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Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake


posted: 03/09/16

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

This Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake is a show stopper! Plus it’s totally delicious!

A slice of the Rainbow Sugar Cookie cake is on a white plate showing the colors of the rainbow and topped with white frosting on the edges and rainbow sprinkles.

Do you guys get really into song lyrics?

I do. Like unreasonably into them. Like I find a song that I like and then I meld it into my life. Which is a little ridiculous because I listen to top 40 radio stations all the time, and most of those songs are written by people who are basically tweens going through break ups.


The Rainbow Sugar Cookie cake has vanilla frosting piped on the edges with a star tip.

One of my favorite songs that took on a seriously deep meaning for me was the song Run by Snow Patrol. It totally became into a song about Elliot. (You can read the full lyrics here.)  Some of the lyrics are

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I’ll be right beside you dear

Whenever I hear it, I’m immediately taken back to the moments before Elliot died. When I was holding him in my arms and whispering to him how much I loved him. How everything was going to be okay. How it was okay to leave us. We would be alright. We wouldn’t let his death ruin our lives, we wouldn’t let his mark on our lives be tragedy.

A slice of the Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake is being taken out of the cake showing the distinct layers of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple (in that order from top to bottom).

Elliot has been on my mind a ton lately. For a lot of reasons, big and small.

The biggest of all being that someone close to Nathan and I told us recently, in no uncertain terms, that since it has been five years it is time for us to move on from Elliot’s death.

An overhead photo of the Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake with a slice cut out and next to the cake on a white plate.

I think at some point this will become a larger post titled “What Not to Say to Someone Who is Grieving,” (it’s a little ridiculous that I have a list), but this week, when Elliot is on my mind so strongly I feel compelled to share this with you.

Grief is a very tricky thing. It comes in waves. It attacks when you don’t expect it . . . and very very often when it seems like it should have left you for good.

Someone much much smarter than me said that we should be kind to others as everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Someone else very smart said something along the lines of how important it is to be kinder to others than is expected.

While it has been more than five years since I whispered my goodbyes to Elliot, and while I’m a very functioning grieving mom, I am still grieving. Like a lost limb, I have learned to function without my second born, but that doesn’t make him any less missed.

A slice of the Rainbow Sugar Cookie cake is on a white plate showing the colors of the rainbow and topped with white frosting on the edges and rainbow sprinkles.

Ummm . . . should we talk about this Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake now? It is entirely unrelated to Elliot’s death or my grief and will likely earn me a “We just want the recipe” comment, but I kind of love that it is the recipe that goes with this post.

Because rainbows are so happy. And sugar cookies are seriously happy. And cookie cakes are just over the top.

This cake is a lot easier than you would think. It’s basically the best sugar cookie recipe, divided, dyed, and haphazardly thrown into a springform pan. You won’t get even layers, but that’s totally fine, because as you can see it still pulls off it’s rainbowness perfectly.

Enjoy, friends. And please be kind.

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Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake

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  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 TBSPS butter 1 3/4 stick at room temperature
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • food coloring
  • vanilla frosting


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With your mixer on medium, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the eggs (one at a time) and then the vanilla until well combined.
  • Slowly mix in the flour mixture until well combined, with your mixer set to low. Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Divide the dough evenly into six bowls and mix with the colors of the rainbow. Starting with the purple dough, press it into the bottom of the pan as evenly as possible. Work your way up through the rainbow dough. The layers will not be completely even or perfect, but that’s okay.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  • Top with vanilla frosting and serve with whipped cream.
Author: Lisa Longley

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Rainbow Sugar Cookie Cake

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A slice of the Rainbow Sugar Cookie cake is on a white plate showing the colors of the rainbow and topped with white frosting on the edges and rainbow sprinkles.

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. Melissa | Persnickety Plates says

    Your cake is gorgeous and makes me happy.
    Your very understandable grief makes my heart hurt.
    Your twat friend that said you need to move on makes me angry.

    I don’t really know what else to say <3

    • Lisa Longley says

      I just love you Melissa.

  2. Sarah Averett says

    This is beautiful. Grieve on, mama. For the rest of your life. Because even that amount of time will never, ever heal the hole that I’m sure you feel for Elliot every single day. And even through that pain, you are still a ray of sunshine in my life and nobody has the right to ever judge you or tell you it is time to be done! Love you, friend. XOXO P.S. I love this cookie cake. And the fudge at the end of the post. You are rocking the rainbow food and it makes me so happy!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Sarah, you are such an amazing soul.

  3. Karen @ The Food Charlatan says

    I don’t think the loss of a child is something that could ever “leave for good.” I have been studying the scriptures lately about death, mourning, and the afterlife, and one thing that someone said on the topic really struck me. It was something like, if we didn’t have sorrow at death, that means that there was no love in life. You and Elliot clearly had a special love for each other, and I don’t think it’s strange or weird or unexpected for you to still mourn the loss. Lots of hugs.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for all of your kind words, Karen.

  4. Rachael says

    Honey, you are so right. Everyone should be nicer than is expected. And you have every right to grieve. It would be weird if you ever stopped completely. Elliot is your child. I can’t even imagine that loss, but I do know that it is not something that goes away, the hurt may just not be as close to the surface with time. And you are an amazing human being who brings light to so many. Preach on. And thank you! I feel blessed to know you.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Rachael. You are just such a sweet soul.

  5. heather @french press says

    BIG hugs to you Lisa! and not that I want you to have a reason to grieve, but you just go on and grieve all you want, for as long as you want, in any way that you want!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Love you Heather!

  6. Teri Giese says

    Hi Lisa! While it is so true that all of us has something out of sync in our lives, as a mom to four grown daughters, I can never nor could I bear to imagine the loss of any of them!One can never totally just move on from such a thing.Our children are literally part of us. My girls, 3of them, live 3,000miles away from me. The 18 year old baby is still home.I miss her just due to she is growing away from me in her independence! Bless you sweet little mommy,there is no time limit to grievance. All are unique in that. Hugs surround you every day! Getting your blog for awhile, and love your recipes, but also learning about you and your life. The YUMS are a bonus!!! God Bless!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Teri, thank you so much for you kind and sweet comment. It meant so much to me!

  7. Mir says

    Anyone who puts a time limit on grieving probably hasn’t been through a loss that shakes them to the core. Some passings are expected and therefore manageable, but the loss you had is something that no parent should ever have to go through. There is no getting over that, and there is no “still” in grieving. I hope people are kind and understanding and not completely inept about that.
    Gorgeous cookie cake, of course. But even better heartfelt thoughts. Thanks, Lisa!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much Mir. You are just so endlessly supportive. I really appreciate it!

  8. Jennifer says

    It’s been 8 years apparently so nice you posted this recipe but I’m going to need the name and address of that monster who told you it was time to “move on” from your grief. I have steam coming out of my ears right now.
    I hope you and your family are continuing to heal and cherish the memories of your child. ❤️

    • Lisa Longley says

      Jennifer, you are too kind. It still makes my blood boil as well. And even though I would like to say I don’t need it, comments like this are so validating. Thank you ♥️

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners