Rainbow Tie Dye Cake

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 A simple vanilla cake made groovy with six different colors of cake layered with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream frosting makes this Rainbow Tie Dye Cake stand out among all other cakes.

Rainbow Tie Dye Cake

I found a cake mix in my cupboard that could be used to make a rainbow tie dye cake. I’ve been wanting to make one for a while now but haven’t had the time. Since I’ve been off from work for a few weeks and I’m trying to entertain my toddler I thought this would be a fun activity for us.

I’m not usually crazy about cake mixes but in this case I decided to give it a go. I didn’t like the look of the food coloring so instead I used my own AmeriColor gel food coloring. I knew the colors would be bright and vibrant.

My toddler mixing up Tie Dye Cake

I mixed up the batter then divided it into 6 different bowls. I put food coloring in each bowl then handed them off to my toddler. He cracked up and yelled out each color as it appeared in the batter her was mixing.

We carefully layered the batter in the pan and hoped for the best. Unfortunately for me the mix must have been old because the cakes didn’t rise at all. One bite of the cake and I was tossing it in the trash.

Layers of Rainbow Cake

Since I was on a kick to make this cake I whipped up my own yellow cake batter the next day. I should have known to use my own cake in the first place because I know what ingredients are in it and it’s just better. Again I had my child stir the colors into the batter and he still found it enjoyable.

To put the mix in the pans I put half the red mix in the center of one pan. Then I gently poured half of the orange mix in the middle of the red mix. I kept going with the yellow, green, blue, then purple mix. I repeated this in the second pan but started with purple and went backwards.

Rainbow Tie Dye Cake inside and out

I baked these cakes and when I peeked in the oven I was excited to see that my cakes were rising. They came out of the oven and were totally gorgeous. The colors were bright and vivid.

As they cooled I whipped up some vanilla buttercream frosting. My theory was to cover the cake in plain white so when you cut into the tie dye cake it’s a huge contrast.

Rainbow Cake

To make the cake I placed one layer on a cake round. I spread buttercream frosting on top of it then smeared a heavy layer of lemon curd on top of that. I placed the second layer on top and covered it all white buttercream.

I piped on a top border and then put colorful sprinkles on top. I loved the look of it. I counted to three and then sliced into it. It was absolutely gorgeous! The colors totally popped against the white frosting.

Cake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles

The tie dye look was very bright and effective. The pop of the lemon curd in the vanilla cake was perfection. My husband and I gobbled up way too many pieces of this cake and then quickly gave the rest away so we wouldn’t sit and eat it all day!

This would be a super fun for a birthday cake or just as a cake to cheer someone up.

Rainbow Tie Dye Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Pro Tips & Substitutions:

  • Using gel food coloring allows you to use less and the color is more vibrant.
  • You can add any flavoring to the cake to change out the flavor or add flavor and color to the buttercream. Make this cake your own!
  • You could also use just a few colors to make a holiday tie dye cake which would be really fun.
  • I always put a parchment round in the bottom of my pans so that the cake doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Rainbow Tie Dye Cake

Rainbow Tie Dye Cake

Delicious yellow cake comes in 6 vibrant colors fillled with vanilla buttercream and lemon curd for a groovy layered cake.
5 from 19 votes
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Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Author: Hezzi-D


For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 sticks butter 1 cup, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. lemon extract
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • red orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 3 sticks butter softened
  • 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 T. milk

For assembling and decorating:

  • 3/4 c. lemon curd
  • rainbow sprinkles


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8" round cake pans and
    place a parchment circle at the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until it is smooth.
    Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon extract and mix well.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add in the milk and mix well. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined.
  • Divide the batter between 6 bowls. Dye one red, one orange, one yellow, one green, one blue, and one purple. Mix well.
  • Pour half the red batter in the center of one of the prepared pans. Carefully pour half the orange batter directly into the center of the orange batter. Then carefully pour half the yellow batter in the center of the orange batter. Repeat with the green, then blue, then purple.
  • In the other pan pour the remaining purple batter in the center of one of the prepared pans. Carefully pour the remaining blue batter directly into the center of the purple batter. Then carefully pour the remaining green batter in the center of the blue batter. Repeat with the yellow, then orange, then red.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 or 15 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake and remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • To make the frosting place the butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium high speed until smooth.
  • Add in the powdered sugar a half cup at a time.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and the milk and mix well. Add additional powdered sugar if needed.
  • To assemble the cake place on layer on a cake round. Top with 1/2 cup of frosting. Pipe a border of frosting around the edge and then add the lemon curd in the middle and spread to the edges.
  • Top with the second layer of cake.
  • Cover the cake on the top and sides with the buttercream frosting. Pipe a pretty border on the top edge.
  • Pour rainbow sprinkles all over the top of the cake.
  • Slice the cake and enjoy!


A Hezzi-D Original recipe

A slice of Rainbow Tie Dye Cake

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  1. Looking forward to trying this cake! How much baking soda is called for? I see the baking powder measurement but am curious about the baking soda before I try the recipe. Thanks!

  2. How much lemon extract in the cake? It is not in the ingredient list but was on the actual recipe. Also, can I use cake flour or do you prefer using regular flour?


    1. Good catch! It’s 1 teaspoon of lemon extract. I need to add that in. If you prefer just a vanilla cake you can skip it. I always use all purpose flour because I don’t have good luck with cake flour but I know many people who use cake flour and it works just fine.

    1. Ah I hope you and G try it! It was awesome because J is learning colors and would yell it out once it showed up.

  3. I have been obsessed with tie dye lately, and this cake it totally calling my name! So gorgeous!

  4. Oh my gosh! I bet your little J had so much fun mixing the colors for this cake! I know my J would! I”ll have to show him this cake in the morning. We might be baking up our own soon!

    1. It was really fun, especially since the batter was white and it was almost a surprise as to what color it was going to turn!

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