Naked Rainbow Cake

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This naked rainbow cake is as pretty as it is delicious. Layers of tender, moist cake are combined with thin layers of buttercream frosting to create a cake that has the perfect amount of cake and frosting in every bite.

Closeup shot of naked rainbow cake.

If you’re looking for a fun new cake to add to your rotation, then look no further. This layered cake is full of beautiful colors and delicious flavors that everyone always loves.

Naked Rainbow Cake

When I make cakes, I love to make them fun. This cake is a perfect example of that. It looks fancy, but it’s actually so easy to make and it’s so colorful. It’s perfect for birthday parties, spring flings, or just as a tasty dessert.

Slice of naked rainbow cake on plate

Ingredients

You’ll only need a few basic ingredients to make both the cake and the frosting. You might even have them all in your kitchen right now.

Cake Ingredients:

  • butter
  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • egg whites
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • milk
  • food coloring

Frosting Ingredients: 

  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • milk
  • Sprinkles of your choice
Overhead shot of individual cake and frosting ingredients on table

Instructions

This recipe has several steps, but they’re all incredibly simple when you break them down.

Cake Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together.

Step 3: Add vanilla and egg whites.  Beat again until smooth.

Overhead shot of wet cake ingredients in bowl

Step 4: Add flour, baking powder, salt, and milk.  Beat again until the batter is smooth.

Milk being poured into cake ingredients in bowl

Step 5: Separate batter into 5 separate bowls.  Add one of the five food coloring colors to each bowl. The amount you add will depend on the type of food coloring you are using. Stir well until colors are even.

Overhead shot of green, orange, yellow, blue, and red frosting in separate bowls

Step 6: Prepare 8-inch round baking pans by coating them with cooking spray and a thin layer of flour.

Step 7: Transfer each color of batter to a prepared baking pan.

Overhead shot of green and blue cake batter in separate cake pans

Step 8: Cook each colored layer for 1  minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Overhead shot of baked red, orange, and yellow cakes

Step 9: When done baking, allow them to cool for 15 minutes before flipping them out of the pans.  You may need to use a knife to release the edges. Allow them to cool completely before frosting them.

Frosting Directions:

Step 1: In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar together.

Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla. Beat well. (If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.)

Overhead shot of buttercream frosting in bowl

Assembly Directions:

Step 1: Place the blue layer of cake on your serving plate. Cover it with a layer of frosting. You will need to spread five layers of frosting, so be sure to 

Step 2: Continue this with the green, yellow, orange, and red layers.

Step 3: Add sprinkles of your choice to the top.

Naked rainbow cake on plate

Equipment

This cake only requires basic kitchen equipment.

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Cake pans
  • Frosting knife

Substitutions

Cake Flour: Cake flour can be used for an even more tender cake.

Heavy Cream: You can use heavy cream in place of milk for richer frosting.

Closeup shot of forkful of naked rainbow cake

Options

Looking for ways to change up this naked rainbow cake recipe? Here are some suggestions.

Different Colors: You can use any food coloring to make this cake holiday or even specific.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Use cream chees frosting for a different flavor profile.

Tips:

  • Be sure to get the cooking spray and flour into all the edges at the bottom of the cake pans so the cake doesn’t stick.
  • Adjust your frosting with milk and powdered sugar, adding milk to thick frosting and powdered sugar to thin frosting.
 Closeup shot of naked rainbow cake on plate

More Naked Cake Recipes

FAQ

How long is this cake good?

This cake will last for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze this cake?

Yes. Chill it thoroughly, then open-air freeze it for about 4 hours. Finally, wrap it in a double layer of cling wrap and then again in foil. Freeze it for up to 3 months.

How do you defrost frozen cake?

Leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Naked Rainbow Cake

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Yield: 12 servings

Naked Rainbow Cake

Naked Rainbow Cake

Naked rainbow cake is a fun dessert for parties or just to celebrate the spring. Tender cake layers are paired with just enough frosting.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, and blue food coloring
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles of your choice

Instructions

  1. Cake Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together.
  4. Add vanilla and egg whites.  Beat again until smooth.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and milk.  Beat again until batter is smooth.
  6. Separate batter into 5 separate bowls.  Add one of the five food coloring colors to each bowl. The amount you add will depend on the type of food coloring you are using. Stir well until colors are even.
  7. Prepare 8-inch round baking pans by coating them with cooking spray and a thin layer of flour.
  8. Transfer each color of batter to a prepared baking pan.
  9. Cook each colored layer for 1  minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. When done baking, allow them to cool for 15 minutes before flipping them out of the pans.  You may need to use a knife to release the edges. Allow them to cool completely before frosting them.
  11. Frosting Directions:
  12. In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar together. 
 
  13. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla. Beat well.
(If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.)
  14. Assembly Directions:
  15. Place the blue layer of cake on your serving plate. Cover it with a layer of frosting. You will need to spread five layers of frosting, so be sure to 
  16. Continue this with the green, yellow, orange, and red layers.
  17. Add sprinkles of your choice to the top.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 658Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 67mgSodium 585mgCarbohydrates 103gFiber 1gSugar 76gProtein 7g

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