Day #84 – Rainbow Birthday Cake

rainbow birthday cake 2

 Part of throwing a party in our house is making a cake.  It’s a hobby of mine, and the girls really enjoy it too.  I had a design in my head and decided to look online to see if anyone had done anything similar.  It was basically going to be a bunch of rainbow tessellations going up the cake.  However, I saw this design on the Party Wagon and just had to do it. Make sure you also check out the final results of our Rainbow Party.

Kenzie's Birthday
The first step of course is baking.  The kids love to help with this party.  Please see our favorite white cake “White Velvet Cake” and my “Cake Making 101″ tutorial.  I simply added food coloring to a white cake batter. 
Kenzie's Birthday1

The next step is to frost.  You can see my level on top. I like to use a lever anyway, but I found it really helpful with such a tall cake.  While I was frosting, the girls had their own cake making Play-Doh set out.  I also had to color all of my fondant the rainbow colors. 

Kenzie's Birthday2

The final step was to decorate.  The big trick here was a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband…the clay extruder.  It is actually a tool used for clay, but it really works great for fondant.  It made this job fairly easy. It has a bunch of different discs that slip on the end so you can extrude different shapes. Great tool! I also need to say that I wanted to decorate during nap time.  Abby really doesn’t nap much anymore, but sometimes she falls asleep during her quiet time.  I was pretty disappointed when she came waltzing into the room.  However, I invited her to join in, and she actually probably ended up cutting my job in half.  She would roll out the fondant to fit into the extruder.  She’d also help clean out the extruder after every color.  It was really helpful, and I ended up being absolutely thrilled that she was there to help me.  The design is fairly simple if you have this tool.  Just extrude the snakes and layer onto the cake.  Roll out fondant balls to put on top…or you can throw a bunch of gumballs on top for a bit of whimsy.  

rainbow cake 3
rainbow birthday cake
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  1. Absolutely gorgeous!! Homemade birthday cakes are a tradition in our house too! Love is in the details…..:)

  2. This is absolutely amazing!!! Great job!

  3. Absolutely amazing and beautiful! You are one talented gal!!!

  4. Wow! This is totally amazing! How cute is this cake?? Makes me wish I had girls to throw a rainbow party for…but alas, I have boys. Love this!

  5. Amazing!!! Love it!!!

  6. Wow!!! This cake is so Awesome! And the clay extruder…genius! The first thing I thought when I saw your link was, “how did she get all those little fondant rolls the same size?”
    Now I know!

    • Yea – the extruder was my saving grace. One fill made to strings to go around the cake. It was one of the faster cakes I’ve done…especially with my daughter’s help. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Great job. Very creative!!!

  8. Wow, that is gorgeous! I love all of the details. I found you through Craft-O-Maniac. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is incredible! Your one talented lady!
    We have our first ever Beautify It Monday link party going on now and we’d love for you to stop by and link up @

  10. This is AWESOME!! I love this! I’ve been searching for the perfect kind of cake to make for my sister’s birthday. This is the winner! Thank you!

    -Courtney from

  11. My mouth drops!! incredible!! thank you for linking :)

  12. Fabulous cake!
    It’s a real beauty
    I’ve seen many rainbow-cakes, but never as beautiful as yours

  13. Oh my goodness, Jodi!! I’m in LOVE with the way you did the outside of this cake!!! I wanted to stop in & invite you to share these with my readers at my Sharing Time Linky if you’re interested!
    Hope you’re having a great day! :)

    • Thanks for the kind words and invites. It was a crazy week trying to get out of town. I’ve saved your button and will be linking up tomorrow if there’s a party going on. Thanks so much for letting me know about it.

  14. This is A-ma-ZING…I just showed my little girls. We’re all in awe!
    I would love for you to come share this at my linky party, Cowgirl Up! going on right now!

  15. WOW! I wish I could make something this amazing:) You did an excellent job with this! I’m so pinning this. Thanks for sharing.
    Mindy @ The Blooming Daisy

  16. You did an absolutely great job with that cake! How do the cake wraps work, do you find they make a big difference in baking?

