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Rainbow Cake Roll


posted: 08/09/13

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Rainbow Cake Roll! An easy recipe with a big wow factor!!

I’m kind of in denial, but my little girl is TWO today!!

I can barely believe that we have gone from that sleepy newborn stage to a little girl who loves to give her family hugs and kisses, dance wildly, and has a smile that could melt the polar ice caps in what feels like a week and a half.

Time has gone alarmingly quickly.

Slices of the Rainbow Cake Roll that is swirled with different colors and has a side of whip cream with sprinkles.

In the last year, Quinn has gone from a toddler who had more similarities to an American who speaks exclusively English traveling alone in Germany to this sassy spunky little two year old with a rich and wonderful sense of humor.

Very often people who have babies after losing a child call that next baby their “Rainbow Baby.” I cringe a little at that description, because I would never want anyone to describe Elliot as a storm. He was nothing but warm rays of sunshine in my life. But the wake of his death? Yes, that was a storm. Quinn’s pregnancy? That was a storm. Constantly wondering if she would be okay. Trying to imagine her being born into this world safe and sound and seeing nothing but darkness when I tried to imagine her safe passage into our lives.

But when Quinn was born, literally the moment after she was born, the clouds parted for me and she was my rainbow. My mind was put at ease, and I felt at peace with this little life.

And so Quinny is my rainbow. The rainbow at the end of that stormy time in my life. {Hence the giant Rainbow Party last year.}

So what better cake to celebrate than a rainbow cake??

Slices of the Rainbow Cake Roll that is swirled with different colors and has a side of whip cream with sprinkles.

This rainbow cake roll idea came to me in that odd state between fully awake and fully asleep around the Fourth of July. I was actually thinking of a red, white, and blue cake roll in addition to a rainbow cake roll and seriously woke up the next morning to see this amazing Patriotic Cake Roll from Crazy for Crust.

Great minds, people. Great minds.

Dorothy is the Queen when it comes to cake rolls. I, foolishly, tried to do this Rainbow Cake Roll with a box cake mix . . . twice . . . before just going with Dorothy’s flawless recipe and instructions. In fact, one of her most recent cake rolls, the Zucchini Cake Roll with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling, has an amazing set of rules/tips to follow when doing a cake roll. You must check it out. To see all of Dorothy’s Cake Rolls, click here.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!! I love you my little rainbow. You light up my life!

Picture of toddler girl in a pink top and blue pants.

Rainbow Cake Roll

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • powdered sugar, for rolling the cake
  • 1 can of frosting, divided six ways
  • food coloring
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a jelly roll pan (the shallow ones that are 10 by 15) with foil, spray the foil with cooking spray and lightly dust it with flour.
  2. Beat the eggs on high until frothy, about five minutes.
  3. Beat in the sugar, oil, and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients, the flour, salt, and baking powder, until combined. Now add them to your wet ingredients by folding them in. Do not over mix.
  5. Sperate the batter into six bowls. I used a scale to make sure that equal amounts were in each bowl. Make sure that you get every last drop of batter. Add food color to get red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Note:  The batter is very yellow, so you likely won’t have to add yellow, and you may not get as crisp brilliant colors as you’d like.
  6. Pour the batter into your jelly roll pan with the colors laying the short way. It may help to mark the pan into six equal parts with masking tape on the side. As you pour in the batter, you don’t want to put the orange, directly next to the red, because then you won’t haven enough batter to make it the length of the pan. (See picture below)
  7. Bake for about 9 minutes.
  8. While the cake is baking spread a clean towel on the counter, sprinkle very liberally with powdered sugar making sure that no area of the towel that will see cake is showing.
  9. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, flip it over onto the towel and peel away the tin foil carefully. Roll the cake up in the towel. (Note:  Dorothy has detailed pictures and instructions. Visit her.)
  10. Let the cake cool, rolled up in the towel, for at least an hour, but not longer than four hours.
  11. While the cake is cooling, color your frosting rainbow colors (in the six separate bowls) to match the cake.
  12. After the cake has finished cooling, unroll it. Frost the red frosting on the red part, orange on orange, etc. The lines of color won’t be exact, but I would follow the cake for the frosting.
  13. Roll the cake back up, chill for at least a half hour, cut (make sure you wipe off the knife betwen each cut), serve, and amaze your guests!!

Batter is laid out on the baking sheet by the color of the rainbow. (Left to right: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. [email protected] says

    Can you even believe that a few months from now they’ll be turning THREE?? Where does it go….seriously? I absolutely love this cake roll; how cute would it be to have this been Quinn’s annual bday dessert? Just be sure to invite me over for a piece!!

  2. Mary says

    Your little rainbow is truly a masterpiece and I’m sure a joy to your life. I know that my grandchildren are truly a wonder to mine. I’m raising two of them, ages 10 and 11, girls. They are keeping me young atleast at heart. LOL.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Mary!


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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners