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Strawberry Rainbow Cake
Courtney Rich
print recipe
(5 rated)

There's no dessert more whimsical that this pretty pink strawberry cake decorated with bright rainbows and fluffy clouds. It's perfect for parties, birthdays or if you just need a cheery and sweet pick-me-up.


  • Cake

    • 1¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
    • 1/3 cup oil
    • 4 eggs
    • 3 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2½ cups cake flour
    • 2 ounces freeze dried strawberries, measured and then pulverized into a powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • Frosting

    • 2 cups unsalted butter, chilled
    • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 pinch salt
  • Decorations

    • Two 12-inch piping bags
    • Wilton 1M piping tip
    • Wilton #10 piping tip
    • 6 zip-top bags
    • Plastic wrap
    • 6 Americolor food gels


For the cake:

1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Spray each of the four 6-inch pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment. Spray again. Set aside.

2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and freeze dried strawberries. Set aside.

3. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter for about 2 minutes. Add the oil and beat for another 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

5. With the mixer on low, alternatively add the flour mixture with the strawberry puree, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.

6. Divide batter evenly between the four pans.

7. Bake the cakes for about 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

For the frosting:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes. This will soften the butter without it having to be warm.

2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing a little in between each addition.

3. With mixer on medium speed, add whipping cream, vanilla and salt.

4. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 5-7 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color and texture. Divide frosting equally into two portions, half for frosting and half for decorating.

To assemble:

1. Place the first cake layer, top side up.

2. Add about 1/2 cup of frosting on the cake layer. Spread over the cake layer as evenly as possible. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure the frosting is spread evenly over the cake.

3. Repeat this step until you get to the final cake layer, which you will lay top side down.

4. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for about 10-15 minutes.

5. After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the final coat of frosting.

To decorate:

1. Divide the remaining frosting into seven bowls. Tint six of the bowls of frosting your rainbow colors and leave one bowl of frosting white for the clouds.

2. Place each color of frosting into a zip-top bag and cut a corner off each bag.

3. On plastic wrap, pipe a line (about 6-inches long) of each color. Make sure the colors line up and touch one another. Try to create equal amounts of frosting in each line.

4. After you've piped all six colors, take the end of one side of the plastic wrap and begin to lift it up. Carefully fold the plastic wrap and buttercream to create a circle of colors. Be gentle as you fold the buttercream over so that you don't smash the frosting and create uneven lines.

5. After you've wrapped the buttercream, twist one end of the plastic wrap so the buttercream doesn't come out. On the other end, cut the plastic wrap close to the buttercream. You'll then place the wrapped buttercream into the piping bag fitted with the Wilton 1M tip.

6. To create the rainbow, simply pipe a half circle onto a frozen or chilled cake. For best results, place your cake on a tall cake stand and the place the cake stand on your turn table. It will be much easier for you to pipe if you're as close to eye level with the cake as possible.

7. After you've piped all the rainbows onto the side of the cake, it's time to pipe the clouds. Place your white frosting into a piping bag fitted with the Wilton #10 tip.

8. Again, positioning yourself as close to eye level with the cake as possible will make it much easier to pipe onto the side of the cake. To create the clouds, simply pipe a sideways "s" or squished "m."

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Decorate cakes like a pro with Courtney Rich's expert tips

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