Looking for a fun and festive cake to make at home? Then you’ll love the Paris baguette rainbow cake! This copycat recipe is easy to follow and yields a beautiful and deliciously moist cake. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or just want to show your loved ones how much you care, this cake is sure to do the trick!
This rainbow cake doesn’t require too many ingredients and can be made with a boxed cake mix instead of homemade cake flour as well. Here is everything you will need to make this delicious and pretty rainbow cake.
- Unsalted butter at room temperature.
- Cake Flour
- All-purpose flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Vegetable Oil or shortening
- Vanilla extract
- Cold Water
- Whole Milk
- Buttermilk – you can make your own buttermilk by mixing one cup of milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Food Coloring – use any colors you want. Any food coloring you find in the store will work just fine with this recipe as well.
For the buttercream:
- Vanilla Extract
This recipe might look intimidating and involved but it is very easy and straightforward. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature and in the right measurements. Find the full and detailed recipe below in the recipe card.
STEP ONE: Make the Cake Batter
Preheat the oven and line three cake pans with parchment paper. Work in batches if you don’t have enough pans. Make the dry and wet mixes for the cake batter. In a mixing bowl combine the two flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. This is the dry mix.
For the wet mix, beat the butter with an electric mixer. Add the shortening and beat until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue beating on medium. Scrape the bowl and add the egg. Continue beating until just incorporated.
In a mixing cup, whisk the buttermilk, milk, and water. Pour a little in the butter batter. Add some of the flour. Follow with the liquid and again with the flour mix. Continue alternating the two mixes until everything is well combined.
STEP TWO: Bake
Scrape the bowl down and transfer the batter into the round pans evenly. Add a drop or two of the food coloring and mix to change the color. Work with small drops because it is impossible to change the color when it is in the food already.
Cook in the oven until cooked through. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, you can take the cake out of the oven. Cool off enough to be able to handle the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.
STEP THREE: Make the Buttercream
This is a simple recipe for Swiss meringue buttercream. It is done over the stove top so prepare a saucepan with simmering water and a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl just above the water without touching it.
Whisk in the eggs and the sugar until the sugar is all dissolved and the mix is just warmed up. Transfer to a stand-up mixer and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Scrape down the sides and mix well. Add the vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
Use the cream of tartar only if you are not able to achieve stiff peaks.
STEP FOUR: Arrange The Cake
When the cakes are done cooling, slice the top off so it is a flat surface to spread the buttercream on. Cover the top of the layer with buttercream and top with the next layer. Repeat until you don’t have cake layers or buttercream left. Spread the rest of the buttercream along the sides of the cake. Garnish with sprinkles.
Feel free to use any other frosting you like. This recipe is really versatile and would go well with chocolate or cream cheese frosting. If you want to make a chocolate cake, simply add cocoa powder to the flour called for in the recipe. You will need 1/3 of a cup of cocoa powder.
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, simply use a mix of almond and chickpea flour or buy gluten-free flour from the store. There are many gluten-free options for cakes out there so you can make them at home from scratch.
Other Options/ Versions of This Recipe
This recipe is for a vanilla cake with Swiss meringue buttercream. If you want to make a chocolate cake, simply add cocoa powder to the flour called for in the recipe. You will need 1/3 of a cup of cocoa powder. You can also add strawberries or other fruits as well.
Many rainbow cakes come with more than three layers but I thought three layers is totally enough for a delicious, quick, and stress-free cake. It saves time, and clean-up, and it is just enough for everyone.
This cake will last for about 2 days on the counter or in the fridge. Make sure it is in an airtight container when stored in the fridge or freezer. If you want to keep it for longer, you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
You can store buttercream leftovers in the fridge for up to several days and up to two months in the freezer. Just like the cake, make sure it is in an airtight container.
To enjoy it after freezing simply thaw it in the fridge. Serve immediately. I don’t recommend re-freezing it since it might lose its texture.
Other Tips & Tricks
Room temperature ingredients are key for this recipe. Make sure every ingredient is measured and ready to go on the counter before starting to make the cake. If you are making everything ahead of time and just baking at the end, bring the batter to room temperature before adding it to the pans.
Eating The Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- Sprinkles (optional)
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 3/4 sticks of butter cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Dust with a little flour on the bottom to prevent sticking.
- Whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand-up mixer beat the butter and shortening until creamy and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat on medium. Scrape the bowl, add the egg and continue beating until just incorporated.
- In a mixing bowl combine the water, milk, and buttermilk. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Alternating add the flour mix to the butter mix followed by the water. Continue alternating them until everything is in. Continue mixing until everything is well incorporated. Finish by hand scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing everything together one last time.
- Separate the mix into the three baking pans. Mix in the desired food coloring in each. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean the cakes are done.
- Cool off before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling off to room temperature.
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl. and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved.
- With the whisk attachment start beating the egg white mix increasing the speed gradually. until stiff peaks. About 10 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. Add in the vanilla and switch to the paddle attachment. Continue beating to eliminate any bubbles.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix until completely smooth.
- Take the cooled cakes and cut the tops with a knife so they have a flat top. Spread the buttercream on top of each and arrange it on top of each other. Use the last of it to spread on the sides of the cake. Refrigerate to set and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 802Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 780mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 7g
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.