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Square Pastel Layer Cake

Six layers of pastel tinted cake, surrounded by fluffy homemade vanilla buttercream. A perfect birthday or celebration cake!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Total Time12 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Servings: 20



  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • McCormick extra rich pure vanilla
  • McCormick neon food color


  • 1 1/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/4 C vegetable shortening
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 C powdered sugar

Suggested tools:

  • Parchment paper
  • Square baking pan
  • Baking spray
  • 1 M piping tip
  • Piping bags
  • Small offset spatula
  • Large offset spatula
  • Bench scraper


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut 6 pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom of your square baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix box cake mix according to manufacturer's directions. Mix in 1/2 tsp extra rich pure vanilla per 1 box cake mix. Divide batter between clean bowls, measuring out 1 and 1/4 cup batter per bowl. Tint each bowl according to chart below.
  • Cake tint chart: Pink layer: 3 drops pink Blue layer: 3 drops blue Green layer: 3 drops green, 1 drop blue Orange layer: 4 drops green, 2 drops pink Purple: 3 drops purple White: none
  • Lightly grease pan (or multiple pans) with baking spray, insert parchment paper, lightly spray parchment paper with baking spray.
  • Add one color to a prepared pan, spreading out evenly into all corners. Use a small offset spatula to level out the batter. Bake for 17-18 minutes. Cool for several minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  • Once fully cooled, using a sharp knife, carefully level off tops of cakes. Keeping parchment paper in place, stack cake layers and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.
  • When ready to frost, prepare buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract, followed by 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • To frost cake: Choose the base layer of your cake, add strips of wax paper under each side. Add a large dollop of frosting to the cake, smooth our with a small offset spatula. Add another cake layer and frosting. Repeat method until all layers have been added. Top off with additional frosting. Coat cake with frosting, filling in gaps and sealing in crumbs. Transfer to refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Cover remaining frosting until ready to proceed.
  • Add additional frosting to top and sides of cake, smoothing out with an offset spatula and/or bench scraper. If roses are desired, add frosting to a piping bag fit with a 1M tip. Pipe roses around the top edge of the cake.
  • Chill if desired or serve immediately.
  • To slice cake: Using a sharp knife, cut cake in half width wise. Cut slices length wise into desired thickness.
  • Remaining cake may be stored at room temperature or chilled.


Recipe yields 1: 8-inch, 6 layer cake, serves roughly 20 using slicing method listed.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel