Rainbow Birthday Cake

Rainbow Birthday Cake with cream cheese icing

I made this cake for a fourth birthday party and it was a hit with the birthday girl, months late we are still talking about it. It took a few hours to complete as I don’t have six cake pans of the same size, so I had to wash between bakes. Because the cake was so tall I used three strong straws (the bubble tea kind) to hold the cake together.

Easy Rainbow Birthday Cake with cream cheese icing

Adapted from: Cook’s Illustrated White Layer Cake 


4 1/2 cups cake flour (18 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans

2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

12 large egg whites (1 1/2 cup), at room temperature

4 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups granulated sugar (24 ounces)

8 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened but still cool

Food colouring


  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. Butter 6 8 inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds (or cook 2 or 3 layers at a time and wash pans between bakes)
  3. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into bowl, and mix with fork until blended
  4. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed
  5. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining
  6. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed; Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more
  7. Divide batter into six bowls and mix a few drops of colouring into each to achieve desired colour
  8. Spread batter in pans and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart
  9.  Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-23 minutes
  10. Let cakes rest in pans; Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

Delicious Rainbow Birthday Cake with cream cheese icing

Cream Cheese Icing


1 cup butter room temperature

16 ounces (2 bricks) cream cheese at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 scraped vanilla bean

1/2 teaspoon salt

7-8 cups icing sugar


  1. In a stand mixer beat together butter and cream cheese
  2. Beat in vanilla and salt
  3. With beater on low gradually add icing sugar
  4. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before using

Six Layer Rainbow Birthday Cake with cream cheese icing

Best Rainbow Birthday Cake with cream cheese icing


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