Kids Cake Ideas: Jellybean Rainbow Cake Recipe

Caitriona Redmond

November 22, 2022

Jelly bean rainbow cake recipe

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If you are looking for the ultimate show-stopping cake, this layered rainbow cake recipe is the perfect choice. Discover how to make your own thanks to Caitriona Redmond from Wholesome Ireland who shares her recipe for this amazing Jellybean Rainbow Cake.

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This recipe and more great ideas, recipes and tips are available on Wholesome Ireland

Classic rainbow cake is iced/frosted with white buttercream and then sometimes coated with sugarpaste. I am not a sugarpaste type person. I mean I can use it, and sometimes bake cakes coated with it, but when you have a baby pulling out of your leg most days and a three-year-old who wants your attention, it’s nigh impossible to find the time to do it neatly!

Rainbow Cake Recipe

jelly bean rainbow cake recipe

Firstly, I baked the sponge on Tuesday and did the first layer of basic icing on the same day. Essentially it’s a Victoria sponge recipe based on Delia Smith’s classic – the key is how you colour and bake the mixture. To keep it simple, I flavoured every single layer and the frosting vanilla. Trust me, if you’re under pressure for time you will need to keep it simple.

If I had four sandwich tins I would have been able to bake it in half the time it took me – however, I didn’t, I had two. This means that it is easier to split and colour the mixture each time. It’s also easier to ensure you organise your colours, because some lead onto another.

A classic rainbow cake would have seven layers for all the colours, this one has eight – the reason being that every time I baked a batch of sponge, I baked two. It would have been rude not to include the final layer!

This is cake technically serves 20, however you could get more servings out of it because it is a tall cake and each slice could be halved again. The ingredients cost me approximately €17 in total, which means it works out at less than €1 per slice, even if you’re being generous.

Remember: You need to repeat the victoria sponge process 4 times in order to come up with 8 sponge cakes.

You will need the following food colourings for the sponge: yellow, red, blue

Cake Ingredients (repeat x 4):

  • 110g Butter
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 110g Plain Flour
  • 2 Medium Free Range Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Mixing Bowl or Stand Mixer
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Weighing Scales
  • 2 Victoria Sandwich Tins (20cm)
  • Baking Parchment (non stick)
  • Scissors
  • Butter & Flour (to grease and dust the tins)
  • Cooling Rack


  1. Preheat your (fan) oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line the base of your sandwich tins with parchment paper and use the butter and flour to grease the sides, this is very important.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper and weigh the flour and baking powder onto it.
  3. Weigh out the butter and sugar together and cream (beat) until light and fluffy.
  4. Add 1 egg and beat until mixed. Add the second egg and beat until well mixed. If it begins to look curdled, add a spoonful of flour. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix.
  5. Pick up the baking parchment and pour the remaining flour into the mixing bowl. Beat until all the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Pour half the cake mixture into the first tin, plain no colouring.
  7. Using the yellow food colouring add 1 teaspoon and stir until your batter turns yellow. Pour the yellow batter into the other sandwich tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Note: you slightly need to over-bake these sponges as you need them to hold better when you put them together. It’s easier as this way you don’t need cake dowels.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before tipping upside down and removing the tins and then the baking parchment. Don’t forget to leave the oven on!
  10. Wash and dry your bowl and make another batch of cake mixture. Wash, dry, re-line and re-grease the tins.
  11. For batch two, add 2 teaspoons of red food colouring to all of the batter. Pour half into one of the cake tins. Then add a further 1 teaspoon of yellow food colouring to the remaining batter (this gives you orange) and pour into the second tin.
  12. Repeat steps 8-10 above.
  13. For batch three, add 2 teaspoons of blue food colouring to all of the batter. Pour half into one of the cake tins. Then add a further 1 teaspoon of red food colouring to the remaining batter (this gives you purple) and pour into the second tin.
  14. Repeat steps 8-10 above.
  15. For batch four, add 1 teaspoon each of yellow and blue food colouring to all of the batter (this gives you green). Pour half into one of the cake tins. Then add a further 1 teaspoon of red food colouring on top. You should get a grey colour – if it is quite pale, add another teaspoon each of red, blue and yellow to get it darker.
  16. Repeat steps 8-10 above.

That’s it, the baking part is done. Give yourself a massive pat on the back! Keep your baked cake sections apart from one another by cutting squares of baking parchment and placing between each layer on a plate. Do this before they dry out.

Decorating Your Jelly Bean Rainbow Cake

It’s finally time to assemble and decorate! Please note that this is a generous quantity. You may have some frosting left over, but you can just pop it into a freezer bag and freeze for another day.

Ingredients (you will make this 3 times):

  • 250g Unsalted Butter (or if a block is 254g use that)
  • 500g Icing Sugar
  • 10ml Milk (whole fat or semi-skimmed is okay)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 large bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment)
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 spatula or knife for spreading
  • 1 cake-board or cake-stand


  1. Whisk the butter until light and fluffy, then add the icing sugar a spoon at a time on a low setting until it is completely mixed in.
  2. Use the milk to soften the mixture, if it goes into a breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and whisk for 3 mins.
  4. Spread a spoonful of buttercream on the cake-board or cake-stand before placing your first layer. This will hold the cake in place.
  5. Use the spatula to spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting between each layer of cake. Once you have the layers in place, spread the buttercream around the sides, leaving the top til last. There’s no need for it to be particularly neat as you’ll be hiding most lumps and bumps with the jelly beans.
  6. For the jellybeans, think of building a wall. Each line of jellybeans needs to be slightly offset from the next as this increases the structural integrity.
  7. As it’s buttercream and Victoria sponge, this cake will keep for up to 4 days in a cool dry place.

Related Recipes: Spaghetti & Meatball Cake and lots more Birthday Cake ideas

Have you tried this rainbow cake recipe? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

jellybean rainbow cake recipe

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

Published On: November 22nd, 2022 / Categories: Food and Recipes, Parties / Last Updated: October 2nd, 2023 / Tags: , , , /

About the Author: Caitriona Redmond

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Caitriona is a food writer, blogger and author, as well as a mother to 2 boys and a teen stepdaughter. After Caitriona was laid off during the recession, with her family budget getting smaller she found herself facing a shrinking amount of money on a weekly basis to spend on food. She could feed the family on convenience food for the same amount that she had to spend but she chose to cook the best food she could within their tight budget. Her blog is about her, how she manages and the rollercoaster that parenting and living on a tight budget brings.

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