rainbow cake | butter sponge cake

They say less is more? Not true! Especially in the case of a five year old’s birthday cake.

I’m still recovering from little Miss Charlotte’s birthday party yesterday. It wasn’t the preparation and cooking that took it out of me – but instead trying to entertain the 35 kiddies! It probably didn’t help that they’d all had their weekly dose of sugar in the one afternoon. Between fairy bread, cupcakes, coloured popcorn and lolly bags, I think it’s safe to say that they were all happily fed. Not to mention the sausage rolls, mini quiches, snags on bread and more fruit than you could poke a stick at. It was a real ‘special treat’ kind of day.


But the real star of the show, the main event was the 8 tiered butter cream rainbow cake that my girls and I’ve had in the pipeline for the past couple of weeks. Made using my favourite novelty cake recipe for a delicious butter sponge, along with lots of food colouring and a truck load of butter cream – it couldn’t of been better.

Granted, it’s a bit of a fiddly recipe but once you’ve made it once, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. Just please make sure you read the recipe thoroughly and don’t miss the section under ‘Lo’s tips’ below which you’ll find helpful. I’d also love to hear from you with any queries or questions you might have if you’re going to tackle this cake yourself. Simply contact me here.

The best thing about this cake is that you can cook the cakes ahead of time, popping them in the freezer until the morning of; there is no fancy icing technique required – simply slap on some butter cream in any colour that you wish, and then last but not least – make sure you have a killer cake topper to throw on top (my sparkly ‘Happy Birthday’ one bought from The Pop-Up Party Co) along with any little figurines you might fancy. Think princess dolls, Lego people, little trains, action figures, Shopkins, LOL’s or just keep it nice and simple. The real exciting part is cutting the cake open to reveal the colourful layers hidden within.

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The Pop-Up Party Co have everything you need to plan a party – from bunting to balloons, decorations, tableware and my favourite – these gorgeous sparkly cake toppers (which you can also have personalised). 

And by all means, if baking really isn’t your thing – go ahead and buy 4 butter cake mixes instead (you’ll get two coloured tiers out of one packet mix). I won’t tell. And don’t think you’re putting us food bloggers out of a job by doing so. I think it’s safe to say that there’s still plenty of other cake recipes out there for me to share. I could be blogging until I’m old and grey and not run out of recipes to cook.

I’m just worried that one day they’ll make a packet mix for zucchini slice! Then I’ll really be out of a job.

Happy Baking!

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rainbow cake | butter sponge cake

Before you start – make sure you’ve read Lo’s tips below. It’s a bit tricky to get your head around – please make sure you read all steps properly so you don’t make any mistakes.

to make this 8 tiered rainbow cake – you will need to make 2 quantities of these butter sponge cakes; one of these sponge cakes will make 4 x coloured layers | you will need a small round cake tin for this recipe (although it’s handy if you have 2)

4 x eggs
1 1/4 cup of white sugar
2 x cups of self raising flour, sifted
1 x cup of milk
3 x tablespoons of butter
1 x teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Canola oil spray, to spray the cake tins
~ Add two tablespoons of sifted cocoa to turn it in to a chocolate cake ~

butter cream icing
300 grams of butter, softened
3 x cups of icing sugar, sifted
2 x tablespoons of milk

To make the butter cream – add 300 grams of softened butter to a stand mixer and mix until pale in colour. Gradually add the sifted icing sugar to the butter whilst continuing to mix (although turn it down low when adding the icing sugar so as not to make too much mess) and add the milk to bring it all together.

  • Preheat the oven to 160℃ and line the cake tins (I use two at a time) really well with canola oil spray and baking paper*.
  • Seperate the egg whites (reserving the yolks) and beat until stiff in a large bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Gradually add the sugar, beat well and then add the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  • Sift the flour and salt and then gently fold in to the egg/sugar mixture (I use a spatula to do this).
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter, adding the milk to heat through. (Or alternatively, microwave the milk and butter until melted and hot).
  • Pour the hot liquid in to the cake mix and whisk together gently.
  • Divide the batter between 4 small bowls, adding a few drops of food colouring in each to make the coloured cakes. (You will need to think back to the colour wheel to remember which primary colours go together to make which colour). You’ll need red, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange and blue. I make up the 8th layer of cake with two varying shades of green). 
  • Pour the batter in to the prepared tins (leaving the other two colours to bake next) and bake the thin cakes for approximately 12 minutes – being ever so careful not to burn them. (Obviously being such small cakes, they take next to no time to cook).
  • Turn the cakes out on to a wire rack to cool.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining two quantities of batter. Once cooled, you can wrap each cake up in glad wrap and freeze until needed.
  • You’ll then need to repeat the process by making another quantity of the sponge cake (which will make another 4 cake layers).


  • When ready to assemble the rainbow cake – make a simple sugar syrup by mixing 1 x teaspoon of sugar with 1 x teaspoon of boiling water.
  • Get your colours in order and place the bottom cake layer on the board or cake stand (whatever you want to serve the cake on). Using a pastry brush – brush a little bit of the syrup over the top of the layer (this helps it to stick together) and pop the next coloured cake on top, and so on and so on, until you have a high pile of cakes stacked up.
  • Now it’s time to lather the butter cream on top and on the sides of the cake until the cake is completely covered in icing and you can’t see through it. This is easy if you have a lot of butter cream icing. If you run out – just make more.
  • You’ll be amazed at how the icing will fill in to the gaps between the layers of the cakes and we’re lucky that the whole ‘rough look’ is very ‘in’ at the moment!
  • Decorate with your chosen confectionery, cake topper and figurines.

Lo’s tips

  • *The most annoying part of this cake process for me is having to grease and line the cake tins! Something about lining cake tins really gets to me. BUT make sure you line them properly as the last thing you want is for one of the cake layers to stick.
  • Add a small dollop of butter cream to the board before placing the cake on to it. This helps keep the cake in place.
  • You can freeze the cakes for up to 3 months which makes it easier come game day.
  • I purposefully don’t put a layer of buttercream between each cake layer because I think it’s overkill and becomes too sweet. The sugar syrup does a fabulous job of sticking them together instead.
  • When cutting the cake, make sure you slice very thin slices of cake so that each serving gets every colour in it. You can then cut them in half so that the kids get 4 colours each.

If you make this rainbow cake, please leave your comments below. I’d love to see pics on Insta too – simply tag #los_kitchen. xx

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