Rainbow Cake to Rainbow Shake

Bottom Photo Credit: JustGrimes (Modified) License 

Who doesn’t love the whimsy of a rainbow cake? We were so delighted by the zany, vibrant colors that we dove head first into this recipe and severely underestimated our ability to achieve that perfect swirl.

What Went Wrong

Our cake batter “dripping” skills were…not great. But the real problem was the water-based food coloring we used. We didn’t realize that it would water down the batter, prevent the cake from cooking all the way through and make the colors run. Rookie move.  

Do What We Say,
Not What We Do

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, we have total faith that YOUR batter dripping technique will be much more successful than ours. Go on with your bad self and rock this rainbow cake. Your friends and family will be SO impressed.


  • 1 box of your favorite yellow cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • *This is very important* 6 gel or paste food colors (we recommend red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, but you can use whichever and how many colors you like).
  • 1 can of your favorite vanilla frosting.


  • 9-inch circle pan
  • Small bowls for every food color you’re using
  • Electric stand- or hand-mixer


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray pan with cooking spray. Beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs in  medium-sized mixing bowl for about 2 minutes.
  3. Portion out the batter among 6 small bowls (or however many colors you’re using).Tint each bowl with a different food color.
  4. Then layer large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, one color at a time in any order. Make sure no layer is too thin.  
  5. Slide ‘er in the oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. This is another crucial tip: You must let the cake cool all the way before frosting. This should take at least an hour.  
  6. Liberally frost the cake, cut open the rainbow and enjoy!

Still Failed It? No Problem!

Photo Credit: JustGrimes (Modified) License 

If you experienced a color explosion like we did, we’ve got a fail-safe! Your fail will still be delicious, but if you want it to look pretty, too, turn it into a cake shake!


  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 large slice of rainbow disaster cake (with the vanilla frosting)
  • Splash of milk
  • Favorite canned whip cream


  1. Blend ice cream, crumbled cake and milk. Add a spray of whipped cream on top and more cake crumbles. And voilà!

If you really want to go the extra mile, throw in a funky straw, sprinkles and a cherry. Bam. You just #SavedIt.