Make This Easy Rainbow Layer Cake

Make this ROYGBIV cake for St. Patrick's Day, a Pride celebration or any festive occasion. Just make sure to top it off with a pot of gold.

rainbow layer cake

Rainbow Cake

Baking colored cakes can be tricky – the cake may go in one color and come out a very different color. Why not avoid the trial and error by using rainbow colored icing to create a rainbow cake instead? Add sparkling gold sanding sugar on the top as a special added touch.

Photo by: Ellen Foord

Ellen Foord

Baking colored cakes can be tricky – the cake may go in one color and come out a very different color. Avoid the trial and error by opting for colored icing instead of dyes, and you'll get the same look with less hassle. For a little luck-of-the-Irish touch, create a sparkling gold sanding sugar top featuring a four-leaf clover in the center. We made a mini version for this recipe, but the technique can be used for any size cake.

Materials Needed

  • white cake (either from a recipe or box mix)
  • icing in each color of the rainbow
  • white frosting
  • gold sanding sugar
  • knife
  • icing spatula
  • mesh sieve

Bake and Cut Cake

Start by baking a white cake using any recipe or box mix. Allow it to fully cool. Next, cut off the dome top of the cake (Image 1). Discard or set aside for snacking. Cut the cake into several thin layers using a sharp serrated knife (Image 2). Lay the first layer in the center of a plate.

Apply Icing

Apply a layer of purple icing to the top of the cake layer (Image 1). Next, top with another layer of cake and apply a layer of blue icing. Continue the icing/cake layering process until each color of the rainbow is present and place the topmost layer of cake on the red icing (Image 2). Chill in the fridge to firm.

Apply Frosting

Mix a batch of white frosting, or use store-bought for convenience. Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of white frosting. Chill the cake. Once the crumb coat is set, apply a thicker coat of frosting and use your spatula to create texture.

applying frosting

Apply Frosting

Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of white frosting. Chill again.

Photo by: Ellen Foord

Ellen Foord

Create Clover

Pour a small amount of sanding sugar into a fine-mesh sieve. Then, holding the paper template over the center of the cake, shake the sieve gently to sprinkle sugar over the top of the cake (Image 1). Remove the template to reveal the clover (Image 2).

Cut and Enjoy

Cut into the cake with a sharp knife to reveal the rainbow layers. Don't forget to make a lucky wish!

Next Up

St. Patrick's Day Craft: Rainbow and Clover Paper Wreath

Welcome a little luck into your home with this easy-to-make St. Patrick's Day wreath.

4 Easy DIY St. Patrick's Day Flower Arrangements

Feeling lucky? Go green this St. Patrick's Day with one of these gorgeous, easy-to-make flower arrangements inspired by the rich hues of the Emerald Isle.

Free, Printable Ribbon-Embellished Mother's Day Card

This printable Mother's Day card gets dressed up with a sweet ribbon bow and is blank on the inside for your own special message.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Fingerprint Table Runner

Get the kids involved in crafting and decorating for Mother's Day brunch by personalizing a plain white table runner with colorful fingerprints.

5 Cute + Easy Mother's Day Cards to Make

Make Mom one of these adorable handmade cards with materials you likely already have for an easy last-minute gift idea.

How to Make a Scratch-Off Card for Father's Day

Give Dad a break this year with a DIY scratch-off lotto-style card with prizes like breakfast in bed, a free pass from mowing the lawn and a car wash.

Make This Air-Dry Clay Clover Necklace for St. Patrick's Day

You don't have to wear head-to-toe green on March 17 to be festive (or to avoid getting pinched). With just a few materials, you can craft a simple and elegant clover necklace to wear this St. Patrick's Day.

Make This Mother's Day Cocktail Gift Basket

Whip up a floral-inspired gift basket that’s as easy to assemble as it is to enjoy. Plus, this blackberry simple syrup recipe will easily become your seasonal go-to.

Make These Easy Easter Egg Bath Bombs

Mix up this spring DIY in a jiffy using plastic Easter eggs and some basic kitchen and bath supplies. Then sneak a few bath bombs into an Easter basket.

Make This Halloween Tablescape for a Festive Family Party Using Dollar Store Finds

These five easy DIYs will keep the kids from running amok, amok, amok.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


6am | 5c
7am | 6c
8am | 7c
9am | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Zillow Gone Wild

8pm | 7c

Zillow Gone Wild

8:31pm | 7:31c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:31pm | 9:31c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

Zillow Gone Wild

2:59am | 1:59c

Zillow Gone Wild

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.