    You might want to submit your recipe here ( for Cake Week 2012! There’s going to be lots of sweet prizes!

    Have a great day (and if you ever want to make me a birthday cake, just give me a holler!)

    Found you through WFMW

    • Thanks so much for commenting. I do like the cake wraps. I don’t get as much of that dome shape when I use them. It cools the outside so the cake bakes more evenly. Highly recommended. I linked up a couple recipes. Now I wish I just had more of my cakes up on my site.

  17. WOWWWWWW!!! That is a beautiful cake! You have an amazing gift– great job! Looks wonderful!

    • Thanks so much. It’s such an amazingly fun hobby for me. One of those things that makes me forget about lunch while I’m working…that never happens.

  18. Thanks for linking up to Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

  19. Jodi, you’ve totally outdone yourself. This is so incredible! I’ve featured you at today’s Mop It Up Mondays! Have a wonderful week!


  20. Will you PLEASE post this wonderful cake on my first linky party, Dare to Share. I LOVE it!!


    • Hey. Thank you so much for letting me know about it. I’ve been on vacation, and we’ve been away from the computer most of the time. I’m writing from my phone now. I’ll try to link up when I return.

  21. Jodi, this cake is incredible! Thank you so much for sharing it at Project Queen. I’ll be featuring it as one of the highlights tonight at the Highlight Party.

  22. Hi Jodi

    This cake is superb! I’m wondering if you would mind sharing your frosting recipe. I’ve never made it before and would love to get it right the first time.


  23. Stopping by from Fun Stuff Fridays!

  24. Are you kidding me!! This cake is BEYOND fabulous!! WOW! WOW!!!

  25. This is so amazing! Love this cake!

  26. Oh my gosh! I love your cake. The colors are so vibrant. You did such an excellent job. So fun that you included your children too!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I was surprised at how helpful my daughter actually was. With her help, we were able to bang out the sides while the other two were napping. Thanks again!

  27. Hey that’s my design!! LOL!! I made that cake for my stepdaughter a couple years ago (… I honestly came up with it on my own:) Hmm…makes me wonder if the source you got it from saw my Flickr picture. Anyway, it’s all good.. and if they did get it from me it’s an honor…if not, then I guess it means great minds think alike:) The funny thing is that it got around to you… what’s the chances that a bloggy buddy would make the same cake! You did an amazing job on yours!! It definitely was one of my fave cakes that I’ve made!

    Maysem @

    • Oh my goodness! Well, it’s an amazing design. You did a fabulous job. I was seriously going to do something else. I just fell in love with this design though and couldn’t get it off my brain. My husband kept trying to brainstorm other rainbow ideas with me, and I couldn’t let this cake go. I kept visiting the rainbow tessellation idea I had, but I kept landing on your design. Thanks for designing something so amazing. It really has been one of my favorites I have made too. Wish I had claims to the intellectual rights ;-) – guess that’s you! Good work! It is spreading, by the way. I’ve had over 3000 page views on it, and it’s been pinned left and right. You can feel good about that!

  28. Hey… it turns out the cake designer did get it from me!! :D She is one of my contacts in Flickr (I thought I recognized the name) and she had my cake saved in her favorites! I honestly feel so honored!! It would be so cool if it spreads!

    Maysem @

  29. By the way, did you use a clay extruder too?

  30. I am featuring your awesome cake on my blog today!

  31. Your work is incredible!! I absolutely LOVE it!!

  32. Alright, this cake made the cut. Guess I’m going to have to try and make it this week! I’ll follow your tutorial, should be pretty good, even if it doesn’t look like yours!

  33. Gorgeous! I wanted to let you know that I featured you in my Rainbow Ideas round up at: If you would like a featured button, I have one here on my About page:

    • Thanks so much for the feature! I really appreciate it. I tried to get the feature button, but it didn’t work. I re-did the quotation marks too. I was doing it to give you the link back, so whatever you want to do. No biggie!

