Rainbow Cake: Because Little Girls Are Just That Special!

I had been eying this infamous Rainbow Colored Cake I stumbled on Tastespotting for a while now. Looking for the perfect occasion to try recreating this spectacular looking cake.


What better day than my own daughter’s birthday to celebrate with? I know, you are wondering why on earth would I take a chance for the first time on such a momentous occasion. The most honest answer would be that I enjoy challenge and work well under pressure. After all, of all the days, this day is ideal for pulling out all the stops.

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After countless hours of research, comparing recipes all over the net, eventually I narrowed it down to 3 recipes which I combined and adapted to create this version of The 6 Layer Rainbow Colored Cake with Swiss Meringue Butter cream.

Surprisingly, it was simpler than I anticipated. True, there were more than extra share of dishes to clean up but baking tends to create that.

I am per se not a fan of multi colored items, especially food. Makes me focus more on the ingredients rather than relishing the taste. That said, to my surprise, even the chocoholics loved it. The priceless expressions of awe equally from children and adults when I daughter sliced her birthday cake was proof enough that my daughter’s birthday was a success. Not only is this cake gorgeous to look at, the moistness and lemon filling surpasses all your expectations.

My daughter’s dinner request was Stuffed Artichokes, Ribeye Steak Marinated in Balsamic Vinegar, & Fresh Fettuccine with Pesto, Roasted Potatoes, and Green Beans. I added a Watermelon & Tomato Salad to the mix.

So, without further adieu, let’s bake the 6 Layer Rainbow Colored Cake With Lemon Swiss Meringue Butter Cream Frosting.

Vanilla Cake

  • 2 sticks butter, room temp.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg whites, room temp.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, room temp.
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. (Liquid will not be vibrant enough!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line all 9” cake pans you have (I have 4 and I just reused them).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.
  6. Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls.
  7. Whisk half a tsp at a time of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Add more gel if necessary.
  8. Pour into the pans and bake for 13-15 minutes each.
  9. Cool completely.


Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 9 egg whites
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 sticks butter, room temp
  • 2 tsp lemon extract (use best quality)
  1. Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar together over simmering water until egg-white mixture on a candy thermometer reads 140°F (60°C).
  2. Pour hot whites into stand mixer bowl and whip with a wire whip on MEDIUM-HIGH speed. Stop the mixer when meringue stays in shape and doesn’t move.
  3. Cut up butter into 2-inch pieces. (The butter should be slightly moist on the outside but cold inside.)
  4. On your mixer, remove the whip and attach the paddle. Add half the butter into the bowl and pulsate the mixer several times until the meringue has covered the butter completely.
  5. Add the balance of the butter and pulsate mixer several times.
  6. Slowly increase the mixer’s speed, starting with the lowest speed and increase the speed every 10 seconds until you reach a MEDIUM-HIGH speed.
  7. Continue beating until the mixture begins to look light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.
  8. Reduce speed to LOW. Add flavoring and continue to beat on LOW speed for 45 seconds. Then beat on MEDIUM-HIGH speed for an additional 45 to 60 seconds.


  1. Place the purple layer of cake on a cake board.  Spread a rounded 1/4 cup of buttercream on top.  Repeat with blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
  2. Use 1/2 a cup of buttercream for the crumb coat of the cake.
  3. Let chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Once chilled, coat the cake with another layer of buttercream.
  5. Decorate as you please.
  6. Refrigerate the cake to allow the frosting to set. Just be sure that the cake is at room temperature when serving or the frosting will be hard, around 1 hour.


Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita, Epicurious, and The Little Epicurean.

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