Easy rainbow sponge cake

This easy rainbow sponge cake is a rookie-proof recipe for making a fluffy and colorful cake, that children will especially love. If you have kids, you can ask them to help you prepare this rainbow sponge cake and show them the “magic” of colored concentric circles that basically form by themselves.

To make the easy rainbow sponge cake, you’ll just need to prepare one dough, divide it into four bowls and add a little food coloring in powder or gel form to each bowl; then pour the dough a spoon at a time into the baking pan, alternating different colors, and the optical effect is done! You can serve the rainbow sponge cake as it is, or garnished with whipped cream and some colored sprinkles.

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easy rainbow sponge cake with one dough lactose-free dairy-free gluten-free by tastycorner

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time15 Minutes
  • Cooking time45 Minutes
  • Serving8 servings
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineItalian

Ingredients for 8 inch rainbow sponge cake

3 eggs (medium)
21/2 cups all purpose (AP) flour (300 g – 10,5 oz)
3/4 cup sugar (150 g – 5,3 oz)
1/2 cup sunflower oil (85 g – 3 oz)
2 teaspoons baking powder (10 g)
1/3 cup water (80 g – 2,8 oz)
q.s. food colors (blue, green and red)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated)
3 drops vanilla essence
315,99 Kcal
calories per serving
Info Close
  • Power 315,99 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 46,74 (g) of which sugars 20,49 (g)
  • Proteins 6,69 (g)
  • Fat 12,72 (g) of which saturated 1,92 (g)of which unsaturated 10,31 (g)
  • Fibers 1,19 (g)
  • Sodium 28,38 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 78 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: https://www.crea.gov.it/alimenti-e-nutrizione https://www.alimentinutrizione.it ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov


4 Bowls
1 Pan 8 inch (20 cm)
Baking papers

How to make easy rainbow sponge cake

Shell the eggs – preferably at room temperature – in a bowl. Add the sugar and grated lemon zest. Whip the mixture with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.

mix eggs and sugar fo rainbow sponge cake

Still beating with whips, pour the oil slowly. When you have incorporated the oil, add the water and the vanilla essence, while continuing to whip the mixture. When the dough is homogeneous, sift inside the flour mixed with the yeast.

add flour to easy rainbow sponge cake dough

Mix the dough with a whisk for a couple of minutes, until the flour is perfectly incorporated. At the end you will have a fluid and homogeneous mixture, but not too liquid.

Divide it into 4 bowls and put a spoon in each bowl, so you don’t go wrong in mixing two bowls with two different colors using the same spoon.

divide the dough in 4 bowls

Leave one part of the dough in neutral color, while in each of the other three bowls put a hint of red, blue and green food coloring. Initially use a little dye and mix, so you will realize if you need more. To prepare the rainbow sponge cake, use food coloring in powder or gel form and avoid liquid ones that would make the dough too liquid.

Mix all the doughs well, until you have a homogeneous and rather intense color. Keep in mind that cooking will fade slightly.

add color food to the rainbow cake dough

Line an 8-inch (20 cm diameter) cake pan with baking paper. Put a spoonful of neutral dough in the center of the baking pan. Let it spread and overlap, always in the center, a spoonful of blue dough. Continue with a spoonful of another color, always dropped into the center of the dough.

make the easy rainbow sponge cake with different colored dough

Continue in this way, always overlapping spoonfuls of dough of different colors, until all the doughs are completely exhausted; you will get a nice effect of colored concentric circles.

easy rainbow sponge cake before baking

Without tilting the pan (or you will ruin this effect), bake the rainbow sponge cake in the preheated oven at 356° F (180° C) for about 40 minutes.

Before taking it out of the oven, check that it is also cooked inside pricking it with a wooden toothpick, which must be dry. If so, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before removing it from the pan.

rainbow sponge cake after baking

Otherwise, if the cake inside is still too moist, continue baking for 5-10 minutes. Serve the rainbow sponge cake as it is, or garnish it with a little icing sugar or whipped cream.

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How to store the rainbow cake

You can keep the rainbow sponge cake in a cake container at room temperature. It remains soft for 3 to 4 days.

Tips and variation

You can prepare the easy rainbow sponge cake using the colors you prefer. However, consider that the base of the dough is yellow, so too soft colors are difficult to obtain.
If you want to cover the harlequin cake with whipped cream, you’ll need 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Whip it with electric whisk together with 2 tablespoons of sugar. You can then garnish the cake with colored sprinkles.

Dairy-free and gluten free rainbow cake

This rainbow cake recipe is dairy-free and lactose-free. For a gluten-free rainbow sponge cake simply replace the all purpose flour with an equal amount of rice flour.

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