Tie-Dye Starburst Skittle Cake

Tie-Dye Starburst Skittle Birthday Cake

  • Assorted Starbursts and Skittles
  • 3 square cake pans for the cake as pictured here, one 9-inch pan, one 6-inch pan and one 4-inch pan – NOTE: You will probably not be able to use all the batter between these 3 pans, so have another extra pan handy to bake the rest of the cake batter for either a spare cake for yourself, or to crumble and make cake truffles.  And if you don’t have the right sized pans, just bake the cakes in the pans you have and cut the cakes to the right proportions, keeping in mind, though, that a cut edge is more difficult to frost since it’s more crumbly.
  • 2 white cake mixes, plus oil, eggs and water (I use whole milk, though, instead of water, or sour cream, and add vanilla extract) called for on the box
  • Gel Food Coloring
  • 6 cups Vanilla Buttercream


Starburst Frosting:

If you want to incorporate the candy into the frosting like I did, then you’ll need to do this step a day in advance.  Separate all the candy by color/flavor.  You’ll need to select 3 different colors (about 20 pieces of each color) to make your syrup.  Unwrap the candy and place each color in a separate saucepan.  Add water so the candy is covered by about an inch of water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then boil over medium low, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced, about 30 minutes.  Pour into heat-proof containers and cool on the kitchen counter overnight.

The next morning, you should see a layer of fat on top of the surface that separates from the syrup as it cools.  Scrape the fat solids off, and pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove the rest of the solids.  The syrups are now ready to use.

For this cake, I made about 6 cups of vanilla buttercream, and whipped in the syrup in place of the milk.  I was able to add a lot of syrup, but just start with a little and keep adding it to achieve the flavor and color you want.  If you like, you can enhance the color with some more food coloring as well, if it’s not dark enough.  Plan on making about 3 cups of 1 color for the bottom layer, 2 cups of a second color for the middle layer and 1 cup of the 3rd color for the top layer.

If you don’t want to make the Starburst syrup, then you can make other flavors like Lemon, Lime and Raspberry, using the tips in my Buttercream post.


Tie-Dye Cake:

Making a tie-dye cake is really simple, and it’s an idea that’s been around for a while.  First, mix up your cake batter according to the instructions on the box.  I like to substitute milk or sour cream, and add vanilla, which greatly improves the flavor of boxed mixes.  Divide the batter between 6 bowls.

Tint each bowl of batter with a different color of food coloring.  Take one bowl of batter and spoon it into the center of the pans.  Take the second color and spoon it directly on top of the first; the batter you add on top will spread out the batter underneath, so there’s no need for you to try to spread it out.  Continue with all the colors, noting that the last color you add in the middle will be the most prevalent.

Bake the cakes and cool completely.



Level the cakes with a sharp knife or leveler.  Place the 9-inch cake on a 12-inch cake board.  Frost all over with one color of buttercream.  Place the 6-inch cake on top, at a diagonal.  Frost with the 2nd color of buttercream, being careful not to mix with the color on the bottom layer.  Repeat with the 4-inch cake on top.

Use any extra buttercream to pipe decorative edges on the cakes, then decorate with candy.


Yields 25-30 servings.


Recipe and Design from Curly Girl Kitchen