4 rainbow cake making hacks will give you the little help you need to nail it! Now your rainbow cake really can look like the one Martha Stewart made, (instead of how Martha Stewart’s cake would look after someone ate it, got food poisoning, and threw it up an hour later.

4 Hacks For Making a Rainbow Cake Like a Boss

  1. Select a white cake mix. Yellow cake mixes can mess with the coloring. White cake mixes, as well as white frosting, are the best mediums for food coloring.
  2. Cheat. There is nothing wrong with making life a little easier when making a rainbow cake. Pillsbury has come out with a line of Funfetti cakes, with various vibrant color mixes. Use those and you eliminate the need to divide and dye the batter.rainbow cake
  3. If making a layered rainbow cake, freeze the cakes before shaping and icing the tiers. Frozen cake is easier to work with, and will not crumble when cutting off the domes, or cause crumbs to mix in with the frosting when icing the cake.
  4. In fact, if you are freezing the cake, might as well freeze the layers of frosting that go in between each cake tier as well. Using wax paper or parchment, trace the diameter of your cake pan. Turn the paper over, and frost the area within the outline. Freeze. When the time comes to add frosting in between cake tiers, place a frosted parchment paper on the bottom cake layer, peel of the parchment, and add the top cake layer.