Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake

Here is my recipe for a Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake which can be decorated any way you like once the sponges and buttercream have been made. This really tasted delicious and would make a great birthday cake for any rainbow cake fan who needs a GF and DF cake.
Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake

It was Jenson’s 7th birthday a couple of weeks ago, and the weekend before his actual birthday (which fell on Good Friday this year), he had a joint party with his friend Holly with whom he shares the same birthday. Holly cannot eat foods which contain gluten and dairy, and as I offered to make the birthday cake, I decided to have a go at making a Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake.

Now before I continue, I am by no means an expert in GF and DF baking or cooking, as I have only ever made a few things before for friends or family. However, I figured (and hoped) that I could pull this off by substituting regular flour and butter for GF and Df alternatives. 

My design idea, was to make a rainbow sponge cake and top it with marshmallow clouds and fondant rainbows. My finished cake was not actually what I had set out for, mainly because my rainbows collapsed once they were sat on top of the cake! Nightmare!

I followed this you tube tutorial to the letter, and made my rainbows 3 days before the party, and yet on the morning of the party, upon placing my beautiful rainbows on the top the cake, they bent and collapsed and did not look as beautiful as I had hoped! However, the birthday boy and girl seemed to like it despite the wonky rainbows, and lots of children at the party wanted to have one to take home!

The sponges looked really good once baked, and they rose a lot more than I thought they would. I had visions of them being flat! Thankfully, they looked very impressive and now I just hoped they would taste nice (which is always tricky when you are making a cake such as this, no way of knowing how it tastes until it is cut into!).

Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake

The other thing you never know about, is how colourful the rainbow sponges will be until the cake is cut. Thankfully, the colour of these sponges were very bright and cheery. 

The cake was cut up for the party bags and then some was shared around for the parents, and it received some lovely comments which was such a relief! I managed to try a small piece and it did taste very nice. You could just detect that GF flour was used, as it does have a slight after taste, but I was so impressed with how big my sponges were. 

Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake

The messy buttercream here is where the rainbow was stuck on. 

Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake

Here is the recipe for this Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake :

Gluten and Dairy Free Rainbow Cake
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30
  • 600g dairy free spread ( I used Vitalite dairy free spread)
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 12 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 600g gluten free flour (I used Sainsburys)
  • 6 food colourings - I used Cake Decor Rainbow Cake Colour Gels plus Dr Oetker purple gel
  • *for the DF buttercream/frosting*
  • 300g dairy free spread
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • more of the same 6 food colourings used for the sponge
  • *decoprations*
  • mini white marshmallows
  • dairy free foil covered chocolate coins
  • fondant rainbows - 6 colours needed (I used the same 6 colours I used for the sponge) - see notes about this in the main body of this blog post.
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC
  2. Grease and line 6 x 8 inch cake tins
  3. In a very large bowl ( I used my Kenwood Chef) mix together the dairy free spread and sugar until pale and creamy, which takes a good 5 - 10 minutes given the qty used!
  4. Once this is done, add the eggs. I added half first along with 2 tbsp of the GF flour and then the remaining eggs with 2 more tbsp of flour
  5. I also added the vanilla and mixed in well
  6. Add the remaining flour and mix well.
  7. At the point , if possible, weigh how much cake batter you have and then divide the mixture into 6 bowls.
  8. Into each bowl add a good squirt or two/three of the food colourings (ensuring you have enough left to use in the buttercreams),and mix so you can see how vibrant each batter becomes. You should be able to tell how much food colouring you need .
  9. Now pour each cake batter colour into the 6 cake tins
  10. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and cooked right through
  11. Leave to cool.
  12. *Buttercream*
  13. I found that the coloured buttercream needs to be made just before you want to use them, so I would recommend not making this too much in advance, as I found the buttercream split a little, which was opals I added a little more icing sugar to each one and beat it again and it was fine. I do not know if this was down to the spread being DF or that this is what happens with rainbow frosting!
  14. Anyway to make it I did this:
  15. Place the DF butter spread and the icing sugar and vanilla into large bowl and beat well to make a smooth buttercream.
  16. Assemble the sponges,which have now been removed from their tins, and sandwich each one with the buttercream. Then coat the entire cake with a thin layer of the buttercream, and the pop into the fridge for a hour to set. Meanwhile, reserve about 2 tbsp of the vanilla plain coloured buttercream for later.
  17. With the remaining buttercream, divide it between 6 bowls and add a little of each food colour to each bowl and mix well.
  18. Pour each buttercream into a piping bag (or you can use a knife and go free hand - up to you!)
  19. Starting at the bottom, pipe/go free hand, add each colour buttercream over the same colour sponge underneath the plain buttercream layer. Then smooth over with a palette knife.
  20. Finally, add the remaining plain buttercream to the top the cake and add some marshmallows and the rainbows,and some of the foil covered chocolate coins.

For his actual birthday, he had asked for a Care Bear cake based on his very own Rainbow Heart Bear

So here is what I made him

Linking to:
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hosted by Jacqueline.

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17 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Your cake looks like it rose beautifully and I love the bright colours and rainbows. I’ve only made a rainbow cake once and I really want to make one again but it gets too tall for my cake carrier which stresses me out haha. Your care bear cake is really cute too. I bet your son loved them both x

  2. The cake looks great, very fluffy. I wouldn’t have guessed is a gluten free cake from the pictures. Well done! The idea of the rainbow is great too.

  3. What’s a wonky rainbow between friends I think it looks fabulous – Great fun! Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare

  4. Hi my son has a cows milk allergy but gluten is fine. Was hoping you’d know what flour I could use instead of gluten free flour as you mentioned you substituted regular flour, was it self-raising flour? I’m using your recipe to make my sons birthday cake in 10 days. Thank you

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