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overhead picture of rainbow layer cake

Vanilla Almond Rainbow Petal Cake

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Desserts & Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


An easy and deliciously moist layer cake bursting with classic vanilla and almond flavor; this cake is completed with a fun buttercream decorated rainbow petal pattern that’s perfect for any celebration!



Vanilla Almond Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Vanilla Almond Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • food coloring gel


Vanilla Almond Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper and sides of cake pan well to prevent cake from sticking and set aside.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt then set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, oil, and sugar until well combined. Then add in eggs, one at a time, and be sure to beat well after each addition.
  4. Add in vanilla/almond extract and vanilla bean paste.
  5. With mixer on lowest speed, alternate flour mixture with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until everything is well combined but careful not to over mix batter. The batter should have a smooth texture.
  6. Evenly divide the batter into prepared cake pans. Using a kitchen scale can help for precise measurements if needed. Bake cakes for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cakes cool completely before inverting them onto a cooling rack and/or frosting. 

Vanilla Almond Buttercream 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. With mixer on lowest speed, slowly add in powdered sugar cup by cup. Add in vanilla/almond extract. Adjust speed to high and then add in heavy cream and beat until combined and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Place a spoonful of frosting on a cake board and smear in the center. This helps to ensure cake won’t slip and move around as you frost it. Place first cooled cake layer down and add about one cup of frosting to top layer. Using an offset spatula, frost entire top.
  2. Add second cake layer and repeat, this time frosting entire cake. At this stage you want to create a nice thin crumb coat so any excess frosting can be put back into bowl. Be sure to smooth top of cake well for petal patterned buttercream. Once cake has been completely frosted on top and sides, put into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, add about 3 tablespoons of frosting, and desired 1-2 drops of food coloring gel for each color. I used rainbow colors- ROYGBV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Mix until well incorporated for each color. 
  4. Add colored buttercream into small piping bags with an open tip.
  5. Directly on the top of cake, on the outer portion first, make one row of small dots all around cake with the first color. Using an offset spatula, press dots down and smear gently in a swiping motion- creating a sort of “petal.” Repeat this process for each desired color, each color slightly below the last, until you reach center of cake. 
  6. Once you reach the center, you can cover with sprinkles or other desired choice. Once complete, place cake back into refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes before slicing into.


Cake can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator (wrapped in plastic wrap) for up to three days or longer in the freezer. Just be sure to thaw cake out completely before using.

Make sure cakes are completely cooled before applying crumb coat of buttercream.

Keywords: cake, vanilla, almond, rainbow