Rainbow Bundt Cake

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Bake this Rainbow Bundt Cake recipe if you’re looking for a really pretty bundt cake.  Cake batter colored the colors of the rainbow are layered to make the most fabulous rainbow bundt.

What’s fun about this bundt cake is that it looks pretty normal on the outside.  Cut slices from this cake and you’ll get a fun rainbow swirl surprise!  This cake is a big hit at parties because everyone is always so impressed with what it looks like.  And it happens to taste good too!

This recipe comes from Beautiful Bundts: 100 Recipes for Delicious Cakes & More by Julie Anne Hession.  I’m just going to start by saying that I really love this book!  I enjoy baking a lot, and this book has so many great things to choose from.

The cakes in the book are fun and fabulous.  There are basic bundt cakes, filled bundt cakes, layered and swirled bundt cakes, holiday bundt cakes, international bundt cakes and mini bundt cakes.  My favorite, must-try, bookmarked recipes in these sections are the Vanilla Bean Bundt with Rum Butter Glaze, Lemon Lover’s Bundt, Boston Cream Bundt, Key Lime Bundt, Neapolitan Bundt, Strawberries & Cream Bundt, King Cake Bundt, Holiday Eggnog Bundt, Tres Leches Bundt, Chocolate Covered Stout Bundt, Lemon Poppy Seed Bundts and Pineapple Upside Down Bundts.  There are so many more to be excited about, but these are just a few favorites.

The neat thing about this book is that there are coffee cakes and savory bundt recipes included too.  I have my eye on the Glazed Cinnamon Raisin Roll Bundt, Savory Caprese Strata Brunch Bundt, Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bundt, Garlic Knot Pull-Apart Bundt, Retro Cranberry Mold Bundt, Hot Cross Bundt, Spaghetti Macaroni and Four Cheese Bundt, Layered Italian Turkey Meatloaf Bundt and Mushroom and Herb Stuffing Bundts.  It’s crazy how many things can be made in a simple bundt pan, isn’t it?

How to make a Rainbow Bundt Cake:

This cake is made in a classic bundt cake pan.  Make the batter, as directed in the recipe.  Then divide the batter evenly among six bowls.  Each bowl is colored with a few drops of food color.  The batter is then scooped into the bundt pan, layer/color by layer.  No swirling needed.  The cake gets a swirly rainbow look all on its own while baking.  A sweet lemon glaze is drizzled on top!

Rainbow Bundt Cake leftovers will be just fine for a couple of days.  Just be sure to keep leftovers well-wrapped or in a covered bundt cake container.  Keeping it at room temperature is just fine.

Julie Hession is an incredibly talented creator of cake recipes.  This Beautiful Bundts cookbook is definitely one to add to your cookbook shelf if you love to bake cakes.  I also have her Piece of Cake cookbook, and that one is my go-to book for all kinds of layer cakes.

If you’re looking for more pretty cake recipes, you might like to try:

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5 from 7 votes

Rainbow Bundt Cake

Magically swirled rainbow layers in every slice!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 14 servings
Calories 510kcal
Author RecipeGirl.com (Beautiful Bundts)
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword rainbow bundt cake, rainbow bundt cake recipe



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring (gel paste works best- see notes below)


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  • In a separate larger bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the sugar, butter and oil on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes.
  • Alternately beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions or flour and two of buttermilk, and beating until incorporated.
  • Divide the batter equally among 6 small bowls, about 1 1/3 cups in each bowl.  You can leave one portion in the mixing bowl.  Stir in 4 to 8 drops red food coloring into one bowl and stir until thoroughly blended and the color is even (see Recipe Notes for color tips).  Repeat with other food coloring and batters.
  • Transfer the red batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly using a spoon or an offset spatula.,  Repeat the process with the remaining batters in the following order: orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  Do your best to layer each color evenly without swirling into other colors (expect imperfections).  The batter requires no swirling, since the batters will magically swirl on their own during the baking process.
  • Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until puffed and golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, zest and 4 tablespoons juice until smooth.  Whisk in more lemon juice if necessary (1 teaspoon at a time) until the glaze is thick, but pourable.
  • Pour the glaze over the cooled cake, letting it drip down the sides.  Let the glaze set for at least 15 minutes before serving.



  • Gel color paste works best for this recipe.  You can find it in the baking aisle of craft stores like Michaels.  Plan to save it and use it for other recipes too- it's the only food coloring I use!
  • Make-ahead tip:  You can prepare this cake up to 3 days in advance.  Store the cooled glazed cake in a cake container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1.6mg
More Bundt Cake Recipes...
Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Abby wrote:

    Loved this recipe!! I made this recently as a bundt cake and I am planning on converting it to cupcakes. Should I change the baking time or temperature since they will he smaller?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      No need to change the temp, but you will need to adjust baking time. I’d start checking at 25 minutes to see if they’re done.

  • Alia wrote:

    This was a great recipe. Turnes out so well. I did use cream cheese frosting instead of the lemon zest one.

  • Sarah wrote:

    I am wondering if this recipe is suitable for high altitude?

  • Karen Baxter wrote:

    I followed this recipe to the T, but could not get it out of pan! The pan was non-stick and I sprayed with Pam, but ended up in chunks and was very disappointed! I cook and bake all the time, but this is one recipe that will go in the trash!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      That’s so weird- I’m sorry you had trouble with it!

  • Ashley F wrote:

    This is gorgeous! My kids love this cake!

  • Steph wrote:

    Such an adorable idea! Can’t wait to make this for St. Patrick’s Day!

  • Anna McNamara wrote:

    Making this for my family for St. Patricks day! Thank you for the fun idea!!

  • Cheryl S wrote:

    What a fun surprise!! This cake is fabulous!

  • Katerina @ diethood .com wrote:

    OH my goodness!! This looks SO awesome!! I have to try this bundt cake!!