  34. ¡Qué maravilla!

  35. I was amazed at how level and even your rolled fondant was!! Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks. I love to learn new ways! Hope the party was a success!

  36. Hi Jodi,

    First of all, congratulations! The cake is marvellous…

    I’m from Portugal and I believe we don’t have those white cake mix.
    Do u have any other recipe to bake the rainbow cake? What kind of food colouring did u used?

    • Thank you so much! You can use any white cake recipe, but here’s a great one:
      3/4 cup vegetable shortening
      1 1/2 cup sugar
      2 tsp vanilla extract
      2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
      1/2 tsp salt
      4 tsp baking powder
      1 cup milk, room temperature
      4 egg whites, room temperature

      Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour the sides and bottom of two 9 inch cake pans. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream shortening until light and airy. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar, continuously beating until fluffy. Add vanilla. In a small bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Add 1 Tbsp of the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture and mix well. Then add 1 Tbsp of the milk to the shortening mixture and mix well. Continue adding the dry ingredients alternately with the mix, blending well after each addition, until thoroughly combined. Do not overmix. In another bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the sugar and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until blended, being careful not to overmix. Place in the prepared pans and bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let teh cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes, then invert onto wire rack s and remove pans. Cool completely.

      If this is too complicated or you can’t find some of these ingredients, I would just look up any white cake recipe with high marks on all recipes.

      The coloring I used was just the Wilton food coloring.

      Good luck. I hope that’s helpful.

  37. I love this! Absolutely beautiful. Keep up the good work!

  38. Did you have to double the white velvet cake recipe? Or is just a single batch?

  39. The colors are amazing inside! You are very talented! I have never attempted any fancy cakes before, but I just might try this one. Thanks!

  40. Wow, this is very impressive! I just love the bright colours, and as someone who does quite a lot of cake decorating, I can appreciate the time involved in putting together a cake such as this one! Well done, this is fabulous :)

  41. G’Day from Oz! I am so going to make this stunning cake for my daughters 1st birthday in October! And my cousin owns the best cake shop in Sydney!

  42. Here is my attempt. I couldn’t confront the fondant so I used butter cream instead. The cake recipe was great – lots of comments about how it tasted really good! Thanks for the help :-)

  43. Your creativity is incredible! I can’t imagine the time it took to make such a beautiful cake!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hi!! Your cake is gorgeous!!! I plan on making this cake for my daughter’s birthday in a couple weeks. Just a question….what kind of food coloring did you use? Most recipes call for the gel which I’ve had trouble finding. Looking forward to making it. Looks so simple!!! Thank you!!

    • I did use the Wilton gel ones. Could you order them online? If not, I would just experiment with mixing colors with normal food coloring. I believe there is a recipe on the back that tells how many drops of each color to achieve orange and purple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!! I have found the gels at Sur La Table!!! Can’t wait to make your cake!!! Thank you!

  45. Anonymous says:

    i want to say you have good cakes on the website and you baked then good.

  46. Amazing! I just love the look of this cake! It’s always nice to have someone around to help in the kitchen:D

  47. Love your blog! Great idea. :)

  48. Hi Jodie, wonder what frosting were u using in this rainbow cake? thanks… your cake looks faNtastic

  49. Wow that is a stunning cake! I’m doing my daughters 5th birthday cake similar, only using pinks and purples!! How many cake mixes are there in total and how much fondant is needed??

  50. So cool you’re going to do something like this, Stacey. You’ll need to make 3 cake batches. I hate to say that I don’t remember how much fondant I used. I wish I was more help there. I’d love to see the results when you are finished. Thanks! Jodi

  51. Thanks Jodi! I will definitely post a pic when it’s done on the 10th November :)

  52. Wow! Just wow! This is incredible! I am officially in awe! What an amazing cake!

  53. Oh WOW i love this cake. Its so beautiful and amazing. Your cake inspired me to make one for my sister shes turning 17 on Sunday and im really exited to see her reaction. Except that im putting skittles on the top and candy strips all around.

