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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 2.94 / 5 (210 votes)

Prep time:
1 hr
Cook time:
50 min
Makes 1 cake in a 500ml jar

A rainbow cake in a jar is perfect to give as a gift and so much easier than cooking all of the layers separately


1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mix a little at a time, alternating with a spoon of the flour to prevent the mix from curdling. Add the remaining flour and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture into 6 and put into individual bowls.

2. Colour the batter in each bowl with the colouring. Go slowly, adding a little colour at a time until you reach your desired colour. Don’t be tempted to make the colour too dark as they will darken further as they bake.

3. Once you have your 6 colours mixed, you can begin to assemble the rainbow. Carefully spoon your first colour into the middle of the jar, being very careful not to touch the sides. Using a teaspoon, carefully work the batter around the bottom of the jar until you have an even distribution throughout. Proceed in a similar fashion working your way through the whole spectrum of colours.

4. Fill a tin with approximately 3cm of water and place your jar in the tin, leaving the top of the jar open. This water will create steam inside the oven that will help to keep the cake moist during the baking process.

5. Put the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Remove from the tray once baked and place on a cooling rack.

6. For the buttercream: Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Once the cake has cooled completely add the butter icing and sprinkles.


For the cake

  • 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 6 gel food colouring, in a variety of colours

For the buttercream:

  • 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • bright coloured sprinkles, to decorate

Tips and suggestions

You can graduate different shades of pink or blue for a girl or a boy or mix the colours up to match someone's favourite sports team.

Want to make a full sized rainbow cake? Try Edd Kimber's rainbow cake recipe

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Latest Comment


This is the second time I have tried this and it is not working for me!!! This time only the top and bottom layer has risen....not the middle ones....I have used this time a jar like on the image and have put the jar in a deep baking tray with the recommended 3cm of water, has anyone got any other suggestions??

Thanks Smile

DeborahF804 DeborahF804  Posted 27 Mar 2014 9:32 AM

attempted to make this last night and it came out really nice only next time i will use a slightly bigger jar and they look really really nice.

zeenatM35850 zeenatM35850  Posted 21 Mar 2013 10:18 AM

Any recommendations for types of jar to use?

 Posted 23 Feb 2013 2:38 PM

Hi Claire,

It's best to remove the rubber band when you bake and replace it afterwards, but the cooking time will be the same no matter how many jars you make.

Let us know how you get on!


Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food Posted 13 Dec 2012 12:04 PM

Hi Anna!
I was wondering if you need to alter the time and heat if you do more than one at once? And also do you remove the rubber ring or anything before putting in the oven?
Thanks Smile

Claire-Lou60330 Claire-Lou60330 Posted 12 Dec 2012 10:02 PM

Hi Hannah, thanks for comment - this cake is just like any other so I would treat it the same way, you can store it in its airtight container for a few days but it has to be eaten within that time. I would make the cake on Christmas Eve ideally, but you could make it the day before, then give it as a gift on Christmas Day.



Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food Posted 04 Dec 2012 3:30 PM

Hello, how long does the cake keep for in the jar? If I gave it as a xmas present what would be the recommended time to make it and eat it by. Thank you

HannahF79815 HannahF79815 Posted 30 Nov 2012 3:54 PM

Hi Liz and Jenny, thanks for your comments - this recipe is a bit of a novelty, which makes an unusual gift. It makes 1 cake in a 1/2 litre jar, so I will update the recipe to avoid any more confusion. I have received cakes in jars before; you close the lid before you give it as a gift and then you eat it with a spoon.


Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food Posted 20 Nov 2012 9:09 AM

Me too -- what size jar -- and are you supposed to close the top before giving it as a gift. Looks rather complicated to me. How are people supposed to eat it? Spoon it out. Bit gimmicky I think.

Liz 88 Liz 88 Posted 20 Nov 2012 4:52 AM

what size jar is used?

Jenny. Jenny. Posted 16 Nov 2012 7:32 PM