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Rainbow layer cake

Based on Gilbert Baker's Pride flag from 1978, this is pretty much always the first “mountain” that any gay baker climbs. It takes a lot of preparation in mixing cake batter and then colouring each layer; stacking, filling and finishing but it's so worth it to see the colourful final product. 




  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring (red; orange;yellow; green; blue; violet/purple)

Frosting and Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 5 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (start with 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat your oven to350° F and lightly grease and line your baking pans, or spray with non-stick baking spray
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk or mix to distribute the flour.
  3. Add in the milk, melted and cooled butter, eggs, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients then mix at medium speed for two minutes until smooth
  4. Divide the batter into six equal portions in small bowls, and add gel food colouring to create your rainbow. Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pans. 
  5. Bake on the middle of your oven's center rack at 350° F for 18 to 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick, knife, or cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven when done and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for five minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting/ filling. 

Frosting and Filling

  1. While the cake layers are cooling prepare your buttercream frosting/ filling.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (with a hand mixer) or the bowl of your stand mixer (with the whisk attachment), beat your slightly softened butter for five to six minutes or until pale in colour and creamy
  3. Add the vanilla extract, salt and one cup of the icing sugar. Mix at medium speed and add the remaining icing sugar, alternating that with drizzling portions of the heavy whipping cream in the frosting.
  4. Once all of the icing sugar has been incorporated, continue whipping on medium speed for two to three minutes until light, creamy and fluffy.
  5. You may not need all of the heavy whipping creams, stop adding liquid once you have added all of the icing sugar and have reached a firm, but spreadable frosting consistency.
  6. Level each of the cooled cakes. Spread a thin spot of buttercream on the base of your cake plate or your cake board and start layering the cakes.
  7. Pipe frosting between each colour cake layer as you stack them six high then apply your crumb coat to the top and sides of the layered cake. The crumb coat should be approximately one-quarter-inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator to set the crumb coat.



  1. Once your crumb coat has set, spread/ pipe on the remaining buttercream to your liking. Slice, serve and enjoy! 


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