Rainbow Parfaits with a Pot of Gold

by Charity Curley Mathews ; Updated September 28, 2017


Whether it's for St. Patrick's Day or for a "Wizard of Oz"-themed birthday party, these rainbow parfaits create the perfect dessert. By splitting up the batter of three white cake mixes and adding coloring, you'll be able to create your own festive rainbow in a cinch. Don't forget the gold candies too!

Materials You'll Need

Three cake mixes plus eggs and oil for each make the base of these rainbow parfait cakes. Add food coloring, white frosting, sprinkles and a variety of options for "gold" (chocolate gold coins, candy with gold wrappers, even o-shaped cereal can work). To bake, use muffin top pans or a 9x9 pan. A round cookie cutter or simply a small juice glass can make the rounds from the sheet cake. And if you have any green cake leftover, a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter can add extra cuteness.

Prepare Cake Mixes

Prepare cake mixes according to instructions but split up each batch into two separate bowls. You will have six bowls total. Then you'll add coloring.

Prepare Colors

Add 20 drops of food coloring to each bowl of batter. Tip: Add it while the ingredients aren't quite mixed in thoroughly yet. That way you can use the beaters to finish mixing the batter while incorporating the food coloring at the same time; your cakes will be lighter and fluffier if you don't over-mix them.

Bake Cakes

There are two ways to bake the cakes. Use a muffin top pan, like this one, filling each cup with one color. Note: We made four rainbow parfait cakes, so we needed four rounds of each color.

Or Use a Baking Pan

Alternatively, use a 9x9 pan or even a round cake pan for each color. Bake according to package instructions.

Cut Rounds

Allow cakes to cool then invert on the counter. The bottom should be facing up. Use your juice glass or cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

Smooth Edges

If necessary, smooth the edges or even out the tops of the cakes so they're as uniform as possible. A serrated steak knife works well for a project this size.

Add Icing

Place the bottom layer (usually rainbows are in this order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) on your work surface and add a thin layer of icing. It should peek out from the edges just a bit.

Add More Layers

Continue adding more layers, alternating cake with icing, until you have all six colors completed.

Add Gold

Use a bamboo skewer to hold everything in place and add sprinkles to the top. Choose your "gold" and serve.

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Photo Credits

  • Foodlets.com

About the Author

Charity Curley Mathews is a mom, media consultant, food writer and founder of Foodlets.com. Her dream is to help families raise children who eat—and enjoy—real food. You can find her most recent posts, recipes and stories on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.