Introduction: How to Make a Tie Dye Cake

I am a student at Imagine Prep High School in Surprise, Arizona. and I made this Instructable for a Dual Enrollment English 102 class project. At first, I thought this project was going to be boring, but it turned out to be quite a bit of fun, as long as you make something you believe would be fin, and I did! This tie dye cake is not the conventional rainbow colors, but it is still fun and colorful and fulfills its title of "tie dye cake". Get ready for this to challenge your cake artistry ability because the very top of this cake is very intricate and a bit time consuming, but with patience I promise you will find it as fun as I did.


- 2 circular nine inch cake pans

- mixing spoons and spatulas

- paintbrush(es)

- paper towels

- wax or parchment paper

- toothpicks

- butter or pam cooking spray (for greasing the pans)

- 1 box of white cake mix

- 2 containers of white vanilla frosting

- any colors of food dye gel (I will be using four different colors: pink, teal, orange, and purple)

- small bowls (matches the number of colored dyes you will be using)

Step 1: Step 1: Make Your Cake Mix:

Follow the instructions on the cake mix box (I decided to use a Pillsbury cake mix, which requires 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil, and one cup of water, but you can use any cake mix you desire or make your own white cake batter from scratch!), including preheating the oven to the correct temperature. Also, line the bottom of your 2 nine inch pans with wax paper and grease the sides of the pan.

Step 2: Step 2: Color Your Cake Mixes

Separate cake mixes equally into your small bowls and color each bowl of cake mix a different color ( I suggest that you use a small spatula for this step).

Step 3: Step 3: Create the Inner Tie Dye Effect

Layer the cake pans in any color pattern of colored cake mix that you want, but your first pan has to go: color 1, color 2, color 3 , color 5... and the second pan must go: color 4, color 3, color 2, and color 1. When pouring in the batter for the first cake pan, use 3/4 of your "first color" batter for the bottom cake color and use a little less of each color as you continue. For the second cake pan, do this same process but start with your "fourth color". Together, these patterns and the different cake amounts in the pans, will give the cake the overall tie dye look.

Step 4: Step 4: Bake Your Cake:

Bake the two cakes according to the box instructions (usually you will need to set your oven to 350 degrees); to ensure your cake is cooked all the way through, insert a toothpick into the center of each cake and if it come out clean with no cake batter on it then the cakes are ready to be taken out of the oven.

Step 5: Step 5: Frost Your Cakes

Let the cakes cool, and then stack them on top of one another by using a layer of white vanilla frosting (I again used Pillsbury regular white vanilla frosting, but you could use any white frosting you would like. Also, you could color this frosting in between the two cakes to be more colorful but I think the white makes the cake look more clean) between the two cakes. After the two cakes are all set then frost the outside portion of your cake, covering the entire cake with white frosting.

Step 6: Step 6: Begin the Outer Tie Dye Effect

After the entire cake is frosted then you will, begin to create the tie dye effect on top of your cake using those same food dye gels that you colored the cake mixes with earlier. To start, make circles of your different colored gels all the way around the cake from the middle to the outer edges 9for this step you can use any tie dye variation you want.

Step 7: Step 7: Refine the Outer Tie Dye Effect

Using a small, flat paintbrush (preferably new for obvious reasons), start at the center circle and brush towards the outside of your cake Continue this until your whole cake is filled with the tie dye effect and there are no more globs of white vanilla frosting showing through.

*I would advise you to clean off your paintbrush on a wad of paper towels quite frequently so the colors do not blend together; especially if you are using blue or green because these colors will over power the whole effect.

Step 8: Step 8: Enjoy!