pastel, rainbow, ruffled layer cake

Layer cakes.

Let’s be honest, until I sat melting on the couch one afternoon engrossed in the drama of ‘Master Chef’, I had never been curious to try one.

I mean, it’s just a cake. With layers. Many layers.

As I sat there though watching these contestants struggle, panic, & eventually cry their eyes out over somethings as simple as a cake…. I started to rethink the matter.

So I’ve been obsessing over the idea of layer cakes. I’ve been fantasizing about flavors & appearance. Intrigued about what might make this task complicated. Trying to figure out if I could do this gluten-free & still have it be amazing.

Nothing ever goes to plan though. As luck would have it, we had an order for a 5 layered, pastel-rainbow ruffle cake. (now that’s a mouth-full isn’t it).

Aside from being time-consuming… I really don’t see what the big deal was. Granted it was just a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, but changing the recipe to something more exotic really shouldn’t make a difference.

I mean seriously, I don’t know what all the fuss was about. All those tears!

I have to say though, it was a ton of fun & I can’t wait to try one that I will be proud of taste wise, not that this one wasn’t delicious… it was just so simple! I want mine to be bold, daring & a little out of the ordinary. I want it to be the cake that no one cares if it’s gluten-free because it tastes so darn good!

Oh yes. I can feel a stroke of genius coming. Stay tuned!

Ingredients, cake: (20cm spring-form cake tin) // (make this 5x, once per layer)
– 120g flour
– 140g sugar
– 40g butter, unsalted & room temp
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 120ml milk
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 egg
– yellow, green, blue, purple, pink food gels (add till desired shade is reached)

Directions, cake:
1. grease your cake tin & line with baking parchment. Preheat your oven to 165°C.
2. combine the flour, sugar, butter & baking powder in a bowl & beat until the mix resembles a fine sand. Pour in half of the milk & beat until that has been evenly incorporated into the mix.
3. with the remaining half of the milk, add the egg & vanilla & beat until all combined. Then pour it into the batter & continue to beat until the batter is smooth. Add the desired amount of colouring, and then beat for an additional two minutes to aerate the mix.
4. pour the batter into your ready cake tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until it passes the skewer test. Allow the cake to cool completely before the assembly.

Ingredients, buttercream: (I used 7.5 doses of this recipe)
– 400g icing sugar
– 120g butter, unsalted & room temp
– 30ml milk
– 1 tsp vanilla
– yellow, green, blue, purple, pink food gel (adjust to desired shade)

Directions, buttercream:
1. cream together the butter & sugar until pale & fluffy. Sift in the sugar & add the vanilla, beat until the mix is once again, light, pale & fluffy. Then add in your food colouring until you reach the desired shade.

– cake plate
– large serrated knife
– a rotating cake stand
– a petal piping tip
– 6 disposable piping bags (or 1 reusable one)

Directions, assembly:
1. using the large serrated knife, slice off the top layer of each cake to make it even. If you want to photograph your finished work, I would also slice off the bottom layer of the cake.
2. place a dab of buttercream in the centre of your cake plate, & then layer your first colour onto it. This will help to secure the cake to the plate & stop it from shifting.
3. before adding your next layer of cake to the stack, you will want to have a generous layer of butter cream spread on top of the last layer. Continue on this way until all the layers of cake have been assembled.
4. add a generous layer of buttercream to the outside of the cake & smooth it over with a spatula. This will stop your cake from showing through the ruffles, and also give the ruffles something to adhere to.
5. mix a half batch of butter cream in four of the colours, and for the colour that it on top of your cake, make a full batch to ensure that you cover the top of the cake as well.
6. pipe however you like & have fun!

…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.


6 thoughts on “pastel, rainbow, ruffled layer cake

    • Hi Dina! Thanks, the client that ordered it has specifically requested it to be that way…. but I have no problem taking credit for it now ;)

  1. Hi,
    I’m going to attempt to make this for my daughter’s birthday. I just have a few questions:

    1. Is the flour Self-raising or plain?
    2. Does it matter what type of milk I use, ie full cream, light etc?
    3. Do I have to make the batter 5 times, or can I just make one batter and then dividie it into bowls?
    4. If I wanted to make the cake bigger, ie use a 22cm pan do I need to make more mixture or can I just make it the same and have it skinnier?

    Any idea how many people this size would serve?

    Thank you in advance,

    • Hi Catherine! I would be happy to answer any questions you have….

      1. The flour is plain.
      2. You can use which ever milk you prefer. I generally prefer full fat for the flavour.
      3. You can certainly do the batter once & divide it for colouring, I would maybe do it in batches of two though as I think it might be a bit too much batter for your stand mixer or hand mixer.
      4. You can use a bigger pan, the end cake will just be shorter. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on the baking times too. If you over cook the cake you’ll have this dark crust over it which will show through the layers when you cut the cake. Personally, I like to wrap baking strips around my cake tins before baking so that my cakes come out flat & I don’t have to cut them down.
      5. Last but not least, the finished cake comes out being between 5 & 6Kg… My general rule of thumb is that it’s approx. 100g of cake per person so it should feed up to 50 people. Of course, bigger cake slices always look prettier on a plate when serving, but most people can’t finish off that much cake & butter-cream.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. It might be easier to reach me directly at

      Kind regards,


    • I also forgot to mention that the pipping tip used was a wilton petal tip… with the wide end against the cake. I’ll amend the post now to reflect that.

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