  54. Hi Jodie. The cake looks fantastic!

    Just wanted to ask how much gel you ended up using to get the layers so vibrant ? Made something similar a few months back but ended up with more pastel looking colours.


    • Thanks for commenting, Paul. I’m not sure exactly how much I put it. I just kept adding until I liked the color. I’m a stickler for making the colors vibrant. It was a lot though.

  55. Excited to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday next month! About how many people would you say the cake feeds?

    • Oh – this is a really hard questions. Theoretically, a 10 inch cake (which I think it what I did) can feed 12 or more. This cake, admittedly was a bit more challenging to cut, and I just ended up giving the kids a huge slice that they would never be able to finish. You could cut the large pieces in half or even into thirds so there are 2-3 color layers for each piece. You could also cut it like a wedding cake. Wilton has a great guide for that That would serve more like 30 if you were to do the tall slices or 2-3x that if you were to cut own on the height. I just served cake at a wedding and served cake based on that guide, which I have never done before. I loved serving cake that way. So much easier. The thing that makes it challenging to serve this one is just its height. I would love to see your results, so send pictures my way when you get a chance.

  56. Hi what a great great cake! Can you answer one question once the cake was iced did you cover in fondant then attached each strip to the fondant or are the strips attached to the frosting?

  57. Hi what a great great cake! Can you answer one question once the cake was iced did you cover in fondant then attached each strip to the fondant or are the strips attached to the frosting?

  58. Could the fondant be done in a manual pasta maker do you think? Lovely effect.

    • I’m not sure. Are you talking about the pasta roller and cutter? I think it would be really hard to work with the thin strips of fondant. I haven’t used any other pasta maker…that makes more of a tube pasta, so I’m just not sure. Thanks!

  59. Lily has requested a rainbow birthday cake for her birthday at the end of March…and…I think this is it! I have never worked with fondant…do you have any tips about that? When connecting the ends do you make a seam down one side of the cake, or is there a way you hide seams?

    • Hey Melanie – I’d love to see how it turns out. I did a Cake Making 201 post – I don’t know if it will be totally helpful for this because it’s mostly about covering a cake. I use corn starch when working with fondant to keep it from getting too sticky. I like using Duff fondant. I also like using the Wilton coloring that comes in small cylinder containers. It gives great color. You want to knead the color in. I used a lot to get the vibrant colors. The trick is you don’t want to add too much, but you also don’t want to over knead fondant. You can also buy pre-colored fondant, which makes it mass easy, but is the more expensive route with this cake. The clay extruder makes this pretty easy. When you have your fondant snakes, you don’t want to pull or tug at them too much because they’ll stretch weird. However, I have recently found a great way to handle long strips is to roll them up kind of like bubble tape, and then unroll onto the cake. There is a seam, and I just had it in the same place at the back of the cake. Does Luke still have my phone number? Just give me a call if you have any questions. I’ll let you know if I think of anything else. Someone just asked me how much fondant this cake takes, and I don’t quite remember. Also, I can’t find their question back on my post, so I feel bad I haven’t responded to them directly. I generally use a pound of Duff fondant to cover a 2 tiered 8″ cake. I’d say you’re using about the same thickness, so my guess is 3 lbs, but I would have 4 on hand just in case. They come in 2 lb containers, and I believe 2 containers would cover it.

  60. Someone asked me about how much fondant it takes to cover this cake. I don’t remember. I also can’t find the question on my comments, so I’m sorry I haven’t responded directly to this person. I’m going to take a guess here. I generally use a pound of Duff fondant to cover a 2 tiered 8″ cake. I’d say you’re using about the same thickness, so my guess is 3 lbs, but I would have 4 on hand just in case. They come in 2 lb containers, and I believe 2 containers would cover it.

