Rainbow Mini Trifles

by Jillian
Multi-colored layers of sweet vanilla cake and creamy cake batter mousse!

Delicious layers of sweet vanilla cake and fluffy cake batter mousse!

Happy LGBTQ Pride Month, y’all!

If there’s one thing in this world that always brings a smile to my face, it has to be rainbows. Whether it’s spotting a DOUBLE rainbow in the sky, or seeing rainbow-colored ANYthing, I can’t help but become obsessed. It’s also just a great way to symbolize unity and love since it brings all of the colors together. Not to mention, it’s such a fun theme when it comes to desserts.

Last year, I celebrated Pride Month with this super fun and fruity Rainbow Puppy Chow. So this year, I decided to try my hand at trifles…

Are these adorbs, or are these ADORBS?

Not only are these Rainbow Mini Trifles super cute and vibrant, but they taste just as incredible as they look. With fluffy layers of sweet vanilla cake between layers of creamy cake batter mousse, these trifles are BEYOND heavenly.

When it comes to the desserts I make for this blog, I usually only save myself a couple of pieces and give the rest away to friends or family. These trifles, on the other hand…yeah, I ain’t sharin’ diddly SQUAT. What’s more, these trifles freeze SUPER duper well, which means I can enjoy/inhale one now, and enjoy the others later.

As a trifle fanatic, I really can’t get enough trifles in my life. This is ESPECIALLY true when they’re packaged into individual mason jars. They’re just so darn fun to eat! And if you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know that I’ve got quite the collection of trifle recipes on here. The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to trifles.

I also really enjoy putting these mini trifles together. The layering process is oddly very satisfying for me. It’s rather therapeutic, really. Just pop in a good classic 90’s movie, and layer away! 

Of course, before the layering can take place, you have to make the cake first. I decided to go the cheater route by using a cake mix because A) It tastes just as good as homemade (in my opinion), and B) I was feeling lazy. However, if you feel like Martha Stewart-ing it up with a made-from-scratch recipe, be my guest! 

Once the cake mix is whipped up, the batter is evenly divided among 6 different bowls and dyed individually. I usually use Wilton gel colors since you don’t need to use a lot of gel to achieve a vivd hue. As far as baking goes, I kept the colors separate by baking them in a cupcake pan. 

The cake batter mousse is pretty straightforward. It’s basically a dangerously addictive mixture of cream cheese, cake mix, powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract, a pinch of salt, and whipped topping. Guys, this stuff is LETHAL. It’s like licking the leftover batter off of the beaters, only BETTER because it has a cloud-like fluffiness to it.

My mouth is watering just typing out that sentence…

NOW it’s time for the layering! Like my other mini trifle recipes, I used pint-sized mason jars. The layering process is simple–crumble in some cake (I started with purple), pipe on a layer of cake batter mousse, and repeat with the rest of the colors. Whether you start with purple or red is up to you. Just make sure it’s in the correct order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) to achieve that iconic rainbow look.

Finally, the ONLY proper way to top these rainbow beauties off is with some colorful sprinkles. Because #SprinklesMakeTheWorldGoRound.

Multi-colored layers of sweet vanilla cake and creamy cake batter mousse!

Rainbow Mini Trifles

Delicious layers of sweet vanilla cake and fluffy cake batter mousse!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 7 Trifles


Rainbow Cake:

  • 1 white cake mix plus all the ingredients needed
  • Food Coloring red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple

Cake Batter Mousse:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup white cake mix
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 ounces whipped topping


Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  • Prepare the cake batter according to the directions on the box. Divide batter evenly among 6 bowls, then dye each to desired shade. Pour each colored batter into separate cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven, and cool completely.

Make the Cake Batter Mousse:

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy. Add the cake mix, powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Continue beating until fully incorporated.
  • Add about a quarter of the whipped topping, and beat until combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the rest of the whipped topping. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, or a large ziplock bag with one of the corners cut off.

To Assemble:

  • Take the purple cupcakes and coarsely crumble them into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, so that you end up with 6 separate bowls for each color.
  • Starting with purple, evenly divide the purple cupcake crumbles into the jars. Pipe a layer of mousse on top of the cupcake layer. Repeat process with the remaining colors (blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) and mousse.
  • To finish, I used a star tip (Wilton 1M) to pipe a swirl of mousse on top. Then I topped each swirl with sprinkles.


*These trifles can easily be made a day or two in advance. Just screw on the lids after adding the last layer of cake, and refrigerate. On the day of serving, pipe on the last swirl of mousse and top with sprinkles.
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