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Rainbow Layer Cake

This bright, multihued cake is a festive addition to any party. For a full-color effect, dye the layers to match a rainbow or let your imagination take flight. Create your own palette by tinting the cake layers to coordinate with the jimmies, nonpareils, or dragees of your choice.
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  • Yield: 1 six-layer cake
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Ingredients

6 egg whites (about 2/3 cup), at room temperature

1 cup sugar, divided

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons applesauce

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 whole eggs

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch salt

6 different hues of food coloring

2 cups Buttercream Frosting* (*Jams, jellies, and other fillings also work well.)

2 cups rainbow sprinkles, nonpareils, and/or pearl dragees

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line six 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. 
  2. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes more. 
  3. In another large mixing bowl, cream butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Add applesauce, vanilla, and eggs and mix on medium speed for 1 minute more. 
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour in 3/4 cup water and mix to combine. Fold in egg whites with a large spatula. 
  5. Divide batter evenly among 6 small bowls. Starting with the lightest color, tint batter with food coloring, whisking in a few drops at a time until the desired intensity is reached. Pour each of the colored batters into a different parchment-lined cake pan (each should be half full) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. 
  6. Stack layers according to the colors of the rainbow, spreading a thin layer buttercream between each. Using an offset spatula, frost the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream. 
  7. Place cake on a freezer-safe plate. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until buttercream is firm. Remove from freezer and cover cake in sprinkles. See how to cover a cake in sprinkles.

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