Rainbow Sherbet Tie-dye Cake

A few years ago tie-dye cakes and cupcakes were all the rage but the problem was that they all had the same taste, vanilla. Food coloring was being used to change the color but not the flavor. I started to experiment with changing not only the color but also the flavors to match the colors. I settled on using Jello to change the color and the flavor of the cake creating endless variations. The flavor of this recipe is rainbow sherbet. I made a vanilla cake batter then flavored portions of the batter lime, raspberry, and orange. The flavor is subtle as opposed to a strong rainbow sherbet flavor so it doesn’t interfere with the filling. This recipe is a variation of one that I originally found on A Sue Chef’s blog on Pinterest. Give it a try and let me now what you think.

Serving size: 2 8″ cake rounds, 1 rectangular cake pans, 1 bundt cake, etc.

Active time: 20 minutes

Inactive time: 35 minutes


3 C. all purpose flour IMG_6098

1 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

2 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. vegetable oil (I use avocado)

1/4 C. salted butter

2 eggs

1 C. buttermilk

1 T. vanilla extract

1 C. hot water (separated into 1/4 C. portions)

1 t. apple cider vinegar

2 T. Raspberry Jello gelatin

2 T. Orange Jello gelatin

2 T. Lime Jello gelatin


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Add 1/4 C. of hot water to three separate bowls. Add 2 T. of Jello gelatin to each bowl without mixing flavors (one bowl of hot water and gelatin per flavor). Sit the bowls to the side until the water is warm but no longer hot.

3. Add all of the dry ingredients to a medium mixing bowl through a sifter.

4. Melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly.

5. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, 1/4 C. water and melted cooled butter to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined.

6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. (Note the batter will be thick).

7. Divide the batter into four bowls evenly. Leaving one bowl as vanilla, add one of the Jello flavored water to each of the bowls of batter and mix to combine.

8. Oil your baking dish.

9. Add each layer of the batter to the baking pan until all of the batter from all 4 bowls has been used. This can be done in a variety of ways: you can layer flavors, tie-dye flavors, dollop flavors next to each other, etc just try not to mix them too much so each color and flavor is still distinguishable.

10. Place the cake into the oven, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F (don’t wait for the oven temperature to reduce before adding the cake), and bake for 35 minutes.

11. Allow the cake to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan and allowing it to cool on a cooling rack if you have one available.


12. This cake can be eaten plain, with fillings, or frosting of your choice. I used a mascarpone frosting that is available on my blog. Whatever you choose I know you will enjoy!


Notes and Variations:

  • Any flavor of Jello can be used.
  • Other vinegars can be used instead of the apple cider.
  • The Jello can be omitted and this can just be a vanilla cake. Add the water in with the rest of the wet ingredients and skip the 7th step.
  • C=cups
  • T=tablespoons
  • t=teaspoons
  • oz=ounces

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