  61. Hi,what a great cake!And a lovely blog.

  62. Could you give the recipe to make the fondant?

  63. I don’t make my own fondant. I have a recipe, but I have found it inconsistent. Because there are so many steps to making cake, I choose to avoid the fondant making step and buy it. I do not like Wilton’s fondant. I use Duff’s, and I’ve been very happy working with it. I always have a 40% coupon to our local craft store, so that’s how I buy it. Duff also has pre-colored fondant, which can be convenient. You can search Amazon for Duff fondant. Other than that, I would recommend searching the web for a 5 star marshmallow fondant recipe. Good luck!

  64. Where did you get your cute red cake stand, I haven’t been able to find one for a reasonable price anywhere?

  65. asep rangga says:

    This is absolutely a great job. It is a new idea for me

  66. Lovely, gorgeus, awesome! Love it!

  67. Wow! that is amazing! how long did it take you?!

    • Thank you so much! This one was actually not as bad as you’d think. My daughter was actually a lot of help in working the clay extruder. Baking was a bit more involved with so many later. I really need to keep better track of how long these cakes take m because I get a lot of people asking that question.

  68. I can’t remember if I commented a little while ago to say thank you for the fabulous recipe for the cake as well as the idea for the gorgeous cake. I made this for my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday and it was HUGE!! It was 10 inches tall when I got done – totally an epic cake for her! I just used the drops for food coloring since my gels had dried up and so they were more pastel, but still fabulous all the same! lol I’m making it again today but splitting the cakes in half to give to 2 of our teachers at school as an end of the year present. I know it’ll be a hit. Thanks for sharing your talent with the rest of us!

    • I’m so glad this turned out for you. I would love to see the results if you have any pictures. You have me thinking I should do an end of the year cake my my daughter’s class. Thank you so much for commenting. I love to hear about other people’s successes!

  69. Lillian says:

    LOVE this cake… Can you tell me what brand/ name of the clay extruder you used is? Am hoping to get one as soon as possible! My daughter saw your cake and is now completely obsessed with it for her birthday!

  70. Wow…this is such a beautiful cake!!!!i would like to know the size of cake pan u used for this particular cake and also the total height:)

    • Thank you! I used 8 inch cakes. I would estimate 12 inches with the layers, frosting and fondant, but it may be more like 10…not 100% sure. I’d love to see your pictures. Sorry it took me so long to respond!

  71. Yolanda says:

    this is totally beautiful & awesome!

  72. Hi, Do you know how much fondant you used. i dont want to be stuck with not enough! Also can this be made a couple of days in advance and if so how many days in advance do you recommend?

    • Hi Vicky, You can definitely make the cakes in advance. I make my cakes in advance and freeze them. I pull them out a few days before the party and frost them. I then might keep them in the refrigerator overnight. Then, I cover it with the fondant the next day. If you used a buttercream frosting, it is OK covered in fondant at a mild-cold room temperature for a couple days. If you are using a non-butter/cream based frosting it could probably go for even longer. Although that is true, I like to refrigerate my cakes. What you want to avoid is condensation when you take the cake out. I do have an extra refrigerator, so that helps. Condensation happens when you pull a cake out from the refrigerator and it goes from cold to hot too quickly and begins to sweat. In hot temperatures, this can be a big problem. To avoid it, you want to box your cake before putting it in the refrigerator. Pull your cake out of the refrigerator a few hours before the party. Do not open the box!! This will help it warm up at a slower rate and the condensation will not happen. Once it has been at room temperature for a few hours, you can open the cake and shouldn’t have a problem. My one warning is that really warm climates can be brutal on a cake. Try and find a cool, dry place to store it. I really wish I had kept track of how much fondant I used. I really don’t remember. This cake is semi-equivalent to 3 cakes, so I would estimate that I used 6 lbs of fondant, but I really am not sure. I’m so sorry I’m not more helpful there. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!

  73. Hi just another question . Roughly what diameter are the snakes.


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