Rainbow Cake in a Jar

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How to make rainbow cake in a jar;  Cake in a jar is fun and easy!  Learn how to make rainbow cake.

Rainbow Cake in a Jar from Jen's Favorite CookiesWhy exactly would you want a rainbow colored cake?  Well, let me tell you.

a) You’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a cute way.
b) You want something bright and colorful for a birthday party.
c) You’re like my daughter, and you change your mind about what your favorite color is every day.

And why would you want this cake in a jar?

a) It’s cute.
b) You’re kids are constantly fighting over portion sizes.
c) It’ll look amazing on Pinterest.

Cuz I know you are super concerned about how they look on Pinterest.  Or is that just me?

Rainbow Cake in a Jar from Jen's Favorite Cookies

I’ve actually blogged these before.  But since my photography, writing, and cake-coloring skills have improved so much, I figured it was time for a re-do.

Or is it re-doux?

Let’s talk about cake-coloring skills for a moment, shall we?

Rainbow Cake in a Jar from Jen's Favorite CookiesRainbow Cake in a Jar from Jen's Favorite Cookies

The first time I made this recipe, I used the liquid food color drops that you get at the grocery store.  I wasn’t thrilled with the results.  That stuff is great for lightly colored frosting, but not so much for brightly colored cake.

I really have a thing for not going to specialty stores, though, so if you want to use the regular drops, knock yourself out.  Just know they will be more pastel, and not bright or bold.

Today I used gel food color from AmeriColor .  This stuff works great, I promise you’ll love it.  And if you aren’t near a restaurant supply store, then it might be a good candidate for online purchase.

Rainbow Cake in a Jar from JensFavoriteCookies.com Rainbow Cake in a Jar from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Once you get your colors all mixed up, just drop spoonfuls into the jars, a little blob here, a little blob there.  They really don’t have too look too perfect, because the batter expands as it bakes.  The jars should be half full or less before baking.  Follow the instructions, and bake them in a water bath.

Your St. Patricks / Birthday / Rainbow party is going to be such a huge success!

More St. Patrick’s Day desserts you’ll love!

St. Patricks DayPistachio
Caramel Cookies
coconut dessert recipesCoconut Lime
Poke Cake
key-lime-sugar-cookie-bars-7Key Lime
Sugar Cookies


Rainbow Cake in a Jar
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rainbow colored white cake baked in canning jars and topped with frosting.
Category: Cake
Yield: 6
  • 1 white cake, prepared but not baked
  • food coloring (gel variety preferred)
  • prepared frosting
  • sprinkles (optional)
  1. Split prepared cake batter into 5 separate parts, each in a small bowl or cup.
  2. Put a small amount of food coloring into each part, stirring to achieve a bold color.
  3. Carefully drop a spoonful of each color batter into each of 6 half pint canning jars.
  4. Place jars in a 9x13 pan, with ¼" water in the bottom. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Once cakes have cooled, frost the tops and decorate with sprinkles.

 how to make rainbow cake

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  1. Cakes in jars are so cute yet I’ve never done it. May I ask what the water in the pan is for? Is it to prevent burning?

    • Connie, honestly, I use water because that’s the way I learned to do it. Old habits die hard, I guess! I think it gives some protection to your jars, and keeps your cake moist. It is probably not a necessary step, since many jar cake recipes I have seen have you place the jars on a sheet pan, no water involved. I’ll leave the choice up to you!

  2. I have a friend in Ireland who is obsessed with rainbow things. I think she even guest posted on my blog with her rainbow cake! I’ll have to send her this recipe and see if she’ll make it. I bet she will!

  3. These are so adorable. They just scream ‘eat me’ :)

  4. These looks so fun and good! I’ve been trying to think of something special to make for Andy’s birthday party and I think that might just be the ticket!

  5. What a fun idea, Jen! My girls would have loved these when they were little. I need to find some children to bake for!

  6. Oh how I wish I had girls. They would appreciate how cute these are more than my boys, who are just like, “CAAAAKE,”

  7. Do I have to grease the jars?

    • Miriam, you don’t have to (I didn’t), but I don’t think it would hurt if you did. It might make them easier to clean, and I’m all for that!


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