Tie-Dye Cake (and Cupcakes!)

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion. These are always, always a huge hit!

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!

 Tie-Dye Cakes, Rainbow Cakes, Swirly Color Cakes, whatever you want to call them… I love them all! And they are super easy to make, too.

Dazzle your guests with this beauty on any occasion.

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!

Let me show you the cake and also walk you through the steps.

Make your Homemade Funfetti Cake batter (leave out the sprinkles in the batter).

Divide the batter into three different bowls. Drop food coloring of choice into each bowl. The white batter had no food coloring. Drop spoonfuls of batter into baking pan. It doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty!

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!

Bake the cake. Frost the cake. Sprinkle the cake. Cut the cake. Look at the pretty colors!

Devour the cake. –> That’s the best part.

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!

Happy 4th of July, America!

*You may absolutely make this tie-dye cake a with box cake mix. However, why use a box when my homemade vanilla cake recipe is just as easy? I promise. You’ll be thankful!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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How to Make a Tie-Dye Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 10
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion. These are always, always a huge hit!



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray 9×2 inch round cake pan (or 9-inch springform pan) with nonstick spray.
  2. Make the cake batter according to my directions (see link in the ingredient list). Divide the white batter into three separate bowls. Grab your food coloring and dye your batters any color you choose. I used 10 drops of red, 10 drops of blue, and left the third bowl plain. Place a separate spoon in each bowl. Scoop large spoonfuls of each batter and layer them into prepared baking pan. It does not have to be pretty. The colors will create a tie-dye effect. See photo above for how my cake looked prior to baking.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil). Bake for 13-17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  4. Make the frosting according to my directions (see link for frosting in ingredient list). Frost cooled cake and decorate as desired. Cake stays fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 days.


  1. Layer Cake: You could: (1) Bake the cake as indicated and slice the cake horizontally to create two layers. Double the frosting if desired. (2) Double the cake recipe and bake in two separate 9-inch cake pans for 1 extra tall layer cake. Double the frosting recipe as well.

Keywords: tie-dye cake

I know what you’re thinking. Can I do this with cupcakes?

I got ya covered…

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!

Make the batter for vanilla cupcakes. Divide the batter into three bowls. Use a few drops of food coloring to dye your batters. Layer the batter into the cupcake liners and bake. Frost with my vanilla frosting. That’s it!

How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!


Easy, right? Hope you enjoy. 

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How to make festive, colorful tie-dye homemade vanilla cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!


  1. Sally this is so cute! What a great how to post!!

  2. I love the look of the cake! It’s so cute, yet looks so easy. Would definintely be making this for the 4th, but we have a 9 hour car trip ahead of us that day, and I think we’d end up digging into it while we’re still in the car! 🙂 What a cute idea to use for a children’s birthday cake too! They could pick their favorite colors!

    1. Kelsey – yes, perfect for the kids! And good luck with that road trip – so long in the car! We used to drive to Michigan each summer. 12 hours!

  3. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says:

    It’s so beautiful and easy. LOVE the step by step directions. This would be a fun project for the 4th, especially with my niece!!

    1. Yes – totally a wonderful activity for the kids. Thanks Zainab!

  4. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says:

    My inner “hippy chick” is just loving this adorable tie-dye cake and cupcake concept for the 4th of July, Sally! You did a fabulous job on this tutorial, girl! Pinned to all group boards possible at Pinterest! xo

    1. Haha! Thanks for pinning Stacy!

  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Well aren’t you just Miss Holiday Spirit! 🙂 I can’t even believe it’s The Fourth already! Where has this year gone?! I would love a big fat slice of this right now. Extra frosting and extra sprinkles for my piece!

    1. Where is this year going? We got engaged 5 months ago. 5 months ago yesterday! It’s crazy Averie! Time is flying by. Summer always comes and goes too quickly. 🙁

  6. Jamie @lifelovelemons says:

    oooohh pretty colorssssss

  7. Love the tie dye cakes! They are just too cute and festive!!!

  8. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says:

    What a fun surpise when you cut into this gorgeous cake! So lovely as always, Sally. 🙂

    1. Cutting into each slice – each one differently colored – was the best!

  9. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    I always wondered how to do one of these cakes!!! I love the colors for the 4th!!

  10. Hey Sally! OMG this is sooo adorable! I’m having a bunch of friends over for the 4th of July and this seems like a perfect dessert to make for them! By the way, I love the heart sprinkles!

    1. Yes! It would be perfect for a 4th party with your friends Teresa. Hope you enjoy it! Those heart sprinkles are too cute. I got them at Target. 🙂

  11. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life says:

    Oh my gosh, the Fouth is one of my favorite holidays and seeing the red white and blue in your cake made me giddy:) I can’t wait! We always go to the lake and jet ski and tube with family. This cake would be the perfect finish to the day! SO simple, yet so stunning! I want to try this with the cupcakes, but both are so pretty!

    1. I love the 4th too, Mary Frances! Although your plans sound much more fun than mine. I love jet skis and tubing 🙂 Have fun!

  12. Heidi @foodiecrush says:

    My Smudge is all about the tie-dye, she’s going to go ga-ga over these babies.

  13. Beth @ Mangoes and Miles says:

    Oh my goodness this is genius. 4th of July breakfast, lunch, AND dinner–here I come! (Cake for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch, and more cake for dinner is obviously a balanced day of eating, right?)

    1. Obviously! 🙂

  14. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig says:

    This is just adorable, pinned it because it is just so festive!!

    1. Hi Cathy! Thanks for pinning 🙂

  15. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    I love this idea, I’m going to run with this idea for my neon dinner parties… some bright and hippy fun colors. Thanks Sally!

    1. Neon dinner parties? Sounds right up my alley!

  16. Great tutorial. I love when something is “demystified”!

  17. Which would work best, gel or liquid food coloring?

    1. It doesn’t matter in this recipe.

  18. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies says:

    I love marble-ing colors in cakes! Can make any recipe fun and festive!

  19. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    So festive! This is perfect for the upcoming 4th of July holiday!

  20. Naw! I love the cupcake version!! So cute. These cakes are gorgeous Sally. You always know how to brighten up something ordinary to make it look festive and beautiful! 🙂 Thanks for the lovely tutorial x

  21. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Love the tutorial.. Its so easy… Great 4th of july inspiration!!

  22. Love it – they’re all gorgeous! ^_^

  23. Gloria @ Simply Gloria says:

    How fun! My favorite part is cutting open the cake (or biting) into the cupcake! My kids have so much fun making their cupcakes like this! (=

    1. That’s my favorite part too. 🙂 Thanks Gloria!

  24. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health says:

    Wow Sally, this cake is gorgeous! I love how festive it is and I know it tastes perfect too. I may have to make this for the barbeque I’m going to this weekend!

  25. Your cake and cupcakes look so festive and yummy, and agree entirely…homemade is easy and best!

  26. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says:

    What a great idea for a pretty, patriotic cake, Sally! This is such a cool technique! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  27. I love this!!! Looks awesome Sally! I am gonna do this for Canada Day on July 1st! 🙂 Mind you, it will only be two colors (red and white), but that the heck, I’ll just add lots of fun sprinkles to spice it up!

  28. **what the heck. 🙂

  29. LOVING the Syracruse cake you made! I’m not much into sports, but I’m sure Kevin would love one of these in purple shades during Ravens season 🙂

  30. Love this festive cake Sally! It looks like so much fun to make and cut into:) My lil guy would be sooo delighted with all these fun colors!

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