Ever since Nate’s last birthday, I’ve been plotting and planning a cake to top what I made him last year. He told me that his fave cake flavors are Red Velvet or Carrot Cake.

But I knew a Red Velvet Cake alone wouldn’t be special enough for his 30th birthday. So I thought bigger.

Nate told me that when he was younger, he loved rainbow sherbert and tye-dye, and basically all things colorful. So I knew when I was scoping the web and saw pictures of Rainbow Cakes, I’d have to do something similar.

However, I don’t have 6 separate pans for different colors, so I thought about putting all the colors in one pan, for more of a tye-dye effect, and only used 2 pans for 2 layers. I had seen that others had already tried this so I knew it would work out.

The only thing that worried me is that all of these were done with white cake, so the colors were very vibrant. I’d be using red velvet batter, though, which is already tinted slightly brown from the cocoa.

In the end, it certainly wasn’t as bright as it would have been with white cake, but it was pretty darn awesome.

But the best part was seeing everyone’s face when I cut the first slice. Nobody had a clue of what was inside that innocent looking white-frosted cake :)

Happy 30th Birthday, Nate! I can’t wait to celebrate many more with you…

Rainbow Velvet Cake with Raspberries and Blueberries
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Print this recipe!

Make one 9-in layer cake


2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet food gels

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 1/2-pint baskets fresh raspberries
3 1/2-pint baskets fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.

Sift sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl.

Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.

Divide batter evenly into 6 small bowls. Add food gel to each of 6 bowls, about 1/4 tsp each or until desired color is achieved.

Drop the colours, one by one, into the middle of the pan, in neat concentric blobs.

When you’re three colours in, start doing the reverse with the other pan. Since I’m going in rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, I got from red to yellow in the first pan, then purple, blue, green in the second. This is so that your two pans are equal if your measurements aren’t exact (and they’re not likely to be).

For a good visual of how to do this, view here.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 min minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over top of cake.

Arrange 1 basket raspberries and 1/2 basket blueberries atop frosting, pressing lightly to adhere.

Top with second cake layer, flat side down.

Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange remaining berries decoratively over top of cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

Cut into cake and watch the amazement on everyone’s faces!


  1. awww you are such a sweet girlfriend! the rainbow cake looks fabulous! #cakelove!

  2. i will definately have to try that cake out! Thank you for posting the recipee :)

  3. you are so fantastic! I cannot believe that the colours turned out so great in a red velvet batter!! Love the berry toppers too :) Happy Birthday to Nate!

    • Aw, thanks, Jenny!!! I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I think it’s one of those things that you only make once though ;)

  4. That is such an awesome looking cake! I’ve really only seen the rainbow effect with cupcakes, but it looks just as fun with layered cake, too. And it really was so innocent and elegant looking, and what a fun surprise that must have been. He looked really happy with his cake :) Happy birthday to him!

  5. this looks amazing he is so lucky!!

  6. You rock on SO MANY LEVELS. Lucky boy.

  7. That’s an awesome cake! I love that you kept it a surprise that it was so colorful inside. I didn’t know you could swirl colors like that. It turned out so cool.

    • Thanks, Nicole. I had seen this idea months ago and was waiting for the opportunity to try it! I have to say, it was kind of a pain in the butt to make, but worth the end result :)

  8. Thanks for joining in and celebrating cake-love with us! ;-)

  9. Awesome job Amy, the cake looks great! The berries look beautiful on top. I would have been surprised too when you cut into the cake…but that’s more fun. Happy birthday to Nate!

  10. Oh man….I wasn’t expecting that!! I bet everyone was surprised when you cut into it! I love all the tye-dye colors!

    • Thanks, Christina :) Hehe, I gave people some hints about how it was going to be “special” on the inside. I’m very bad at keeping surprises when I’m excited!

  11. Happy 30th to the beau! Great cake.

  12. I want a birthday cake as fun as this one when I turn 30! Gorgeous :)

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