Talk about a show-stopping dessert! Learn how to make a rainbow cake to add a pot of gold at the end of the dessert table—everyone will want a serving. What makes ours special is that the colors (and flavors) are made using JELL-O Gelatin. Following our tips for making a rainbow cake will help you make the perfect cake for your next gathering. We have more tips to learn how to bake a cake if you’re looking for even more tips.
Making a rainbow cake involves two 2-layer cake mixes. We specify white cake because that will give the best color possible. Each mix will make two layers, so you’ll need two 9-inch cake pans. You may want to check out our article on Baking Basics for more tips, but here’s a key take-away for rainbow cakes: To make getting the cake out of the pan a snap, grease and flour the pans, then line the bottoms with parchment. If you have four 9-inch pans it makes baking easier and faster because you can bake all four at once.
Divide the prepared batter from each mix in half, and color and flavor each half with 3 Tbsp. of JELL-O Gelatin. We used JELL-O Flavor Gelatin in Raspberry, Orange, Lime and Berry Blue for the cake we made. You can choose your favorite flavor, but if you choose Lemon, you'll get a pale, more subtle color. Measuring the batter carefully ensures even layers.
Your oven should be heated to 350°F. Place the pans on the oven racks with space between them: You want air to circulate around the cakes as they bake, because this will help keep the tops even. Cakes should bake 28 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in the pans for 15 minutes to set, then gently remove from the pans and cool on wire racks. It does take a while to completely cool a cake, and you shouldn’t frost a warm cake, so be patient.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million when it comes to how to make a rainbow cake. We have a how to frost a cake video that gives you step-by-step instructions to a perfectly frosted cake, rainbow or not. Take this amazing chocolate cake, for example, The homemade frosting is just one of the reasons it’s so special.
To get the cleanest slice when serving a rainbow cake, refrigerate it before serving. Use a serrated knife dipped in hot water to cut the cake, carefully wiping the blade with a clean damp towel between cuts to prevent the frosting from building up on the blade.
Making a rainbow cake isn’t the only way to find a colorful treat at the end of the dessert rainbow! We also have recipes for rainbow cupcakes and their psychedelic cousins, tie-dye cupcakes. JELL-O Desserts naturally lend themselves to party-perfect recipes, so check out our quick video on making JELL-O desserts and try it in everything from Rainbow JIGGLERS and Rainbow Cheesecake to Rainbow Ribbon Mold.
Rare as it is to start with desserts and end with savory sides and mains, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the rainbows made possible by vibrant red and yellow peppers, baby spinach greens, sugar snap peas and more. If you’re looking for ROYGBIV in savory form, you’ll find it in Rainbow Roll-Ups and Colorful Veggie Mac and Cheese.