Pastel Layer Cake

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This pastel layer cake is a homemade cake that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Three layers of tender, moist pastel-colored cake are combined with rich buttercream frosting for an amazing dessert perfect for spring or Easter.

Slice of pastel layer cake on plate

I love making cakes. From sheet cakes to layered cakes like this one, I’ve made all kinds. One of my favorites to make and serve during the spring is this homemade beauty that’s loaded with fun spring colors along with sweet flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It uses simple baking ingredients.
  • It’s an easy layer cake that even beginners can make.
  • Its pretty colors are perfect for any spring gathering or Easter holiday meal.

Top Tip

Mix the better until smooth and no further. Overmixing it can lead to a tough cake.

Closeup shot of slice of pastel layer cake on plate

Ingredients

You’ll only need simple baking ingredients for this recipe. The main ingredients are below, but you’ll find the complete list of ingredients along with amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Cake Ingredients:

  • Butter, softened
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Whole milk
  • Pink, green, yellow, and blue food coloring gel
  • Sprinkles of your choice

Frosting Ingredients:

  • Butter, softened
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Milk
Overhead shot of individual cake ingredients on table

Instructions

This delicious cake is fully from scratch, but it’s still very easy to make. The highlights are below, but you’ll find the exact instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.

1: Combine the wet ingredients.

Overhead shot of butter and sugar in mixing bowl
Overhead shot of eggs with creamed butter and sugar in mixing bowl

2: Add the dry ingredients.

Overhead shot of flour mixture in bowl with wet cake ingredients

3: Mix in the milk.

Milk being poured into cake batter in bowl

4: Divide the batter and add food coloring.

Overhead shot of colored cake batter in bowls

5: Bake in prepared cake pans until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Overhead shot of pastel cake batter in cake pans.

6: Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Overhead shot of baked pink and green pastel cakes in cake pans

7: Mix butter and powdered sugar together. Then, add milk until frosting forms.

MIlk being poured into bowl of powdered sugar and butter mixture

8: Alternate cake and buttercream frosting layers. Finish with sprinkles.

Closeup shot of pastel layer cak on plate.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use different food coloring gel to make a cake for any holiday.
  • Use storebought frosting if you prefer.
  • If you love frosting, make a double batch and add more to the top and frost the sides.

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cake pans
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Wire rack
  • Spatula or frosting knife
Closeup shot of pastel layer cake on plate

Storage

Room Temperature: Store in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Refrigerator: Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Freezer: Open air freeze until firm. Then, wrap in a double layer of cling wrap and a layer of foil. Store for up to 3 months.

Make Ahead: I recommend making this cake the day you plan to serve it. The older a cake is, the dryer it is.

What to Serve with Cake

Cake is always delicious when paired with a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream. It also makes a delicious dessert after almost any meal. You can pretty much serve anything with cake.

Tips:

  • Mix your cake until combined and no further. Less mixing makes a moister cake.
  • Loosely spoon your flour into your measuring cup and level with the flat of a knife to prevent using too much flour in the recipe.
  • For an even more tender cake, use cake flour.
Closeup shot of pastel layer cake with slice removed

FAQ

Why is my cake dry?

Too much flour is always the reason. It’s easy to add too much flour if you scoop it directly into your measuring cup.

How do you measure flour?

Fluff up the flour with a spoon. Then loosely spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with the flat of a knife.

Is it better to make cake with milk or water?

Milk is almost always the winner. The milk adds fat which makes a more tender cake, and it also adds flavor.

Closeup shot of slice of pastel layer cake with fork on plate

More Delicious Cakes

Yield: 12 servings

Pastel Layer Cake

Pastel Layer Cake

This pastel layer cake combines moist, tender cake in fun colors with rich buttercream frosting, make a cake that's perfect for spring.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ tbsp vanilla
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Pink, green, yellow, and blue food coloring gel
  • Sprinkles of your choice
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Prepare four 9-inch round cake pans by spraying them with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat again.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Beat again.
  6. Slowly pour in milk while continuously beating.  Beat until batter is smooth.
  7. Divide batter equally into 4 bowls.
  8. Add one color of each food coloring gel to each bowl.  The amount you use will depend on the type of food coloring gel you are using.
  9. Transfer each color of batter to a prepared cake pan.  
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes prior to flipping them onto parchment paper.  Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  11. To prepare frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar together.  Consistency will be crumbly.
  12. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Beat again.  Add more milk, as needed, to reach the desired consistency.
  13. Assemble cake by alternating layers of cake and frosting.
  14. Finish the cake off by adding a layer of frosting and sprinkles to the top.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 822Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 22gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 183mgSodium 652mgCarbohydrates 114gFiber 1gSugar 77gProtein 10g

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