Rainbow Citrus Cake Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Rainbow Citrus Cake Recipe
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Rainbow Citrus Cake

Recipe by  

"Tri-colored cake with a lemon layer, lime layer and an orange layer. The filling is a lemon curd and the frosting is orange."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 3-layer 9-inch cake Change Servings
  • PREP

    45 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    2 hrs 45 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9-inch pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is incorporated; stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Divide batter into 3 bowls.
  3. In the first bowl, stir in lemon zest and yellow food coloring; pour into prepared pan. In the second bowl, stir in orange zest and orange food coloring; pour into second prepared pan. In the last bowl, stir in the lime zest and green food coloring; pour into third prepared pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Assemble the cake: stack the layers together with the Lemon Filling in between the layers. Frost sides and top with Orange Cream Frosting. Refrigerate until serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 30, 2009

To date only nine people have reviewed this recipe over the course of 5-1/2 years and it's such a shame as this is one, awesome cake in so many ways! I hope this review (and my posted pics) will change that! It's very moist, with a large, fluffy, but light and tender crumb. It definitely is fun and pretty, and you can clearly taste the distinct flavor of each of the lime, lemon and orange layers, each as delicious as the next. Given the mixed reviews for the filling and frosting, however, I did not use those particular recipes though I did prepare it with a lemon filling and an orange buttercream - specifically, "Lemon Cream," and "Golden Orange Frosting" - both great recipes as well and both complemented the cake nicely. This is much more labor intensive and time consuming than your average layer cake, but so worth the effort! This was a home run, not just for hubs and I, but with his staff as well. This cake will do any baker proud!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 28, 2006

Not bad but not the best cake I've had. I love citrus so this recipe intrigued me. Cake was dry and frosting a little too sweet for my tastes. Leftover cake went uneaten.

Jan 12, 2004

Since posting this recipe, many months ago, I have an addendum: if you'd like the layers to taste even more citrus-y, add lemon oil, lime oil, and orange oil to each respective layer. It makes the flavor stand out a lot more!!

Jan 12, 2004

This cake is FANTASTIC!! Here in Louisiana, it is sometimes hard to find recipes that are light enough to serve in the summer yet still presentable enough for any important occasion... I baked this one for my mom-in-law's retirement party, and there wasn't a scrap left! I'm here printing it again a year later to bake it for a baby shower I'm hosting... Here's something I did to decorate the cake: I stuck with the original recipe, because I like the delicate flavoring of the citrus fruits (I'm sure the oils makes it wonderful, but I like the light flavor!) and I candied orange, lemon and lime peels and used them to decorate the sides of the cake! It's a really easy way to add to the cake without overwhelming it! (Brandi, Baton Rouge, LA)

Feb 20, 2007

This cake is awesome. A bit of work but well worth it. The 1st time I made it, it did take a a lot of time. After then I organized my work to help the process flow smoothly. Preheat oven, preparing the pans and set aside 3 bowls for each layer (preferably the same size). Next grate the fruit,set aside. Then shift dry ingredients and set aside. Now start the actual creaming and mixing. After the cake goes into the oven, start the filling. While the filling is cooling start the frosting.

Jul 26, 2010

The amount of shortening frightened me and I wanted to cut down on prep time, so I made an adaptation of this recipe using a white cake mix. I used zests as directed but added a tablespoon of lime juice, orange essence, and lemon extract for an extra punch of flavor. The lime layer turned out to be the most mild in flavor and the orange came out tasting quite artificial. I used jarred lemon curd between the layers and then frosted with Cool Whip; so lots of changes, but much quicker and a little lighter in fat and calories.

Sep 08, 2010

Everyone loved this cake when I baked for a birthday party this past weekend. Based on the reviews, I did use a different lemon curd recipe than the one linked to here. But I prepared the cake more or less exactly as called for in the recipe, minus the food coloring and possibly a little extra zest. I didn't find the cake especially complicated to prepare, and though it was kind of time consuming, that was only because I only had one cake round and had to bake off each layer one at a time. Thanks!

May 17, 2010

Excellent cake, tasty, tall, and very showy when cut and the rainbow layers are exposed. I will try and sharpen the lime, lemon and orange flavors next time by adding a little lime, lemon and orange oil to each corresponding cake layer. However, the cake was fantastic when the recipe was followed to the T.


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  • Calories
  • 434 kcal
  • 22%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 67.5 g
  • 22%
  • Cholesterol
  • 64 mg
  • 21%
  • Fat
  • 15.4 g
  • 24%
  • Fiber
  • 1.1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 6.9 g
  • 14%
  • Sodium
  • 380 mg
  • 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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