If there are two things my five-year-old loves, it’s bright colors and glitter. And then there is cake. Put them all together and, well, she’s just beside herself. {There’s a reason kids always go for the cobalt blue iced cupcakes, right?)

One of my editorial assistants decided to tackle glitter, tie-dye and homemade cake all in one swoop– a twist on the traditional red, white, and blue fireworks cake. The result? A fun, bake-together afternoon for adults and kids that’ll allow your pint-sizer to get elbow deep in icing. Take creative frosting license, if you will.

It’s definitely a fun, ‘out loud’ kinda cake!

Tie-Dyed Fireworks Cake

Natalie’s Colorful , Tie-Dyed Fireworks Cake



  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half
  • One tube blue shimmer frosting


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350º F. butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans, and shake out all excess flour.

Cream butter and shortening together until light and fluffy. Add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding more. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporate each egg before adding another.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milk and vanilla into a measuring cup and whisk together. Add to butter and mixture alternately with milk mixture, ending with dry ingredients.

Stir all ingredients until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed.

Evenly distribute cake batter between four separate bowls. Add pink food coloring to the first bowl, teal to the second, orange to the third, and purple to the fourth  Pour colored cake batter into the greased and floured cake pans, a cup at a time, alternating colors.

When pans are evenly full of different colors, place them into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then remove from cool completely on a wire rack.

Frost cake with delicious white frosting of your choice; I recommend the following vanilla buttercream.


Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on medium setting and cream the butter until smooth and light in color, about 3 minutes.

Add confectioner’s sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.

Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and mix until combined.

Add half-and-half until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency.

*For a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.

Separate the frosting, about 2/3 will remain white to frost between the layers and up the sides The other third should be split in thirds and one half will be tinted pink, the other parts purple and orange.

Cake Assembly

Squeeze all blue shimmer frosting into a bowl and thin with milk until spreadable. Swirl on top of white frosting, to create a bit of a van Gogh Starry Night effect.
Tie-Dyed Fireworks Cake

After you’ve created a base swirl layer of frosting, use pastry bags (or ziploc bag corners) to draw on your brightly colored fireworks! This is a great part for kids to do!
Tie-Dyed Fireworks CakeTie-Dyed Fireworks Cake