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Rainbow birthday cake

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all well? I was true to my word in my last post when I said that posts would be a bit more sporadic over here…lots of nesting and sleeping has been going on 🙂 But I’ve been meaning to type up a little post about my larger than expected rainbow birthday cake, so here it is!

Although I say it was larger than expected, I probably could have worked out that it would be quite a tall cake…but it was for a special occasion, and you’re only 30 once, right? Tom asked me what sort of cake I’d like, and as I’ve been wanting to make a rainbow cake for ages we settled on that. We had invited our parents over to help us eat it and celebrate too, so it wasn’t like we’d be eating it ourselves! I bought some colours from Lakeland which are labelled as icing colours, but work really well in cakes too. After having cake colour disasters in the past it was worth investing in these as they held their colours really well. We have a 6 inch cake tin and used that for each layer – you can buy special cake pans that make a 5 layer cake but I wanted to use 7 colours in my cake. So here are the amounts:

Ingredients (for one layer of cake)

50g/2oz self-raising flour

50g/2oz butter

50g/2oz caster sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 egg, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Colouring – using a cocktail stick, we dipped the end into the colour 3 times and added it to the mix


We used the all-in-one method for each layer, just to make things a bit quicker! Bake at 190 (170 fan) or gas mark 5 for 18-20 minutes, before cooling on a wire rack. To make things easier when family arrived, we actually made them the weekend before and froze each layer in a plastic freezer bag – this worked so well, and I’d definitely do it again!

On the day, my Mum helped me make the frosting and assemble the cake…it did look like the leaning tower of Pisa at various points, and we had a good giggle doing it! You could use any frosting you like really, but I made two batches of my favourite one from the Hummingbird Bakery book which I have used here (amounts on this post have already been doubled – one batch uses 250g icing sugar). One batch filled between the layers, and the other gave a thin covering over the cake. I did wonder about making more, but that felt a bit extreme even with my super sweet tooth! 🙂


Rainbow cake slice | Hello! Hooray!


Cutting the cake was interesting – you need a very long knife! But amazingly, I managed to cut out complete slices (which was incredibly pleasing!). We had to serve it on dinner plates because it was that tall, and thin slices were also needed! I was really pleased with how the colours turned out overall. I’d probably put an extra cocktail stick of orange in next time, and the red was more pink when we cut into it, but we didn’t want crazy colouring overload anyway. I’d definitely recommend these colours if you’re looking to make your own rainbow birthday cake!

You don’t have to ice the outside!

Since making my original cake, I basically decided that icing the outside was a complete faff 😂 I love the look of the layers left like this because you can see the colours really clearly anyway. I also tend to just do five layers as standard now, but I did make a 6-layer one for Little One’s 6th birthday last month – can you believe she’s 6?! When I wrote this original post she was still in my tummy!

The cake topper project is from my book, Colourful Fun Embroidery, which you can find out more about here and find in my shop here.

Rainbow birthday cake

Post edited 16th May 2022.

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  1. Helen on February 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    And it was very good (and made very pretty crumbs)! Thank you for letting us share in it!

  2. Judy B on February 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    It looks amazing Clare – the photo hardly fits on the screen! Didn’t realise it was the big 3-0: you’re catching me up 😉
    Judy xxx
    P.S. Phil was in awe when I showed him the photo!

    • Clare on May 24, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Haha! Yes I am – but 30 has been a pretty good year so far 🙂 I still owe you an afternoon tea from your last birthday – maybe I’ll make you one of these! xxx

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