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This fun and festive Easter Cake Recipe is an easy swirled cake that starts with a cake mix! Swirls of pastel dyed cake batter are swirled into the white cake to create this beautiful springtime pastel cake. Perfect to serve as a kid-friendly Easter dessert!
Easter Cake Recipe (with Pastel Swirls)
I absolutely love cute holiday-themed recipes like this swirled easter cake! Simple to make, which is important around the Holidays, because it starts with a white cake mix. Part of the cake batter is dyed to create those pretty pastel colored swirls you see through out the cake.
Finish it off with a fluffy & whipped vanilla frosting, and of course some Easter themed or pastel colored sprinkles on top! My kids love to help me make this easy cake recipe for a fun Easter dessert.
I also love to make this cake for any Holiday because it’s so simple to switch out the food coloring + sprinkles to match any celebration.
Here are the simple ingredients you will need for this pastel swirled cake recipe.
Swirled White Cake
- White Cake Mix – Any brand or variety of white cake mix will work. The most important thing is to make sure it’s the size called for in the recipe below.
- Egg Whites – You only want to use the egg whites because it will keep the cake white and ensure that the swirls are more obvious and colorful.
- Canola or Vegetable Oil
- Sour Cream – I think it’s best to use full fat sour cream when baking, but light sour cream can be used if wanted.
- Clear Vanilla Extract – To keep the cake white (just like the egg whites) it’s best to use clear vanilla extract. Vanilla extract can be used but it will affect the whiteness of the cake slightly.
- Food Coloring – For this easter themed cake you will need pink, blue, and yellow dye. Either gel or liquid. I prefer using gel food coloring.
- Sprinkles – Pick any sprinkles you want! Pastel colored or Easter themed sprinkles is what I go for.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract – Use clear vanilla extract for more of a pure white frosting color.
- Heavy Cream -This is the preferred milk to use for a fluffy and rich frosting, but any milk can be used if wanted. If you use anything less fat then heavy cream then start with half the amount called for in the recipe and go from there. To achieve that “whipped” and “fluffy” texture in the frosting you must use heavy cream.
How to Make a Pastel Swirled Cake
Learn how to make this easy cake recipe for a fun pastel swirled cake for Easter.
Step One : Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Step Two : Prepare the white cake batter, according to directions below and not the directions on the box. Pour 2 cups of it into the prepared pan.
Step Three : Separate the remaining batter into 3 separate bowls. Add 2-3 drops of pink, blue, or yellow food coloring to each bowl. One color per bowl. Stir well, adding more food coloring, until desired color is reached. Dollop spoonfuls of each colored batter across the whole pan. Swirl the cake batter with a toothpick or silverware knife.
Step Four : Bake and let cool completely before frosting.
Step Five : Make the whipped vanilla frosting and frost the cooled cake. Add sprinkles on top and serve!
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my helpful tips for this easter cake recipe with pastel swirls.
- Use Egg Whites : I know some may not like the idea of wasting the egg yolk, but to keep the cake white, you need to only use egg whites in this recipe. If you use the entire egg it will slightly change the texture of the cake, and it will for sure make the cake more yellow which will also change the pastel color swirls.
- Use Clear Vanilla Extract : Again, to keep the cake pure white to enhance the pastel swirls, use clear vanilla extract.
- Don’t Over Swirl : To ensure that you don’t over mix the swirls, and to keep the colors having a symmetrical look once swirled, swirl the colored dollops of batter starting from the left and moving to the right, while gradually moving down the pan. See above pictures for example. Do the same pattern each time you swirl the batter.
Easter Cake Recipe FAQs
- What Are Substitutions I Can Make?
- There are not many substitutions that I would recommend. You could try using a different cake mix, like a French vanilla, but for the whitest results use a white cake mix.
- You could also use the whole eggs instead of just the egg whites, but I would not recommend doing this as it will turn the cake a yellowish tint.
- For best results, I highly encourage you to stick to the recipe below and only change out the food dye colors and sprinkles for different Holidays.
- Can I Make this Swirled Cake for any Holiday?
- Yes! All you would have to do is switch out the colors of food dye you are using & the sprinkles. For Christmas, use red and green food dye. For Valentine’s Day you can use red and pink. I make this for Fourth of July and use red and blue food dye.
- You don’t even have to use 3 different colors. Two colors will work just fine. I would not use more than three food dye colors, just to avoid the pattern from over swirling and the colors mixing together.
- The sprinkles are easy to switch out too. Just pick ones that correspond to the Holiday and use them!
- How To Store Leftovers
- Store the leftovers, in the cake pan covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge for 3-4 days.
More Cake Recipes You’ll Love
- Lemon Lovers Layered Cake
- Easy Strawberry Cake
- Orange Pineapple Cake
- Pineapple Pistachio Cake
- Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Easter Cake Recipe (Pastel Swirled Cake)
Swirled White Cake
- 1 box (15.25 oz) white cake mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- blue, pink, & yellow food coloring
- pastel colored sprinkles
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream *see notes
- 1½ teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, egg whites, and clear vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, and then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. *Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed
- Pour 2 cups of the white cake batter into the prepared pan. Evenly spread it out.
- Divide the remaining white cake batter between 3 smaller bowls. It will end up being about 1/2 cup each. Add 2-3 drops of blue, pink, and yellow food coloring to each bowl. One color per bowl. Stir each color well, and add more food coloring if necessary, until desired color is reached.
- Place spoonfuls of the colored batter over the white cake batter in the baking pan. I just alternate each color (blue, pink, yellow) across the cake.
- Using a silverware knife or a toothpick, gently run it through the batter creating a swirled pattern. You may have to repeat this another time to get it nicely swirled together. *To avoid over swirling, start a swirl pattern from left to right and gradually work your way down the pan. Do not randomly swirl, you want to do the same pattern both times you swirl the batter.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
- To Make The Frosting : With an electric hand mixer, beat the butter in a mixing bowl, for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat for 2 minutes until it's fluffy and thick. *It's best to use heavy cream in the frosting to get that "whipped" consistency.
- Frost the cooled cake and evenly sprinkle the sprinkles over top. Cut into squares and serve.