The Amazing Jiggling Rainbow Cake

Yup. I made it. Have made it THREE TIMES ALREADY THIS SUMMER. This one was the first one, made in a fancy borrowed bundt pan. We were rushed and we made it (my s-i-l and me) the day of the event we were attending. We were thrilled with the results!

I used the recipe at the link my friend, Sierra, sent me here. There it is referred to as a Spiked Rainbow Salad, or as a variation of a Rainbow Ribbon Cake (because of the vodka).

We’ve been calling it a spiked rainbow jello cake (the party version calls for three cups of vodka), but most recently I’ve received questions about how to make that “diversity cake.” Come to think of it, I guess Waldorf folks share an affinity for rainbows with the “diverse” population.

This cake is a stunner and crowd-pleaser. It’s a little bit sad to see the kids’ faces fall when they’re told that this is a grown-up cake, but that sadness goes away when the vodka warms your bones after the first bite.

The general idea is to make gelatin jello and let it set briefly (15-20 min) before pouring the next level. The technique is easy, but time-consuming as there are 12 layers (six colors with each color having a clear and cloudy layer). Plan on spending five hours or so. Keep in mind that two cakes are just as easy as one.


  • an ornate bundt pan makes a more beautiful cake
  • keep everything cold, cold cold. that means chill the vodka in the freezer and the bundt pan in the fridge in advance.
  • best to make this cake THE DAY BEFORE YOU NEED IT

You will need:

  • 6 – 3 oz. packages of jello
  • 3 pkg gelatin (each pkg is about 2 tsp)
  • 3 c flavored vodka (we’ve tried raspberry and vanilla – both are delicious)
  • 1 tub vanilla yogurt

lightly greased bundt pan (we used a Pam spray and then wiped most off)

It helps to have a couple measuring cups when you are juggling multiple colors. You’ll need a whisk and small saucepan as well.

1. Dissolve 1 tsp of gelatin in 3/4 c in the saucepan. Heat and stir until dissolved.

2. Add the first pkg of jello (purple, if you’re doing a rainbow). Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. At this point I transfer the jello mixture to a glass measuring cup to start the cooling process.

3. Add 1/2 c vodka. Pour half the jello color into the bundt mold.

4. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. This is the critical bit, because if the jello is not set enough, the next poured color will make a hole in the previous layer. (Although this hardly shows in the finished product.) You can use a soup spoon to break the pour flow too. If the jello is set too much, then the levels will not stick and when the cake is served the layers will break apart.

So, you are looking for a firm jello that is still sticky to the touch.

As the layers progress it goes faster (because of the mass of the already cooled jello helps cool the new layers).

5. Add 3 T of yogurt to the remaining jello color. When the previous layer is set, pour to add the cloudy layer.

6. Repeat with remaining five colors.

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