Rainbow layer cake recipe

(443 ratings)

Our rainbow layer cake is fun and colourful, we guarantee it will put a smile on any the birthday boy or girl's face. It's so impressive but easy to make!

rainbow layer cake
(Image credit: TI Media)
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories529 Kcal26%
Sugar50.1 g56%
Fat28.1 g40%
Saturated Fat12.6 g63%
Salt0.6 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein5.1 g10%
Carbohydrates64.4 g25%
Salt0.6 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Our rainbow layer cake is so fun and colourful, we guarantee it will put a smile on any birthday boy or girl's face. This multicoloured, tiered rainbow layer cake both demonstrates your baking prowess and taste delicious, but is so easy to make! Made with a lemon curd cream cheese frosting and zesty sponge, it tastes as good as it looks too!

Like this? You'll love our classic rainbow cake made by Bake Off's Candice Brown!


For the rainbow cake (opens in new tab)

  • 5 large eggs
  • 300g margarine
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • Red, pink, yellow and blue paste colour

For the filling and frosting

  • 5tbsp lemon curd
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 125g full-fat cream cheese
  • 100g sugar sprinkles

You will need

  • 1 cake topper
  •  5 x 15cm cake tins




  1. Grease and base line the cake tins. If you don't have five you can cook the layers separately but it's best to wash the tins between each use to prevent mixture sticking or colours bleeding into each other. Heat the oven to 180°C. Put the butter, sugar, eggs and flour in the bowl of a free-standing mixer (or use an electric hand whisk if you don't have one) with the lemon zest and juice. Mix together until smooth.
  2. Take five bowls and evenly divide the mixture between them. Add a dot of red paste colour to one, pink to another, yellow to another and two dots of yellow colour with a dot of red paste for the orange layer, and a dot of blue to another. Stir each one to evenly mix in the colour. Pour the mixtures into a separate tin each.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Upturn the cakes, remove from tins, cool on a wire rack.
  4. Whizz the butter and icing sugar together in a processor or mixer until smooth and well combined, add the cream cheese and pulse for just a few seconds to mix in.
  5. Place a little bit of lemon curd onto a cake stand or plate and put the green cake on top to make sure it doesn’t move, spread over 1tbsp lemon curd. Layer up the coloured cakes with lemon curd in between.
  6. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the sides of the cake and chill for 10 minutes. Spread a thicker layer around the cake sides. Tip the sprinkles down the centre of some baking parchment. Lift the cake, holding it by the top and base, then roll the sides in the sprinkles to cover. Put on a serving plate.
  7. Spread rest of the frosting on top of the cake. Finish by pushing in the cake topper.
Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.